Nile Rodgers’ gratitude to George Michael and songwriter David Austin
Songwriter David Austin pulled Nile Rodgers out of a funk by pestering him to share his remastered version of George Michael’s Fantasy.
The song was originally intended to appear on late singer George’s iconic album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 in 1990, but somehow got missed off of the track listing.
Prior to the British star’s sudden death last Christmas, George had been working on a reworked version of his famous album, and had roped in Chic star Nile to help with Fantasy. In the wake of the 53-year-old’s death from natural causes, the result of an enlarged and inflamed heart and fatty liver, Nile sat on the song, but eventually gave it up after being persuaded by David.
“I’m actually incredibly grateful that George asked me to work on the project, but I’m equally grateful to David Austin because I was in a funk for months and he basically badgered me and badgered me because I wouldn’t let the record company or anybody else hear it,” Nile recalled to WENN/ Cover Media.
“And finally he said to me, ‘Nile, Yog (George’s nickname) would have loved this, that’s why he called you in the first place’. So at the point I said, you know, I hear you and I gave them the record and now it’s gone to number one and I’m just overjoyed.”
Sony re-released Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 on 20 October (17), and it soared straight to the top of the U.K. album charts, knocking previous number one Beautiful Trauma by Pink off the top spot, and leaving One Direction star Niall Horan’s debut solo album Flicker in third place.
Fantasy was unveiled in September, and marked the Careless Whisper singer’s first posthumous track.