Listen to First Posthumous George Michael Single 'Fantasy'
Nile Rodgers gave the 1990 b-side a pop funk makeover.
The first posthumous single from George Michael isn't, technically, new, but it is fresh. Given a funky makeover by famed producer and Chic leader Nile Rodgers, the 1990 b-side "Fantasy" is a bouncy, classic slice of gorgeous George dance pop, complete with one of Rodgers' signature choppy guitar riffs, some distorted robot-sounding backing vocals and a snappy bass line. Rogers took part in an documentary on Michael before the pop star's unexpected death on Christmas Day 2016, and had played the remix while on tour with Chic this summer.
According to The Guardian, George -- who died at age 53 last Christmas -- commissioned the remake shortly before his death, asking Rodgers to put a new face on the song that was included as a b-side on Michael's Freedom! 90 single in the U.S. "If you ain't got time for me/ I'll find another fantasy," Michael sings in his patented half sung-spoken style.
Reacting to fans' anxiousness about the song before its release, Rodgers tweeted, "You SHOULD have mixed feelings. No one's heart was dragged through emotional ambiguity more than mine."
Thank you. Sir. Tears listening to it, its perfect— JS (@jen500cc) September 7, 2017
Nile, I commend you for keeping the music and spirit of George alive. Keep it coming your music is the greatest— Michelle Dymond (@bachelorettem) September 7, 2017
In a message on Michael's official website, his sisters, Melanie and Yioda, explained that they are still struggling to believe that "our beautiful Yog is no longer here with us, although we still feel his love." Though they are a private family, they have heard the thoughtful messages from fans and understand their loss. "We believe that through all the 'debris,' Yog's fans, his 'lovelies' all around the world, know who he truly was, and is, after shared decades of music, love and humour. Our aim is to carry on, as we know Yog would have wanted, to share and enjoy his precious legacy and to continue to bring you joy -- through his extraordinarily beautiful music."
Between his planned 2017 release, songs kept in limbo during Michael's legal battles in the '90s and the false starts at following up 2004's Patience, an estimated three albums's worth of material has been left unsurfaced. These, along with known collaborations with Rogers and producer Naughty Boy, still have no release date.