Boy George first appeared on the public radar when he danced across
televisions as the frontman for the band known as Culture Club in 1982.
Prior to Culture Club, Boy George has already been a member of Bow Wow Wow
for a short time, and had then formed the band Sex Gang Children with
future Culture Club bandmates Mikey Craig and Jon Moss.
In 1981 the band was newly renamed Culture Club and had expanded to
include members Boy George (lead vocals), Mikey Craig (bass guitar), Roy
Hay (guitar and keyboards), and Jon Moss (drums and percussion). Culture
Club secured a contract with Virgin records in 1981 and immediately began
work on their debut single. While their first two singles, "White Boy" and
"I'm Afraid Of Me", were radio flops, their next single made the band into
a cultural phenomenon. In October 1982, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me"
was released and immediately shot to the top spot on the UK pop charts,
staying there for a consecutive three weeks. In America the song hit the
number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1983.
Culture Club was something truly unique in the 1980s, and it was among the
first bands to be proudly androgynous. Displaying heavily made up faces,
long hair, and wildly unique clothing, Culture Club struck a chord with
youth everywhere and soon became one of the top bands in the world. With
flashy cross-dressing remniscient of Queen and David Bowie, but with an
added funky vibe, Culture Club brought glam into the 1980s.
Having established a loyal following with "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me",
the band went on to release the 1982 album containing that single as well
as two future hits. The album "Kissing To Be Clever" was an immediate hit
upon release and provided the new top 10 hits "Time(Clock Of The Heart)"
and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya".
Culture Club followed their debut album with the 1983 release "Colour By
Numbers", which was even more successful. Their second album spawned hits
including "Miss Me Blind", "It's A Miracle", "Church Of The Poison Mind",
and their biggest hit ever: "Karma Chameleon". While the band was at its
peak, the members were starting to have some disagreements and it soon
began to take a toll.
1984 saw the release of Culture Club's next album, "Waking Up With The
House On Fire". While there were some modest hits including "The Medal
Song", the album was overall a failure when compared to the prior two
albums. The 1986 album "From Luxury To Heartache" appeared to be putting
Culture Club back at the forefront of the music world when it produced the
hit "Move Away", but the momentum did not continue and the album
eventually sold poorly overall.
Boy George began having personal problems stemming from drug abuse around
this time which prevented the band from working effectively together. Soon
after the release of their last album, Boy George began pursuing a solo
With loyal fans clamoring for a reunion, Culture Club's members did a tour
together in 1999, and even released an album based on music from the tour.
That album had a few small hits, but a studio album released by the band
in 1999, "Don't Mind If I Do", did not do quite as well.
Today, Culture Club is not together, although rumors often surface of new
tours. Officially, the band has separately said that a tour is "on hold".