George Michael: 20 Essential Songs

The best of the pop icon's hits, duets and reinventions

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"Too Funky" (1992)

For the 1992 HIV/AIDS awareness compilation Red Hot + Dance, George Michael helped to assemble a formidable cast of performers and remixers including Crystal Waters, EMF and PM Dawn. But the standout jam was his own club monster "Too Funky," originally composed for the abandoned follow-up to Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. Samples of Anne Bancroft's famous come-ons from The Graduate hint at the song's carnal objective, a simmering kind of lust that's made explicitly clear by Michael's practically panting delivery of "I'd like to see you naked maybe/I'd like to think that sometime, maybe tonight." With burbling synths borrowed from Jocelyn Brown's post-disco track "Somebody Else's Guy," a throbbing bass groove and endlessly looping house piano licks, "Too Funky" sets the mood just right for surrendering to the body’s mysterious urges. Add in the fashion-heavy Thierry Mugler–directed video, and the delicate act of seduction starts to resemble something more like high art.

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