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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Nov-18 > BOY GEORGE AND CULTURE CLUB

BOY GEORGE AND CULTURE CLUB

TWO DECADES SINCE THEIR LAST ALBUM, BOY GEORGE LEADS HIS COLOURFUL CLUB BACK INTO THE SPOTLIGHT. THEY’RE IN FIGHTING MOOD…

LIFE

BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

Anyone watching BBC Four’s 2015 documentary, Boy George And Culture Club: Karma To Calamity, must have wondered if there was even a chance of the band ever completing another album. Despite their Spanish setting and the presence of legendary producer Youth, their dynamic proved so unhealthily argumentative that the resulting album, Tribes, never saw the light of day. That they were soon forced to cancel an American tour – though this time due to George’s throat problems – didn’t improve the picture for anyone.

But their muse has finally prevailed. Admittedly, no one seems more surprised than Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss, who, for clarity’s sake – given their flirtation with a new singer some years back – have added George’s name to the band’s, simultaneously underlining the inherent sense of ‘Seriously! It’s really us!’ that comes with this album. Fair enough, though: there’s no doubt who the star is. After all, even an entire battalion of brass can’t eclipse George when he hollers lines like “Find me in the morning/ Read my resting bitch face”.

In addition, on What Does Sorry Mean?, he manages, almost undetected, to slip its shocking opening words – “She thinks love lies/ In the bruises around her eyes” – into what is otherwise tender lover’s rock, their significance ready, upon reflection, to land a blow later.

George’s voice, nonetheless, sounds a little tired, its register necessarily a little lower than the (g)olden days. His lyrics, too, occasionally misfire, as on Let Somebody Love You, whose reggae sounds like a pastel Police while its lines flaunt mixed metaphors and arguable insensitivity: “Love is revolution/ War and famine too/ Feed the hunger in your heart/ Let somebody love you.” It’s a solution that won’t solve Yemen’s problems.

Together, nonetheless, the band come out fighting on opener God & Love, whose bassline rumbles like Massive Attack’s Angel, George exercising a metaphorical messiah complex in its plea for spirituality. Bad Blood, too, sports disco shoes seemingly polished by Trevor Horn, while Human Zoo boasts a calypso style, and Different Man – first inspired by Sly Stone’s financial woes – brings on a gospel choir to boost its Al Green soul, suggesting the former ‘Fight Club’ is once again at peace. Never forget: war is stupid.

NILE RODGERS & CHIC

IT’S ABOUT TIME

VIRGIN EMI

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About Classic Pop

Issue 46 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we have an exclusive chat with the new line-up of Spandau Ballet – their first major group interview as they relaunch themselves with new frontman Ross William Wild. We also have a must-read interview with Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet who look back on their fractious past life in Yazoo. The legends just keep on coming, too, as we speak to Nile Rodgers about his 40 years of classic tracks as a billion-dollar hitmaker and Chic's hotly-anticipated new album, It's About Time. Elsewhere, we look back at the 80s heyday of Top Of The Pops through the eyes of those who were there – DJ Janice Long and a whole host of TV insiders. Our classic album is the Stone Roses' imperious debut and we also meet Stephen Hague, the producer behind hits by Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams and many more besides. Need a buyer's guide to Michael Jackson? We look at the King of Pop's complete career in our Lowdown feature. As we delve into David Bowie's 80s boxset Loving The Alien, Classic Pop catches up with his closest collaborators who tell us how the legend's most divisive decade made him a global star. New albums from Boy George And Culture Club, Chic, Robyn, and The Prodigy get the once-over alongside reissues including OMD, Bronski Beat, Ultravox, The Police and Massive Attack. We also review Soft Cell's celebratory farewell O2 show plus Kylie Minogue's Golden Tour and more.. Enjoy the issue! Steve