New column at the Coliseum. An excerpt:
Wham! arrangements typically featured such ace studio musicians as bassist Deon Estus, who seemed capable of mimicking Jaco Pastorious at will. And maybe I’m reaching, but I posit that Wham!’s “Freedom” is a mall-pop descendant of Weather Report‘s “Birdland.”
Wham! wasn’t alone in this regard. Go back and listen to the most irritating and bland Top 40 artists from the 80s –- the Cutting Crew, Mr. Mister, Richard Marx —- and beneath the crap surface lay a bedrock of virtuosity.