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Waking up with the House on Fire


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Performer Notes
  • Culture Club: Boy George (vocals); Roy Hay (guitar, guitar synthesizer); Mikey Graig (bass); Jon Moss (drums, percussion, programming).
  • Additional personnel: Steve Grainger (saxophone); Ron Williams (trumpet); Kenneth McGregor (trombone); Phil Pickett (piano, background vocals); Helen Terry, Derek Green, Christopher Rainbow, Martin Sunley, Louis Rogers, Nancy Peppers, Clare Torry, Andriana Loizou, Alanda Marchant, Imogen Exton, Alice Kemp, Tara Thomas (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Red Bus Studios, London, England.
  • Personnel: Roy Hay (guitar, synthesizer); Steve Grainger (saxophone); Ron Williams (trumpet); Kenneth McGregor (trombone); Phil Pickett (piano, background vocals); Jon Moss (drums, percussion, drum programming); Derrick Green, Alanda Marchant, Christopher Rainbow, Andriana Loizou, Nancy Peppers, Imogen Exton, Helen Terry, Louis Rogers, Alice Kemp, Martin Sunley, Tara Thomas, Clare Torry (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Jon Moss; Steve Levine .
  • Recording information: Red Bus Studios, London, England.
  • Photographer: Steve Hughes.
  • Tell-all books and TV shows later explained that Culture Club was slowly imploding under the weight of intra-band tensions and Boy George's increasing drug addiction, but upon its release in 1984, WAKING UP WITH THE HOUSE ON FIRE just sounded strained and odd. Listening to the album in hindsight, its charms are more apparent, and the discomfort of its creation is readily audible in the subtle tension of songs like "Dangerous Man" and the sweeping ballad "Mistake Number Three." George is in fine voice, and the band's playing is as smooth and relaxed as always, but there's no denying that the songwriting is uneven--the plainly imbecilic "The War Song" was a horrid choice for the first single--and there's an unsettling sense of listening to the psychic collapse of a once-promising talent. Waking up with the house on fire indeed...
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