Today, lyric videos are all the rage. Pretty much evey high-profile artist – singers like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry – release lyric videos to accompany their new singles. But who started the idea of lyric videos? Arguably, it was none other than George Michael who pioneered the concept way back in 1990 with his US number one hit, Praying For Time. It wasn’t absolutely the first lyric video (Prince had a big hit in 1987 with Sign O’ The Times which also had a lyric video), but it was the first numer one hit to have one.
For well-documented reasons, George had decided not to appear in videos, and so director, Michael Borofsky, was hired to make a video that featured only the lyrics of the song. The originality of the “lyric video” concept meant that George’s video was featured heavily on MTV, and the song went to number one (the song is actually George’s most recent solo number one in the US).
Have a look at the video. There are a couple of versions. This one, just the lyrics…
… and this one features the album art from Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 from which the single was taken.
Of course, Praying For Time has really stood the test of time as a song, and has been successfully covered by other artists. Recently, George updated the song for his Symphonica Tour including the addition of some new lyrics. Here’s George’s personal favorite performance of Praying For Time from the Symphonica tour. It was from a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on 29 October, 2011.
Obviously, the fan footage (which is really great, by the way) can’t capture the amazing sound quality of the live performance on the night. Maybe… hopefully… we’ll get to hear that in all it’s stunning glory on the forthcoming live Syphonica album, though.