Although hearing it hundreds of times within the span of a month may make you think otherwise, Wham!’s “Last Christmas” is one of the best holiday songs ever written. Underneath the familiar verses, which soar with the combined heartache of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley just putting all their seasonal melancholy out there, the keyboards and bass shuffle along on top of one of the great ‘80s drum beats. It’s a story of the season that’s sugary and fun, but comprised of actual, real human emotion.
Just as good is its music video, now released in 4K definition, which tells the story of a holiday getaway overflowing with regret, resentment, and an ozone-obliterating dinner table filled with immaculately hairsprayed ‘dos.
Thanks to this remaster, we can better appreciate everything the video has to offer. Put it up on the biggest screen available and bask in the views of snowy mountain peaks, fluffy-haired 20-somethings decorating Christmas trees, and a tobogganing session that sees George Michael lurking at the edge of a fence, watching his ex-girlfriend in a parka hood that dwarfs his face so he resembles a gorgeously coiffed Ikea monkey. Watch as the metal broach that symbolizes Michael’s betrayal gleams with a clarity so piercing that we, too, can feel his heartbreak on a level unknown to those who first witnessed Wham!’s hit as it played on shitty old CRTs around the time of its release.
Never before has the joy and sadness, the troubles of the past and the potential happiness of the future, that makes up “Last Christmas” been so easily apparent as it is now. Give it a look then sit back with a glass of white wine in hand, hold your loved ones close in front of the fireplace, and hope that you’ve chosen to give your heart to someone special.
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