This Monday, Oct. 30th, will mark the 30th anniversary of George Michael donning a leather jacket and taking over the world, all by his lonesome.
Released two months after Michael Jackson's Bad, Michael's brilliant solo debut LP Faith came just one chart spot away from matching that album's historic feat of notching five Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles -- after lead single "I Want Your Sex" peaked at No. 2, title track "Faith" raced to the top spot, to be shortly followed by "Father Figure," "One More Try" and "Monkey." ("Kissing a Fool," the album's sixth hit, stalled at No. 5.) By the time the album was done spinning off smashes, it had cemented the former Wham! frontman as an MTV icon and a global superstar, and was on its way to selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and shaping the sound of late-'80s pop as much as any LP of its time.
To celebrate the album and its half-dozen classic singles -- with honorable mention to "Hard Day," the album's lesser-promoted, non-Hot 100 charting single -- Billboard asked six writers to each pen essays about one of their Faith favorites, paying tribute to the innovation, the timeliness, the songcraft and the profound emotion to be found in each. Find the links below, as we go one-on-one with six of the finest pop songs of their time.