George Michael’s previously unreleased 2012-2015 studio recording, This is How (We Want You to Get High), was made available to the public this week.
The song is featured in the soon-to-be-released movie Last Christmas, along with a collection of established G.M. and Wham! classics.
There’s some confusion over songwriting credits for this particular piece. A subscriber e-mail I received today from Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd. (what?) stated that the lyrics were written exclusively by Mr. Michael. However, on the official YouTube stream page, James Jackman is credited as co-lyricist.
Whether or not Mr. Jackman had input with the lyrics, they should be recognized as empathizing with both addicted people and the bystanders who are harmed by substance abuse. They reflect wisdom and self-awareness which can take any person — addicted or not — many years to achieve.
Although G.M. often shared personal details of his life in his music when he declined to speak on the record, we should be careful not to make assumptions about how autobiographical the lyrics in this song really are. The lyrics include mind-blowing references to unnamed people, but those people aren’t necessarily his or Mr. Jackman’s close associates. The song addresses tragedies in the human condition which many of us become aware of sooner or later, even if they don’t happen on our own front doorsteps.
I bought this song on iTunes, and was compelled to buy all three arrangements. They’re a packaged deal, for $2.99. They’re worth the investment, but be alert to which tracks have the “E” warning before playing the music through the speakerphone in front of others.
Here’s a YouTube stream of the cleaned up version. The original lyrics can be found in the general info section on the video page.