Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Album: Make It Big (1984)
Charted: 1 1
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  • Andrew Ridgeley lived at home with his parents even after Wham! made it big, which isn't as lame as it sounds: they were on the road all the time, so it was easier than maintaining his own empty household (he and George Michael used a room in the house to make their demos). One day, Ridgeley needed a wake-up call, so he left a note for him mum on his door. He wrote, "Wake me up up," and realizing he duplicated a word, finished the sentence with "before you go go."

    George Michael got a kick out of it and decided to use it as a song title. Michael put together a song called "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go," and it became Wham's first American hit.
  • A "go-go" is a dance club, and dancing is the theme of this song, which tells the story of a guy who is head over heels for his girl, and bummed when he finds out she went dancing while he slept. He asks that in the future, she wake him up before she goes.
  • This isn't the first "go-go" hit; Smokey Robinson's group The Miracles scored in 1965 with "Going To A Go-Go." Dobie Gray had a minor hit that same year with "See You At The Go-Go," and Lee Dorsey charted in 1967 with "Go-Go Girl," which was written by Allen Toussaint. Around the time of this song's release, the all-girl American group The go-go's were big.
  • George Michael (born Georgios Panayiotou) and Andrew Ridgeley met at Bushey Meads School in Hertfordshire when both were in their early teens. They became friends and after leaving school they made a demo of "Wham! Rap" at Andrew Ridgeley's parents' house, which was picked up by the record label Innervision and released without success. Their next release "Young Guns (Go For It)" was more successful rising to #3 in the UK. Their first single was reworked and became their second Top 10 hit. After two more Top 10 releases, problems developed between the duo and their label. Wham! signed with former Marc Bolan manager Simon Napier-Bell, who fought to get them released from Innervision. When they finally freed themselves they signed with Epic with whom this was their first release.
  • The song opens with four repetitions of the word "Jitterbug," with finger snaps in between. The jitterbug was a popular dance in the 1930s; combined with the finger snaps and lyrics that harken back to a more innocent time, it helps give the song a retro feel. Another throwback: the line "You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day," which refers to the singer-actress who was popular in the '40s and '50s.
  • This was the first track Wham! recorded for the Make It Big album. It was done at Sarm West Studios in London. According to Chris Porter, who engineered the session, they didn't work from a demo recording as was standard protocol. George Michael had the song in his head and it was recorded with a live band.
  • Many TV shows and movies have used this song. Grant Lee Phillips performed it in the 2002 Gilmore Girls episode Dead Uncles and Vegetables. His rendition is quirky but reverent, unlike Seth Green's performance (as Chris Griffin) in the 2005 Family Guy episode "Jungle Love," where he murders the song.

    Other TV shows to use it include:

    The Fall Guy ("Spring Break" - 1985)
    3rd Rock from the Sun ("The Dicks They Are A-Changin'" - 1996)
    The X Factor ("Episode #6.24" - 2009, "Episode #7.2" - 2010)
    Psych ("Who Ya Gonna Call?" - 2006)
    Glee ("Guilty Pleasures" - 2013)
    American Dad! ("The Unincludeds" - 2016)

    Among the movies to use the song:

    The Wedding Singer (1998)
    Charlie's Angels (2000)
    Zoolander (2001)
    Zoolander 2 (2016)
    Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
    Heartbreaker (2010)
    Happy Feet 2 (2011)
    Sausage Party (2016)

Comments: 30

  • Omg from ColoradoOk for the idiots that believe this song has anything to do with abortion, you're absolutely wrong. Choose Life had to do with living, with dancing, not just going through the motions and existing. The prolifers don't own the slogan Choose Life.
  • Rickie James from UsaWhat's the meaning of the song
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'You take the grey skies out of my way (hoo, hoo)
    You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day'...
    Doris Day, born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, passed away at the age of 97 on May 13th, 2019 in Carmel Valley, California...
    Besides being referred to in "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", her named was mentioned in one other #1 record, "We Didn't Start The Fire " by Billy Joel {1989}...
    She was also referred to in "La De Da" by Ringo Starr {1999}, 'Dig It" by the Beatles {1970}, "Dirty Epic" by Underworld {1994}, and "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from the musical 'Grease' {1978}...
    May she R.I.P.
  • Marianne from ColoradoWhy does a song need to mean anything? Geez the first time I heard this song was over 30 years ago. It was on MTV that my daughter was watching. I was 30 some. The tune and rhythm were catchy and I even danced to it at the disco. Sometimes it pops up in my head even today, as does Carless Whisper. Y'all need to get over trying to find some hidden meaning and go with the "flow."
  • Rene from Vargem Grande Paulista - Sao Paulo - BrasilFor me it's just a happy song, good harmony and makes me remember my adolescence. Sometimes a song doesn't need to be that much. Not either its performer.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 22nd 1984, a video of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! was aired on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Twenty days earlier on September 2nd, 1984 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on November 11th, 1984 it peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks} and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100...
    On November 4th, 1984 it also reached #1 {for 4 weeks} on the Australian Kent Music Singles chart {also peaked at #1 in Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom}...
    The duo had two more records peak at #1 in the U.S.A.; "Careless Whispers" for 3 weeks on February 10th, 1985 and "Everything She Wants" for 2 weeks in May 19th, 1985.
  • Sioraf from Macroon, IrelandAh so it's brighter than Doris Day. I'd always misheard it as my darkest day. Not sure why people would look this song up if they don't like it, it just seems like hanging around your enemy's house expecting him to bring you some tea and biscuits.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWHAM! was the bubble gum group of the 80s, and I mean that in the best way. It's upbeat, energetic, & easy to sing along to. I love the way the vocals get deep then go to an exclamatory higher but still melodic sound. There is some fabulous brass playing at the end of the tune. I am not in the least embarrassed to say I love the song.
  • Ken from Pittsburgh, PaI HATE THIS SONG. I was forced to listen to this song in jr high school gym class in '84/85 when we had to do "dance." This was the music that the gym teacher picked. She so obviously had very poor taste in music or was tone deaf or both. I think I would listen to nails on a chalk board or Scandinavian death metal over this "music"
  • Brian from Boston, MaThis song is not gay at all.
  • Reza from Shiraz, Iranhey it was a great song when i was 16.reza kiania shiraz iran
  • John from Mansfield, TxMy First Ex Wife Loved That song!!
    I Hated It!!
    We've Been divorced 20 Years Now!!
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaMight it be that the "Choose Life" tee was just his personal stance & he takes random opportunities to passively spread the word?
  • Phil from Sydney, AustraliaWe have an Aussie fictional character called Reg Reagan (a former-rugby league player) who last year did his own version of it, but it was solely based on the New Zealand Haka. Check this chorus:
    "Wake me up before you go, bro
    Don't leave me hanging on playin' slow-mo
    Wake me up before you go, bro
    I don't feel like playin' on Friday night.
    Wake me up before you go, bro
    Unless you're thinkin' of turnin' homo ..."
    It's pretty funny!
  • Zuzana from Bratislava, EuropeYeah, Joel. Any idea what was it supposed to mean? (It's not about abortion, is it?)
  • Joel from LondonNotice the "Choose Life" shirt on GM in the video?
  • Rob from Wilkes-barre, PaYea the part in Zoolander is timeless
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlI will always remember this song as the soundtrack to the male model gasoline fight in "Zoolander"
  • Joe from Bellingham, Wathis was on family guy. chris was singing it when he joined the peace core
  • Rafael from Pasadena, CaOK, I admit it and I am ashamed to say it but I kinda like this song. It just takes me back a few years when I had a few less gray hairs, less bills, and a lot less worries.

    I can't believe that I actually like this song after professing that CSN is my favorite group.

    I guess I like variety.
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, Canadagaraunteed to put anyone in the worst of moods in a good one, a damn catchy musical prozac.
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkThe song is not particularly deep, but it is a kick-butt piece of pop songwriting and production. It's a lot of fun. It doesn't have to be anything else.
  • Voodoocat from Zimbabwe, United StatesThis song is awesome like a possum!
  • Greg from Victoria, CanadaYikes...ranks right up there with the worse songs ever. You HAVE to be kidding me if you think there's ANY meaning to this BAD song.Oh man it's now stuck in my head. IMO JUST PLAIN BAD!
  • Paul from Detroit, MiI liked this song immediately, but have to admit that it was difficult to say I liked it (even though it hit #1 - proving I certainly wasn't the only one who liked it!). I remember watching it move up the top 40 chart, debuting at #32, then going #26, #13, #6, #5, #4 and then finally to #1 for 3 weeks. Yes, I was a geek.
  • Cory from Boonville, InWHAT WAS WITH THE "JITTERBUG" PART?!?!?
  • Papa Burgundy from Bridlington, EnglandI agree, Tamar, i think face value was a great phil collins album .. made a small cameo appearance on zoolander ... Awesome
  • Brian from Meriden, CtWes, ewwww...

    My brother posed the question during a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant - what were some songs that you'd be embarrassed to say you still like and probably wouldn't change the radio dial for it they came on?
    Wake Me Up was on my list I'm ashamed to say. And his. Ha! Mine may or may not have included a little Air Supply, Jermaine Stewart, Gino Vanelli...you get the picture.
    When I think about those nights in Montreal...
  • Wes from Springfield, VaGood song or not, I can't think about it without also thinking about Michael George's little public restroom incident...
  • Tamar Elizabeth from Murrieta, CaThis an excellent song. Don't take it at face value. There is much to be learned from it. Think Deep!
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