Although initially drawing influence from the 'New Romantic' movement, Culture Club were also inspired by the music and fashion of 'Northern Soul', which helped to create a broader appeal. Band members Mikey Craig on bass, Jon Moss (formerly of The Damned, The Clash, London and Adam and the Ants) on drums, Roy Hay on guitar and keyboards and Boy George on lead vocals signed to Virgin Records in 1982. Success eluded them until the release of their third single, the massive breakthrough hit 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?', (a reggae-influenced number which went 'all the way' in the BBC-Charts in late 1982) and became a smash international hit, peaking at number one in over a dozen countries (number two in the USA).
Shortly after this Culture Club's debut album 'Kissing To Be Clever', climbed to No.5 on the UK charts, while another non-album single 'Time (Clock Of The Heart)' reached No.3. The band's US success followed early in 1983 with the album and both singles riding high in the charts. A third single 'I'll Tumble 4 Ya' was taken from the album in the US, providing additional Top 10 success.
Boy George's eccentric manner of dress and androgynous look garnered much favourable press attention and the band went on to become a favourite of new music network MTV.
By the time their second album 'Colour By Numbers' was released in autumn 1983, Culture Club was the most popular pop group in the world. First single, "Church of the Poison Mind", featuring Helen Terry, reaching the US and UK Top 10. 'Colour By Numbers' also spawned 'Karma Chameleon' a transatlantic No.1 co written with keyboardist Phil Pickett. It sold over five million copies world-wide. The album eventually hit number one in sixteen countries and become one of the most played songs of the decade. It went on to produce additional hits "Miss Me Blind" (number five US), "It's a Miracle" (number thirteen US), and "Victims" (number three UK), and sell four million copies in the US and another four million world-wide at its time of release.
The band's third album, 'Waking Up With The House On Fire', produced another top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic in the form of lead single 'The War Song'.
Culture Club's next musical contribution was the song "Love Is Love" for the movie soundtrack Electric Dreams.
Legendary producer Arif Mardin directed the recording for their next album, 'From Luxury to Heartache'. It included the hit single "Move Away", (number 7 in the UK, number twelve USA.) However, the strain of constant touring and recording was taking it's toll on the band. George's subsequent arrest by London police for drug possession also created a frenzy with the US and UK tabloids.
George started a solo career with some success, including hitting the U.S. Top 20 with the title song from the movie soundtrack, 1992's "The Crying Game".
In 1998, the band put aside past issues to do a reunion tour. Kicked off with a performance on VH1 Storytellers, the tour was a major success. Shortly after, Culture Club recorded a new album entitled 'Don't Mind If I Do'. Though never released in the U.S., the first single, "I Just Wanna Be Loved", hit UK number 4 and was featured on a compilation based around the Storytellers performance.
The band went on to tour for a few more years, then performed for a 20th anniversary concert in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall, which was released on DVD the following year. Further Culture Club performances became fewer, however, as Boy George again turned his concentration to his successful career as a DJ.
In 2006, unable to entice George back into the studio, the band and its manager Tony Gordon began a search for a new lead singer to front the band. Their advertisement attracted world-wide attention on the internet where they had advertised for a singer/ songwriter able to match the bands past achievements while not being "a Boy George look-a-like." The new singer, Sam, was selected to join the rest of the current line up, Mikey Craig on bass, Jon Moss on drums and Phil Pickett on musical direction and successful gigs followed. A live concert dvd was produced capturing the excitement of the band's return with Sam at the helm.
Culture Club is currently writing and recording their new album, which is scheduled for release in 2007.