The Boy George & Culture Club Appreciation Thread | The Popjustice Forum

The Boy George & Culture Club Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by Baby Clyde, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. There has never been a proper thread to discuss the amazingness of the greatest songwriter of his generation and my favourite band of all time.

    In MVNL's fantabulous 'Ultimate Compilation Maker' thread. Culture Club received NO VOTES AT ALL.

    Paris Hilton got a vote? Boyz 'N' Girls United got a vote? Cassie got 2???

    Had I not missed the voting period they would have been my #1 with Boy George as a solo artist coming in at #6.

    They are seldom discussed around here or anywhere else for that matter despite being ridiculously PJ friendly.

    I don't think the UK has produced such an amazing popstar as Boy George since. Only the Spice Girls come close for all round, worldwide domination. At his height he was as famous as Micheal Jackson or Madonna.

    I have every record they've ever made be on CD and vinyl be it as a group of solo. Much of George's solo material is truly amazing with 'The Martyr Mantras' as Jesus Loves You and 'Cheapness and Beauty' containing some of the greatest songwriting I've ever heard.

    Why do you think it is their stock has fallen do wildly in recent years?

    Anyway with a reunion on the cards for next year I think it's time to celebrate all things Boy George and Culture Club.

    Here's all of their Top 10 hits for starters. Look out for solo George gems coming up very soon.

    Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

    Church of the Poison Mind

    Time (Clock of the Heart)

    Karma Chameleon


    It's A Miracle

    The War Song

    Move Away

    I Just Wanna Be Loved

    Everything I Own
  2. My only explanation is something that i think George always felt as well. He just wasn't taken seriously as a song writer because of his appearance. He was written off a comedy act and his talent dismissed. The drug addiction and recent legal problems don't help either.

    As a pop star he is 2nd to none and as a songwriter he's output is more varied, smarter and lyrically superior to anything that supposedly serious artists like George Michael have ever produced.
  3. Absolutely. I'm certain that is the case.

    There was always real tension between the 2 George's and I always read it as BG's annoyance that GM had all the credibility as a great songwriter whilst staying in the closet, whereas BG had been obviously gay (And flamboyant) which left him seen as a bit of a novelty act.

    The drug addictions and legal woes haven't helped but that doesn't fully explain the public's seeming indifference to them these days.

    I wonder if the reunion will change things at all.

    Boy George has written some of the best songs of all time but very few people know about them.
  4. I've always been a big fan of Boy George/Culture Club and they did write some fantastic pop. "Colour by numbers" is absolutely flawless. I remember being hugely disappointed with the follow up "Waking up with the house on fire" though... the sinking feeling when I listened to it for the first time. Such a missed opportunity.

    I hope next year's reunion produces an album that captures all that was great about Culture Club's music, now that George's flamboyance no longer seems a novelty. I heard a rumour that Mark Ronson is involved. I loved what he did with the new Duran Duran album, imagining it as the follow up to "Rio". How amazing would a history-rectifying new follow up to "Colour by numbers" sound!?
  5. Oh, and don't forget... George has the Gaga seal of approval. She stated she was a huge fan when she was younger.

    Culture Club got some great, unexpected name-checks at the Brits earlier this year. Both Cee-lo Green and Arcade Fire gave them high praise during their acceptance speeches.
  6. I am, of course, a huge fan also. He's one of my all-time favourite singers (only Billy MacKenzie bettered him, in my opinion) and it's a huge shame that people refuse to acknowledge that because of the way he looks. Had U Can Never Be 2 Straight been recorded by anyone other than Boy George, then they'd be considered one of the great singer/songwriters. The album is flawless.
  7. 'Colour By Numbers' is completely flawless. Every song is single worthy. 'Waking Up With The House On Fire' is unfortunately a complete mess. It just sounds rushed and incoherant. 'The War Song' is fabulous if somewhat trite. 'The Medal Song' is not remotely single worthy. 'Mistake No3' is the obvious stand out but the album got disowned before that could happen (In the UK at least it was a Top 40 hit in the US). They even made a terrible video..........

    I'm in two minds about the whole enterprise. If Mark Ronson is on board that's obviously a great start but George's voice is a shadow of it's former self and they'll really have to work around that to make sure it doesn't impact too much. I just hope they don't try and completely recapture their old sound. In order to work I think they need to sound relevant to today's audience. Last year's 'Somebody To Love' was amazing though so I have high hopes the whole thing can be a success.
  8. I don't care what anyone else thinks but From Luxury to Heartache is my favourite Culture Club album. Move Away and God Thank You Woman are works of unadulterated genius.

    It's so slick and sophisticated with amazing production from Arif Mardin, great melodies and George in fine voice.

    I don't care what they do in their comeback as long as they stay away from reggae lite
    Popfiend likes this.
  9. That was really heartening to see, especially coming from such well respected artists.
  10. It really is a great showcase for his songwriting with fantastic material from throughout his solo career. I would argue that songs don't get any better than these 3

    "If I Could Fly"

    Same Thing In Reverse

    IL Adore

    Each one is absolutely sublime. 'Same Thing In Reverse' is tye song that every teenager gayer should play to their mum when they come out and this remix 90's housetastic. Just listen to those pianos!!!
  11. Agreed. I think this is their best album as well. It's just glorious. Those two singles are fantastic and there are plenty of other that could have been huge hits. 'I Pray', 'Gusto Blusto' and 'Heaven's Children' are all amazing.

    What I particularly love about this album are the vocal arrangements but then they did have the very best in the business working on it. When you've got Helen Terry, Jocelyn Brown and Ruby Turner in attendance you know that at least the backing vocals are taken care of.

    Hell yes. I don't want to hear George speaking in patois ever again. It will be big mistake to fall back into the reggae cliche. On another thread they were described as an '80's reggae pop group' like Amazulu or something.
  12. I've always been very fond of this....


    He can nail a ballad and an uptempo in the same way as Madonna.
  13. They were THE defining band/sound of 1982/83. Colour By Numbers will probably always remain my favourite CC album, even if they made something amazing now; it was the time when I was really getting into music properly, and chart music was glorious, creative, diverse fun.

    You could say they buggered it up in 1984, with the Waking Up album, but then Duran Duran didn't exactly cover themselves in glory around that time, nor did ABC (commercially at least), and let's not even get into the Human League's woes! So they were not alone in losing momentum around that period.

    I kind of wish they'd never reformed. The 1998 material just doesn't feel right, next to the 1982-86 records.
  14. Just been catching up on the Ultimate Popstar thread, and I've finally realised why No Clause 28 - the original/single mix - has never been on CD. It must be due to the MJJ element. The only mix I can ever find on CD is the Jesus Loves You one on Martyr Mantras.

    Which also reminds me; I've been busy making my huge 1990 iTunes playlist and that's when the first JLY singles start to appear, BUT the JLY album only has various remixes and extended versions. Where can I get the 7"/edited mixes? If you say "the At Worst compilation!", I'll feel really stupid because I let that go years ago...but I can easily pick it up again on amazon.
  15. too often 'unnecessary other stuff' detracts from what a very talented singer / songwriter George is, and the path is littered with as many insipid as inspired choices.

    I've always loved Culture Club & Boy George. As said already, 'Colour By Numbers' is still an amazing album.

    at risk of this being a list, some of the more overlooked Boy George / recent Culture Club tracks for me are - Don't Cry; La Barque; Why Go?; Cold Shoulder; Too Much Love; Hiroshima; To Be Reborn; Love Is Leaving (The Milk Teeth Popular Mix); Bow Down Mister; If I Could Fly; Run; Starman; The Crying Game; Generations Of Love.

    i'm really looking forward to the new Culture Club album, and hope they're taking time with it, and remind us how top of their game they were back in their day.
  16. More Than Likely is a favourite of mine; in fact, that whole early 90s period when he was settling into a dual solo/Jesus Loves You career was particularly good.
    Baby Clyde likes this.
  17. 'More Than Likely' is lovely.

    I think it's time we discussed 'The Martyr Mantras'. It was his album released under the name 'Jesus Loves You'. It was a big departure into full on dance music and done under a different moniker so people would concentrate on the music rather than the 'Boy George' name. It worked because although it didn't sell much the reviews were fantastic and it gave him real credibility in the dance world.

    It's one of the best albums of all time in my opinion and a record that more than anything made me love the dance music. Beautiful songs, beautifully sung and a record that is clubby enough to dance to but also chilled out enough that makes perfect music for relaxing. It's almost flawless. I'm just not sure the No Clause 28 remix fits in and I've never been much of a Bow Down Mister fan.

    Generations of Love
    After The Love
    Love Hurts
    Siempre Te Amare (Can't find a video anywhere???)
    I Specialise In Loneliness

    All perfect.

    I also love 'Am I Losing Control'. It wasn't on the album but was on the B side of 'One on One' I think.
  18. It was the B-Side to Sweet Toxic Love. A different version also appears on U Can Never B 2 Straight.

    He also released Love Your Brother under the Jesus Loves You monkier in 2005. Great track but it's only ever appeared on vinyl.
  19. I never understand why To Be Reborn isn't regarded as highly as I think it perhaps should be. I think it's one of his strongest vocals, you believe every word he sings, and I find it really moving. I didn't discover it myself for years as my first album purchase of George's was At Best, The Worst Of..., and of course it didn't even get chosen to appear on that.
    mump boy likes this.
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