Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Culture Club

Greatest Moments

Culture Club’s first appearance on Top Of The Pops, in 1982, caused as much of a sensation as David Bowie’s over a decade earlier. I remember it well. Everyone, literally everyone was saying “did you see him?” The next morning and “it was a bloke dressed as a girl” and so on. They were referring, of course, to Boy George (George O’Dowd) who, inspired by Siouxsie Sioux of punk band Siouxsie & The Banshees went the whole hog and dressed up in a bizarre get-up of long dresses, pigtails, full-on dramatic make up and an odd little hat. He had a suitably angelic voice and the group (all good-looking men in regular gear) had a knack for a rhythm and they had a certain pop sensibility.

The hits were many over the next few years and, for a while, they were the biggest commercial band around. The singles were quite credible efforts, as it happened - the reggae-tinged and soulful Do You Really Want To Hurt Me was a debut single number one, while Time (Clock Of The Heart) had a grandiose, slow-paced romantic appeal. 

I’ll Tumble 4 Ya was danceable and funky, but it was the next two that were real corkers. Firstly, Church Of The Poison Mind, featuring strong voiced backing singer Helen Terry, was a bluesy, upbeat rocker with a thumping beat and, secondly, Karma Chameleon, with its distinct harmonica riff and an instantly singable chorus became their most popular song. It is now a permanent fixture at any eighties night or on any eighties playlist. Just a few bars of it and I feel it is 1984 again.

It never got much better than that, really, although Victims was a soulful, sombre hit, as was The War Song, while It’s A Miracle was a last truly poppy hit for the group. This is a good compilation, all you need from Culture Club, really, and is a fun reminder of when they were the group on everyone’s lips. Just for a short while.


  1. They were really huge over here too. When I was probably eight or nine years old I remember them being all over MTV constantly. And their songs all over the radio. Your favorites are mine too, Church of the poison Mind and Karma Chameleon. There was another one I thought was great called Mistake Number 3. I even remember the controversy when he was on heroin and stuff. I remember it being on the cover of Rolling Stone and shit. I probably quite didn't understand it all but I remember it. lol.

  2. The fuss when he first appeared was huge.