January is such a dry month for music, so there's time to go back. If you don't know the work of Boy George as Jesus Loves You, it is time to get with the program. This was a "collective" George launched in 1990 for his new label and the music remains, in my opinion, his most sophisticated work. At heart, it was a sort of "world dance" project, made in a good period for George, as he'd discovered Hare Krishna and seemed calm, though it was also the high point of ecstasy so who knows? Watch this interview:
Given George's recent problems, this video is poignant. He is about 30 in this clip and looking as classically male - or British schoolboy!- as he ever looked. Listen to the message behind what he's saying about the music industry. He is RIGHT ON. This could have been filmed last week, the ideas are still so relevant. He reminds me of someone in this clip that I cannot put my finger on - his facial mannerisms as he speaks, especially his mouth. Can you figure it out?
After The Love (below) was the first single. I remember reading a review in something like Melody Maker that said this song was so lush, that when you played it, rain would pour from your ceiling. I loved that.
Jesus Loves You After The Love:
That label was called More Protein and I don't need to tell you how it got its name. Let's just say George has a salty sense of humor. The next single, Generations Of Love (video), was a political statement, smooth and bass heavy, with a warm, sweet accordion ribboned through it. An album, credited to Boy George, was called Martyr Mantras. It also featured what would become a true house classic, I Specialize In Loneliness (hear it) and a Krishna-loving folk tune, Bow Down Mister, that morphed into an Indian dancepop classic. I love it.
Boy George Bow Down Mister:
Fast forward to 2002 and George's musical Taboo. Few know this tune, Out Of Fashion. I have a longer (and better) acoustic version from U Can Never B 2 Straight, but below is a full studio arrangement. The lyrics are prescient.
Boy George Out Of Fashion:
You're out of fashion
Your moment's over
And yes, I loved you
But you wore me out
You're out of fashion
So just forget it now
A living tragedy
Fits you like a glove.
Finally, Phil reports that you really should check on BG's youtube channel