Songs from the Last Century

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Suzanne McElfresh
After a 17-year career as one of pop's most successful stars -- and a reported 67 million in record sales worldwide -- George Michael up and decides to record an album of songs by noted composers of the past 100 years. Perhaps it's a simple nod to the millennium changeover, but in Michael's case, an album that sits the Depression-era hallmark "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" next to Sting's classic "Roxanne," and the time-honored "My Baby Just Cares for Me" alongside the timely U2-Eno anthem "Miss Sarajevo" seems more a bid to break yet another pop-music barrier. Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry, Linda Ronstadt, Sinéad O'Connor, Joe Jackson, and Sting have all taken on ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Suzanne McElfresh
After a 17-year career as one of pop's most successful stars -- and a reported 67 million in record sales worldwide -- George Michael up and decides to record an album of songs by noted composers of the past 100 years. Perhaps it's a simple nod to the millennium changeover, but in Michael's case, an album that sits the Depression-era hallmark "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" next to Sting's classic "Roxanne," and the time-honored "My Baby Just Cares for Me" alongside the timely U2-Eno anthem "Miss Sarajevo" seems more a bid to break yet another pop-music barrier. Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry, Linda Ronstadt, Sinéad O'Connor, Joe Jackson, and Sting have all taken on the great American songbook, with varying degrees of success. Here, Michael's urbane vocals glide over rich arrangements and expert production by veteran Phil Ramone, and a song selection that tends toward laid-back "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "You've Changed" makes it a relaxed journey. Only a couple of numbers pick up the pace -- the kicky "Secret Love" and the kitschy "My Baby Just Cares for Me" -- but throughout, Michael engages these well-crafted songs with a knowing, upbeat style that nods more to Las Vegas lounge cool than offhand pop lark. In that case, perhaps Michael, a veteran at 36, is looking toward the next century and getting ready for those twilight years.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Unlike many covers albums, Songs From the Last Century is a cohesive, enjoyable diversion. With the help of co-producer Phil Ramone, George Michael has crafted a warm, intimate album built around a small combo of piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Orchestras, big bands, harps, and on one occasion, a rock band augment the basic combo, yet the flourishes never change the essential, close-knit nature of the group. For the first time ever, Michael sounds relaxed. He's lying back, singing songs he loves, not worrying about chart success, and the end result is quite fetching, even if it isn't perfect. The main flaw with Songs From the Last Century is that it's so smooth, it's occasionally a little sleepy, a trait that's emphasized by Michael's fairly predictable taste in covers -- "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," "My Baby Just Cares for Me," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," among others. Nevertheless, he does bring style and sophistication to these standards, even such often-covered yet still difficult tunes as "Wild as the Wind." When his selections are idiosyncratic -- whether it's a jazzy reading of "Roxanne," the brassy "Secret Love," the little-remembered "I Remember You," or a revelatory reading of "Miss Sarajevo," a song commonly dismissed as a U2 side project -- the album is delightful. Certainly, Songs From the Last Century isn't a major work; it's a way for Michael to decompress and have some fun, and the diehards who stuck with him through the turbulent '90s are likely to be charmed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/1999
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • UPC: 724384874025
  • Catalog Number: 48740
  • Sales rank: 15,501

Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Michael Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Rob Mounsey Piano, Conductor
Corky Hale Harp
Lewis Nash Drums
Abe Appleman Violin
Diane Barere Celli
Elena Barere Violin, Concert Master
Herb Besson Trombone
Virgil Blackwell Clarinet
Lawrence Feldman Woodwind
David Finck Bass
Barry Finclair Violin, Concert Master
Crystal Garner Viola
Juliet Haffner Viola
Joyce Hammann Violin
Kenneth Hitchcock Woodwind
Regis Iandiorio Violin
Jean Ingraham Violin
Tony Kadleck Trumpet
Carol Landon Viola
Kim Laskowski Bassoon
Jeanne LeBlanc Celli
Ann Leathers Violin
Richard Locker Celli
Rob Mathes Piano, Conductor
Jeff Mironov Guitar
John Moses Clarinet
Jan Mullen Violin
Shawn Pelton Drums
Sue Pray Viola
Tim Ries Woodwind
Marcus Rojas Tuba
Roger Rosenberg Woodwind
Mark Orrin Shuman Celli
Pamela Sklar Flute
Andy Snitzer Woodwind
Byron Stripling Trumpet
Marti Sweet Violin
Donna Tecco Violin
David Tofani Woodwind
Ellen Westerman Celli
Jim Hynes Trumpet
Jacqui Danilow Bass
Diane Lesser Oboe
Carol Webb Violin
Chris Komer French Horn
Maura Giannini Violin
Dave Mann Woodwind
Jeff Kievit Trumpet
Caryl Paisner Celli
Charles Pillow Woodwind
Marji Danilow Bass
Sheryl Henze Flute
Karen Griffen Flute
Arvil Brown Violin
Laura Oatts Violin
Jeff Lang French Horn
Stacey Shames Harp
Laura Hamilton Violin
Technical Credits
Ewan MacColl Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin Composer
George Michael Producer, Liner Notes
Sting Composer
Rob Mounsey Arranger
The Edge Composer
Bono Composer
Adam Clayton Composer
Walter Donaldson Composer
Brian Eno Composer
Sammy Fain Composer
Frank Filipetti Engineer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Gus Kahn Composer
Rob Mathes Arranger
Johnny Mercer Composer
Larry Mullen Jr. Composer
Phil Ramone Producer, Liner Notes
Ned Washington Composer
Paul Francis Webster Composer
Torrie Zito Arranger
Bill Carey Composer
Carl Fischer Composer
Victor Schertzinger Composer
Jay Gorney Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's About Time!

    Anyone who actually *listens* to the music that comes out of their stereo speakers probably realized a long time ago that George Michael has a great voice. In fact, they probably wondered why the beautiful voice wasn't being used to sing American standards. At last the wait and wonder have been put to an end with a CD that I don't want to take out of the stereo. SONGS FROM THE LAST CENTURY come out of the speaker with grace, some gently, some boisterously, but all with great arranging, inflection, and tone. There's a wide range of choice as the online summary indicates... personally, I loved the swing of

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the most under-rated artists of this Millennium!

    George Michael's voice is an instrument -- a gift from above. He is able to sooth and comfort by singing absolutely anything. Some songs are more suited for his voice, but he can never sing anything badly. This album is great for days when you just want something to chill with. Great to hear George doing some other tunes.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews