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    Kissing to Be Clever (Bonus Tracks)

    Culture Club - Kissing to Be Clever (Bonus Tracks)

    1982 | Virgin Records Us 

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    All Music Guide Review

    Born of the image- and fashion-conscious glam rock of the mid-'70s, the Brit-based Culture Club were perfectly suited to the 1980s with a fresh blend of pop and (at the very least) eye-catching style -- courtesy, for the most part, of flamboyant and ambiguously gendered frontman "Boy" George O' Dowd (vocals). The quartet also featured Jon Moss (percussion), Roy Hay (guitar/keyboard/sitar), and Michael Craig (bass) and quickly became the darlings of the newly launched 24-hour-a-day cable TV phenom known as MTV. Behind George's brash sense of chic, clever wit and more than acceptable vocal talent, their debut, Kissing to Be Clever (1982), was embraced by not only post-disco dance music enthusiasts, but also new wave listeners and pop fans as well. Although the LP itself failed to place within the Top Ten, it spawned a trio of tunes that did make it into the uppermost tier of the singles chart. On the whole, they provide accurate thumbnail sketches of what Culture Club were capable of pulling off musically. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" is a noir love song guilded in the warm and languid balladry and instrumentation that would not have sounded too out of place with a 1940's big-band arrangement. The nimble and undeniably catchy "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" bobbles about with a slightly Caribbean feel, replete with steel drums and repetitive syncopated handclaps. "Time (Clock of the Heart)" -- which has been restored to the track list for the Kissing to Be Clever (2003) reissue -- remains a brilliant slice of Culture Club at both their most interesting and pop-oriented. From the light and buoyant Philly soul-inspired string arrangement to the effervescent and singalongable chorus, the melody foreshadowed a similar vibe that would carry over to their sophomore long-player, Colour by Numbers (1983). Other bonus tracks on the 2003 remastered disc include previously hard-to-find B-sides. Conspicuously absent is the unique "Dub Mix" of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," or the single edit of same, which was slightly different from the album version. The 12-page booklet is full of band photos and reproductions of picture sleeves. ~ Lindsay Planer, Rovi

    Credits of Kissing to Be Clever (Bonus Tracks)

    • Jon Moss
    • Percussion, Group Member, Mixing, Composer, Drum Programming, Drums
    • Keith Miller
    • Programming, Synclavier Programming, Synclavier
    • Roy Hay
    • Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Group Member, Sitar (Electric), Sitar, Composer

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