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.
Hmmmm then, how about either Richie or Eddie making a mixtape for their sweetheart? Their age is up to you, it's just a mixtape so it doesn't require consent. Thank you very much! :)
~ Eddie was enjoying the small summer breeze that blew his baby hairs from his face, chin resting on his flat palm. His cassette player laid over his lap as he enjoyed the music coming from his soft headphones. He’d almost forgotten that he’d been waiting nearly twenty minutes for his late boyfriend, Richie Tozier and friend Stan Uris. Almost.
His contentment was cut short when he felt a tug on his headphones, which were then pulled down to his neck. “Whatcha listening to short stuff?” Richie’s voice came from his left as he plopped down next to him, pulling Eddie’s headphones off and putting them over his own ears. Eddie slowly gazed up at Stan,who was looking harshly at Richie and pulling at his watch.
Richie put the warm headphones over his hair covered ears and listened to the soft volumed music. ‘I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life,
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue for all my life’. Richie’s face split into a shit-eating grin and Eddie’s face flushed. Stan rolled his eyes from above them.
“What? What am I missing?” Stan narrowed his eyes as Richie slid the headphones off and threw them up to Stan without looking. Stan’s arms flailed out to catch it.
“A little cheesy, innit Eds?” Richie bumped his shoulder, Eddie pushed his back.
“You think your music taste is better?” Eddie chirped back and Richie nodded instantly with a proud smile.
“I know it is!” Richie poked Eddie again and the smaller boy slapped his hand away with a roll of his eyes. “You’re so cute when you’re angry, Eds.” He reached over to pinch the boys cheeks but was only rewarded another slap.
“Eat shit Tozier. C’mon we have a movie to catch.” Eddie stood and stalked off, Richie following shortly.
Stan had been focusing, hands covering the headphones and finally glanced up to see his friends were halfway into the theater. He clutched onto the player, one hand still on the headphones. “I don’t get it. What’s wrong with this song? I like it.” Stan scampered over to them.
Eddie had been walking home from the pharmacy when Richie finally caught up to him. He quickly sped up on his bike and honked the obnoxious horn he’d got as a gift from Beverly last month that she instantly regretted.
Eddie heard the honk from a block away and bit his lip as it curled into a smile and he slowed his pace to allow the boy to catch up. “Hey, Eds! I got a gift for ya!” Richie called as he peddled next to Eddie.
“Really?” Eddie quirked his head to the side as Richie started circling him on his bike teasingly. Richie hummed and pulled a small tape from his pocket, one hand on his handle bars. “A mixtape?” Eddie smiled, wanting to conceal how much he adored the gesture. Richie abruptly pulled out of his circle path and skidded right next to Eddie, holding out the tape.
“Let me know what you think.” He smiled, pushing up his glasses as Eddie took it. He leaned down and briefly kissed him before peddling off, the honk going off the entire time.
Eddie glanced down and played with the loose tape stuck to the front of the tape, sprawled over it in sharpie it read:
Richie Tozier’s music taste
Track 1: Miss You~ The Rolling Stones
Track 2: Africa~ Toto
Track 3: Never Gonna Give You Up~ Rick Astley
Track 4: Everyday~ Buddy Holly
Track 5: Karma Chameleon~ Culture Club
Track 6 : Short People~ Randy Newman—
Eddie rolled his eyes and pulled out the tape and shrugged his headphones off with a sigh.
Richie hopped up Eddies stairs happily and burst into his room with a large grin and glanced down to see his tape laying next to Eddies open cassette player. “Hey what’d you think of the tape?”
Eddie rolled his eyes and crossed his arms “You really put on a song called ‘Short People’?” Eddie stood up to stand in front of him and Richie teasingly put emphasis on tilting his head down to meet Eddies eye line.
“Yeah, It’s funny.”
“The lyrics go: ‘ Short people got no reason to live they got little hands and little eyes and they walk around tellin’ great big lies’ “ Eddie pursed his lips after reciting the song in a stoic voice. Richie only laughed his ass off.
“Did ya listen to the last track shorty?” He pulled on Eddies hands and swayed them teasingly. Eddie shook his head.
“Too offended by the song before it I guess.” Eddie glared and Richie let go of his hands to put his tape back in the player. He carefully set the headphones over Eddies ears and hit play.
’I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life, When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue for all my life’.
Eddie quickly started to blush. And Richie gave him a smug expression as he tugged the headphones off.
“Figured it could be our song…or whatever.” Richie fumbled on his words as Eddie chuckled.
“Yeah, yeah I like that.” Eddie smiled and Richie pulled him up by his hands and placed the headphones back over Eddies ears, and pulled Eddie close enough to rest his chin on his head and they started to sway.