In 1990 George Michael released Freedom! ’90. The song was a direct attack against the image of George Michael formed through his years at Wham and his first solo album, Faith.

George Michael wanted to reinvent himself in a time when music videos ruled TV. He took a stance against appearing in the video for fear that it might perpetuate the image he was so much trying to break from. Because of his position, five of the world’s most beautiful women (Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford) were cast to star in the video.

David Fincher, unknown at the time and later went on to direct Gone Girl, Panic Room, Fight Club, Seven, and much more, understood what George Michael was trying to do. To help cement the vision, he chose to destroy the symbols linked to George Michael including his leather jacket, the jukebox, and his signature guitar. All of these items used to help build up his image from his first album, Faith.

Ultimately the video went on to win numerous awards and helped steer George Michael’s career in the direction he wanted it to go.

The full lyrics to Freedom! ’90

I won’t let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It’s the one good thing that I’ve got
I won’t let you down
So please don’t give me up
‘Cause I would really, really love to stick around, oh yeah

Heaven knows I was just a young boy
Didn’t know what I wanted to be
I was every little hungry schoolgirl’s pride and joy
And I guess it was enough for me
To win the race? A prettier face!
Brand new clothes and a big fat place
On your rock and roll TV
But today the way I play the game is not the same
No way
Think I’m gonna get myself happy

I think there’s something you should know
I think it’s time I told you so
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone else I’ve got to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Take back your singing in the rain
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take

Heaven knows we sure had some fun boy
What a kick just a buddy and me
We had every big shot good-time band on the run boy
We were living in a fantasy
We won the race
Got out of the place
I went back home got a brand new face
For the boys on MTV
But today the way I play the game has got to change
Oh yeah
Now I’m gonna get myself happy

I think there’s something you should know
I think it’s time I stopped the show
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone I forgot to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Don’t think that I’ll be back again
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me, yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take

Well it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
When I knew which side my bread was buttered
I took the knife as well
Posing for another picture
Everybody’s got to sell
But when you shake your ass
They notice fast
And some mistakes were built to last

That’s what you get
That’s what you get
That’s what you get
I say that’s what you get
That’s what you get for changing your mind
That’s what you get for changing your mind

That’s what you get
That’s what you get
And after all this time
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes
Do not make the man

All we have to do now is take these lies
And make them true somehow
All we have to see is that i don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take
Yea you’ve got to give for what you, give for what you give

May not be what you want from me
Just the way it’s got to be
Lose the face now
I’ve got to live I’ve got to live