Song of the Day #4,295: ‘Church of the Poison Mind’ – Culture Club

I was certainly aware of Culture Club back in 1983. The singles ‘Karma Chameleon,’ ‘It’s a Miracle,’ and ‘Miss You Blind’ were hard to escape, and the previous year’s hits ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’ and ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’ were still kicking around.

But I never owned or listened to Colour By Numbers, the album on which those first three songs appeared. This album spent six weeks at #2 on the U.S. albums chart, behind (you guessed it) Michael Jackson’s Thriller. And, having listened to it for the first time this week, I have to say it definitely slaps.

A frothy mix of New Wave, reggae and blue-eyed soul, this collection is upbeat and hook-heavy and every single song lands. It’s the rare case where the singles don’t stand out but fit seamlessly into the overall style and sound of the album.

Another great element: the backing vocals of Helen Terry, who brings soulful texture to several of these tracks, including today’s SOTD.

Colour By Numbers sold 10 million copies worldwide, and it would prove to be the band’s creative and commercial peak. A follow-up album a year later fell flat, and then Boy George fell into a crippling drug addiction. The band released one more record before splitting up.

They reunited 13 years later, put out another lackluster release, then split again for nearly 20 years before releasing another largely forgotten album in 2018.

Set all that aside, though, and give some props to one of the most distinctive bands, and one of the best albums, of 1983.

Desolate loving in your eyes
You used an’ made my life so sweet
Step out like a God-found child
I saw your eyes across the street

Who would be the fool to take you
Be more than just kind
Step into a life of maybe
Love is hard to find

In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
(In the church of the poison)

Watch me clinging to the beat
I had to fight to make it mine
That religion you could sink it neat
Just move your feet an’ you’ll feel fine

Who would be the fool to maybe
Trick a kiss in time
Who am I to say that’s crazy
Love will make you blind

In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
(In the church of the poison mind)

Desolate loving in your eyes
You used an’ made my life so sweet
Step out like a God-found child
I saw your eyes across the street

Who would be the fool to take you
Be more than just kind
Step into a life of maybe
Love is hard to find

In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)
In the church of the poison mind
(In the church of the poison mind)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,295: ‘Church of the Poison Mind’ – Culture Club

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    The singles from this album were so overplayed in 1983 that my interest ran from mild enjoyment to indifference to annoyance. However, all these decades later, it’s fun to revisit them.

  2. Amy says:

    Boy George, Madonna, Michael Jackson… these were the pop icons of the early 80’s that made the biggest impression on me. I was more of a 45’s girl at that point, and I’m sure I had at least a couple of these huge hits.

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