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"Church of the Poison Mind"
Single by Culture Club
from the album Colour by Numbers
B-side "Man Shake",
"Mystery Boy",
"I'll Tumble 4 Ya"
Released 1983
Format 7"
Recorded 1983
Genre New Wave
Length 3:30
Label Virgin Records
Epic Records (US)
Writer(s) Culture Club
Producer Steve Levine
Certification Gold (US, Canada)
Culture Club singles chronology
"I'll Tumble 4 Ya"
"Church of the Poison Mind"
"Karma Chameleon"

"Church of the Poison Mind" is a 1983 hit single for the British band Culture Club, and the first single to be released from their second album Colour by Numbers.

The song is appreciated partly for its Motown feel, and indeed, the opening of "Church of the Poison Mind" sounds similar to the Stevie Wonder hit, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)". Some have thought that Stevie Wonder plays the harmonica solo on this track, but in fact, it is a UK musician named Jud Lander.

The song was a Top 10 hit in the US and Canada and a top 3 hit the UK, peaking at #2 in the UK. In the USA, the song was still climbing the charts and peaked at #10 when "Karma Chameleon" was released overseas and became a huge hit. This prompted Epic Records to release "Karma" ahead of schedule, thus unintentionally hampered "Church of the Poison Mind"'s further climb up the top 10. In the UK, it was kept off the top spot by David Bowie's "Let's Dance" for two weeks.

In many countries (like UK and Canada), its b-side was the heavily-percussive street song "Man Shake" and in some others, like USA, it was the song "Mystery Boy". Both songs were on the 12" in many countries, except Canada where it was issued with an extended version of previous hit "I'll Tumble 4 Ya".

In this single, Helen Terry became famous as the female backup singer with such a powerful voice.

Track listing


A. "Church of the Poison Mind"
B. "Man Shake"

(Released in UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden)

A. "Church of the Poison Mind"
B. "Mystery Boy"

(Released in USA, Peru.)


A. "Church of the Poison Mind"
B1. "Mystery Boy"
B2. "Man Shake"

(Released at least in UK, Australia, Germany, Greece (different cover), Italy, Mexico.)

A. "Church of the Poison Mind"
B. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" (extended dance mix)

(Released in Canada.)

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