12" Mixes

by: Wham!

Another slab of Wham! that, when paired with the slightly earlier Best Remixes LP, pretty much wrapped up the best club cuts that this staple of the 1980s had to offer. This stateside mini-album offered an alternative but familiar set, one that was better suited to hardcore fans than the Japanese import that had hit the racks two years earlier. Leaving behind the more radio-friendly pap of the duo's mainstream successes, where 12" Mixes shines is across Wham!'s earlier, more politically motivated pop. It's the controversial "Young Guns (Go For It)," which burned the PC police and titillated young hipsters with its abortion-as-birth-control catch phrase, and the Michael Jackson-inspired, synthesized blue-eyed soul of "Everything She Wants" that provide the thrill ride here, as do other early nuggets "Wham Rap! Social Mix" and "Bad Boys." The seven-minute "Freedom (Long Mix)" and the pure silliness of "I'm Your Man" round out this superior set. With more than enough synths and tongue-in-cheeky innuendo to satisfy any club-groover, 12" Mixes is unmitigated in its purpose, and proof enough that, no matter how much the duo were laughed out of serious circles of the time, they were nearly single-handedly responsible for revitalizing a tired dance-oriented youth. That's not a shabby legacy. ~ Amy Hanson

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