About Culture Club
Led by singer Boy George, Culture Club was one of the biggest pop acts of the 1980s thanks to hooky songs and stylized music videos that made a splash in the early years of MTV.
• Boy George formed the group in 1981 after a brief stint singing with Bow Wow Wow under the name Lieutenant Lush. George, guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig, and drummer Jon Moss recorded demos for EMI before signing with Virgin Records.
• Culture Club’s first two singles didn’t chart, but the third was a smash: 1982’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” was a No. 1 hit in 23 countries, including the UK. The song peaked at No. 2 in the US.
• The band’s 1982 debut LP, Kissing to Be Clever, reached No. 5 in the UK and No. 14 in the US, where the singles “Time (Clock of the Heart)” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” peaked at No. 2 and No. 9, respectively—making Culture Club the first act since The Beatles to have three Top 10 singles from a debut album.
• Their sophomore album, 1983’s Colour by Numbers, featured the band’s biggest hit: “Karma Chameleon” hit No. 1 in 30 countries, including the UK and the US, where it spent three weeks in the top spot.
• The band split up in 1986 after two more albums (Waking Up with the House on Fire in 1984 and From Luxury to Heartache in 1986). An attempted reunion in 1989 fell apart after Culture Club had recorded more than a dozen new songs.
• Culture Club re-formed in 1998 for an episode of VH1 Storytellers and a subsequent tour. The group released a new album, Don’t Mind If I Do, the following year before Boy George turned his focus to a successful career as a DJ.
• When George and Hay declined to go on the road in 2006, Craig and Moss hired a new singer but scrapped plans for a tour of the UK.
• After a brief reunion with George in 2011, Culture Club regrouped in 2014 to record a new album and tour. The LP, Tribes, was shelved until the band reworked it into their 2018 release Life, credited to Boy George & Culture Club. The album reached No. 12 in the UK.