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Colour by Numbers
Studio album by Culture Club
Released October 1983
Recorded 1983
Genre New Wave
Length 38:15
57:51 (2003 remaster)
Label Virgin
Producer Steve Levine
Professional reviews
Culture Club chronology
Kissing to Be Clever
Colour by Numbers
Waking Up with the House on Fire

Colour by Numbers is an album by New Wave band Culture Club, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). It featured several international hits such as "Church of the Poison Mind" and the worldwide hit "Karma Chameleon" which had sales of over one million in the United Kingdom alone. The album showcased the vocal talents of Helen Terry alongside Boy George, and chartwise improved upon the successful formula of Culture Club's début album Kissing to Be Clever.

In 1989, Colour by Numbers was ranked #96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 80's. The album is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The album sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and, like its predecessor, contained several hit singles. Released worldwide "Church of the Poison Mind" went Top 10 in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and many European countries. "Karma Chameleon", however, was the signature track from the album and charted #1 almost everywhere. "Victims" was released in Europe and Oceania only but was a surprising Top 5 hit in the UK and Australia for an orchestral ballad. "Miss Me Blind" was released in Japan, Australia, plus North and South America with great success (Top 5 in Canada and USA). "It's A Miracle" was issued next almost everywhere, while "Mister Man" was released only in South Africa.

The album went gold or platinum in many countries. In Canada, Culture Club was the first band to achieve 10 x platinum success, giving the album the "diamond" status (more than a million copies sold).

In an interview in 1998, the four members of Culture Club agreed that "Colour By Numbers" was their best work. It was remastered in 2002 and 2003, for the Culture Club box set and for a re-relase of the album. In 2005, the album was also released in Japan in a cardboard sleeve, similar to the original vinyl artwork, featuring also the remastered tracks and five bonus songs like the 2003 version. This album was given with copies of the newspaper The Daily Mail recently.


Track listing

All tracks composed by Culture Club

  1. "Karma Chameleon" – 4:12
  2. "It's a Miracle" – 3:25
  3. "Black Money" – 5:19
  4. "Changing Every Day" – 3:17
  5. "That's the Way (I'm Only Trying to Help You)" – 2:45
  6. "Church of the Poison Mind" – 3:30
  7. "Miss Me Blind" – 4:30
  8. "Mister Man" – 3:36
  9. "Stormkeeper" – 2:46
  10. "Victims" – 4:55
  11. "Man-Shake" – 2:34 (2003 remastered CD bonus track)
  12. "Mystery Boy" (Suntori Hot Whiskey Song) – 3:33 (2003 remastered CD bonus track)
  13. "Melting Pot" – 4:31 (2003 remastered CD bonus track)
  14. "Colour by Numbers" – 3:57 (2003 remastered CD bonus track)
  15. "Romance Revisited" – 5:00 (2003 remastered CD bonus track)

"Time (Clock Of The Heart)" was included in Japanese vinyl pressings.



  • Steve Levine - Producer, digital mixing
  • Simon Humphrey - Engineer
  • Gordon Milne - Engineer
  • Tim Young - Mastering
  • Jon Moss - Digital mixing
  • Mike Ross - String engineer




Chart (1983) Peak
UK Albums Chart 1
U.S. Billboard 200 2
U.S. Top R&B Albums 7
Australian Albums Chart 1
Chart (1984) Peak
Australian Albums Chart 1


Chart (1983/1984) Single Position
"Church of the Poison Mind" UK Singles Chart 2
"Church of the Poison Mind" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 10
"Karma Chameleon" UK Singles Chart 1
"Karma Chameleon" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
"Karma Chameleon" U.S. R&B Chart 67
"Karma Chameleon" U.S. Adult Contemporary 3
"Victims" UK Singles Chart 3
"It's a Miracle" UK Singles Chart 4
"It's a Miracle" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 13
"It's a Miracle" U.S. Adult Contemporary 8
"Miss Me Blind" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5

Release details

Country Date Label Format Catalog
1983 Virgin CD 91391-2
LP 39170
1990 CD V2-86180
2003 CD 92408

External links

Preceded by
Genesis by Genesis
Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie
UK number-one album
22 October 1983 - 11 November 1983
19 November 1983 - 2 December 1983
Succeeded by
Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie
Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran
Preceded by
The Best of Joe Cocker by Joe Cocker
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
24 October 1983 - 7 November 1983
30 July 1984 - 12 August 1984
Succeeded by
1983 ... Summer Breaks by Various Artists


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