Culture Club

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Culture Club

Culture Club were a pop and New Romantic band primarily active in the 1980s. Boy George (real name George Alan O'Dowd), an active cross-dresser in London in the 1970s, got his professional start as an early member of Bow Wow Wow. He then formed In Praise of Lemmings with Mikey Craig (bass), which became the Sex Gang Children after the addition of Jon Suede (guitar). After Jon Moss (drums, of Adam & the Ants and The Damned) joined, the group became known as Culture Club. Suede was replaced by Roy Hay (of Russian Bouquet) and recorded some demos for EMI, but this did not result in a contract. In 1982, Culture Club signed with Virgin Records and released two unsuccessful singles before the breakthrough success of "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me", a massive British hit. The band's debut LP, Kissing to Be Clever, was also a hit and, by 1983, both the album and song were entering the American charts. Culture Club's popularity greatly expanded with the release of "Karma Chameleon" and Colour By Numbers in 1983. Its follow-up, Waking Up With the House on Fire was relatively unsuccessful in America but nevertheless a hit in Britain, reaching the #2 spot there.

During a 1985 break from the band, Boy George became addicted to heroin and his romantic relationship with Moss began to suffer. The band's comeback album, From Luxury to Heartache was a moderate success. In 1986, George announced his addiction and was soon thereafter arrested on charges of possession of cannabis. Michael Rudetski, keyboardist for From Luxury to Heartache died of a heroin overdose in George's home only a few days after his arrest; Rudetski's parents later filed legal action against George.

While fighting his addiction, Culture Club broke up. A sober George launched a solo career in 1987, releasing a few hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Boy George is now a respected dance music DJ.

Culture Club reformed in 1998, released Don't Mind If I Do in 1999, and had a few Top 40 UK hits. In 2003, Culture Club remastered and re-released their back catalogue of albums, with restored original album covers, liner notes and bonus tracks.



  • David, Maria (1984). Boy George and Culture Club. Southampton: Crescent. ISBN 0517454742
  • De Graaf, Kasper and Garrett, Malcolm (1983). Culture Club: When Cameras Go Crazy. London & New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312178794
  • Rimmer, David (1986). Like Punk Never Happened: Culture Club and the New Pop. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0571137393
  • Robins, Wayne (1984). Culture Club. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0345322169

External links

nl:Culture Club pl:Culture Club


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