Learn To Say No

Album: Jody Watley (1987)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Learn To Say No" is a duet between Jody Watley and George Michael. They met in 1984 when recording "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the charity collective Band Aid. Watley had some success with her band Shalamar, but by then she had left the group and was looking for a solo deal. Michael made her a deal: When she landed a record deal and made a solo album, he'd do a song with her. He kept his word. Michael was launching his own solo career (after Wham!) around this time but still made himself available to Watley. The song made it onto her debut album but wasn't released as a single, per edict from Michael's record label.
  • The song is about how our carnal desires can cloud our judgment, making it very hard to say no.
  • George Michael wrote the song, but it's a reworking of the 1982 tune "I've Got Learn to Say No!" by Richard "Dimples" Fields, an R&B singer whose biggest hit was "If It Ain't One Thing... It's Another" in 1982. Fields is credited as a writer on the track along with Michael.
  • "Learn To Say No" was produced by Bernard Edwards, who along with Nile Rogers was the power source in the band Chic. Edwards also produced Watley's "Don't You Want Me."

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