80s Music

Culture Club

Culture ClubCulture Club was an English new wave band that is composed of Boy George on lead vocals, Jon Moss on drums and percussion, Roy Hay on guitar and keyboards and Mikey Craig on bass guitar. Culture Club is one of the most influential groups of the 80’s. They created hit songs including “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, “Karma Chameleon”, “Move Away”, and “Church of the Poison Mind”. Culture Club won several awards like the Brit Awards in 1984 for the category best British Group and Best British Single for “Karma Chameleon”. They also won the Grammy on the same year for being the Best New Artist.

Culture Club’s Hit Songs include:

  • Karma Chameleon
  • Time
  • Miss Me Blind
  • Love is Love
  • Church of the Poison Mind
  • Mistake No. 3
  • It’s a Miracle
  • I’ll Tumble 4 Ya
  • Move Away
  • Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

Formation

Culture Club started when Boy George’s band Bow Wow Wow ended in 1981.  George then decided to form his own band with Mikey Craig, Jon Moss and Roy Hay. Their name Culture Club was conceived of when the group realized that they had a gay Irish man as their vocalist, a blond Englishman playing the guitar and keyboards, a Jewish drummer and a black Briton bassist. When Virgin Records heard their demo, they decided to sign Culture Club and release their albums in Europe. Meanwhile in the United States, Culture Club was signed by Epic Records which released their albums in the US.

Culture Club’s first album cause a stir in the tabloid headlines because of Boy George’s genderless fashion sense. Magazines quickly drew attention to George and began featuring him on their covers.

Albums

Kissing to be Clever

Kissing to be Clever was Culture Club’s debut album that was released in the later part of 1982. This album featured their first hit single “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” that reached the number one spot in the UK charts and placed on the top ten in several charts around the world. Kissing to be Clever sold about five million copies worldwide. One million of those sales was in the US alone making it a certified Platinum album in the United States.

Colour By Numbers

Released in October 1983, Color by numbers is the second studio album of Culture Club under Virgin and Epic Records. This album featured the band’s most successful single, “Karma Chameleon”. The song grabbed the top spot in several countries and the album reached the peak of the UK Albums Chart. Colour by Numbers has been a certified triple platinum in the UK and quadruple platinum in the United States.

Waking Up with the House on Fire

Culture Club’s third installment, Waking Up with the House on Fire was released in October 25, 1984. This album managed to reach the number two spot in the UK Albums Chart and became Culture Club’s third album to enter the top five of the charts. This album had several singles like “The War Song”, and “Don’t Go Down the Street”. However, the sales of this album did not went as expected because even though it reached a platinum status in the UK and the US, Culture Club’s third album Colour by Numbers still sold more copies.  

From Luxury to Heartache

Released in 1986, From Luxury to Heartache was Culture Club’s fourt studio album under Epic and Virgin records. But after the release of this album, news about Boy George’s heroin addiction caught the attention of the press more specifically the British and US tabloids. And several days later, their keyboardist Michael Rudetsky was found dead in Boy George’s home because of a heroin overdose. Despite of all this, their lead single “Move Away”. Became an instant hit. After a year From Luxury to Heartache’s release, Boy George decided to leave the band and start his solo career.

Don’t Mind if I Do

Don’t Mind if I Do was Culture Club’s fifth album under Virgin Records. This album was only released in Europe, Japan and some promo copies was released in Australia. This is Culture Club’s first album after their break-up in 1986. Despite the promotions done by the band, Don’t Mind if I Do was a flop. It only reached the 64th spot in the UK Albums Chart. This album held their UK top 10 single “I Don’t Want to Be Loved”.

According to Culture Club’s vocalist Boy George, Culture Club’s music aims to be creatively fluid to make everything a little different. During their height of success, Culture Club indeed proved that they are different from the other bands in the 80’s.  Their music had enough soul and new wave foundations that gained them a broad audience.

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