This was the first single from Michael's second album, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
, his first release since Sony Music acquired his record label, Columbia, in 1988. The relationship between Michael and Sony was contentious, and when Michael refused to make a video to promote the song, a furious Sony released its own video instead, with only the words being displayed across the screen. These "lyric videos" became popular in the YouTube era, but in 1990 they were certainly not, especially when it came to photogenic stars like Michael.
Despite the lack of a proper video and a mournful tone, the song still did very well, as it was the first new material from Michael since his wildly popular Faith
album and was pretty much guaranteed airplay.
When he released Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
, Michael was determined to avoid the cycle of promotion and touring that caused him so much anguish in the '80s. He didn't appear on the album cover and didn't show up in the videos - the next single, "Freedom '90
," was filled with supermodels miming the lyrics.
The album was Michael's last for the label; he sued Sony in 1992 to get out of his contract, but lost the case. Eventually, a deal was reached where he signed with Virgin and Dreamworks SKG, with Sony getting $40 million and a host of other perquisites. His next album, Older
, finally arrived in 1996.