I'd rather have Wham!'s version than the garbage cover versions I hear in the stores. They are terrible...those vocalists have no talent whatsoever, just singing the notes (which sound like they're Autotuned).
I heard a few of those alternate artist recordings on store radio this year (they rarely played anything from beyond the mid-90’s). Really generic.
But with WHAM’s version, I have it on LP on their “Music from the Edge of Heaven” where it’s never sounded better—-I do have it on CD, but the analog just adds something to it. It’s too bad that WHAM never did a full Christmas album. It would’ve been interesting to have heard their take on some of the classics. Would the album have been like Prism or the Drifter’s albums, where the classic Christmas songs were given different arrangements.
The only Wham! I have is on a compilation out of Europe, which I bought back in the mid 80s: The Final. It collected hits from their three albums, and included "Last Christmas." It was one of those tunes I'd always throw onto my holiday compilations since it was unique (nobody had covered it for a while).
I think Wham! only really had three original albums--Fantastic, Make It Big and Music from the Edge of Heaven. The rest were compilations. One could say the last Wham! album was a solo George Michael record since, as the old joke goes, Andrew Ridgely was too busy smashing up race cars at the time.
I’ve got a few of WHAM!’s 45’s, including “Wake Me Up”, along with their 2nd album “Make It Big”, which is the album WMUBYGG appeared on, along with “Careless Whisper”; I’ve got Make It on LP & CD. Then I also have the 1997 “Best of WHAM!: If You Were There...” that has ‘Last Christmas’.
I'd have to say that my favorite George Michael album is Listen Without Prejudice since it was clear he was trying to shed a lot of his "boy toy" image at that point. Despite the dismal sound quality (too harsh and bright), the compositions were en pointe.