Collection includes: 5 studio albums by Culture Club, 6 studio albums by Boy George and also one general compilation.
The success of "The Crying Game" marked a comeback for Boy George, especially in the U.S., where his solo career had never taken hold beyond the dance clubs, and SBK (distributor of his label, Virgin) took advantage of his resurgence by compiling this 75-minute, 19-track album, which combines his former group Culture Club's biggest hits with selections from his solo work. The ten Culture Club tracks are of a piece, from 1982's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" (which here leads off with an ominous voice intoning, "Popularity breeds contempt") to "Love Is Love," which wasn't a hit but is a better choice than the missing "War Song," which was. The solo tracks are a more mixed batch, and not only because Top 40 U.K. hits like "Keep Me in Mind," "Sold," and "To Be Reborn" are missing. They often rely on loud percussion tracks that strand Boy George's tender tenor somewhere in the distance. He remains most effective on rhythmic ballads, whether "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," "Everything I Own" (his chart-topping first U.K. solo hit), or "The Crying Game".
Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson is known for taking divergent musical paths. Her eclectic catalog of recordings for Minnehaha Music covers such varied themes as Peggy Lee, the Beatles, jazz elders, and most recently, "hot club" music a la Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli (Gypsy in My Soul, '04). Anticipating her next release, one would expect Evingson's music to take another divergent turn. But a chance meeting with a young hot club group from Sweden inspired her to delve deeper into the Django style before moving in a new direction…
Few new wave groups were as popular as Culture Club. During the early '80s, the group racked up seven straight Top Ten hits in the U.K. and six Top Ten singles in the U.S. with their light, infectious pop-soul. Though their music was radio-ready, what brought the band stardom was Boy George, the group's charismatic, cross-dressing lead singer. George dressed in flamboyant dresses and wore heavy makeup, creating a disarmingly androgynous appearance that created a sensation on early MTV.