Colour by Numbers [Bonus Tracks]

by: Culture Club

By the time that Colour by Numbers (1983) hit store shelves in the fall of 1983, Culture Club had become one of the hottest pop acts in both America as well as their native England. The momentum that began on the debut long-player, Kissing to Be Clever (1982), continued to crest on this effort with a quartet of sides that charted within the Top 15. Their collective success verged on mania and was in large part due to central figure "Boy" George O' Dowd (vocals) , who not only fronted the combo's primary instrumentalists Jon Moss (percussion), Roy Hay (guitar/keyboard/sitar), and Michael Craig (bass), but also provided a healthy contribution to the content. Culture Club's music was matched only by the equally vivid visual styles, which seemed to be in a perpetual state of metamorphosis. The tunes remained as accessible as ever with a perceivable shift into a more blue-eyed soulful sound. The rambunctious "Church of the Poisoned Mind" and the interminably catchy "It's a Miracle" were both pulled as singles and feature the strong vocal presence of Helen Terry, who was concurrently working with Phil Collins on his equally successful solo efforts. The pair blend well together, especially on Terry's gritty inflections during the former number. Although criminally overlooked, George's affective balladry shines on "Black Money" and the pseudo torch song "That's the Way (I'm Only Trying to Help You)." "Miss Me Blind" made a significant showing on the singes chart, and the 12" mix, which coupled the tune in a medley with "It's a Miracle," became a gargantuan hit in dance clubs and discos worldwide. The original LP concludes with the emotive and ironically foreshadowing "Victims." While the track was successful throughout Europe and Asia, it was not even released in America. [The remastered and expanded edition of Colour by Numbers is augmented with five notable B-sides such as the title composition "Colour by Numbers," which was oddly not included on the LP but rather as the flip of "Miss Me Blind." "Romance Revisited," "Man-Shake," "Melting Pot," and "Mystery Boy" are the other bonus tracks.] ~ Lindsay Planer

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