Culture Club

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Culture Club
Culture Club Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Milwaukee, WI 7-23-2016 (28543520975).jpg
Culture Club; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2016. Front L-R: Roy Hay, Boy George, and Mikey Craig (not pictured: Jon Moss).
Background information
Origin London, England
Years active1981–1986, 1998–2002, 2011–present
Associated acts Helen Terry
Members Boy George
Roy Hay
Mikey Craig
Jon Moss

Culture Clubare an English new wave group that formed in London in 1981. The band comprises Boy George (lead vocals), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards), Mikey Craig (bass guitar) and Jon Moss (drums and percussion). They are considered one of the most representative and influential groups of the 1980s. [1]

New wave is a genre of pop-oriented rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest city within the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Boy George English musician

Boy George is an English singer, songwriter, DJ and fashion designer. He is the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club. At the height of the band's fame, during the 1980s, they recorded global hit songs such as "Karma Chameleon", "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Time ". George is known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance. He was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s.


Led by singer and frontman Boy George, whose androgynous style of dressing caught the attention of the public and the media in the early 1980s, the band have sold more than 150 million records worldwide, [2] including over 6 million BPI certified records sold in the UK [3] and over 7 million RIAA certified records sold in the US. [4] Their hits include "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time (Clock of the Heart)", "Church of the Poison Mind", "Karma Chameleon", "Victims", "It's a Miracle", "The War Song", "Move Away", and "I Just Wanna Be Loved". In the UK they amassed twelve Top 40 hit singles between 1982 and 1999, including the number ones "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and "Karma Chameleon", the latter being the biggest selling single of 1983 in the UK, and hit number one on the US Hot 100 in 1984. The song "Time (Clock of the Heart)" is included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me song by Culture Club

"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" is a song written and recorded by the British new wave band Culture Club. Released as a single in September 1982 from the group's platinum-selling debut album Kissing to Be Clever, it was the band's first UK #1 hit. In the United States, the single was released in November 1982 and also became a huge hit, reaching #2 for three weeks.

Time (Clock of the Heart) song by Culture Club

"Time " is a song by the British new wave band Culture Club, released as a stand-alone single in most of the world and as the second single from their debut album Kissing to Be Clever in North America. Following on the heels of the band's global #1 hit, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time " peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart, selling over 500,000 copies in the UK. In the United States, the song matched the #2 peak of its predecessor on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from the #1 spot by "Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara for two weeks.

Church of the Poison Mind song by Culture Club

"Church of the Poison Mind" is a 1983 hit single by the British new wave band Culture Club. It was released as the lead single from their second - and most successful - album Colour by Numbers.

Their second album, Colour by Numbers , sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. It appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s and is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . Ten of their singles reached the US Top 40, where they are associated with the Second British Invasion of British new wave groups that became popular in the US due to the cable music channel MTV. Culture Club's music combines British new wave and American soul and pop. It also includes some elements of Jamaican reggae and also other styles such as calypso, salsa, and with "Karma Chameleon", elements of country music. [5] [6]

<i>Colour by Numbers</i> 1983 studio album by Culture Club

Colour by Numbers is the second album by the British new wave group Culture Club, released in October 1983. Preceded by the hit single "Karma Chameleon", which reached number one in several countries, the album reached number one in the UK and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. It has been certified triple platinum in the UK and quadruple platinum in the US. It was ranked #96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die</i> 2005 Robert Dimery book

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die is a musical reference book first published in 2005 by Universe Publishing. Part of the 1001 Before You Die series, it compiles writings and information on albums chosen by a panel of music critics to be the most important, influential, and best in popular music between the 1950s and the 2010s. The book was edited by Robert Dimery, an English writer and editor who had previously worked for magazines such as Time Out and Vogue.

In 1984, Culture Club won Brit Awards for Best British Group, Best British Single ("Karma Chameleon"), and the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. [7] They were nominated the same year for the Grammy Award for Pop Vocal by Group or Duo. The band were also nominated for a Canadian Juno Award for International Album of the Year. In January 1985, Culture Club were nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Video Artist, and in September 1985, they were nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Special Effects and Best Art Direction for their video "It's a Miracle". In 1987, they received another nomination for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Video Artist. [8]

Brit Awards British pop music awards

The BRIT Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual popular music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain", or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trusts Show. In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic BRIT Awards, is held in the month of May. Robbie Williams holds the record for the most BRIT Awards, 13 as a solo artist and another five as part of Take That.

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has been awarded since 1959. Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for records released in the previous year. The award was not presented in 1967. The official guidelines are as follows: "For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist." Note that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist.


Formation and Kissing to Be Clever: 1981–1983

In 1981, Blitz Club regular Boy George occasionally sang with the group Bow Wow Wow, performing under the stage name Lieutenant Lush with the group. After his tenure with the group ended, George decided to start his own band and enlisted bassist Mikey Craig, drummer Jon Moss, and finally guitarist Roy Hay joined the group.

The Blitz Kids were a group of people who frequented the weekly "Club For Heroes" club-night at Blitz in Covent Garden, London in 1979-80, and are credited with launching the New Romantic subcultural movement. Steve Strange and Rusty Egan co-hosted Tuesday nights and imposed a strict dress code. Among core attendees were Boy George, Marilyn, Alice Temple, Perri Lister, Princess Julia, Philip Sallon and Martin Degville, Biddie and Eve, Perry Haines and Chris Sullivan.

Bow Wow Wow English new wave band

Bow Wow Wow are an English new wave band, created by manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980. McLaren recruited members of Adam and the Ants to form the band behind 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. They released their debut EP Your Cassette Pet in 1980, and had their first UK top 10 hit with "Go Wild in the Country" in 1982. The band's music was characterized by a danceable new wave sound that drew on a Burundi beat provided by Dave Barbarossa on drums, as well as the suggestive lyrics squealed into the mic by their teenage lead vocalist.

Realizing they had an Irish gay man as the lead singer, a black Briton on bass, a blond Englishman on guitar and keyboards, and a Jewish drummer, they eventually decided to name the group Culture Club. The group recorded demos, which were paid for by EMI Records, but the label was unimpressed and decided not to sign the group. Virgin Records heard the demos and signed the group in the UK, releasing their albums in Europe, while Epic Records released their albums in the United States and much of the rest of the world since Virgin did not have a US presence at the time. George began sporting a look inspired by Siouxsie Sioux with "heavy make-up and swaggy hair". [9]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Virgin Records UK record company

Virgin Records Ltd. is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide phenomenon over time, with the success of platinum performers such as Aaliyah, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Gorillaz, Lewis Capaldi and Spice Girls, among others.

Epic Records American record label

Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic Records has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, The Yardbirds, Donovan, Shakin Stevens, Europe, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Shakira, Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, Celine Dion, ABBA, Culture Club, Boston, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels.

The band released two singles in May and June 1982, "White Boy" and "I'm Afraid of Me", though both failed to chart. [10] In August the single "Mystery Boy" was released in Japan.[ citation needed ] In September of that year, the group released their third single, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", a reggae-influenced number, which became one of their biggest hits. [10] The song went to No. 1 in the UK in late 1982 and became an international smash, peaking at No. 1 in twenty-three countries (No. 2 in the US), and the top ten in several more countries.

The band's 1982 debut on Top of the Pops created tabloid headlines, which focused on George's androgynous style of dress and sexual ambiguity. Magazines began to feature George prominently on their covers. Pete Burns, lead singer of the new wave band Dead or Alive, would later claim he was the first to wear braids, big hats, and colorful costumes, but George would cut back with a sharp-tongued remark, "It's not who did it first, it's who did it better."

The band's debut album, Kissing to Be Clever (UK No. 5, US No. 14) was released in October 1982, and the follow-up single, "Time (Clock of the Heart)", became another Top 10 hit in the US (Number 2) and UK (Number 3). "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" also became a Top Ten hit in the US (Number 9) and in Canada. This gave Culture Club the distinction of being the first group since The Beatles to have three Top Ten hits in America from a debut album.[ citation needed ]Kissing to Be Clever sold over 1.5 million copies in the US, being certified platinum, and sold another 3 million worldwide at the time of its release.[ citation needed ]

Colour by Numbers: 1983–1984

The band's second album, Colour by Numbers (UK No. 1, US No. 2), was released in 1983. The first single, "Church of the Poison Mind", featuring backing vocalist Helen Terry, reached the UK and US Top 10. The second single, "Karma Chameleon", gave the band their biggest hit, peaking at No. 1 in the UK (the band's second chart-topper there), where it became the best selling single of 1983 and has sold 1.5 million copies there to date. [11] It also peaked at No. 1 in the US for three consecutive weeks, and would ultimately hit No. 1 in 30 countries, thus becoming one of the top twenty best-selling singles of the 1980s sold up seven million copies worldwide, with one of the most iconic images of Boy George on the cover shot by photographer David Levine.

The album Colour by Numbers would spawn more hits including "Miss Me Blind" (#5 US), "It's a Miracle" (#4 UK, No. 13 US), and "Victims" (#3 UK), and sold four million copies in the US and another five million worldwide at its time of release. The album gave Culture Club the distinction of being the first group in music history to have an album certified diamond in Canada (for sales of one million copies in that country). The band also won the 1984 Brit Award for Best Group and the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, where George gave a speech via satellite stating, "Thanks America, you've got style, you've got taste, and you know a good drag queen when you see one."

The group's back-up singer, Helen Terry, began work on her solo album, for which George and Hay wrote the song "Love Lies Lost". The pair also wrote "Passing Friend" for the Beach Boys' album. Culture Club wrote two songs for the soundtrack to the movie Electric Dreams . George and Hay wrote "The Dream" and "Love Is Love", with the latter being released as a single in Canada and Japan, the E.P "Love is Love" became a major hit in Japan. George also collaborated on the song "Electric Dreams", sung by P. P. Arnold. The song was written with Phil Pickett (former member of the 1970s band Sailor) who had also co-written "Karma Chameleon" and frequently played keyboards for the group.

Despite Culture Club's commercial success, there were significant pressures within the band. George was using drugs with money from his new-found fame. George and Moss were also romantically involved with each other, which was unknown to the public and the media at the time. Their relationship lasted for over four years and was often turbulent, with alleged physical and verbal abuse from both sides. Their constant arguments and the pressure to hide the relationship from the public started to take its toll on the band.

Waking Up with the House on Fire, From Luxury to Heartache and decline: 1984–1986

In 1984, the group released their third album Waking Up with the House on Fire (UK No. 2, US No. 26) which sold 2.8 million copies worldwide. Although certified platinum in both the UK and the US, it was a commercial and critical disappointment compared to their first two albums. The album contained the hit single "The War Song", which reached No. 2 in the UK, and Top 20 in the US. Other singles like "Mistake No. 3" (US No. 33) and "The Medal Song" (UK No. 32) would become modest hits. George later stated he felt the album experienced a lukewarm reception because of half-hearted material he felt they released due to pressure from Virgin and Epic to have a quick follow-up to Colour by Numbers.[ citation needed ] According to him, the band had just come off an exhausting world tour in 1984, and as a result the fatigue ended up coming off on the album.[ citation needed ]

At the end of 1984, Boy George was recruited by Bob Geldof to join the Band Aid recording, consisting of mostly internationally known UK and Irish recording stars. George was in New York City for an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman when Geldof called him, but managed to catch the final Concorde of the day to London and was the last singer to record a lead vocal track for the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?". The song would become the biggest selling single of all-time in the UK and a huge international hit, raising millions for famine victims in several African nations, particularly Ethiopia.

Due to all the heartache from the break-up of his relationship with Moss, and all the ensuing tension with rest of the band, George turned to (something then very much out of character for George) relief in drugs. Consequently, he soon developed a self-destructive drug addiction, which in merely four months escalated from marijuana to heroin. By 1986, George had become seriously addicted; without Moss by his side, his zest for the band was greatly diminished. [ citation needed ] The recording of their fourth studio album, 1986's From Luxury to Heartache (UK No. 10, US No. 32) dragged on for so long that producer Arif Mardin had to abandon the sessions due to prior commitments and leave it to engineer Lew Hahn to finish the sessions. Songs on the album such as "Gusto Blusto" and "Reasons" took days for the addicted singer to finish.[ citation needed ] Nevertheless, the first single "Move Away" became a hit, peaking at UK No. 7 and US No. 12 and appeared the album would return the group back to its previous success. But by the time of the release of the second single "God Thank You Woman", news of George's drug addiction began to circulate in British and American tabloids, and the second single stalled on its way up the charts, failing to make a big impact.

George and Moss also no longer wanted to be around each other due to the constant relationship battles, and coupled with George's addiction, a forthcoming American tour had to be cancelled.[ citation needed ]From Luxury to Heartache began to fade from the charts as well, and the album ultimately sold less than one million copies worldwide at the time of release. By the summer of 1986, George finally admitted that he was indeed addicted to drugs.[ citation needed ] In July of that year, he was arrested by the British police for possession of heroin. The band broke up and George pursued a solo career, having several European hits and a couple of US Top 40 hits, though George would continue to struggle with his drug addiction for several years.[ citation needed ]



The band first tried to reunite in 1989, after many requests from Tony Gordon, the group's former manager and Boy George's manager at that time. George agreed to try some songs with the band again, resulting in recording sessions and producing more than a dozen songs that are still unreleased to this day. George, however, was more excited about his future projects like his record label, More Protein, and his new acid house project Jesus Loves You. The proposed reunion ended up being cancelled.

1998–2000, 2002

In 1998, George and Moss put their differences aside and the band reunited to do a reunion tour, kicking off with a performance on VH1 Storytellers . [12] George said about the reunion, "Culture Club's reunion couldn't have come at a better time for rock", adding that, "It's a nostalgia trip, there's no way of avoiding that." [12] The tour was a major success. Greatest Moments, a compilation album based around the Storytellers performance, was released, and went platinum in UK. It included new songs such as "I Just Wanna Be Loved", which hit UK No. 4. [13] [14] However, their new-found success was short-lived and their fifth studio album, Don't Mind If I Do , released in 1999, peaked at No. 64 in the UK. [15] It included minor UK hits in "Your Kisses Are Charity" (UK No. 25) and "Cold Shoulder" (UK No. 43). [15]

The band went on to tour, then reunited again for a 20th anniversary concert in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. [16] This performance was released on DVD the following year. [16] Culture Club then became inactive again, largely due to George's successful DJ career.


In 2006, original members of Culture Club Craig and Moss tried to launch a new tour with another lead singer, as George and Hay had declined to tour. Early that year, the band's record company placed an ad for a lead singer to "...take part in a 2007 World Tour and TV Series." The new singer, Sam Butcher was selected because of his own personality, "not a Boy George lookalike." After watching a video on MySpace, George described the singer who replaced him as "terrible" and "dreadful". George said: "I wanted to like it but I couldn't. They're my songs, they're my heart, they're my life." [17] A proposed tour for December 2006 in the UK did not take place. In 2007, Moss stated that the project was shelved.[ citation needed ]


In late 2011, Boy George was part of a three-man Culture Club band that performed two live concerts, in Dubai and Sydney, the latter being a New Year's Eve concert, although Moss did not appear due to a back injury. [18]


In 2014, the band reformed and announced a tour and a new album. A new picture of the four members was also posted on the band's official website, along with the list of the 11 UK concert dates. Alison Moyet was to have been a special guest on the tour.

The band travelled to Spain for a two-week recording session. 18 new tracks were completed for a new album produced by Youth (who had previously worked with Paul McCartney, The Verve, and Embrace among others). The new album, entitled Tribes, was scheduled for release in early 2015 on the band's own label Different Man Music (via Kobalt Label Services). At the end of that year the album still hadn't materialised.

On 19 July 2014, the band were among the line-up for a two-hour concert in Edinburgh Castle, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hay did not perform with the band because he was in recovery after having knee surgery. The band played two songs, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and "Karma Chameleon".

In mid-November 2014, two days before the start of their 21-date US and UK tour, Culture Club announced they had to cancel the tour due to George suffering from a serious throat condition. The cancelled tour would have represented the full original line-up's first tour in 12 years. [19] [20] The North American tour was eventually rescheduled and started on 17 July 2015 in Canada. A television documentary, Boy George and Culture Club: Karma to Calamity, aired on BBC Four on 6 March 2015. The programme documented the band's reunion in 2014 and the making of their new album in Spain, up to the announcement to cancel the tour. [21] Based on the popularity of 2015's mini-tour, Culture Club began a 40-city summer tour in 2016, including dates in Australia, Japan, and the US.[ citation needed ]

In August 2016, the band announced that the album Tribes was permanently shelved, and offered refunds to all those who had pre-ordered the album online.

A reworked album called Life (credited to Boy George & Culture Club) was finally released on 26 October 2018. [22]

In 2018, the band toured the US and Europe. Jon Moss was originally part of the line-up, but left the US tour and did not participate in the European leg.

Awards, nominations, honours

ASCAP Pop Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1984"Karma Chameleon"Most Performed SongsWon
"It's a Miracle"Won

American Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1985 Culture Club Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Nominated
1987 Nominated

American Video Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1984A Kiss Across the OceanBest Long-Form VideoNominated
Best Home VideoNominated
"The War Song"Best ChoreographyNominated
"Miss Me Blind"Best Set DesignNominated

Billboard Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1983 [23] Themselves Top Pop New Artist Nominated
Top Pop Singles Artist Nominated
Top Pop Singles Artist - Duo/GroupNominated
Top Adult Contemporary Artist - Duo/GroupNominated
Kissing to Be Clever Top Pop Album Nominated
"Karma Chameleon"Top UK SingleWon

BRIT Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1983Culture Club Best British Breakthrough Act Won
1984 Best British Group Won
"Karma Chameleon" Best British Single Won

Classic Pop Reader Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2019Culture ClubArtist of the YearNominated

Creem Magazine Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1983ThemselvesWorst Group - #1Won
Colour by Numbers Top Album - #19Nominated

Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1984Culture Club Best New Artist Won
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated

Ivor Novello Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1983"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"Best Selling A-SideNominated
1984"Karma Chameleon"Best Pop SongWon
Best Selling A-SideWon
Most Performed WorkNominated
International Hit of the YearNominated

Juno Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1984 Colour by Numbers International Album of the YearNominated

Q Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2006"Karma Chameleon"Q Classic Song AwardWon
2014Culture ClubQ IdolWon


YearNominee / workAwardResult
1983 Colour by Numbers Best Foreign AlbumWon

Smash Hits Poll Winners Party

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"Best SingleNominated
Kissing to Be Clever Best AlbumNominated
ThemselvesMost Promising New ActNominated
Best GroupNominated
Culture Club's "Colour by Numbers" TourEvent of the YearNominated
Culture Club Making No.1 with "Karma Chameleon"Nominated
"Karma Chameleon"Best SingleNominated
Best VideoNominated
Colour by Numbers Best AlbumNominated
1984 Waking Up with the House on Fire Nominated
"The War Song"Best SingleNominated
Best VideoNominated
ThemselvesBest GroupNominated
1985Worst GroupNominated

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

YearNominated workCategoryResultNotes
1999"Time (Clock of the Heart)"500 Songs That Shaped Rock and RollWon#107


Culture Club's sound combines British new wave and American soul with Jamaican reggae and also other styles as calypso, salsa or country. [5] [6] [24] [25] [26] [27]

Philadelphia Daily News described Culture Club as a hot new rock act, while William K Knoedelseder Jr from Los Angeles Times said about the group, "Boy George of Culture Club, a rock group MTV helped make popular", adding that, "There's some debate in the record industry about MTV's ability to directly increase record sales across the board but there's no doubt that the channel has been responsible for exposing such rock artists as Def Leppard, Duran Duran and Men at Work to a national audience..." [28] [29]

In the 1980s, Boy George said about the music style of his band Culture Club, "We play rock 'n' roll and I love rock 'n' roll music but I don't like the lifestyle. I don't like people tipping beer over their heads.... I just hate rock 'n' roll in that way. It's disgusting and boring. I look at what we're doing as very intelligent." [30]

Stephen Holden, music critic for The New York Times , said in his article Rock: British Culture Club, that "Culture Club blends soul, rock, funk, reggae and salsa into a music that programmatically reconciles white, black and Latin styles", adding that, "Mr. O'Dowd made the group's best songs – the Motown-flavoured Do You Really Want to Hurt Me and the Latin-inflected dance tune I'll Tumble 4 Ya – shine like jewels." [31]

Star-News considered Culture Club as a 'new rock' band of the 1980s; the newspaper said "Now you see the more rhythm-oriented, 'new rock of the 80s,' like Culture Club and the Eurythmics, fitting in more easily with urban contemporary formats." [32]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor for AllMusic, described specifically Culture Club as a new wave band and generically as the most successful pop/rock group in America and England during the 1980s, adding that, "By 1986, the group had broken up, leaving behind several singles that rank as classics of the new wave era." [33]

The music of Culture Club is described by George as, "The aim is to be creatively fluid to make everything we do a little different. We want to be a bridge between white rock and black soul", adding that, "I want Culture Club to represent all peoples and minorities". [34] [35]

The band was part of the second British rock invasion of the 1980s in the United States, as R. Serge Denisoff and William L. Schurk said in their book Tarnished gold: the record industry revisited, "Here comes the rock and roll of 1984. The invaders were a mixed bunch led by Culture Club, whose sound has been described as 'recycled Smokey Robinson' or 'torchy American schmaltz and classic Motown'", adding that, "Boy George's drag-queen appearance made the group a natural for the visual demands of cable television". [36] [37]

In her book Magazines for children: a guide for parents, teachers, and librarians, author Selma K. Richardson said that Culture Club's music is soft rock that contains, "enough soul and new wave elements to cover almost all audiences". [38]

Band members


See also

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Jonathan Aubrey Moss is an English drummer, best known as a member of the 1980s pop group Culture Club. He has also played with other bands, including London, The Nips, The Damned and Adam & The Ants.

<i>Waking Up with the House on Fire</i> 1984 studio album by Culture Club

Waking Up with the House on Fire is the third album by the English new wave group Culture Club, released on 25 October 1984. The album peaked at no.2 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's third top five album.

Karma to Burn American band

Karma to Burn, sometimes known as K2B, is a desert rock/stoner rock band from Morgantown, West Virginia comprising guitarist William Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter, and drummer Evan Devine. The band are noted for their uncompromising, mostly instrumental sound.

Karma Chameleon song by Culture Club

"Karma Chameleon" is a song by English band Culture Club, featured on the group's 1983 album Colour by Numbers. The single spent three weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1984, becoming the group's biggest hit and only US number-one single among their many top 10 hits. The sleeve features work from the photographer David Levine.

<i>Greatest Hits</i> (Culture Club album) 2005 greatest hits album by Culture Club

Greatest Hits is a greatest hits compilation by British band Culture Club with androgynous frontman Boy George. It was released in the US and Canada on 21 June 2005.

<i>Greatest Moments – VH1 Storytellers Live</i> 1998 greatest hits album by Culture Club

Greatest Moments is a greatest hits compilation by British band Culture Club. It was released in the UK on 9 November 1998, where it reached #15 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum. The album also contains three solo Boy George tracks.

Victims (song) song by Culture Club

"Victims" is a song by English band Culture Club, released as a single in 1983 and taken from the album Colour by Numbers. As with most early Culture Club singles, the song is about lead singer Boy George's then publicly unknown and rather turbulent relationship with drummer Jon Moss.

Culture Club is a songbook by the British new wave-oriented band Culture Club. It contains ten of their best songs for melody line with lyrics and guitar boxes, so that fans, either amateur or professional musicians, may try to play them if they wish.

<i>This Time – The First Four Years</i> 1987 compilation album by Culture Club

This Time – The First Four Years is the first official greatest hits album by British new wave group Culture Club, released by Virgin Records on 6 April 1987. Its release came one year after the band had split up.

Joanna (Kool & the Gang song) song from Kool & the Gang

"Joanna" is a song by Kool & the Gang from their 1983 album, In the Heart. Released as a single on December 17, 1983, the song was an immediate hit peaking at #2 in the US for one week, behind "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club. Additionally, the track reached #2 in the UK as well as #1 on the US R&B chart.

Mark Williams (singer) New Zealand-born singer, born 1954

Mark Williams is a New Zealand singer with Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) number one hit singles, "Yesterday Was Just the Beginning of My Life" (1975) and a cover of Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (1977) before he relocated to Australia later that year. His single, "Show No Mercy" (1990) was a top ten hit in both countries. He has undertaken extensive touring in support of numerous Australian bands and worked in television. In 2006 he became the vocalist for the reformed New Zealand/Australian band, Dragon.

Young Guns (band) band

Young Guns are an English alternative rock band from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The members, working with each other in various musical interests throughout the 2000s, formally formed the band in 2008, and rose to prominence after their debut EP, Mirrors, earned them spots opening live shows for Bon Jovi and Guns N' Roses. Their debut album, All Our Kings Are Dead, on 12 July 2010. Their second album, Bones, was released in February 2012. Their single "Bones" reached no. 1 on the Billboard Active Rock charts in the US in May 2013. Their third album, Ones and Zeros, was released on 9 June 2015. The band's fourth album, Echoes, was released on September 16, 2016.

Philip Stuart "Phil" Pickett is a double Ivor Novello Award-winning English composer, musician, vocal arranger, producer and artist manager.


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N.B.: Each of the first four songbooks includes a detailed official biography, which is each time updated: this way, such songbooks, corresponding to the band's first four albums, chronicle the early official biography of Culture Club, from 1982 to 1986.