The late-great pop icon George Michael had a lot to live up to after the record-breaking success of his 1987 diamond-certified solo debut, Faith. Instead of settling on the rewards that resulted from that landmark album and catering to inevitable expectations, he followed his own path and heart.
In September 1990, Michael released his follow-up to Faith with the aptly titled Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, which marked its 25th anniversary last year. In commemorating this milestone, Sony Music has recently announced a reissue campaign for this seminal album with Listen Without Prejudice 25, which hits stores worldwide on March 3rd.
The reissue will be released in several formats, including a two-disc version, which pairs a sparkling remaster of the album with a never-before commercially released recording of his enchanting 1996 MTV Unplugged performance. A four-disc deluxe box set will contain all of the regular supplements, with bonuses including a disc of the album’s specialty B-sides and mixes, as well as a DVD with live performances and promo material. A remastered vinyl release of the album will be released as well.
In addition to the upcoming commemorative reissue, BBC Worldwide, Sony Music, and Channel 4 distributors have commissioned a Philip Smith-directed documentary film entitled Freedom: George Michael that will be available to various broadcasters around the world. The US premiere is slated to appear sometime in March 2017.
The documentary, which is narrated by Michael himself, dramatically highlights the creation of this important album in Michael’s oeuvre, along with the personal and professional challenges that unfolded before and after its eventful release. It will also feature several of Michael’s fellow collaborators, peers and influences including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Mark Ronson, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden, Ricky Gervais, and the Vogue supermodels that starred in the iconic David Fincher-directed “Freedom ’90!” music video (Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington).
A brave touchstone in its own right, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 solidified George Michael’s artistic instincts in the way that he intended it to, resulting in his greatest work thus far. With this imminent reissue and its corresponding documentary, new and old legions of fans will be reintroduced to this compelling album and era in Michael’s unparalleled legacy, including the triumphs and hardships that helped to define it.