“Cowboys and Angels” by George Michael (1990)

“It’s the ones who resist that we most want to kiss/Wouldn’t you say?”

“Cowboys And Angels” is George Michael’s most successful stab at lounge-jazz. George’s hushed vocal is the perfect complement to the lyrics, which the singer eventually revealed he wrote after finding himself in a bit of a love triangle; in love with a guy who was in love with a girl who was in love with George. I picked up on the queer coding pretty early in my enjoyment of the song. The pronoun shifts between verses; it’s “sister” in verse one and “mister” in verse two. GM was revealing himself in song WELL before the notorious bathroom incident.

I spent much of late ‘90 and early ‘91 playing the Listen Without Prejudice tape on repeat. It took me a long time-years-to cotton to “Cowboys And Angels”. The pace was too leisurely, the lyrics too involved for a fourteen year old. Once it grabbed me, though, it formed a tight grip and hasn’t let me go since. It’s on the longer side of songs I enjoy, but every second is worth it.

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