Culture Club

Culture Club

Formed 1981, London, UK: Boy George (George O’Dowd) – vocals; Roy Hay – guitar; Mikey Craig – bass; Jon Moss – drums. George had been a part-time member of Bow Wow Wow under the name Lieutenant Lush, but when this arrangement ended acrimoniously he formed Culture Club with ex-DJ Craig, former hairdresser Hay and jobbing drummer Moss, who had briefly been a member of The Damned and Adam & The Ants. After a couple of flop singles, third effort Do You Really Want To Hurt Me broke through thanks to a memorable appearance on Top Of The Pops which legendarily scandalized a generation of old fashioned parents the same way their own parents had been outraged by Bowie and Bolan a decade earlier. The single shot to number 1 and album Kissing To Be Clever reached number 5, with further singles Time (Clock Of The Heart) and Church Of The Poison Mind reaching the top three. A year after their breakthrough the deathless Karma Chameleon became the band’s second number 1, while its parent album Colour By Numbers repeated the feat in the album chart. By now Culture Club was a worldwide success, the charismatic O’Dowd making such an impression that even an episode of The A Team was written around the band. Although third album Waking Up With The House On Fire and its much-derided single The War Song both reached number 2, the band’s star was already on the wane by the end of 1984. Fourth album From Luxury To Heartache produced one further top ten single Move Away in 1986, but by this stage George was in the grip of drug addiction and the band broke up.

After cleaning up his act, George began a solo career with a chart-topping cover of Everything I Own in 1987, although further releases were less successful; by the end of the 1980s George was concentrating on DJing and releasing dance records under the name Jesus Loves You. In 1998 Culture Club reformed for a tour and a one-off single, I Just Wanna Be Loved, which reached number 4 and prompted the band to record a full album, Don’t Mind If I Do, although by the time of its release the novelty had worn off and it only reached number 64, spawning one top thirty single, Your Kisses Are Charity. The band toured again but George preferred to concentrate on DJing rather than recording any new Culture Club material. This led to Craig and Moss announcing their intention to tour and record as Culture Club with a new lead singer, although nothing came of this venture. Following George’s well-publicised misadventures in the late 2000s, the band reformed again in 2014 for a tour and a new album, although this was postponed until 2015 due to “health issues”. Whether or not it takes place this year remains to be seen.

ESSENTIAL ’80s CULTURE CLUB

SINGLES

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME
September 1982, #1

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Church of the Poison Mind

CHURCH OF THE POISON MIND
April 1983, #2

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Victims

VICTIMS
December 1983, #3

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ALBUMS

Kissing To Be Clever

KISSING TO BE CLEVER
October 1982, #5

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Colour By Numbers

COLOUR BY NUMBERS
October 1983, #1

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From Luxury to Heartache

FROM LUXURY TO HEARTACHE
April 1986, #10

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