Colour by Numbers
|Colour by Numbers|
|Studio album by Culture Club|
57:51 (2003 remaster)
|Culture Club chronology|
|Singles from Colour by Numbers|
Colour by Numbers is the second album by the British new wave band Culture Club, released in October 1983. Preceded by the hit single "Karma Chameleon", which reached number one in several countries, the album reached number one in the UK and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. It has been certified triple platinum in the UK and quadruple platinum in the US. It was ranked #96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s and is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
In 2008, a promotional CD of the album was distributed by The Daily Mail newspaper.
The album has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide, and like its predecessor, Kissing to Be Clever, contains several hit singles. "Karma Chameleon", however, was the signature track from the album and was released in many countries, charting at #1 in many of them. "Church of the Poison Mind" reached #2 in the UK, and went top 10 in the USA, Canada, Australia and many European countries. "Miss Me Blind" was released in North America, South America, Japan, and Australia to great success (Top 5 in US and Canada), "It's A Miracle" became a Top 10 or Top 20 hit in several markets. "Victims" was released in Europe and Oceania and was a Top 5 hit in the UK and Australia, but was not released as a single in the US. "Mister Man" was also released as a single in South Africa.
In an interview in 1998, the four members of Culture Club agreed that Colour by Numbers was their best work. It was remastered in 2002 and 2003, for the Culture Club box set and for a re-release of the album. In 2005, the album was also released in Japan in a cardboard sleeve, similar to the original vinyl artwork, also featuring the remastered tracks and five bonus songs that were on the 2003 version.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||B+|
Reviews for Colour by Numbers have been generally positive. Smash Hits magazine gave the album a rare 10 out of 10, with reviewer Peter Martin commenting "This is simply one of the most enjoyable records I've ever heard." Allmusic's Jose Promis retrospectively rated the album four-and-a-half out of five stars. He noted: "The songs were infectious, the videos were all over MTV, and the band was a media magnet." He explained that it was "flamboyant, fun, sexy, soulful, colorful, androgynous, and carefree" like other 1980s music. He concluded by calling it "the artistic and commercial pinnacle of a band that still attracted new fans years later." Robert Christgau rated it a B+, explaining that "[Boy] George's warm, well-meaning, slightly clumsy croon signifies most effectively when it has the least to say – when it's most purely a medium for his warm, well-meaning, slightly clumsy self." He also stated that "his real aim in life is to reenact the story of the ugly duckling – and to radiate the kind of extreme tolerance that's so often engendered by extreme sexual ambiguity."
Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone rated it four out of five stars. He explained that it "secures lead singer Boy George's place as a blue-eyed soul balladeer in the first rank." He also stated that it "has gobs of emotion plastered as thickly as Boy George's makeup, and ten tunes that stick." Although he stated that it "is by no means a weighty album", he concluded by saying: "Whether you like the band or not, Culture Club is one pop group that matters." Scott Shetler of Slant Magazine also rated it four out of five stars, noting that "Culture Club hit their stride, and the influence of its 10 colorful songs can still be felt today." He explained that "its greatness can be measured by the fact that its album tracks are just as good as its singles." Although he stated that "simply describing [it] as a "catchy pop record" would be a mistake", he concluded by saying: "[I]n the end, Colour By Numbers is an album that needs no tinkering."
- Side one
- "Karma Chameleon" – 4:12
- "It's a Miracle" – 3:25
- "Black Money" – 5:19
- "Changing Every Day" – 3:17
- "That's the Way (I'm Only Trying to Help You)" – 2:45
- Side two
- "Church of the Poison Mind" – 3:30
- "Miss Me Blind" – 4:30
- "Mister Man" – 3:36
- "Stormkeeper" – 2:46
- "Victims" – 4:55
- 2003 CD Bonus tracks
- "Man-Shake" – 2:34
- "Mystery Boy" (Suntory Hot Whiskey Song) – 3:33
- "Melting Pot" – 4:31
- "Colour by Numbers" – 3:57
- "Romance Revisited" – 5:00
"Time (Clock Of The Heart)" was included in Japanese vinyl pressings.
- Boy George – vocals
- Mikey Craig – bass guitar
- Roy Hay – guitar, piano, keyboards, sitar, electric sitar
- Jon Moss – percussion, drums
- Judd Lander – harmonica
- Phil Pickett – keyboards, backing vocals
- Steve Grainger – saxophone
- Patrick Seymour – flute
- Helen Terry – backing vocals
- Graham Broad – percussion
- Trevor Bastow – string arrangements
- Jermaine Stewart – backing vocals
- Terry Bailey – trumpet
- Steve Levine – Producer, digital mixing
- Simon Humphrey – Engineer
- Gordon Milne – Engineer
- Tim Young – Mastering
- Jon Moss – Digital mixing
- Mike Ross – String engineer
|Australian Albums Chart||16|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Diamond||1,000,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Platinum||20,000*|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||481,790|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||3× Platinum||900,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||4× Platinum||4,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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- articles with dead external links%5d%5d%5b%5bCategory:Articles with dead external links from February 2016%5d%5d[%5b%5bWikipedia:Link rot|dead link%5d%5d] "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts" Check
|archiveurl=value (help). Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
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|archiveurl=value (help). billboard.biz. 1984-12-31. Archived from the original on 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
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- "American album certifications – Culture Club – Colour by Numbers". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-03-03. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH