All-Time Albums: #72


CULTURE CLUB Colour By Numbers

1 Karma Chameleon 4:11 (UK single, #1)
2 It’s A Miracle 3:25 (UK single, #4)
3 Black Money 5:19
4 Changing Every Day 3:18
5 That’s The Way (I’m Only Trying To Help You) 2:46
Church Of The Poison Mind 3:29 (UK single, #2)
Miss Me Blind 4:31
8 Mister Men 3:36
9 Stormkeeper 2:47
10 Victims 4:56 (UK single, #3)

When talk turns to the “sound of the Eighties”, all the usual suspects are trotted out….Dare, The Lexicon Of Love, Rio, even True…, hello? WHAT ABOUT CULTURE CLUB??!!!

If you lived through 1983 and the first half of 1984, they were THE sound of the pop world. The very apex of chart music, the Smash Hits universe…it sounded like this album. Colour By Numbers was the zeitgeist. Has any record ever made pop music sound so joyous, so smooth, so right?

Following on from Kissing To Be Clever, a decent debut by any standards, it seemed for all money that Culture Club would continue their winning formula indefinitely, such was the ease with which they nailed it on these 10 songs. But no. Pop is a bitch, it is always looking for a new beau, ready to cast today’s kings into tomorrow’s paupers. Within a year, the band had royally stuffed things up with a dreadful, weak 3rd LP with a horrid sleeve, a horrid production and one of the most horrid music videos you could ever witness.

Maybe the cracks began to appear when Victims failed to outsell the Flying Pickets and Slade over Xmas 1983, maybe they should have released US single Miss Me Blind instead of It’s A Miracle. Maybe none of the decisions made the slightest difference, and their time was up regardless. But whenever I think of 1983, I think of this album’s brilliant production, George’s one-of-a-kind vocals, and Karma Chameleon’s sheer dominance of the charts, week after week.

One comment

  1. I have the first three albums on vinyl. Culture Club never made a better album than “Colour By Numbers”. There are so many great songs on this album like “Karma Chameleon”, “It’s A Miracle”, “Church Of The Poison Mind”, “Miss Me Blind”, “Stormkeeper” and “Victims”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s