From Luxury to Heartache was produced by veteran pop and R&B producer Arif Mardin, who 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 press and in British and US tabloids, and by the summer of 1986, he announced that he was indeed addicted to drugs. In July, he was arrested 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 the lead single "Move Away" becoming a hit, the album sold far less than their previous albums. It sold only 1 million copies wordwide on its time to 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 failed to chart. A third UK single, "Come Clean"/"Heaven's Children" was planned to be released in July 1986, but was cancelled. Within a year of the album's release, the band broke up and Boy George embarked on a solo career, making this the last Culture Club album until 1999.