Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Church of the Poison Mind" by Culture Club

Top 10 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1667
Date:  10/22/1983
Debut:  54
Peak:  10
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  With three Top 10 hits from their debut album Kissing to Be Clever, Culture Club quickly became major stars with their flamboyant lead singer Boy George grabbing a lot of headlines. As with many artists who hit it big right out of the gate, pressure was on the band to prove they weren't just a gimmicky act with a couple of fluke hits. With hopes high, they emerged from the studio toting their second LP Colour By Numbers. To introduce the album, this first single was selected and released. In the UK, the song soared to #2 becoming their third Top 3 single there. In the US, the single got to #10, which was their fourth consecutive Top 10. The hit got them over the sophomore slump and even better results were to come.

ReduxReview:  Although I loved Culture Club's first singles, their debut album was just okay for me. It was likable, but I wasn't a big fan in any way. And then this single hit the airwaves. I devoured this slice of Motown pie like I had been starving for years. The groove was movin', the verse was great, Boy George was knockin' it out, and when Helen Terry (see below) chimed in, that was the cherry on the whipped creamed chorus. I absolutely loved it all and it still remains my favorite Culture Club song. Why the single only got to #10 is a mystery to me. I thought for sure it was headed to #1, which it really should have.


Trivia:  A highlight from this song was the background vocals provided by Helen Terry. Terry had already done some vocal work for Culture Club on their debut album after Boy George found her in a UK night club. Her role expanded on the band's second album with her vocals standing out on tracks like this single and "Black Money." A lot of attention and interest came her way, which prompted Terry to embark on a solo career. Her first single, "Love Lies Lost," a co-write with Boy George and Roy Hay, was issued in 1984 and went to #34 on the UK chart. Unfortunately, further singles and her lone album, 1986's Blue Notes, failed to establish her as a solo artist. Later, Terry switched careers from music to TV and film production. Most notably, she has been a producer (now executive producer) of the BRIT Awards show since 2001.



  1. Typo in the title. It's "Poison", not "Poisoned". I agree that it's Culture Club's best song, along with an album track called "That's The Way (I'm Only Trying To Help You)" also from Colour By Numbers.