Culture club

You really want to see Boy George & Culture Club in Medford


The indelible hitmakers of the early 80s will delight high audiences on MTV at the Chevalier Theater on September 9th.

Culture The burned club star fully but short-lived in the early 1980s.

Between the springs of 1983 and 1984, the British quartet led by Boy George scored six top 10 hits in the United States.

“Karma Chameleon” spent three weeks at No. 1, while only Michael Jackson’s seven-week chart-topper “Billie Jean” and Irene Carey’s six-week reign of “Flashdance…What A Feeling” could keep “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” and “Time (Clock of the Heart)”, respectively, to reach the top of Billboard.

Unsurprisingly, Culture Club was named Best New Artist at the 1984 Grammy Awards.

The other top 10 entries of the group were the equally memorable “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” (No. 9; and the “4” in the title seems to predate Prince’s replacement of words with numbers), “Church of the Poison Mind” (#10) and “Miss Me Blind” (#5). They reached the top 40 four more times between mid-1984 and mid-1986, with “It’s a Miracle” peaking at No. 13 and “Move Away” at No. 12.

Half of those songs — which contained elements of new wave, blue-eyed soul, and Caribbean-influenced instrumentation — can be sung verbatim (or at least hummed note-for-note) 40 years later by nearly anyone. the world. in primary school with.

And I must admit that I, at 6 years old, was a little surprised by the style of the singer Boy George.

However, with other MTV regulars such as Annie Lennox and Philip Oakley of The Human League sporting similarly androgynous looks, I learned early on that what I would learn later was called cross-dressing or changing. gender was – at a minimum – acceptable if not fully accepted by everyone. (I’m willing to bet more than a few people who sang every time a Culture Club song played on the radio started changing stations once they saw what the man born George O’Dowd looked like .)

To give you an idea of ​​the pop culture integration of Boy George and the company, the group appeared on February 11, 1986, on “The A-Team” as themselves. Three Culture Club songs—including that year’s “God Thank You Woman”—were included in the episode.

But perhaps the inevitability of changing popular music trends was accelerated in the 80s by the advent of MTV. Either way, the band’s seemingly effortless ability to cobble together a top 40 hit had pretty much evaporated by the end of 1986. The end of their commercial success was just one of the factors. which led to their breakup in 1987.

However, 35 years later, Boy George, guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay and bassist/keyboardist Mikey Craig are back together for their third coast-to-coast tour of the United States since 2016.

Their show on September 9 at the Chevalier Theater is sure to be as nostalgic as it is inspiring.

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