Kissing to Be Clever Album is by Culture Club, the English new wave group.
Their debut was released on the 4th of October 1982 in the UK under the record label Virgin, now part of the Universal Music Group. In the United States, it was released later that year on the 13th of December under Epic, which today is owned by Sony Music Entertainment.
The album, which features fifteen tracks, is a mixture of styles including pop, rock, dance, new wave and soul. All the songs were written by the band.
The album was produced by Steve Levine, the British record producer. Along with his work with Culture Club, he has worked with the Beach Boys, Clash, The Honeyz, Motorhead and Gary Moore.
The Kissing to Be Clever album was recorded in 1982 at the Red Bus Studios in Salisbury Street, Marylebone, London, England. The studios, founded in 1978, has played host to a variety of recording artists including Acker Bilk, Savanna, Billy Ocean, The Three Degrees, Manic Street Preachers and George Michael.
The first single ” White Boy ” failed to chart in the United Kingdom and the United States, however later singles from the album did become more successful.
The debut by culture club has received favourable reviews. Jose F. Promis, writing a retrospective review for AllMusic, awarded it four out of five stars and called it ” a highlight of 1980s music ” and that it ” set the stage for one of the decade’s most loved and oft-remembered bands. ”
In a review for Sputnikmusic dated the 17th of July 2014, user Thunderkat commented that the album is ” home to some of the biggest and best singles of 1982 and it still stands the test of time. ”
A successful first release for the group, it has estimated worldwide sales of five million copies. In the United States, the album has notched up sales of one million and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ).
The most well-known single from the album, ” Do You Really Want to Hurt Me “, was released on the 6th of September 1982 in the United Kingdom and the 22nd of November 1982 in the United States.
Taken as Culture Club’s third single, it was written by the band members. At first lead singer Boy George was reluctant for the single to be released. However, he did see it as the last chance for the continuation of the group after the two previous singles failed to register on the charts in both the US and UK.
The single went on to become hugely successful. In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the 26th of March 1983 and spent twenty-five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was Michael Jackson’s single ” Billie Jean ” that denied Culture Club the coveted Hot 100 Number One in the country.
Other Billboard Chart positions were eight on the Adult Contemporary, thirty-nine on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and twenty-one on the Mainstream Rock Chart.
In the United Kingdom, ” Do You Really Want To Hurt Me ” entered the UK Singles Chart at the top, holding the position for three weeks. It spent seven weeks in the Top Ten and nineteen weeks in the Top 100.
The single also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium ( Flanders ), France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Kissing to Be Clever album became a commercial success for Culture Club. In the United States, the album peaked on the 19th of March 1983 at number fourteen and spent eighty-eight weeks on the chart there. It also reached twenty-four on the Top R&B Albums Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the album entered the UK Albums Chart on the 16th of October 1982 and reached number five. It spent five weeks in the Top Ten and fifty-nine weeks in the Top 100.
The album peaked inside the Top Ten in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Austria, Holland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
In Australia, it peaked at number twelve and in Finland number nineteen.
In Italy, the Kissing to Be Clever album failed to make the top Twenty, stalling at number twenty-two.
About Culture Club
Culture Club is an English new wave group. Formed in 1981 in London, England, the band consists of Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss.
In 1981, Boy George occasionally sang with another new wave band, Bow Wow Wow, which had been created and managed by Malcolm McLaren, who is best known for being the manager of the New York Dolls and Sex Pistols.
After a time performing with the group, Boy George set about forming his own band. He recruited Mikey Craig, Jon Moss and Roy Hay.
After failing an audition with record label EMI, the band signed to Virgin during the spring of 1982.
Boy George cultivated a look which gained him attention in the British press and TV. The launch of MTV in the United States meant that many British pop groups were becoming known stateside. Culture Club was no exception.
With a lead singer sporting dreadlocks and makeup, along with their catchy melodies, the group soon broke into America in early 1983.
They soon began to experience difficulties towards the end of 1983. Many believe that Culture Club’s fall in popularity came in 1984 after the release of ” The War Song “, which although peaked at number two in the UK, drew criticism for the simplistic political content.
From that point on, their music became overshadowed by British tabloid press reporting of the adventures of the group’s lead singer, Boy George.
In 1986, Culture Club disbanded. In the same year, Boy George was arrested or possession of heroin by the British police. After the band broke up, he continued with a successful solo career.
In 1989, the band attempted to reunite, but it failed due to Boy George’s other interests. There have been several more reunions since then and in 2018 Culture Club reformed and toured the United States and Europe.
Drummer and percussionist Jon Moss was part of the original line-up; however, he left the US tour and did not join the band for their European concerts.
To date, Culture Club’s Album releases are six studio, nine Compilations and seven video albums. They have also released three Extended Plays, five promotional singles, twenty-two singles and twenty-one videos.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Culture Club has won many awards including one Grammy, two ASCAP Pop Music, one Billboard Music, three BRIT and two Ivor Novello Awards.
Kissing to Be Clever Album Track Listing:
1. White Boy ( Dance Mix )
2. You Know I’m Not Crazy
3. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya
4. Take Control
5. Love Twist ( Featuring Captain Crucial )
6. Mystery Boy ( Suntory Hot Whisky Song )
7. Boy Boy ( I’m the Boy )
8. I’m Afraid of Me ( Remix )
9. White Boys Can’t Control It
10. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me