Year Released: 1983

Notable Songs: “Church of the Poison Mind”, “Karma Chameleon”, “Miss Me Blind”, “It’s a Miracle”, “Victims”

Album MVP: “Karma Chameleon” 

Why I Loved It: Culture Club struck gold with Colour By Numbers, easily their best album both commercially and critically. Without question is it one of the most trendy albums of the decade. With four huge hits in the United States, this album was a mainstay on both the radio and MTV and for good reason – their songs were catchy, whether you chose to admit it or not. “Karma Chameleon” was irresistible then and still so to this day. It checked in at No. 38 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80’s countdown last year. Good luck hearing that come on and not commencing in some whack dancing. While “Karma Chameleon” sort of gives you the expectation that nine more tracks of goofiness will follow, Colour by Numbers is essentially an album filled with solid, fashionable, urbane new wave songs with killer hooks and top of the line production. The only thing I didn’t like about Colour By Numbers is that album cover is unbelievably corny. Seriously, it’s whack “AF”.  

Commercial Success: Their sophomore studio effort, Colour By Numbers was a success not just in the United States but around the world. The album has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide including over four million in America. It reached number one in Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the U.K. but had to settle for number two on the United States Billboard Top 200, finishing 1984 at five on the year-end chart. “Karma Chameleon” went to number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and to date is the group’s lone number-one hit in the United States.  According to the Wiki it’s the 31st biggest selling single in the history of the United Kingdom. “Miss Me Blind” maxed out at five on the Billboard Hot 100, was the group’s sixth consecutive top 10 single and also their last. “Church of the Poison Mind” reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and he last single released from the album, “It’s a Miracle” peaked at No. 13. “Victims” charted high in the U.K., Australia, Irish and Italy but not America. This is the second Culture Club album to hit this countdown — Kissing To Be Clever entered previously at No. 86.

Fun Facts:  Courtesy of, “After getting kicked out of school at 15, Boy George made a living as a model and makeup artist.  Influenced by the glam and punk era of the 1970s, George wore makeup and women’s clothing during school. When he used this look to promote his band Culture Club, it wasn’t all-too shocking to Brits, but it definitely turned heads in the U.S. Many Americans didn’t know whether he was a man or woman. Many of Boy George’s Culture Club songs were about his secret love affair with his drummer Jon Moss. Despite Boy George’s feminine look, he was a tough guy with enough chutzpah to get into a brawl. “I think people think of me as very feminine, but I’m very masculine,” he said in an interview in 1983. “I can throw a good punch. I’m taller and bigger than people expect me to be; I’m sure they expect a little fairy wearing dandelions.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross