U Can Never B2 Straight

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U Can Never B2 Straight
Studio album with live tracks by Boy George
Released 2002
Recorded 1995, 2002 (Bow Down Mister: 1991)
Genre Acoustic, country
Length 67:39
Label Virgin Records
Producer Kevan Frost, Boy George, John Themis, Jessica Corcoran, Bruce Forest
Boy George chronology
The Unrecoupable One Man Bandit
(1999)
U Can Never B 2 Straight
(2002)
Ordinary Alien
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
allmusic 4.5/5 stars[citation needed]
Q 4/5 stars[citation needed]

U Can Never B2 Straight is a 2002 album by 1980s pop artist Boy George. The album includes acoustic songs from George's London play Taboo, new and previously unreleased songs, as well as selected songs taken from his albums Cheapness and Beauty and The Martyr Mantras, the latter from when George was part of the band Jesus Loves You.

Album overview[edit]

The album includes 16 songs (8 previously unreleased), each dedicated to someone in particular or in general. Three songs are dedicated to George's ex-boyfriend Michael Dunne ("If I Could Fly", "Losing Control" and "The Deal"), whereas "Unfinished Business" is for Kirk Brandon (who took George to court for this song, but lost).

The hidden track "Out of Fashion" was taken out as a single in remixed form as a collaboration with dance duo Hi-Gate; a version of the song is also featured on the Taboo musical soundtrack. Another track which was released as video-only was the opener "Ich Bin Kunst", a song dealing with the late performance artist Leigh Bowery, a great friend of George's, whose character he took on in his musical.

U Can Never B2 Straight includes all the acoustic ballads originally on George's 1995 album Cheapness and Beauty, including the single "Il Adore", as well as "Same Thing In Reverse" (a different version from the dance remix which reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Dance Chart). "Same Thing In Reverse" is dedicated in the booklet credits to 'Eminem and all scared, pretty homosexuals'... The song "Julian", a new song, is also featured on the EP Straight, a CD which was included with George's 2005 autobiography of the same name.

The album also contains the following three tracks: "She Was Never He", taken from the 1999 fan-requested compilation The Unrecoupable One Man Bandit; "Fat Cat", originally on Culture Club's 1999 reunion album Don't Mind If I Do, and the popular Krishna-inspired "Bow Down Mister", which gave George one of his last UK chart successes after splitting from Culture Club.

Reviews[edit]

One review can be found on allmusic.com, where it got 4.5 stars out of 5. It also got four stars from Q magazine, although the review found the name of the album "awful".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ich Bin Kunst" (2002) (song from the musical Taboo) - 2:38 (Boy George/Kevan Frost)
  2. "St. Christopher" (2002) (new song) - 3:46 (Boy George/Kevan Frost)
  3. "She Was Never He" (1996) (unreleased mixed version) - 3:33 (Boy George/John Themis)
  4. "Cheapness & Beauty" (1995) (acoustic version taken from the "Il Adore" single) - 3:47 (Boy George/John Themis)
  5. "Fat Cat" (1999) (acoustic version) - 3:24 (Boy George/Emily Themis)
  6. "If I Could Fly" (1995) (taken from Cheapness and Beauty) - 4:08 (Boy George/John Themis)
  7. "Unfinished Business" (1995) (taken from Cheapness and Beauty) - 3:36 (Boy George/John Themis)
  8. "Julian" (2002) (new song) - 3:39 (Boy George/Kevan Frost)
  9. "Wrong" (2002) (new song originally in Taboo) - 4:07 (Boy George/Kevan Frost)
  10. "Letter to a School Friend" (1996) (unreleased)- 3:49 (Boy George/John Themis)
  11. "The Deal" (2002) (old live favourite often sung around 1991 to 1993) - 4:41 (Boy George/John Themis)
  12. "Losing Control" (1992–2002) (unreleased version adapted from a 1992 Jesus Loves You country demo) - 3:15 (Boy George/John Themis)
  13. "Same Thing in Reverse" (1995) (from Cheapness and Beauty, even if an acoustic version is found on the Japanese version of that album) - 3:35 (Boy George/John Themis)
  14. "Il Adore" (1995) (from Cheapness and Beauty) - 6:14 (Boy George/John Themis)
  15. "Bow Down Mister" (1991) (from Jesus Loves You's The Martyr Mantras) (Boy George)

(16.) [hidden track] "Out of Fashion" (2002) (acoustic version of a song from Taboo) - songs n° 15 & 16 (actually only one song, that is n° 15 - the next starts, after a long silent period, within that same track number) totally last 13:27

Credits[edit]

Ich Bin Kunst[edit]

dedicated to Leigh Bowery, Nicola and Christine Bateman

St. Christopher[edit]

dedicated to Chris Manning

She Was Never He[edit]

dedicated to Natasha and Jody

  • Boy George: co-production
  • John Themis: guitars, backing vocals, co-production; mix at Mayfair Studios
  • Kevan Frost: backing vocals
  • Alan Branch: engineer

Cheapness & Beauty[edit]

dedicated to all tattooed car thieves

  • Jessica Corcoran: production
  • John Themis: guitars, backing vocals, strip & remix
  • Zee Asha: backing vocals
  • Alan Branch: engineer

Fat Cat[edit]

dedicated to all sexually confused straight boys?

  • John Themis: guitars, production; mix at home
  • Emily Themis, Katherine Themis: backing vocals

If I Could Fly[edit]

dedicated to Michael Dunne

Unfinished Business[edit]

dedicated to Kirk Brandon

Julian[edit]

dedicated to Julian of course

  • Boy George: co-production
  • Kevan Frost: acoustic guitar, backing vocals and co-production; mix at Frosty Bros. Studio (Kev's flat)

Wrong[edit]

dedicated to Luke and all dreamers

  • Boy George: co-production
  • Kevan Frost: acoustic guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals and co-production; mix at Frosty Bros. Studio (Kev's flat)
  • Pete Adams: piano & Hammond
  • Liz Chi: Chinese violin "edu" solo
  • Joel Pott, Sharleen Hector, John Gibbons: backing vocals

Letter To A School Friend[edit]

dedicated to Miss Carter and Michael Crome

  • John Themis: guitars, production; mix at Mayfair Studios
  • Zee Asha, Linda Duggan, Mary Pearse: backing vocals
  • Richie Stevens: drums
  • Winston Blisset: bass
  • Peter Adams: keyboards
  • Alan Branch: engineer

The Deal[edit]

dedicated to Michael Dunne

  • Boy George: co-production
  • Kevan Frost: acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals and co-production; mix at Frosty Bros. Studio (Kev's flat)
  • Liz Chi: violins & violin solo
  • Sarah Chi: violins

Sharleen Hector, John Gibbons: backing vocals

Losing Control[edit]

dedicated to Michael Dunne

  • John Themis: guitars, keyboards, bass, backing vocals, production & mix
  • Sugar Hajishakalli: bouzouki
  • Andy Kyriacou: drums
  • Jimmy "Mixologist" Sarikas: engineer

Same Thing In Reverse[edit]

dedicated to Eminem and all scared, pretty homosexuals

  • John Themis: guitars, backing vocals
  • Zee Asha: backing vocals
  • Jessica Corcoran: production & mix

Il Adore[edit]

dedicated to Stevie Hughes and all the lost boys

  • Jessica Corcoran: production
  • John Themis: guitars, string arrangements; mix at Abbey Road Studios
  • Nick Ingram: string arrangements
  • London Chamber Orchestra: strings
  • Christopher Warren Green: violin solo

Bow Down Mister[edit]

dedicated to Lord Krishna and John Richardson & family

  • Bruce Forest: production
  • Soho Krishna Temple, London Gospel Choir & Basil: special thanks

References[edit]