George Michael: 20 Essential Songs

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

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Wham!, "Everything She Wants" (1984)

Everything about "Everything She Wants" is subtle. A study in airy layers and silky funk, the third hit from Wham!'s debut, Make It Big, not only sealed the hat trick for George Michael as a superb soul singer, it showed that his knack for songwriting was no fluke. "Quite often he'll start a song with a verse or a chorus and nothing else. And he'll build that up day by day," Michael’s engineer Chris Porter told Rolling Stone in 1986, adding that "Everything She Wants" started off as a humble scrap of a home demo: "He elaborated on it over about four days until it became a complete song." Michael's bedroom-pop process added a level of eerie intimacy to the slow-burn plea for domestic justice, which split the difference between New Romantic synth-glam and post-Thriller R&B in a way that felt frictionless – and quietly, confidently hinted at the melodic and emotional depths of his solo output to come.

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