Friday, February 15, 2019

"Move Away" by Culture Club

Song#:  2680
Date:  04/05/1986
Debut:  68
Peak:  12
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  Culture Club's third LP Waking Up with the House on Fire was considered a disappointment reaching only #26. Although it would go platinum, it certainly didn't meet expectations and it failed to secure a Top 10 single ("The War Song" did the best at #17). Relations in the band were fractured, especially between Boy George and Jon Moss (the two had quietly been in a relationship for years), and by the time the band was set to record their fourth LP, a depressed George was hooked on heroin. His drug use didn't help the sessions and it caused many delays. Eventually, they were able to finish From Luxury to Heartache and this track was selected to be the first single. The song did well getting close to the Pop Top 10 while making it to #4 at Dance and #11 AC. It even made a brief appearance on the R&B chart at #87. It was seen as a bit of a comeback, but then a second single, "Gusto Blusto," failed to chart and a planned US tour was cancelled. With nothing else to promote it, the album peaked at #32 and then fell away quickly. By the time summer rolled around, the band called it quits and George headed out on a solo career. The band would stage a reunion in 1998 for an episode of VH1's Storytellers series and the positive response from the show prompted them to release a new album in 1999 titled Don't Mind If I Do. The band would work on-and-off together over the years and in 2018 they put out their sixth album, Life, which garnered positive notices and hit #12 in the UK.

ReduxReview:  This was actually a pretty good return to form for the band. It had a similar vibe to songs found on their Colour By Numbers LP. Yet I always thought the song was a bit slight. It comes off as a wispy ditty when compared to some of their earlier tracks. I think the reason may have been the production. They brought in Arif Mardin for the album and I'm not sure it was a good match. Mardin was a legendary producer, but I don't think he showcased the band's songs very well. This tune needed more of an R&B groove to it with more emphasis on bass and less on the twinkly 80s keyboards. It's not really one of the band's best songs, but I think it could have sounded much better with a different producer.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The VH1 Storytellers performance also prompted an album release. Greatest Moments was a double disc released that combined Culture Club's performance from the show along with a selection of their hits. Also included was a new song that was part of the VH1 live set, but was also recorded in the studio for the hits section of the album. "I Just Wanna Be Loved" was issued out as a single to promote the album and help promote the band's tour. Unfortunately, it didn't make any waves in the US, but in the UK the song took off and became their ninth Top 10 hit (#4). The song would then be included on their 1999 LP Don't Mind If I Do. That album generated two more UK chart songs for the band including the #25 "Your Kisses Are Charity."


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