Our Top 10 Culture Club songs list looks back at a band that debuted in the 1980s and had an incredible run of hits singles over the course of two very successful albums. The band was fronted by a singer who went by the name of Boy George. The artist would leave a stamp on music and culture instantly in the way artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince all did during the same time period in the early to mid 1980s.
Besides the infectious melodies, the simple but brilliant songs lyrics and the dance till the morning hours grooves, Culture Club songs for the most part were just so much fun to listen too. And the songs were also so original sounding. We have had a hard time comparing Culture Club to any other artist, because they sounded like no one else. Of course one could hear old Motown influences from groups like The Temptations and defiantly The Isley Brothers in their sound, but for the most part George’s vocals were distinctive in his resonances and phrasings. The band just wrapped around George so perfectly as they created this amazing sound that the entire world fell in love with.
Every couple of years an artist or group comes along with a very original sound. Artists like U2, Bruce Springsteen, The Police all had that “it factor,” surrounded by an original sound that turned heads instantly. That’s what Culture Club did, and their songs are defining proof of that. Here are ten of our favorites.
# 10 – I Just Want To Be Loved
We open up our top 10 Culture Club songs with the reggae infused “I Just Want To Be Loved.” Boy George has never been really thought of as a reggae singer by the masses because he has such a crooner’s voice. Yet, throughout Culture Club’s career there has always been a reggae vibe inherent in the rhythms in their music. On this one though, it really stands out.
“I Just Want To Be Loved” was a great comeback song for the group. It was released in 1998 on a greatest hits compilation that was accompanied by touring, The song was a big hit in the United Kingdom where it peaked at number four on the UK music carts. It failed to break onto any of the United States music charts. The song was written by the band including George O’Dowd (Boy George), Roy Hay, Jon Moss and Mikey Craig.
# 9 – Victims
Continuing with our Top 10 Culture Club songs list we turn to the dramatic piece entitled “Victims.” This wonderful ballad starts out with just piano and a mesmerizing vocal by George and stays that way for a good two minutes until the song explodes into a full band arrangement as the drama becomes more intense. The song “Victims,” was released on the Colour by Numbers album in 1983. The song is not well known in the U.S. because it was never released as a single in the States. However, it was huge around the world as it was a top 10 hit in various countries including the United Kingdom where it peaked at number three.
# 8 – The War Song
This one puts it right out there in very simple terms and I love it. I wish radio would play this one all the time. “The War Song,” was released on the album Waking Up with the House on Fire. The album was released in 1984. “The War Song,” was released as the first single from the album. It was a big hit around the world as so many people related to this song. In the UK, “The War Song,” went all the way to number two.
# 7 – Time (Clock of the Heart)
At number seven on our top 10 Culture Club songs list is the very successful single “Time (Clock of the Heart).” The song served as the follow up single to the band first big time hit “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” The song “Time (Clock of the Heart),” proved to be just as successful in the U.S. as their single “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” Both songs hit number two on the U.S. Billboard Hit 100. The song “Time (Clock of the Heart),” was released on the album Kissing To Be Clever in 1982.
# 6 – It’s a Miracle
Culture Club’s “It’s A Miracle,” has always been one of our favorite Culture Club songs. Its such a happy intense song that just makes you feel good. The chorus on this one is simply to die for. The middle eight is spectacular. The song “It’s A Miracle,” was the fifth single released from the band’s Colour by Numbers album. The song was a top 10 hit in the UK peaking at number four. The song was written by Roy Hay, Boy George, Mikey Craig, Jon Moss and Phil Pickett
# 5 – Church of the Poison Mind
After the incredible success of their 1982 album Kissing to Be Clever, Culture Club was faced with a tough task of having to follow up such a spectacular and commercially successful record. They did not fail as their follow up album titled Colour by Numbers would prove to be even more successful. The album spawned five top 10 singles. It must have been a tough decision choosing which single to release first as the album was filled with so many great songs. In the end they went with this great song “Church of The Poison Mind,” to be released as the album’s first single. This straight ahead rocker with a bit of a Motown feel was an immediate success. The song hit number two in the UK and number ten on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. However, even more successful singles would soon be released from the phenomenal Colour by Numbers album.
# 4 – I’ll Tumble 4 Ya
Culture Club’s very happy sounding single “I’ll Tumble 4 You,” was released on their grand album Kissing To Be Clever. The song was released as the third and final single from the album. “I’ll Tumble 4 You,” was only released as as single in the United States where it became a top 10 hit. The song was written by Roy Hay, Boy George, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss.
# 3 – Miss Me Blind
When this song first came out, I could not stop playing it. There is just something so incredibly addicting about this melody and George’s vocal performance. The chorus is out of the world. On of the all time greats. “Miss Me Blind,” was released on the blockbuster album Colour by Numbers in 1984. The song was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. peaking all the way up to number five.
# 2 – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
As we begin to wind down this top 10 Culture Club songs list, we turn to the song entitled “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” that turned the band into a worldwide household name. The song was released on the band’s debut 1982 album Kissing To Be Clever. There were two songs released as singles before “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” was released as a single in Europe. However, in the US., the song “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” was the first single released from the album and it blew the roof off the charts. In the U.S., the song hit number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In Europe, the song went to number one on the UK music charts. It also went to number one in France, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Canada and Belgium. Yes, it was truly a worldwide smash!
# 1 – Karma Chameleon
If there is one Culture Club song that just about every living person in the world knows, its “Karma Chameleon.” The song in so many ways just defined the sound and spirit of Culture Club. The song’s original lyrics fueled by an oh so happy melody and groove surrounded by ultra production techniques and arrangement made for the perfect 1980s hit single. “Karma Chameleon,” was released as the second single from the Colour by Numbers album. The song hit number one on just about every music chart around the world. It also stands as the band’s only number one single in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100. This was a big one!
Top 10 Culture Club Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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