B. Jason O. (panicBoy) from MANCHESTER, NH Reviewed on 7/14/2007...
Please keep in mind, this is the 1982 LP listing, and doesn't include "Time (Clock Of The Heart)." Look for the 2003 remasterd version.
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George,Jon,Mickey & Roy Take Control Of The Groove
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 09/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the early 80's rolled on there continued to be a cruel disco freeze-out,to coin a phrase to any artist (especially if they were black) making any kind of soul,funk or R&B during this period. That didn't didn't seem to be the case in England where disco,and especially funk were converging on new wave to create the New Romantic style. It was out of this already crowded scene the Culture Club conquered the world over during 1982 with this album and two singles "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya". Of course part of that was the same old story of Boy George's image which,sad as it seemed overshadowed anything more than a "they make a good pop single" comment regarding him and the band. Well there's one thing to be said about this album. It was probably their least commercial album in the sense it focused heavily on dance-funk songs as opposed to easy pop all the way around. Boy George,who is a very strong composer as well is greatly inspired by some of the Calypso inspired rhythms and melodies that were a big part of early Motown hits,especially those written by Smokey Robinson. That addition of a kind of modern tropical tinge to the music,the heavy use of conga,steel drums and percussion and Michael Craig's enthusiastic and funky Jamaican bass lines all add up to a kind of soulful caribbean funk/pop. That also might,aside from the racial diversity of the band members have to do with how they got their name. One important way Boy George was important to this music image wise was that, as opposed to having a conventional crossdressers image his "look" also borrowed from ethnicized tradtions such as Asian Kabuki masks as well as shirts and hats that showed an interest in Hebrew cultural standards. Also George's homosexuality and strong involvement with the UK gay disco-funk scene of the late 70's/early 80's gave him that all important connection to the sexual revolution,even though his persona linked him and the band in general more with geniality than overly rebellious behavior. Songs such as "White Boy","You Know I'm Not Crazy","Take Control","Love Twist" and "I'm Afraid Of Me" really send that message home as the band put their musical concentration on rhythmic development as opposed to crafting a mere pop song. A strong naked funk element is also present and interestingly enough for this era the band rely largely on a very rich,organic sound based heavier on horns charts and percussion than on synthesizers. This quality probably leads to the Amazon.com review indicating this album "contains filler material". Well,I say if "filler" is finely played,percussive UK New Romantic funk pop with a strong dance ethic than it's probably some of the best use of "filler" on any album. I know;overuse of a word but it's an important key phrase to how this album is perceived,even by music critics. "Boy Boy" and "White Boys Can't Control It" lean heavier into synthesizers for this album but taken as a whole it's a potent listening experience that actually flows song to song,by the way. Of the four bonus cuts there is a heavy naked funk jam in "Love Is Cold" as well as "Murder Rap Trap",a very surreal reggae/jazz-funk warp with Captain Crucial that has to be the most uncommercial and avante garde piece that this group had been involved in up to this point.Also included of course is the hit "Time (Clock of The Heart)",a single from the same period as this album and the instrumental version retitled "Romance Beyond The Alphabet". Despite what you might think albums can often be a very good place to put a pop artist into a musical perspective as opposed to just being human hit factories. It is true for much 80's music and happilly it's also very true for Culture Club."
Great, Great Debut Album
Tyler B. | Portland, OR | 09/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album, remastered as of 2002, was an excellent debut for Culture Club. It contains several masterpieces...and thankfully they've included "Time (Clock of the Heart)" on this release. The sound quality of the record is PHENOMENAL...most likely due to the remastering. The songs are fun and the vocals are excellent. I would give it five stars if it weren't for the filler tracks."
Love Boy George!
R. L. Thompson | Dallas, TX | 03/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"He's the best and this CD has a few of the really good hits that you'll never want to forget!"