“We are not alone, you’ll find out when your cover’s blown. They’ll be somebody there to break your fall. We are not alone, ‘cause when you cut down to the bone, we’re really not so different after all.”
On this day in music history: February 4, 1984 - “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Michael Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, George O'Dowd and Phil Pickett, it is the biggest hit for the British pop band fronted by lead singer Boy George. Written in the studio while recording their second album “Colour By Numbers in early 1983, George composes the songs’ ambiguous lyrics about his often stormy relationship with drummer Jon Moss (which is not public knowledge at the time). The bands’ producer Steve Levine runs into technical problems while recording overdubs. The songs’ rhythm is programmed on a Linn LM-1 drum machine, Levine discovers that the drum machine has gradually sped up after recording it. This causes major problems when "flying in” the chorus sections of the song (which had only been recorded once on the multi-track master reel), by copying the vocal tracks to another tape running at 15 ips (inches per second), then manually dropping them on to the multi-track in the correct places. “Karma Chameleon” is the bands’ biggest hit in the US and UK where it spends five weeks at number one, and is ranked the top single of the year, selling nearly 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. Issued as a single in late November of 1983, it is rush released by Epic Records in the US, after radio stations begin giving it heavy airplay as an LP cut while the first single “Church Of The Poison Mind” (#10 Pop) is still climbing the charts. Entering the Hot 100 at #52 on December 3, 1983, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. Regarded as one of the quintessential 80’s pop songs, “Chameleon” has a long life beyond its run on the charts. Culture Club performs the song on an episode of “The A-Team” in 1986, and is also featured on the “Alvin And The Chipmunks” and “Saints Row 2” video games. “Karma Chameleon” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.