Released today in 1983: Club Tropicana

Inner Vision IVLA3613

Inner Vision IVLA3613

In 2006, celebrating George Michael’s 25 years in the music industry, Sony Music released the appropriately-titled Twenty-five, a compilation of tracks from (supposedly) throughout his career. There were pitifully few selections from his years in Wham!, with just four songs (all 1984 – more tomorrow) making the cut: Everything She Wants, Freedom, Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. (Two other tracks recorded during the Wham! years were included – Careless Whisper, also 1984, and A Different Corner from 1986 – but in the UK at least these were issued as solo singles.) This made the collection somewhat lacking, as it really only commemorated a 22-year period given that the first Wham! album, Fantastic, was ignored. Had I been compiling it, I would certainly have found a place for one track from that record, Club Tropicana.

A satirical look at the popular Club 18/30 holiday culture, it’s a song about sun, sand, sangria and … well, not sea, because “all that’s missing is the sea,” as the lyrics state. (“But don’t worry, you can suntan!”) The opening line, “Let me take you to the place/Where membership’s a smiling face,” is just wonderful; if only that were true of the exclusive Pikes hotel (the scene of a number of lavish celebrity parties in the 1980s) in Ibiza where the memorable promotional clip was filmed, with the group dressed in beachwear at the start and revealed to be airline pilots and stewardesses at the end. Fun, witty, knowing: it was Wham!’s first great single and set a standard for their forthcoming second album Make It Big, on which most of the other tracks that did make it on to Twenty-five first appeared.

Footnote: I would also have made a case for 1985’s standalone single I’m Your Man’s inclusion on Twenty-five.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 22
The BELLE STARS (Jennie McKeown) Indian Summer (Stiff BUY185)
STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE Trees And Flowers (92 Happy Customers HAP001)
WHAM! Club Tropicana (Inner Vision IVLA3613)
Nik KERSHAW Don Quixote (MCA NIK8)
UB40 I Got You Babe (DEP International DEP20)


One thought on “Released today in 1983: Club Tropicana

  1. Ahhh! Altogether now “Club Tropicana …. Drinks are free … Fuuunn and sahnshine, theeeeere’s enough for everyone ….” Haha! Fab stuff. I had no idea how young I was back then … Sigh


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