George Michael and Paul McCartney's duet of 'Heal the Pain' is a forgotten masterpiece

18 August 2022, 14:14

The Story of... 'Careless Whisper' by George Michael

By Tom Eames

When George Michael first wrote 'Heal the Pain' for his Listen Without Prejudice album, it was meant of a homage of sorts to his hero Sir Paul McCartney.

Fast forward over a decade later, and George Michael found himself in the recording studio with the Beatle, recording a brand new duet version of the song.

While the original track is one of George's most underrated songs, we'd argue that the updated duet with Sir Paul McCartney is even better, and we're giving it some love for no other reason that we reckon you'd love it.

Hear George and Paul's duet in full below:

George Michael ft. Paul McCartney - Heal The Pain

'Heal the Pain' sees George singing to a potential lover that their partner has not been treating them the way they deserve, and that he can help make things better.

In 2005, it was announced that George would be recording a version of the track with Sir Paul, but he did not know what he was going to do with it.

The track was eventually added to his 2006 greatest hits collection Twenty Five.

Part of the recording process was later seen in the documentary movie Freedom, where George explained that the Listen Without Prejudice album was partly inspired by The Beatles.

George and Paul
George and Paul. Picture: Getty

“I was big into Abbey Road and Revolver,” George said. “I made one record to show how much I loved Lennon ['Praying for Time'], I made another record to show how much I loved McCartney ['Heal the Pain'].

"I didn’t dream McCartney would ever sing it. And actually when he sings it, it sounds like a Paul McCartney record!”

The duet version is particularly beautiful, as the pair's distinctive yet different vocals easily weave in and out of each other, to the point where you're not always aware of who is singing which line at first.

George had also performed a memorable version of 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'The Long and Winding Road' at the Concert for Linda event at the Royal Albert Hall, held to mark the passing of Sir Paul's first wife Linda McCartney in 1999. Watch it below:

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