Praying For Time – The Original Lyric Video

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.

9 thoughts on “Praying For Time – The Original Lyric Video

  1. Then why the heck this video is not featured on any official DVD? It’s neither on “Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best…” nor on “Twenty Five”.

  2. Yes, that’s very true. That’s a truly iconic piece of work. it’s arguable, though, that’s it’s not really,a lyric video as such – it’s rather more than a lyric video somehow. Also, it’s not even really a video at all (those didn’t exist in 1965). Rather, it was the opening to a documentary. It was certainly incredibly influential though, being one of the first songs to even have a piece of accompanying film that could be used to promote the record.

  3. I think there was one more “first” to this album.
    For Freedom’90 single there was remix of the song called Back To Reality Mix which was mashup of Freedom’90 and Soul II Soul song Back To Life.
    Which I assume was rare those days.
    If I am missing some previous releases of mashup nature by other artists , correct me.

  4. Remarkable wrote:
    > …we’ll get to hear that in all it’s stunning glory on the forthcoming live Syphonica album, though.

    If you wrote this in December, I’d say you know something that we don’t.😉
    For all this curiosity that the red curtain on GM’s website causes, I’d wish myself a true LWP I (2014) with the Symphonica tour and a LWP II (2014) with some new dance tracks.

  5. I wrote it in September, not December… I knew that the Symphonica album was finished by September, and that at that time George was planning to release it. I really have no idea if that’s still the case, though. There was a rumour George working on a Symphonica TV documentary which might serve as promotion to launch the album. I have no idea what happened with that, or whether George has even signed a deal to release the album.

    If there’s going to be a new album of new music coming in the first part of next year, I don’t know if he would release two albums in quick succession. And I don’t know what his new record company is planning for any new records in terms of promotion, and what they’re expecting George to commit to there.

    I guess we’ll find out early in 2014…

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