Having not even tweeted about the 25th anniversary of George Michael‘s third solo album Older on 13 May this year, the very next day GM’s official twitter account promised fans ‘something special’ later this year, in way of celebration. That now will not happen with George’s team citing “reasons beyond our control”.
The full statement posted yesterday on twitter was as follows:
For reasons beyond our control, due to global supply and manufacturing difficulties, it is with great regret that we have had to delay plans to mark and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Older until the first half of 2022.Team George Michael via Twitter
We still don’t know what these ‘plans’ actually are, but manufacturing difficulties only really applies to vinyl right now so clearly a vinyl reissue of Older is the minimum we can expect. There are no such issues with CD manufacturing, so they could have chosen to split the ‘celebrations’ and issued something on CD this year with vinyl to follow next. The fact they haven’t done this makes SDE wonder if CD are in their plans at all.
While it’s certainly true that there are great challenges right now with vinyl production, one suspects that the team started work far too late on these plans to ‘mark’ the 25th anniversary of Older (which is already five months past). The lead time for vinyl is around six months at the moment, so if they’d got their act together in the autumn of 2020 they could have easily have delivered something in May (or early summer) this year. And let’s face it, there were no production issues in late 2019, when the Symphonica album was being prepared to be reissued on vinyl. TWO YEARS LATER there’s still no sign and Amazon France now have a pre-order listing showing a release date of September 2022! George Michael fans need the patience of a saint.
Sadly, this is yet another case of SOMETHING NOT HAPPENING on the watch of George’s de facto manager, David Austin. Since George’s untimely death on Christmas day in 2016 there has not been one single reissue campaign of any Wham! or GM album (Listen Without Prejudice was all but completed before George died). The Japanese Wham! Singles Collection: Greatest Hits CD+DVD was admittedly an interesting release, although it seems unlikely that was driven by the team in the UK.
For now, we wait with interest to see what exactly the Older plans are and if they can keep to the promised timetable of “first half of 2022”.