Culture Club was a British pop group formed in 1981. The original members were Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss. They had five UK top 10 singles and three UK number one albums.
Culture Club is an English band that was formed in 1976. They are best known for their songs Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?.
Culture Club was one of the most popular new wave bands. With its light, catchy pop-soul, the group notched up seven consecutive Top Ten successes in the United Kingdom and six Top Ten singles in the United States in the early 1980s. Though their music was radio-ready, it was Boy George, the group’s flamboyant, cross-dressing lead vocalist, who propelled them to fame. George donned colorful clothes and heavy make-up, giving him a disarmingly androgynous look that caused a stir on early MTV. George also had a piercing wit and was known for his cutting remarks, which earned Culture Club a lot of press in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Culture Club had a stronger pop sensibility than its contemporaries, and therefore had a wider audience, while being closely linked with the new romantics (they were both influenced by Northern soul and fashion). Their time in the limelight, however, was short. Not only could they not keep up with MTV’s shifting trends, but the group was also riven by personal issues, such as Boy George’s drug use. The group disbanded in 1986, leaving behind many songs that are considered classics of the new wave period.
Boy George (George O’Dowd, June 14, 1961), the son of a boxing club manager, was drawn to the glam rock of T. Rex and David Bowie as a teenager. He became a frequent in London’s new romantic clubs during the late 1970s post-punk period. George became well-known in the London underground for his flamboyant sense of style, thanks to his cross-dressing pals Marilyn and Martin Degville (a future member of Sigue Sigue Sputnik), and Malcolm McLaren asked him to join an early version of Bow Wow Wow. Lieutenant Lush was George’s last appearance with the band before he left to create In Praise of Lemmings with bassist Mikey Craig (b. February 15, 1960). They changed their name to Sex Gang Children when guitarist Jon Suede joined the band. Jon Moss (b. September 11, 1957), a professional drummer who had previously performed with Adam & the Ants and the Damned, joined the band a few months later.
Suede had been replaced by Roy Hay (b. August 12, 1961), a former member of Russian Bouquet, by 1981, when Boy George renamed the group Culture Club. They recorded a series of demos for EMI towards the end of the year, but the label turned them down. The band signed a deal with Virgin Records in early 1982, and “White Boy” was released in the spring. Although neither “White Boy” nor its follow-up, “I’m Afraid of Me,” charted, stories on Boy George started to appear in the British music and fashion press. Culture Club’s breakthrough song, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” was released in the autumn and quickly rose to the top of the charts. The band’s first album, Kissing to Be Clever, hit number five on the UK charts shortly after, while the non-album single “Time (Clock of the Heart)” reached number three. Kissing to Be Clever and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” started ascending the American charts in early 1983, with the single reaching number two. “Time” hit number two in the United States soon after “Church of the Poison Mind,” a non-LP British single, achieved the same place in the United Kingdom. That summer, “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” was a Top Ten success in the United States.
Culture Club was the most successful pop/rock band in America and England by the time their second album, Colour by Numbers, was released in the autumn of 1983. The single “Karma Chameleon” went to number one in the United Kingdom and number two in the United States, while the album went to number one in the United Kingdom and number two in the United States. The trio had a string of successes in 1984, with “It’s a Miracle” and “Miss Me Blind” both hitting the Top Ten. Waking Up with the House on Fire, the group’s third album, was released in the autumn. While “The War Song” got to number two in the United Kingdom, the album was a flop in America, only reaching platinum; its predecessor had gone triple platinum.
Culture Club went on pause for 1985 after a short tour in February, with Craig, Moss, and Hay exploring other projects in the meantime. During the year, Boy George, who had earlier spoken out against narcotics in public, developed a heroin addiction. His relationship with Moss, which had always been difficult, started to fall apart. All of these issues were kept concealed, but when Culture Club returned to activity in the spring of 1986, it was clear that something was awry. Though their comeback song “Move Away” was a success in April, the album From Luxury to Heartache barely lasted a few months on the charts. Rumors about George’s heroin addiction started to spread, and by the summer, he had admitted to being hooked. He was detained for cannabis possession by British authorities in July. Michael Rudetski, who performed on From Luxury to Heartache, was discovered dead of a heroin overdose at George’s house a few days later. Boy George was charged with wrongful death by Rudetski’s parents, but they were unsuccessful.
Culture Club split up when Boy George was fighting heroin addiction and subsequent dependency on prescription drugs. In the spring of 1987, George announced the group’s disbandment, and later that year, he launched a solo career. While his solo career had many European dance successes, it wasn’t until 1992 that his version of Dave Berry’s “The Crying Game” was used in the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name that he had an American hit. Take It Like a Man, George’s autobiography, was released in 1995. In 1998, Culture Club reformed and released VH1 Storytellers/Greatest Hits, a two-disc collection.
In 1999, she released a new album, Don’t Mind If I Do, which charted at number 64 in the United Kingdom but was not released in the United States. Culture Club then went on an unofficial sabbatical after celebrating their 20th anniversary with a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2002. Jon Moss and Mikey Cragg tried to tour with a new vocalist named Sam Butcher, but the idea was shelved before it could get off the ground.
In 2014, Culture Club reformed for a tour and started work on a new record with producer Youth. Tribes, the group’s first album, was supposed to be released in 2015, but it never happened. Instead, the recordings served as the basis for Life, Culture Club’s first new album in almost two decades, released in 2018.
The culture club hits are a list of songs and albums by the British band, Culture Club.
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- culture club songs in order
- culture club time
- culture club discography