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Culture Club - The War Song (1984)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.42
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"The War Song" is a 1984 song by the British band Culture Club which features background vocals by Clare Torry. It was the ...

"The War Song" is a 1984 song by the British band Culture Club which features background vocals by Clare Torry. It was the lead single from the band's third album Waking Up with the House on Fire. The song became the group's seventh top-five hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two. In the U.S. the single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit the top ten in many countries including Canada (#3), Ireland (#1), Italy (#3) and Australia (#2). While very popular at the time, it was not appreciated by some music critics for some weakness in the lyrics and less original arrangements.

The song was assisted by a popular music video directed by Russell Mulcahy, which features hundreds of children dressed as skeletons, frolicking around Shad Thames, London. Lead singer Boy George is shown with his new flame-red hair, and also employs four wigs in black, white, yellow and blue. The video cost more than £100,000 to make.

When Pete Burns saw the video, he memorably sent Boy George a wreath.

In many countries, the single was released with a B-Side consisting of a native-language version (Spanish, French, Japanese or German) of the song. It was available in two different extended versions, a first in Culture Club discography. Its 7" picture disc was shelved, and the only remaining copies are very rare.

Boy George later joked about the song: "It ruined my career". It has also been excluded from some music compilations of the band. Though not performed live by Culture Club since 1985, it was performed on New Year's Eve 2011 when Culture Club reunited for a one-off gig. The band also played the song in 2014.

It was Culture Club's last UK top 5 hit before 1998's "I Just Wanna Be Loved".

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