Perhaps one of the most colorful groups to come out of the 1980s is Culture Club. Along with the androgynous style of Boy George, which has already been made memorable, their music combined pop with New Wave, soft rock, reggae, and soul. Meanwhile the videos, which aired through the early days of MTV are equally classic.
Formed in 1981, Culture Club released their debut album Kissing to Be Clever the following year. It featured the hit singles “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” (which became the group’s first top ten single in America, as well as the now classic video featuring Boy George in flashbacks in both a 1930’s nightclub and a 1950s health club). The other top ten hit from the album was “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”. Their next album, Colours by Numbers would be another massive hit, spending six weeks at number two in the U.S. behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was later ranked as one of the top 100 greatest albums of the 1980s by Rolling Stone, and included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The three hit singles from albums were “Church of the Poison Mind”, “It’s a Miracle” and the chart-topper “Karma Chameleon”.
Culture Club released two more albums in the 1980s before disbanding in 1986. They reunited a few more times, including for a 1999 album. In addition to being winners of both the Grammy and Brit Award winners, one of their songs “Time (Clock of the Heart)” has been considered as one of the 500 songs that helped shaped rock and roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Culture Club, eligible since 2007.