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"Fastlove" is a song by George Michael, released as a single in 1996 by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and DreamWorks Records in the United States. The song was written by Michael, Patrice Rushen, Freddie Washington and Terri McFaddin with production by Michael and Jon Douglas.

"Fastlove"
FastloveImYourMan96.jpg
Single by George Michael
from the album Older
B-side"I'm Your Man '96"
Released22 April 1996
Format
Recorded1993–96
Genre
Length5:24
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • George Michael
  • Jon Douglas
George Michael singles chronology
"Jesus to a Child"
(1996)
"Fastlove"
(1996)
"Spinning the Wheel"
(1996)
Music video
"Fastlove" on YouTube

The song received positive reviews from music critics. Commercially, the song topped the charts in four countries: Australia, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom, and it also reached number one on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary chart. It was Michael's seventh and final number-one single in the UK during his lifetime and is his seventh-most downloaded track there, earning him a Gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry. It has sold 465,504 copies in the UK and was nominated for Best Single at the 1997 Brit Awards.

The song's music video which directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton, was nominated for the video category at the Brit Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, eventually won the International Viewer's Choice Award—MTV Europe.

ReleaseEdit

"Fastlove" is an energetic tune about the need for gratification and fulfillment without concern for commitment. The song was the second single taken from Michael's third studio album Older, which was his first studio album in six years and only the third of his solo career. For the single's B-side, a remake of the Wham! classic "I'm Your Man" was used. Entitled "I'm Your Man '96", it was an update of one of their last singles, a decade earlier.

A resung but otherwise identical chorus of the Patrice Rushen hit "Forget Me Nots" (written by Rushen, Freddie Washington and Terri McFaddin) was used toward the end of the song, although no co-writing credit was initially given. This problem was rectified in the liner notes of Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael.[2]

Jon Kutner from 1000 UK Number One Hits said the line "Stupid Cupid keeps on calling me and I see lovin' in his eyes" had a dual interpretation which could imply Michael's homosexuality.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Music & Media wrote about the song: "Michael previews his new album Older, released May 13, with an uncomplicated, good-time funky dance track in which the repetition of the title has a lasting effect. With a production and atmosphere owing much to late-'70s disco grooves, the track features some catchy snippets of Patrice Rushen's Forget Me Nots, whereas the extended version is a clever rewrite of Wham!'s I'm Your Man. Radio will love it."[4]

Entertainment Weekly's Jim Farber gave the song an "A", he stated: "It took real guts to release a salute to a one-night stand in this, the era of abstinence," also praising its "devilishly seductive bass" and "sleekly probing horns". Ferber concluded his review by calling the track "best slow-groove dance record since Lisa Stansfield's 'All Around the World.'"[5]

Cash Box wrote: "The new "Fastlove" pumps up both the volume and the velocity for a terminally danceable, happy-feet track that's sure to become a staple in discos across the U.S. "Fastlove" features the sort of ultra-lush, opulent soul vibe that's been Michael's hallmark throughout his career."[6]

While reviewing Older, Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic said although "Fastlove" is the album's only dance track, but it still "lacks the carefree spark of his earlier work." He later still chose the song as his one of his "track picks."[7] Writing about the album for Rolling Stone, Al Weisel called the track a "bouncy disco concoction" and "flavored with Dr. Dre-style whistling synths."[8]

In 2014, Brendon Veevers from British webzine Renowned for Sound ranked the song at number 4 on his "Top 10 George Michael Hits" list, stating: "[The song] is a slick, ultra-modern dance-pop track that sits quite contrasting to the rest of the Older tracks but has held up exceptionally well over the past almost-20 years since it was offered to us."[9]

In 2017, Dave Fawbert of ShortList Magazine called Fastlove "one of the greatest songs ever made", noting that, at a time when Britpop was at its height "George Michael decided to completely ignore it and release a truly slinky R&B/soul number which announced, with the utmost style, that he would be just as relevant in the ‘90s as he had been in the ‘80s." He was also full of praise for Fastlove Part II, although criticized the "Summer Mix" of the song as lacking "the fruity bass of the original".[10] Fawbert later produced a half-hour version of Fastlove as a homage.[11]

Chart performanceEdit

The song reached the number one spot in United Kingdom, where it stayed for three weeks. It also reached number one in Australia, Hungary and Spain. In the United States, "Fastlove" peaked at number eight and has since become a classic in George Michael's catalogue. It finished at number 62 on the US Billboard year-end chart. To date, this is the final George Michael single to enter the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Rhythmic chart and number 14 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40. In Canada "Fastlove" peaked at number four on the RPM Top Singles chart and number one on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart.

"Fastlove" later became Michael's seventh-most downloaded track in the United Kingdom, according to Official Charts Company in 2014.[12]

Music videoEdit

Directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton, the music video begins with a flickering virtual reality image of a woman on a bed followed by a man sitting in a black chair using a high-tech remote control device to "flip" through a variety of sexual virtual reality characters. Michael appears in the black chair, which is equipped with speakers. At one point, one of the dancers is shown wearing headphones displaying the word 'FONY' in the style of the Sony corporate logo, a reference to the contractual dispute Michael was having at the time with Sony Music Entertainment (formerly CBS Records). Throughout the video, there is a variety of men and women, who display a spectrum of characteristics, including one who is shy (played by the song's producer Jon Douglas), another who is lustful, and another who is a complete emotional wreck (played by Rachel Williams) sitting in the chair and using the remote control to summon more sexual characters. As the video ends, Michael is seen dancing while water rains down on him. The video ends with the same flickering virtual reality image that introduces to the video.[13][14]

The music video was nominated for three 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, including: Best Dance Video, Best Choreography in a Video and International Viewer's Choice Award—MTV Europe — which it won.[15][16]

Live performancesEdit

 
Michael performing the song at 25 Live in 2006, with the backdrop contains scenes from the music video.

Michael performed the song on his MTV Unplugged segment on 11 October 1996 in London, the taping later premiered on the network on 11 December.[17][18] Barry Walters in a review for The Advocate, describing the performance: "During 'Fastlove' he changes the melody considerably, and a huge mass of background singers drops all sorts of gospel-influenced vocal doodads."[18] The live audio of the song was then uploaded onto Michael's official SoundCloud.[19]

"Fastlove" was the opening song for his first leg for 25 Live with graphics flowed behind and beneath him on a curved, cascading screen.[20]

British singer Adele performed the song during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, in tribute to Michael. She restarted her slow, mournful arrangement of it at one point because she was not satisfied with how it was going and saying that Michael was too important to her for her to not get it right.[21][22]

Track listingEdit

UK CD single

  1. "Fastlove Part 1" – 5:23
  2. "I'm Your Man" – 4:04
  3. "Fastlove Part 2" (Fully Extended Mix) – 9:28

US CD single

  1. "Fastlove" (Full Version) – 5:24
  2. "I'm Your Man '96" – 4:13
  3. "Fastlove" (Summer Mix) – 4:42

US maxi single

  1. "Fastlove" (Radio Edit) – 4:45
  2. "Fastlove" (A/C Summer Mix) – 4:42
  3. "Fastlove" (Full Version) – 5:24

"Fastlove Part II"

  1. "Fastlove Part II" (Fully Extended Mix Edit) – 9:27
  2. "I'm Your Man" (ILR Version Star People '97 Radio Edit) – 4:04

Charts and certificationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ George Michael - Fastlove -Patrice Rushen - Forget Me Nots Whosampled.com. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ Jon Kutner (26 May 2010). 1000 UK Number One Hits. Omnibus Press. pp. 961–. ISBN 978-0-85712-360-2.
  4. ^ "Music & Media: New Releases" (PDF). Music & Media (1996-04-06, page 12). Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. ^ Farber, Jim (3 May 1996). "Fastlove". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Pop Singles: Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box (1996-04-20, page 7). Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Older - George Michael". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  8. ^ Weisel, Al (2 February 1998). "Older". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  9. ^ Veevers, Brendon (11 March 2014). "Top 10 George Michael Hits". Renowned for Sound. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "A nine-and-a-half-minute long version of George Michael's 'Fastlove' exists and it will change your life", Shortlist, Accessed 12 April 2017
  11. ^ "George Michael's 'Fastlove' is not long enough, so I made a half-hour long version", Shortlist, Accessed 12 April 2017
  12. ^ George Michael’s Official Top 20 Most Downloaded Tracks revealed! Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  13. ^ Robert Steele (4 November 2011). Careless Whispers: The Life & Career of George Michael. Omnibus Press. pp. 273–. ISBN 978-0-85712-726-6.
  14. ^ Vernon L. Pedersen; Desislava Bezhanska; Velika Ivanova (2002). American University in Bulgaria: Bulgarian American Studies Association : America Imagined Conference : Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria October 18-21, 2001. American University in Bulgaria, Bulgarian-American Studies Association.
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  18. ^ a b Here Publishing (24 December 1996). The Advocate. Here Publishing. pp. 61–. ISSN 0001-8996.
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  61. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1996" (in German). Retrieved 10 July 2019.
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  64. ^ "French single certifications – George Michael – Fast Love" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  65. ^ "British single certifications – George Michael – Fastlove". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Fastlove in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  66. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 109 (3): 61. 18 January 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  67. ^ "American single certifications – Michael, George – Fast Love". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit