From Luxury to Heartache was a deliberate departure for Culture Club, a move away from the reggae-flavoured pop of their previous releases into dance-oriented music. Veteran pop and R&B producer Arif Mardin replaced Steve Levine, in a bid to revitalise the band's sound. Due to lead singer Boy George's growing addiction to drugs, recordings dragged on for so long that Mardin had to disband the sessions and leave it up to engineer Lew Hahn to record the final vocals. (The final credit on the album gave production credit to both Mardin and Hahn on all tracks.) Songs like "Gusto Blusto" and "Reasons" took days for the addicted singer to finish.
Following the release of the album, rumours of George's heroin addiction began to circulate in the tabloids, and by the summer of 1986, he announced that he was indeed addicted to drugs. In July, he was arrested by the British police for possession of cannabis. Several days later, keyboardist Michael Rudetsky, who played on the album and had co-written "Sexuality" with George, was found dead of a heroin overdose in George's home.
Despite selling over 500,000 US copies (and a million records worldwide) as well as sizable chart success with the opening track "Move Away", Boy George decided for a solo career within a year of the album's release. "God Thank You Woman" was the second single in UK but only reached #31 in the chart while in the US "Gusto Blusto" was chosen, but didn't chart. A third UK single, "Come Clean"/"Heaven's Children" was planned to be released in July, but was cancelled. The band reformed in 1990 and in 1998.
"From Luxury to Heartache" was never issued on CD in the United States. Contrary to the previous three albums, this album hasn't been remastered or reissued at all.