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Culture Club

Few new wave groups were as popular as Culture Club. During the early '80s, the group racked up seven straight Top Ten hits in the U.K. and six Top Ten singles in the U.S. with their light, infectious pop-soul. Though their music was radio-ready, what brought the band stardom was Boy George, the group's charismatic, cross-dressing lead singer. George dressed in flamboyant dresses and wore heavy makeup, creating a disarmingly androgynous appearance that created a sensation on early MTV. George also had a biting wit and frequently came up with cutting quips that won Culture Club heavy media exposure in both America and Britain. Although closely aligned with the new romantics -- they were both inspired by Northern soul and fashion -- Culture Club had sharper pop sense than their peers and they consequently had a broader appeal. However, their time in the spotlight was brief. Not only could they not withstand the changing fashions of MTV, but the group was fraught with personal tensions, including Boy George's drug addiction. By 1986, the group had broken up, leaving behind several singles that rank as classics of the new wave era.

The son of a boxing club manager, Boy George (b. George O'Dowd, June 14, 1961), found himself attracted to the glam rock of T. Rex and David Bowie as a teenager. During the post-punk era of the late '70s, he became a regular at London new romantic clubs. Along with his cross-dressing friends Marilyn and Martin Degville (a future member of Sigue Sigue Sputnik), George became well-known around the London underground for his extravagant sense of style, and Malcolm McLaren invited him to join an early version of Bow Wow Wow. George briefly appeared with the band as Lieutenant Lush before leaving to form In Praise of Lemmings with bassist Mikey Craig (b. February 15, 1960). Once guitarist Jon Suede joined the group, they changed their name to Sex Gang Children. Within a few months, the band met Jon Moss (b. September 11, 1957), a professional drummer who had previously played with Adam & the Ants and the Damned.

By 1981, Boy George had renamed the group Culture Club and Suede had been replaced by Roy Hay (b. August 12, 1961), a former member of Russian Bouquet. Toward the end of the year, they recorded a set of demos for EMI, but the label turned them down. Early in 1982, the band landed a contract with Virgin Records, releasing "White Boy" in the spring. Neither "White Boy" or its follow-up, "I'm Afraid of Me," made the charts but the British music and fashion press began running articles about Boy George. In the fall, Culture Club released their breakthrough single, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," which rocketed to the top of the charts. Shortly afterward, the band's debut, Kissing to Be Clever, climbed to number five on the U.K. charts and the non-LP single "Time (Clock of the Heart)" reached number three. Early in 1983, Kissing to Be Clever and "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" began climbing the U.S. charts, with the single peaking at number two. "Time" reached number two in the U.S. shortly after the non-LP British single "Church of the Poison Mind," attained the same position in the U.K. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" became a Top Ten hit in America that summer.

By the time Culture Club's second album Colour By Numbers was released in the fall of 1983, the band was the most popular pop/rock group in America and England. "Karma Chameleon" became a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic, while the album reached number one in the U.K. and number two in the U.S. Throughout 1984, the group racked up hits, with "It's a Miracle" and "Miss Me Blind" reaching the Top Ten. In the fall, the group returned with its third album, Waking Up With the House on Fire. While "The War Song" reached number two in the U.K., the album was a disappointment in America, stalling at platinum; its predecessor went quadruple platinum.

Following a brief tour in February, Culture Club went on hiatus for 1985, with Craig, Moss, and Hay pursuing extracurricular musical projects in the interim. During the year, Boy George -- who had previously denounced drugs in public -- became addicted to heroin. Furthermore, his romance with Moss, which had always been rocky, began to disintegrate. All of these problems were kept hidden, but it became evident that something was wrong when Culture Club returned to action in the spring of 1986. Though their comeback single, "Move Away," became a hit in April, its accompanying album From Luxury to Heartache stayed on the charts for only a few months. Rumors of George's heroin addiction began to circulate, and by the summer, he announced that he was indeed addicted to the drug. In July, he was arrested by the British police for possession of cannabis. Several days later, keyboardist Michael Rudetski, who played on From Luxury to Heartache, was found dead of a heroin overdose in George's home. Rudetski's parents unsuccessfully tried to press wrongful death charges on Boy George.

While Boy George was battling heroin addiction, and his subsequent dependence on prescription narcotics, Culture Club broke up. George confirmed the group's disbandment in the spring of 1987, and he began a solo career later that year. While his solo career produced several dance hits in Europe, George didn't land an American hit until 1992, when his cover of Dave Berry's "The Crying Game" was featured in the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name. In 1995, George published his autobiography, Take It Like a Man. Culture Club reunited in 1998, issuing the two-disc set VH1 Storytellers/Greatest Hits. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

2. Time (Clock Of The Heart)

3. I'll Tumble 4 Ya

4. White Boy (Dance Mix)

5. Church Of The Poison Mind

6. Karma Chameleon

7. Miss Me Blind

8. It's A Miracle

9. Victims

10. Black Money

11. The War Song

12. Mistake No. 3

13. Love Is Love

14. Move Away

15. I Just Wanna Be Loved

16. Cold Shoulder

17. Your Kisses Are Charity (Blouse And Skirt Mix)

x

Track List: Culture Club Collection: 12'' Mixes

1. Move Away

2. It's A Miracle/Miss Me Blind

3. God Thank You Woman

4. I'll Tumble 4 Ya

5. Love Is Cold (You Were Never No Good)

6. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Dub Version)

7. Everything I Own (Extended P W Botha Mix)

8. Colour By Numbers

9. From Luxury To Heartache

10. Time (Clock Of The Heart) (Instrumental Mix)

11. Black Money

12. Love Is Love

13. Man-Shake

14. The War Song (Ultimate Dance Mix)

x

Track List: Culture Club: Live At The Royal Albert Hall: 2002 (20 Year Anniversary)

x

Track List: I Just Wanna Be Loved

1. I Just Wanna Be Loved

2. I Just Wanna Be Loved (Magic Man Remix)

3. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Quivver Mix)

x

Track List: Culture Club

Disc 1

1. Put It Down (Demo)

2. You Know I'm Not Crazy (Demo)

3. Kissing 2 B Clever (Demo)

4. Stand Down (Demo)

5. Next 2 You (Demo)

6. Peculiar World (Demo)

7. Believe (Demo)

8. I'm Afraid Of Me (Demo)

9. White Boy (Demo)

10. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Demo)

11. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (2002 - Remaster)

12. Love Twist (2002 Digital Remaster)

13. I'll Tumble 4 Ya (2002 - Remaster)

14. Time (Clock Of The Heart) [2002 - Remaster]

15. Mister Man (2002 Digital Remaster)

16. Church Of The Poison Mind (2002 - Remaster)

17. Karma Chameleon (2002 - Remaster)

18. It's A Miracle (2002 - Remaster)

19. Shirley Temple Moment

20. Victims (2002 - Remaster)

Disc 2

1. Miss Me Blind (2002 - Remaster)

2. Colour By Numbers (2002 Digital Remaster)

3. Changing Every Day (2002 - Remaster)

4. That's The Way (I'm Only Trying To Help You)

5. Mistake Number 3 (2002 - Remaster)

6. Murder Rap Trap (2002 Digital Remaster)

7. Man-Shake (2002 Digital Remaster)

8. Bow Down Mister (A Small Portion 2 B Polite Mix)

9. I Specialise In Loneliness (Jimmy T And The Old B**tard Mix)

10. If The Lord Can Forgive

11. Love Is Lonely

12. Sweet Toxic Love (2002 Digital Remaster)

13. Moghul Tomb (Demo)

14. Vanity Case (Arabesque Mix)

15. Who Killed Rock 'N' Roll?

16. Starman (2002 Digital Remaster)

17. Suffragette City

18. Mr Strange

19. Spooky Truth

20. Funtime (2002 Digital Remaster)

21. Satan's Butterfly Ball (4 Leigh Bowery) (With Intro)

Disc 3

1. These Boots Are Made 4 Walking (Nancy Headbanger Mix)

2. Genocide Peroxide (4 Maz) (2002 Digital Remaster)

3. Less Than Perfect (2002 Digital Remaster)

4. Confidence Trick (2002 Digital Remaster)

5. Sign Language (2002 Digital Remaster)

6. How D'Ya Keep Your Credibility?

7. Is There Cream In This Soup? (Demo)

8. Love Hurts (Evolution Mix)

9. Same Thing In Reverse (Evolution Mix)

10. See Thru (MP3's Mix - Dedicated To The Late Chris McCoy - Nuff Love)

11. Strange Voodoo (Jimmy T Prickly Heat Mix)

12. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (TMS-PMS Mix)

13. Masheri (Demo)

14. Grand Scheme Of Things (Demo)

15. Lions Roar (Demo)

16. Victims (2002)

17. If I Were U (Kinky Rolands 'Mind Over Substance' Mix)

18. Church Of The Poison Mind (Budgie Man Electro Mix)

Disc 4

1. Karma Chameleon (Nail Out Of Coffin 'Rewind Mix' With Mr Spee 2002)

2. I Just Wanna Be Loved (Drumhead Remix)

3. Black Money (Hint Of Helen Mix)

4. Everything I Own

5. Love Is Love (2002)

6. Kipsy

7. Time (Clock Of The Heart) (Drumhead Remix)

8. Hiroshima

9. Cold Shoulder (Scary Newman Mix)

10. Police And Thieves (Dubversive Mix)

11. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Drumheads Twisted Nerve Mix)

12. Maybe I'm A Fool (Drumhead Remix)

13. Crystal Blue Persuasion

14. Armageddon (Demo)

15. Run, Run, Run (Demo)

x

Track List: Greatest Moments: The Best of Boy George & Culture Club

1. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

2. Time (Clock Of The Heart)

3. Church Of The Poison Mind

4. Karma Chameleon

5. Victims

6. I'll Tumble 4 Ya

7. It's A Miracle

8. Miss Me Blind

9. The War Song

10. Move Away

11. Love Is Love

12. Everything I Own

13. The Crying Game

x

Track List: This Time: The First Four Years

1. Karma Chameleon

2. Church Of The Poison Mind

3. Miss Me Blind

4. Time (Clock Of The Heart)

5. It's A Miracle

6. Black Money

7. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?

8. Move Away

9. I'll Tumble 4 Ya

10. Love Is Love

11. The War Song

12. Victims

13. I'll Tumble 4 Ya (US 12'' Remix)

14. It's A Miracle/Miss Me Blind (US 12'' Mix)

x

Track List: From Luxury To Heartache

1. Move Away

2. I Pray

3. Work On Me Baby

4. Gusto Blusto

5. Heaven's Children

6. God Thank You Woman

7. Reasons

8. Too Bad

9. Come Clean

10. Sexuality

11. Move Away (Extended)

12. God Thank You Woman (Extended)

13. Sexuality (Extended)

x

Track List: Waking Up With The House On Fire

1. Dangerous Man (2003 Remaster)

2. The War Song (2003 - Remaster)

3. Unfortunate Thing (2003 Digital Remaster)

4. Crime Time (2003 Digital Remaster)

5. Mistake Number 3 (2002 - Remaster)

6. The Dive (2003 - Remaster)

7. The Medal Song (2003 - Remaster)

8. Don't Talk About It (2003 Digital Remaster)

9. Mannequin (2003 Digital Remaster)

10. Hello Goodbye (2003 Digital Remaster)

x

Track List: Colour By Numbers

1. Karma Chameleon

2. It's A Miracle

3. Black Money

4. Changing Every Day

5. That's The Way (I'm Only Trying To Help You)

6. Church Of The Poison Mind

7. Miss Me Blind

8. Mister Man

9. Stormkeeper

10. Victims

11. Man-Shake

12. Mystery Boy (Suntori Hot Whiskey Song)

13. Melting Pot

14. Colour By Numbers

15. Romance Revisited

x

Track List: Kissing To Be Clever

1. White Boy

2. You Know I'm Not Crazy

3. I'll Tumble 4 Ya

4. Take Control

5. Love Twist

6. Boy-Boy, (I'm The Boy)

7. I'm Afraid of Me (remix)

8. White Boys Can't Control It

9. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

Comments

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Cool Song! Fantastic times in the 80's
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I love this song��������
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Take care boy I don't want read about you being next celebrity death
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So great the video should have made amovie with the riverboat better the most movies the boy was accepted in 80s way before katlin Jenner so popular
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I love this band. Where can I meet one of them?
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. I saw you at Mohegan Sun with Cindy Lauper. Great! My friend and I was sitting at a small bar waiting for the,concert to start. Two seats,down you were sitting with your drummer. I was speechless. Wish I had said something to you. I would have,said thanks to you for your music. You were also a funny guy on stage. Can't wait for your next tour in CT. Come back George.
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ckabel1
He's currently appearing on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, living with PK & Dorit. He looks amazing still and performed on the show with Culture Club. I am so jealous!!!
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He got fat and now he is skinny but he has a beard and looks 90!
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He is not that handsome anymore!
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I want to meet the boy!
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I love this song and I have a crush on the singer!
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Saw them in Costa Mesa, California last night! Awesome!!
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Great song red red wine
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Saw them in concert on September 10th in Columbus. They were amazing. Like they have not missed a beat. George loves playing with the crowd. I would go again in a hearbeat
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I always thought the person who sings back-up for George was so good and complimented the group so well!
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justinjenny4 9 5
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Thank their funny??????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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mary.miles6
Love my Boy George!!
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FYI Boy George wrote these songs about the drummer
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I just love boy george along with the rest of the guys! They were a hot group in the 80s i miss the 80s went by to quick!
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Classic boy George.. 80's best
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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wondcat
Heat! Was the heat too much!! Not key.
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Time...love this song. So many high school memories. Love Culture Club
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i got to meet boy george before-he was just the best ever love him forever ❤️❤️❤️
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Ive got the cassette and album...this song is NOT on it.. Melting Pot, first time I ever heard this. Yuk
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Wedding singer lol
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will always love this song!!! SINCE DAY 1 when I heard it
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It's me or the larisa are wrong for this song
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I love me some Boy George!
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josejmadriga l 3
he's super gay he dresses like a woman! :O
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How in the world does this kind of music get on my classic rock station ? I hated this music in the 80's and it hasn't gotten better with time
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The printed lyrics aren't the words for this song. I have never seen this happen before!
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Boy george this is one of my favorite songs karma chameleon
And do you want to hurt me
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love song George and did you love john moss and like your sign dace
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Love this group and this song! Boy George could definitely blow! Incredible band and vocalist along with Helen Terry. Amazing vocalist too!
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msilvermerli n
LOVE CULTURE CLUB!! TOTALLY 80'S BUT HE CAN SING! STILL HAVE THE VINYL ALBUM
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Love them! The best!
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moleculematt
I love Karma Chameleon. One of my favorite songs.
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Time...I forgot how much I love this song...still lovin it. Culture Club much love
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I recently saw Culture Club in concert, they were amazing! !!!!!!
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I simply love Boy George's incredible vocals and the rest of culture club they ruled the 80's I'm a huge proud fan
I saw them recently at the Greek theater here in Los Angeles and culture club was fabulous it was like we were in the eighties seeing them live for the first time they were incredible thank you for always caring and loving your fans muah Sabrina
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Love me Culture Club........
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phinepr
Great music !!!
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Smooth,groov e , l i v e .
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livalee65
Saw them in concert in 1983. Love them then; love them now.
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i love him
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So Boy George was the aggressive weirdo in his bisexual relationship s ? Could have sworn I read a story about someone escaping from chains in his makeshift basement sex dungeon.
Report as inappropriate
j2walsh2002
Mannnn, they don't make music like this any more. We danced our butts off to this song. It's popping. Boy George was the hit and I wish we had good music like this these days. That's why I play Pandora so I can still listen and dance to this type of music. Go go PANDORA :-)
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