Well, it was always going to be a possibility – that George Michael would baulk at the idea of singing one of his own songs as a duet with Joe on the X-Factor final. Guided by the results of the recent poll right here on the official Buzzin’ Blog, where we asked you, the public, to vote on which song George and Joe should sing, we have our answer. The winner, with 26% of the vote, and the song that George will sing with Joe this weekend is… wait for it… wait for it… the 1974 Elton John hit song, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.
George has, of course, sung this song many, many times over the years. The first was at Live Aid in 1985, when he sang it solo, accompanied by Elton and Elton’s band. Live Aid was an amazing concert, and at the time, it seemed like an amazing performance. Looking back, it’s not quite as good as everyone thought – George’s vocal is not in tune the whole time. Still, it captured the public imagination. Here it is:
The Live Aid performance was such a big hit that George and Elton turned the song into a duet and would perform it together frequently, at various live shows, over the next five years. By the time 1991 came around, public demand for the duet from the pair led them to release a live version, recorded at a George Michael concert, as a single. Here is the video, also recorded at the concert:
It hit No. 1 in the UK in 1991, and in 1992 it reached No. 1 in the US. You’ll notice that George’s live vocal is much better in this 1991 version, than in the 1985 one. In part, that’s because he had developed as a singer between 1985 and 1991; but also, it’s because George’s vocal on this record isn’t actually live. George, being the perfectionist he is, wasn’t happy with the original vocal. So he re-recorded it in the studio, and overlaid it on the live video.
This weekend, George will perform “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” again, this time with X-Factor finalist, 18 year-old Joe McElderry. Interestingly, Joe was born in 1991, the same year that George and Elton had their big hit with the song. Joe has already performed this song on earlier on in the competition in “George Michael” week. Here’s Joe’s performance, which was the highlight of that particular show:
In some ways, Joe is similar to how George was as a singer at 18; and many people have noticed that Joe looks a lot like George did at 18. These facts have prompted suggestions that Joe may actually be George’s love child. There have long been rumors that George has a love child who lives in the north of England (where Joe is from), and that George is aware of the child’s identity. So, given this, perhaps George has a very good reason to want to duet with Joe this weekend – a chance for father and son to spend a little time together…. Maybe… Allegedly…
Anyway, here’s to George and Joe… let’s all wish them the best of luck with their performance. And – oh yeah – JOE TO WIN!!!
Speaking of Father and Son… I’ve been reminded that there was another important, very special performance of this song, where George duetted with his Father, Mr Jack. Mr Jack sang the song in Greek, while George sang in English.
Oh… wait… Hang on. Apparently, it isn’t Mr Jack in the video, and he isn’t singing in Greek. Apparently, it’s some bloke called Luciano Pavarotti, and he’s singing in Italian.
Finally, please remember that George has a DVD and a single out – so as the Italian lady says near the end of the above video – “George Michael! Please give money!”