Daily Classic: George Michael “Spinning The Wheel” (VIDEO)

Every week on Fred Hystere we choose a new theme to go along with our Daily Classics. This week features 4 of Fred’s favorite vocalists of all-time and today is all about George Michael and his underrated classic, Spinning The Wheel.

George Michael, George Michael, George Michael…how fucking amazing is the voice of George Michael? I’ve written about him before while remembering his classic 90s jam, Freedom. But, today, I want to focus on my absolute favorite George Michael song ever recorded: Spinning The Wheel.

Chances are, if you’re American, you’re not all that familiar with Spinning The Wheel as it was the last single released off George Michael’s vastly under-promoted gem, Older. But, why do I love Spinning The Wheel so much? Well, the reason is almost masochistic, in a way.. let me explain..

Since turning 30 a couple of years ago, my life and mind have gone through a remarkable transformation that I don’t know if even my closest of friends will ever truly understand. I’ve written before about my struggles as a kid and the subsequent years of self-loathing and the belief that I wouldn’t ever even make it to my 30th birthday. The fact is, I treated myself like total shit because I truly felt like total shit. I slept around, partied for days, ate whatever I wanted and didn’t give a fuck what sort of toll any of it was taking on my body, mind and life. I suffered silently in shame and more or less lead a double-life, the extent to which no one else really knows..

But a couple of years ago, everything began to change. Maybe it was because I reached the ‘dead-end’ age of 30 years old that I thought I’d never make it to; or maybe it was the death of my father; or maybe it was the end of a long relationship.. Whatever the reason, I’m living life today happy, confident and hopeful about my future. I’m no longer ashamed of things that happened in my childhood and I barely even drink these days; mostly because I have this odd desire to be “present” that I never really imagined I’d ever have.

So what does this all have to do with George Michael’s “Spinning The Wheel”?

Well, let’s just say that if there was a song written to me from any of my exes that I dated before my 30th birthday, the lyrics probably would’ve gone something like this:

Five o’clock in the morning
You ain’t home

I can’t help thinking that’s strange…

…I would rather be alone than watch you
Spinning that wheel for me

You’ve got a thing about danger
Ain’t you getting what you want from me
You’ve got a thing about strangers
Baby that’s what we used to be
You’ve got a thing about danger baby
I guess the hungry just can’t see
One of these days
You’re gonna bring some home to me

This song is the soundtrack to life before 30 and a constant reminder of why I’ll never go back to that time again and why I’ll be forever grateful that George Michael wrote these lyrics. Check out Spinning The Wheel below.



Daily Classic: Annie Lennox “Walking On Broken Glass” (VIDEO)

Every week on Fred Hystere we choose a new theme to go along with our Daily Classics. This week features 4 of Fred’s favorite vocalists of all-time and today is all about one of the best soul-singers in the history of music, Annie Lennox.

I feel weird attempting to fit all of the love and admiration I have for Annie Lennox into one measely post, but I’ll do my best. I should warn you, though, that this post may be kind of sad..

There are few artists out there that have the ability to seriously make me cry tears of joy while I listen to them and Annie Lennox is without a doubt one of those singers. One of my lifelong dreams has been to see her in concert and I came SO CLOSE a few years ago when she toured in support her 2007 album, Songs Of Mass Destruction.

I believe she played at The Apollo and I remember the tickets for the show selling out before I was able to purchase any and being extremely bummed about it. Back then I was making good money and decided to go on Ebay to see if I could score the tickets on there. I didn’t really care what the price was and I ended up paying close to $600 for myself and my ex to go see her. (Yes, $600..). The night of the show we were having really bad thunderstorms and my ex came home from work in a REALLY bad mood. He informed me that he didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to drive in the rain alone. I called as many friends as I could think of, but nobody was available. So I ended up not going. (To this day, it remains one of the saddest nights of my life..Seriously)

I’ve been a fan of Annie’s since her days in The Eurythmics and I have every single one of their albums, all the bonus tracks, etc. When they disbanded, I was actually REALLY excited to hear Annie’s solo work and was thrilled when Diva ended up living up to all my expectations when it was released in 1992. But for all of the amazing work Annie has done both with The Eurythmics and solo, my favorite album of hers is one of her most recent ones; 2003’s Bare.

In 2005, I lost my father, who was English, to brain cancer and then a few years later my ex and I called it quits after almost 6 years together. In both instances, the album I turned to was Bare. Every song on Bare is beautiful and many of them are extremely sad. Even though I’m an extremely optimistic person, and known among my friends as being the person to call when you need to get away from sadness, sometimes you just want to cry and I have shed more tears while listening to Bare than any other album.

My favorite track on Bare is one of the more uplifting songs, called Wonderful. But since Annie didn’t make any music videos for the release of Bare, I’m going to choose her video for “Walking On Broken Glass” as my Daily Classic. Enjoy.

*The Annie Lennox Collection is available now on Sony Records.






Daily Classic: Sarah McLachlan “Adia” (VIDEO)

Here at Fred Hystere, we love themes. Every week we choose a different theme for one of our categories and this week we’ve decided to dedicate our week of Daily Classics to ladies of Lilith Fair. In another life Fred was a lesbian and has always had a huge obsession with female singer-songwriters. Today, he features Lilith Fair Queen, Sarah McLachlan.

Listen, I’ve never been Sarah McLachlan’s biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve always been a casual fan that’s purchased every one of her albums since her classic Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. As a person, I think she’s basically amazing, even if she does have an odd penchant for collecting limbless animals. Her music has certainly helped me through terribly rough times and “Good Enough” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Like most fans, I’ve been a tad disappointed with Sarah’s music ever since Fumbling came out. That said, she’s still written some amazing pop songs since then, even if they’ve all seemed to lack the same ethereal mysteriousness of earlier recordings. Which brings me to her massive 1997 album, Surfacing.

If Jagged Little Pill can lay claim to a whole new era of angry women, Surfacing was the album that they all listened to after they’d calmed down a little. Need proof? Jagged Little Pill sold over 15 million copies in the US alone, while Surfacing sold about 10 million a few years later. As sick as I became of Sarah’s singles being played literally every 5 minutes on the radio back in 1997, I would give ANYTHING to hear her on the radio now instead of the stupid hip-hop infused grossness currently polluting the airwaves.

During Adia, one of the monster hits released from Surfacing, Sarah laments “There’s no one left to finger..”….exxxxxxxxxcept herself. I mean is there really any other logical explanation for the face she’s making on the single cover for Adia? Cmon..

Watch Adia below.





Daily Classic: Fiona Apple “Shadowboxer” (VIDEO)

Here at Fred Hystere, we love themes. Every week we choose a different theme for one of our categories and this week we’ve decided to dedicate our week of Daily Classics to ladies of Lilith Fair. In another life Fred was a lesbian and has always had a huge obsession with female singer-songwriters. Today, he features one of the most underrated artists of all-time, Fiona Apple.

So I have a funny story about Fiona Apple. As I’m sure many of you can imagine, I have always been known as a prankster. The list of pranks and jokes I’ve played on friends and family is legendary. However, when you’re as big of a prankster as I am, sometimes it gets difficult for people to know whether you’re kidding or not and my best friend Rosie knows this better than anyone else.

I’ve always had a thing for discovering new artists and I think I’m pretty good at it. Back in High School I was known among my closest friends for the amazing mix tapes I would make featuring new artists and I can’t tell you how many people used to say to me “Oh my god! You were right about _______! You loved them before anyone else did.”

One person I used to always talk about new artists with was my best friend Rosie. She and I always shared a huge passion for female singer-songwriters (although her taste went down the Ani DiFranco path; which was just a liiiiiiitle too much vagina power for me). When Fiona Apple debuted with her first single, Shadowboxer, barely anyone noticed…except me! I rushed out to buy her debut album, Tidal, and called Rosie to tell her. Which is when the following conversation happened..

ME: Omg! You have to hear this new artist I just discovered.

ROSIE: Yea? What’s her name?

ME: Fiona Apple!

ROSIE (Laughing): You’re such a liar. What’s her real name?

ME: Omg I swear! That’s her name!

ROSIE: I don’t believe you; that’s totally a name that you made up to try and play a joke on me so that you can tell everybody “Guess what? Rosie thought there was a singer named Fiona Apple! Bahahahahahaha!”

ME: No, seriously, I swear! That’s her REAL name! How bout this: I swear to god on the holy bible that her real name is Fiona Apple.

ROSIE: You don’t believe in god; so what good is that going to do me?

ME: Fine, don’t believe me..You’ll see!

*Fast forward a few months when “Shadowboxer” became a huge hit on MTV and everywhere…aaaaaaaaaaaaand Fiona Apple became a worldwide sensation*

ROSIE: I hate you.

ME: Told ya!

Watch Shadowboxer below.





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