George Michael (left) and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! performing together live on stage during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985. 'The Big Tour' took in the UK, Japan, Australia, China and the US. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Every Wham! Song, Ranked

Wham! was one of the biggest music acts of the ’80s and gave us absolute bops like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “I’m Your Man,” and—of course—”Last Christmas.”

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Now, 37 years after the group parted ways, a new Netflix documentary, titled WHAM!, takes a look at ‘Whamania’ and global fame’s impact on George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The documentary, which features archive footage as well as unseen interviews with the pair, was released on July 5.

This seems like an appropriate time as any to talk about the music of Wham! I had never actually listened to their full discography, but after watching the documentary, I decided it was a good time do do just that—and then rank all 24 of their tracks. The band was quintessential ’80s pop and had everything from ballads to upbeat bops. Here’s my ranking of every Wham! song, from 24 to one:

24. “Heartbeat”

From their second album, “Heartbeat” just lacks what Wham!’s other heartbreak anthems have; it feels unserious and makes me want to laugh. The lyrics are simple but unfortunately not effective. It’s pure ’80s cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love some cheesy hits every now and then, but “Heartbeat” was just a bit too much.

23. “Love Machine”

Let’s just say that there is a better song titled “Love Machine.” This track features some weird grunting by George Michael that is not attractive in the slightest. I really want to understand why they included it because it’s so off-putting. To be fair, if they hadn’t included the noises, it’d probably be a bit higher on the list.

22. “Wham Rap ’86”

This one feels … unnecessary? The original “Wham Rap” was released four years earlier and is so much better. This version also features Michael doing some quite heavy swearing (crap, shit, damn) which is so out of place for Wham! and largely for ’80s hits, and I’m not a fan. I would just skip it and listen to the “Wham Rap” if I were you.

21. “A Different Corner,” George Michael

Yes, yes. “Why are you including a George Michael track?! This is a Wham! ranking!” I know, but this was featured on their compilation album, Music From the Edge of Heaven, therefore it belongs in the list.

This one isn’t bad, but I think both Michael and Wham! have better ballads. “A Different Corner” also sounds like it came straight out of Stranger Things. I know—the show is literally set in the ’80s, but it really shows how accurately Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein nailed the sound.

20. “Where Did Your Heart Go?”

This one really allows George Michael’s vocals to shine and so I love it mainly for that reason. “Where DId Your Heart Go?” has real emotion, with both strong lyrics and instrumentation. I feel like this track would be good for putting on if you’re hurting to get something out of your system.

19. “Bad Boys”

“Bad Boys,” in my opinion, was the wrong choice for an album opener, and one that was their debut, no less. Definitely not my favorite and another skip. It feels very juvenile and teen pop-esque.

18. “Blue (Live From China)”

This one comes from the 1986 concert documentary Wham! in China: Foreign Skies. Fun fact: they were the first Western pop act to perform in China. Madness.

There is now a studio version of “Blue” available on streaming platforms like Spotify after all these years, but I think the live version is superior. Sometimes live performances are INCREDIBLE and can be better than studio recordings, and this one shows that. Michael’s voice was amazing and the fact that I’ll never hear it in person is so upsetting.

“Blue” is another good, slow, I-had-my-heart-broken track. If you don’t listen to it for anything else, at least do it for the vocals.

17. “Come On”

“Come On” is a fun, upbeat bop that makes me want to dance. It feels like it would be good in a workout playlist. The synths and the drums are beautiful, and I actually think it could encourage me to run a 5K (I won’t, but you know, it’s the thought that counts).

16. “Like a Baby”

My immediate thoughts on “Like a Baby” were that it reminded me of the kind of music you’d hear while on hold. But don’t think that’s me criticizing it, because it’s not. Sometimes I’ll be on hold and vibing, so this song would definitely be good to use. It’s a good one for your relaxation playlists, too.

15. “Careless Whisper”

Please don’t yell at me! I know a lot of people love “Careless Whisper” and the internet is obsessed, but while I also like this song, it’s just not my favorite. Out of all of Wham!’s songs, I wouldn’t really put this on consciously.

I have to give credit where credit’s due, though: the sax is beautiful and makes the song what it really is. Lyrically it has a lot of depth, also, which is really impressive when you think that George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley wrote this song at 18 years old. EIGHTEEN!

14. “Credit Card Baby”

Also titled: “Sugar Daddy 101.” Michael tells his intended listener that he’ll give her as much money as she wants, but she can’t have his love. I think “Credit Card Baby” was a smart move considering that “Everything She Wants” is also on Make it Big and is much earlier on the tracklist; they gave us two sides of the same coin and I love that.

13. “A Ray of Sunshine”

FUN. “A Ray of Sunshine” is fun and, as I wrote in my notes, “makes me want to do the dance move from Saturday Night Fever—which I just learned is called the “Disco Finger.”

12. “The Edge of Heaven”

“The Edge of Heaven” would make a great karaoke song, especially if you were absolutely off your face. The la’s and the yeah’s are fun to scream at the top of your lungs. Also, the chorus is ridiculously catchy.

11. “Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)”

At the time of this song’s release in 1982, rap was a major thing in the U.S., with chart-toppers like Blondie’s “Rapture” and Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which was how “Wham! Rap” materialized; they heard the latter in the club. I think they were brave to debut with a rap record, and it definitely set the tone for their future music.

“Wham Rap!” is also how they got their name: “Everybody say wham! Wham! / Everybody say wham! bam! Wham! bam!”

It has a f**k-the-system message, so naturally I love it. It came at a time when the U.K. was starting to suffer from Margaret Thatcher’s politics, so it’s very applicable to the state of our country’s current government.

10. “Nothing Looks the Same in the Light”

“Nothing Looks the Same in the Light” has the feel of George’s “I Want Your Sex.” It’s like an older sibling. It features breathy vocals juxtaposed against lyrics about being afraid of your lover leaving. It’s a chill track that is still quite funky. I think it also has a summery edge to it.

9. “Battlestations”

Another breathy, sexy, angsty record that was a predecessor to IWYS. Craig David heard this one and got to writing “7 Days” straight away. Whilst “Battlestations” is a bop, with an amazing drum section, I think it’s worth noting that the lyrics do a good job of showing how stale some relationships can become. (Also there’s a woman who speaks French, so 10/10 for that too.)

8. “Freedom”

Probably going to get flack for this one too, but “Freedom ’90” is better than “Freedom.” I do enjoy this one, however—a song that isn’t about being completely miserable. “‘Cause baby, you could drag me to hell and back / Just as long as we’re together” is one great declaration of love that is a bit toxic but ultimately sometimes quite true.

7. “Young Guns (Go for It!)”

This song is the reason Wham! is as big as they were. They were invited on Top of the Pops to perform “Young Guns” after someone else dropped out. This song is a commentary on not settling down when you’re so young, and also promotes having protected sex. I think they were onto something, not to mention this was another track that set the tone for their rebellious music style and lyrics.

6. “If You Were There”

I had to check if this was using some sort of sample from Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” because it sounds so similar, but apparently, it isn’t. “If You Were There” is, however, a cover of a song by The Isley Brothers. Wham!’s version is so happy and joyous. It’s also the first time having faith is mentioned, foreshadowing George’s song of the same name (and one of my favorite songs ever). It’s a vibe.

5. “I’m Your Man”

On the 12-inch single version, “I’m Your Man” begins with an announcer shouting, “He’s brave! He’s tough! Mr. Ridgeley, do your stuff” and Andrew Ridgeley laughing. It’s so uplifting for some weird reason. A brilliant intro to a song, if you ask me.

“I’m Your Man” is just amazing overall. As I noted, “TO HAVE A MAN GIVE HIMSELF TO YOU? YES.” The ultimate seduction record, no arguments, please. If I heard this in the club I don’t think I would be able to cope, I’d be up on my feet immediately.

4. “Club Tropicana “

An instant mood lifter. If screaming “Club Tropicana, drinks are freeeeee” is not something you’d enjoy, you are not my kind of person. I wish Club Tropicana actually existed (technically, it did). This song was a dig at the government holiday scheme Club 18-30, which existed for 50 years.

I think it’s an essential holiday song. It’s got crickets, it’s upbeat, and it has lyrics about being in the sun. What more could you want? Also, the music video is one of the most iconic, so it gets a lot of points for that.

3. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

Probably the most popular Wham! song, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” will make you want to dance no matter where you are or who you are with, and that’s a fact. I feel like this song is comparable to “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. but from the other person’s perspective. An I-don’t-want-to-lose-you-let’s-fix-this situation. I have actually heard this in a club and it’s safe to say I did lose my mind.

2. “Everything She Wants”

Women’s greed is sexy—at least, that’s how Wham! makes it feel. I love “Everything She Wants” a lot. It’s so fun to sing and could definitely be used in an ‘I’m in my villain era’ playlist. This one is another of their tracks that feels appropriate for releasing pent-up anger. I genuinely believe I would slay this at karaoke.

1. “Last Christmas”

The best Wham! song and the best Christmas song. Ever. I will not be arguing with anyone at this time. “Last Christmas” makes me feel so happy and full of joy. It captures the essence of Christmas so well; the uptempo beat and the melancholy lyrics are just so good.

The excuse to listen to “Last Christmas” in the summer during a heatwave is giving me so much serotonin. At Christmas, it gets put on repeat for hours; if only one Christmas song could exist, I would choose this one—and that’s a bold statement, considering that Christmas music is my absolute favorite.

(featured image: Michael Putland, Getty Images)

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Image of Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.