Released today in 1983: Club Fantastic Megamix

Inner Vision IVLA3586

Inner Vision IVLA3586

Club Fantastic Megamix was a medley of tracks from Wham!’s Fantastic album that had not already been issued as singles. Half of the eight tracks on it already had been chart hits, and with A Ray Of Sunshine, Love Machine and Come On segued together for this release, that meant only Nothing Looks The Same In The Light failed to make it on to 45rpm. Wham! were not happy about Club Fantastic Megamix. “We don’t approve of it and we don’t feel that we can recommend that anybody should buy it,” they said in a press statement. “In fact, we would be very unhappy to think that any of our fans might waste their money on it.”

At the time, they were involved in a dispute with their record company, Inner Vision, over the nature of their contract. George Michael described it as “probably the worst contract of any hit and in the last five years. We’re not making any money basically…there’s no way we can work with them anymore.” Instead, Wham!’s management were negotiating a new deal with CBS, Inner Vision’s distributor. A solo single from Michael was postponed while the dispute was ongoing (Careless Whisper was written and ready to go, but Michael didn’t want Inner Vision to make money out of this certain hit) and in the meantime, there was an opportunity for another single from Fantastic. Wham! had at one point been considering a re-mix of a song to be the next single, but only if the person responsible was someone they could trust. Boston-born DJ John Luongo, who mixed tunes by a whole host of acts signed to the CBS group, was a name Michael had in the frame for this project. What Inner Vision came up with was not what he or Andrew Ridgeley had in mind at all. Michael said it was “absolutely disgusting. I just hope the radio don’t play it. It would be so irritating to hear something you think is so bad.”

The problem was that the three songs mashed up to form Club Fantastic had already been released first. The publisher who holds the copyright for a song is able to grant the first licence to release a recording of it, and in the case of the three songs concerned here, that licence had been given to Inner Vision. The intent in granting the licence was to issue all three of the songs on an album, not to make them available on a single, but there was nothing Wham! could do to stop this happening as well. Wham! refused to promote the single, and encouraged fans not to buy it; they advised that an EP of new material was in preparation and that they should save their money for that. It would be released when the contractual dispute with Inner Vision was resolved, they hoped by the spring of 1984.

Meanwhile, another legal battle rumbled on: an American band called Wham were suing the British duo for use of ‘their’ name. “Yeah, all this legal stuff,” said Michael resignedly. “But we’ve got a good lawyer.”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Nov. 25
Nick HEYWARD On A Sunday (Arista HEY4)
TEARS FOR FEARS The Way You Are (Mercury IDEA6)
WHAM! Club Fantastic Megamix A Ray Of Sunshine/Love Machine/Come On (Inner Vision IVLA3586)
BREATHE Don’t Tell Me Lies (Siren SIREN11)
Julian LENNON Because (EMI EMI5538)
MADONNA Dress You Up (Sire W8848)


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