Kissing to Be Clever

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Kissing to Be Clever
CultureClubKissingtoBeClever.jpg
Standard cover art
Studio album by
Released4 October 1982 (UK)
13 December 1982 (US)
Recorded1982
StudioRed Bus Studios, London[1]
Genre
Length33:35
LabelVirgin (UK)
Epic (US)
ProducerSteve Levine
Culture Club chronology
Kissing to Be Clever
(1982)
Colour by Numbers
(1983)
Singles from Kissing to Be Clever
  1. "White Boy"
    Released: 30 April 1982 (UK)
  2. "I'm Afraid of Me"
    Released: 25 June 1982 (UK)
  3. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"
    Released: 6 September 1982 (UK), November 1982 (US)
  4. "Time (Clock of the Heart)"
    Released: November 1982 (UK), 29 March 1983 (US)
  5. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya"
    Released: June 1983 (US)

Kissing to Be Clever is the debut album by the English band Culture Club, released on 4 October 1982 in the United Kingdom. It includes Culture Club's international breakthrough hit single, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", which reached number one in the band's native UK and the Top 10 of many charts around the world. The album has reportedly sold over 4 million copies worldwide,[2] including over 1 million in the US where it has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Overview[edit]

The album's first two singles were "White Boy" (which failed to crack the US or UK charts), and "I'm Afraid of Me" (which peaked at No. 100 in the UK). But with the release of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", the band scored a #1 hit in over a dozen countries (US #2), and the song also hit the top ten in several other countries. The album itself spent 88 weeks on the US Billboard chart, reaching its peak position of #14 in March 1983 in the US.[3] The follow-up single, "Time (Clock of the Heart)", became a US #2 and UK top 3 hit. This song appeared on the US version of the album but not initially on the UK version. Another single was released in North America, "I'll Tumble 4 Ya", which became the group's third consecutive Top 10 single in the US. This gave Culture Club the distinction of being the first band since The Beatles to have three top ten hits from a debut album in the US.

Kissing to Be Clever was remastered and re-released in 2003 on CD. This edition contains the song "Romance Beyond the Alphabet", which is the orchestral instrumental version of "Time (Clock of the Heart), also included on Culture Club Collect – 12" Mixes Plus and its subsequent re-release Culture Club Remix Collection as "Time (Clock of the Heart) (Instrumental Mix)". The 2003 release of the album has the restoration of the original colour cover which had been replaced by a black-and-white picture of lead singer Boy George on previous versions.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[6]
Smash Hits9/10[7]
The Village VoiceB[8]

Reviews for Kissing to Be Clever have been generally positive. AllMusic's Lindsay Planer noted that it "was embraced by not only post-disco dance music enthusiasts, but also new wave listeners and pop fans as well." She also stated that the singles "provide accurate thumbnail sketches of what Culture Club were capable of pulling off musically." She concluded by saying: "From the light and buoyant Philly soul-inspired string arrangement to the effervescent and singalongable chorus, the melody foreshadowed a similar vibe that would carry over to their sophomore long-player, Colour by Numbers."[9]

Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote that "for all [Culture Club's] fashionability I think their hearts are in the right place". However, he stated that "their bland Caribbean rhythms move no muscles, and their confrontations with racial issues are rarely more than a phrase deep."[8] Lloyd Sachs of Rolling Stone stated that the album "positively jumps, from the pleasure-seeking masochism of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" to the fearful soul-searching of "I'm Afraid of Me" to the shady "I'll Tumble 4 Ya"". He further stated that "[Boy George's] vocal "normalcy" [plays] against the provocative content of the material." He concluded that "the beat does special service to the message – even when we don't quite know what that message is."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Culture Club.

International issue (Virgin)[edit]

  1. "White Boy" [Dance Mix] – 4:40
  2. "You Know I'm Not Crazy" – 3:36
  3. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" – 2:36
  4. "Take Control" – 3:09
  5. "Love Twist" [Featuring Captain Crucial] – 4:23
  6. "Boy Boy (I'm the Boy)" – 3:50
  7. "I'm Afraid of Me" [Remix] – 3:16
  8. "White Boys Can't Control It" – 3:43
  9. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" – 4:22

2003 reissue bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Love Is Cold (You Were Never No Good)" – 4:24
  2. "Murder Rap Trap" – 4:23
  3. "Time (Clock of the Heart)" – 3:45
  4. "Romance Beyond the Alphabet" – 3:49

American issue (Epic)[edit]

Side one

  1. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" – 4:22
  2. "I'm Afraid of Me" [Remix] – 3:16
  3. "You Know I'm Not Crazy" – 3:36
  4. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" – 2:36
  5. "Love Twist" [Featuring Captain Crucial] – 4:23

Side two

  1. "Time (Clock of the Heart)" – 3:41 (not on original pressings)
  2. "White Boy" [Dance Mix] – 4:40
  3. "Boy Boy (I'm the Boy)" – 3:50
  4. "White Boys Can't Control It" – 3:43
  5. "Take Control" – 3:09

Personnel[edit]

Culture Club[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Keith Miller – Synclavier
  • Terry Bailey – trumpet
  • Colin Campsie – background vocals
  • Nicky Payne – flute, harmonica, saxophone
  • Denise Spooner – background vocals
  • Helen Terry – backing vocals
  • Phil Pickett – keyboards, background vocals
  • Trevor Bastow – strings arrangement

Production[edit]

  • Steve Levine – producer, engineer
  • Assistant engineer: Gordon Milne – assistant engineer, mixing
  • Jon Moss – mixing, drum programming
  • Keith Miller – Synclavier programming
  • Jik Graham – cover design, logo, typography
  • Andy Phillips - photography
  • Mark Lebon – photography
  • Jackie Ball – artwork
  • Nick Egan – logo

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[23] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[24] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[25] Gold 7,500^
Sweden (GLF)[24] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Platinum 1,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide 4,000,000[2]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release details[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
UK 1982 Virgin LP V2232
1983 Virgin CD 91390
USA 1982 Epic/Virgin LP FE 38398
1990 CD V2-86179
2003 CD 92404

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever". discogs.com. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Sir Richard Branson (4 August 2011). Losing My Virginity. Ebury Publishing. pp. 124–. ISBN 978-1-4464-8334-3.
  3. ^ "Billboard 200: March 19, 1983". Billboard.com. Billboard. 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  4. ^ Promis, Jose F. "Kissing to Be Clever – Culture Club". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 24 September 2002. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b Sachs, Lloyd (3 February 1983). "Culture Club: Kissing to Be Clever". Rolling Stone. No. 388. p. 49. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  6. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Culture Club". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 204–05. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Hillier, Bev (14 October 1982). "Culture Club: Kissing to Be Clever". Smash Hits. Vol. 4 no. 21. p. 23.
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (28 December 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  9. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Kissing to Be Clever [Bonus Tracks] – Culture Club". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6208a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  15. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  16. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Culture Club | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Culture Club Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Culture Club Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Music Canada. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Golden Culture" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 44 no. 50. 14 May 1983. p. 34. Retrieved 20 February 2020 – via American Radio History.
  25. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 February 2020. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Kissing to Be Clever in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Culture Club – Kissing to Be Clever". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 February 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]