Culture Club were a British pop group formed in 1981. With a string of international hit singles and albums between 1982 and 1986 they are widely held as one of the most successful and influential pop bands of the eighties. Led by flamboyant frontman, lead singer and songwriter Boy George (real name George O'Dowd) they first broke onto the scene with the single 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me', number one in the UK and in several European countries as well as in Canada and no. 2 in the US. Likewise 'Karma Chameleon' in 1983 which was also no. 1 in the States. A decline came in 1986 as Boy George's cocaine and heroin addictions worsened and also became public knowledge, tarnishing their clean, happy-go-lucky image. The group have since attempted several reunions, the last in 2018 with the issue of a new album entitled Life credited to 'Boy George and Culture Club'.
Links to Peel
John Peel was possibly one of the first DJs to play their debut single "White Boy" on national radio on his 29 April 1982 show, although perhaps their pop sound was more suited to Kid Jensen's show for whom they did a session in August (see Karl's Tape Late August 1982). In an interview in Sounds in June 1982 Boy George commented: "I think every band's got something that's good, one good track – even the bands you hear on John Peel. I don't think White Boy is going to get in the charts, but the next one definitely will if we work at it enough."
After the release of their debut album in October Peel played "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" from it and the same track was also played on the special show co-hosted with Kid Jensen on Boxing Day 1983. Peel was on Top of the Pops presenter duty when the group debuted on UK television with "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" when it was still at 38 in the charts. Boy George's then outrageous look made the headlines the following day and the single shot up to no. 15 the following week before going to no.1. He also introduced a repeat performance of "Karma Chameleon" on 06 October 1983 (TOTP) when the single was at no. 1 and the follow up "Victims" on video when it was at its no. 3 peak on 22 December 1983.
In early 1979 Peel played tracks by The Edge which featured future Culture Club member Jon Moss on drums. He formed the group with Lu Edmunds with whom he had played in a formation of The Damned. Moss had also previously auditioned for the Clash and Adam and the Ants. 
Festive Fifty Entries
- 29 April 1982: 'White Boy' (single) Virgin VS 496
- 03 June 1982 (BBC World Service): White Boy (7") Virgin
- 11 October 1982: I'll Tumble 4 Ya (album - Kissing To Be Clever) Virgin V 2232
Top Of The Pops
- 23 September 1982 (TOTP): Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
- 14 October 1982 (TOTP): Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
- 25 December 1982 (TOTP): Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
- 06 October 1983 (TOTP): Karma Chameleon
- 22 December 1983 (TOTP): Victims
- 11 January 1979: The Edge "I'm Cold" (single, co-written by and feat. future Culture Club drummer John Moss)
- 17 July 1997 (BBC World Service): Petty Booka: Karma Chameleon (CD Album - Toconut's Hawaii) Benten Label. Culture Club cover version.