6. Culture Club – ‘Victims’ (1983)

“Show my heart some devotion
Push aside those that whisper never”

Written by Culture Club

Produced by Steve Levine

Taken from the album Colour By Numbers

Also released on This Time: The First Four Years, Spin Dazzle, The Best Of Boy George & Culture Club… At Worst, Greatest Moments: Best Of Culture Club, The Best Of Culture Club, Culture Club, Culture Club 2005: Singles & Remixes and Greatest Hits

UK #3, AUS #4

Even the most obsessive Boy George fan would have to admit that sometimes his lyrics were a little too cryptic, but on occasion, when his voice hit just the right notes and the music was played just right, everything made perfect sense and you took a ride into unknown pleasure. ‘Victims’ was one of those moments. With his most poetic and evocative lyrics, ‘Victims’ is a mature ballad, with Motown flourishes and even a Phil Collins-style drum breakdown – but this is not simply a tribute to other styles.

Carried by George’s flawless voice, ‘Victims’ glides along on a cinematic piano and drum combo, a story of loss, confusion and young love. “Feel like a child on a dark night”, he sings, “wishing we could spend it together”. The slight echo on his vocals and the simple backing make you feel as though you’re within the song, living every minute of it.

“You’re always there
Like a ghost in my dreams”

‘Victims’ is about never letting go, whether you want to or not. It tells us that if you love someone they’ll always be there, somewhere in the back of your mind forever. “Push aside those that whisper never”, a line so beautiful they put it on the single cover, is the best advice a song could give you: forget about anything that stands in the way of your happiness. It’s not difficult to see why Boy George was a hero to so many – when you look at the similar bands and artists from around this time, not many were connecting with their listeners on such a profound and personal level.

Music video:

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