Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

English new wave group Culture Club performing at the Apollo (now known as New Theatre Oxford), Oxford, UK, 26th September 1983. (Photo by John Rogers/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Culture Club is still one of the most recognizable musical acts of the 1980s thanks in large part to their lead singer, Boy George. His androgynous looks instantly grabbed the public’s attention and made Culture Club’s videos must-see content on MTV. But even without the unusual-for-the-time makeup, hair, and clothes, Boy George and Culture Club would have been stars solely on the merits of their catchy pop sound.

The London-based band came into being in 1981 with Boy George on lead vocals, Roy Hay playing guitar and keyboards, Mikey Craig on bass guitar, and Jon Moss hitting the drums. It wasn’t long before Culture Club had a debut album called Kissing To Be Clever and a few international hits with “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” “Time (Clock of the Heart),” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” in 1982. According to Songfacts, they were the first British band since The Beatles to score three top-10 U.S. hits from their debut album. They actually had four.

By 1983, Culture Club were well on their way to becoming major international stars. The release of their second album, Colour by Numbers, sealed the deal. The first track, “Karma Chameleon,” reached the number one spot on the charts in over a dozen countries, including the U.S. It remains their signature song.

Culture Club continued to record throughout the ’80s, ’90s and well into the 2000s. The band is also still touring with three of its original members: Boy George, Mikey Craig, and Ron Hay. Let’s check out three of their classic videos!

  • Time (Clock of the Heart) (1982)

    “Time (Clock of the Heart)” was the solid second single from Kissing To Be Clever. This surreal video takes us inside a book with a clock on the cover to show Culture Club performing in a recording studio. Next, they’re being filmed for a TV show. Finally, the band is seen sitting in a living room, sharing coffee (out of personalized mugs) and a clock-shaped cake while watching themselves on TV.

  • I'll Tumble 4 Ya (1982)

    This fun track from Culture Club’s debut album was only released as a single in the U.S. and Canada. The video shows the group performing alongside tumblers and female dancers in a rehearsal studio. Drummer Jon Moss, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Mikey Craig all took tap lessons so they could perform a routine in the clip, but they chickened out and the scene was replaced. Fun Fact: Pre-teen future supermodel Naomi Campbell appears as one of the dancing girls.

  • Karma Chameleon (1983)

    As the lead single from Culture Club’s second album, “Karma Chameleon” went to number one in over a dozen countries, including the U.S. For some reason, the video features Boy George on a riverboat in 1870s Mississippi. It didn’t have to make sense. It was MTV. And how’s this for the ultimate nugget of ’80s trivia? Culture Club even performed the song on an episode of The A-Team in 1986.

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