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YMMV / Culture Club

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  • Anvilicious: Anti-war songs don't get much more on-the-nose than using "war is stupid" as your repeated lyrical hook, like they do in "The War Song".
  • Awesome Music: "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me", "Time (Clock Of The Heart)", "Karma Chameleon", "Church Of The Posion Mind", "Miss Me Blind", "The War Song", "Unfortunate Thing", "The Medal Song"...need we continue?
  • Broken Base: Waking Up With The House On Fire has a minor one. Some fans think it's just as good as their previous albums, containing only a few weak numbers, while others think it's a classic case of Sequelitis.
    • Don't Mind If I Do is considered bad by most, but others are more accepting of it. (Its review on All Music is quite glowing.)
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    • Life, while warmly received, has a few detractors due to the decay of George's vocal cords, with some saying his voice has "been shot".
  • Cliché Storm: From Luxury To Heartache and Don't Mind If I Do. Yes, the whole albums.
  • Critical Dissonance: Don't Mind If I Do is disliked by many, yet All Music gave it a 4.5 star review.
  • Dork Age: They fell flat into a dork age with their 1986 album, From Luxury To Heartache. Trying to "update" their sound by penning club-ready dance-pop numbers & Boy George ditching his charmingly androgynous persona to become just another 80's Pretty Boy, the single "Move Away 2 was the only non-flop cut on the record. The generic-sounding synthesisers used on every song certainly didn't help matters. Unsurprisingly, the failure of the record along with behind-the-scenes issuesnote  lead to the band disbanding soon after its release, with George pursuing a solo career.
    • Their 1999 "reunion" album, Don't Mind If I Do, qualifies as well. (Tellingly, it wasn't released outside of Europe.) The attempt at crafting modern pop songs just didn't work with a band considered one of the very best, if not the best, of the New Wave era. It had no hit singles & vanished without a trace. At least George's vocal chords weren't broken yet...
    • 2018's Life comeback album, on the other hand, appears to be the end of the dork age. The tracks are far catchier than anything they've done since 1985; a delectable blend of retro stylings with irresistible hooks. This is what we should've got in 1986. George's voice is sadly damaged, but it's certainly listenable & he's clearly trying his hardest.
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  • Ear Worm: Just about every song, even the overwrought love ballads.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Helen Terry, the powerhouse backup singer used on several songs, like "Church Of The Posion Mind". Sadly, after her solo career failed, she left the music industry, becoming a telly producer.
  • Even Better Sequel: Their second album, Colour By Numbers, is widely recognised as their best.
  • Face of the Band: Boy George.
  • Fair for Its Day: Notably, most of the love songs have Gender-Neutral Writing, almost always using the word "lover" instead of "she" or "her" - befitting of a band with a gay vocalist & bisexual drummer. Unfortunately, this didn't apply to "God, Thank You Woman", as made evident by the title, from From Luxury To Heartache - which gives a good enough excuse for fans to ignore it.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans prefer to believe that From Luxury To Heartache & Don't Mind If I Do don't exist. Some fans ignore the existence of Boy George's solo career, as well.
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  • Gateway Series: They've caused a lot of folks to fall down the "Discovering and enjoying New Romantic, New Wave and Sophisti-Pop acts" rabbit hole.
  • Growing the Beard: Kissing To Be Clever was an uneven collection of demos; Colour By Numbers, mostly due to great Record Producer Steve Levine, was a polished gem.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The many woeful love songs based on George & Jon's relationship, given how in the end they didn't end up together. Special mention goes to "Stormkeeper", which has the lyric "And don't let them fool you that this love can't go on" one needed to "fool" you two anything, it fell apart on its own.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Boy George; say what you will about his personality, but he was not only gay in the time when being anything but heterosexual was tough, he was in love with a man that not only did he have frequent fights with, he wasn't even allowed to say he loved him publicly. And then there's his problems with abusing drugs..
  • LGBT Fanbase: Unsurprisingly.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Boy George's sexy, smooth, soulful voice - say what you want about the guy, but he could sing.
    • Helen Terry's voice qualifies as well. Just listen to the band's cover of "Melting Pot" by Blue Mink...that is, if you can get a copy of the rare "It's A Miracle/Miss Me Blind" combo LP that actually includes it, or the 2017 remaster cd, which is getting pricey on auction sites.
  • Narm: All over the place:
  • Narm Charm: They're fondly remembered for a reason - and no, the reason is not just 80's nostalgia.
  • Offending the Creator's Own: The video for "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" contains blackface, despite bassist Mikey Craig being a black man.
  • Sequelitis: Waking Up With The House On Fire wasn't nearly as consistently catchy as Colour By Numbers. And then there's From Luxury To Heartache and Don't Mind If I Do...
  • Shallow Parody: The 1984 Country Music song Where's The Dress by Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley is this in spades. Instead of making shots at, say, their overblown music videos or nonsensical song lyrics, the song is just "HAHA Boy George dresses like a chick! Isn't that HILARIOUS??" for three straight minutes.
  • Signature Song: "Karma Chameleon".
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Life, which received praise from fans, critical acclaim, & finally ended the 32-year long Dork Age.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Church Of The Poison Mind" has the same melody as "Uptight" by Stevie Wonder.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: "Love Is Love" & "God, Thank You Woman" are this in spades. Doesn't help that they're both also cliche.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many fans were displeased when George abruptly dropped his Dude Looks Like a Lady fashion to become a generic 80's pop star Pretty Boy for their last album From Luxury To Heartache. Just compare this to this. In fact, more fans were annoyed by this than the fact that the band changed their sound from New Wave to Synth-Pop!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Well, more like they wasted a perfectly good song lyric, but seriously, wouldn't it've been something if George had wrote a number or two about struggling with his sexuality or his addiction to drugs, setting it to an characteristically catchy backing track, thus making their music more meaningful? Granted, it would've caused a bit of controversy, but...
    • George's relationship with Jon caused this as well; see Yoko Oh No below.
  • Values Dissonance: Let's just say you couldn't get away with blatant blackface in a music video today and leave it at that.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • From Luxury To Heartache, in which they tossed aside their quintessential New Wave sound and replaced it with mediocre Synth-Pop tunes to get with the times (the times of 1986, that is). Predictably, aside from one hit single, the album was a flop.
    • Don't Mind If I Do, which was a generic modern pop album. It was even less successful.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Actually, in this particular case, it probably was made on drugs. Boy George was addicted to heroin & marijuana, after all. Would certainly explain the wacked-out lyrics...
  • The Woobie: Jon. Poor, poor Jon. Always getting into arguments with George, only to not even end up with him in the end...
  • Yoko Oh No: Jon gets this from some, as his and George's romance caused over half the band's songs to be Inspired by... it. Now, while this did cause some fantastic music to made ("Stormkeeper", "Victims", etc.), others think it prevented the band from branching out into different lyrical subjects, creating a great case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot. (And George was willing to write about topics besides love in all its forms, as shown in "The War Song", so there's no excuse.)


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