Friday, March 14, 2014

Daylight Savings: Time (Clock of the Heart)

The first time I had heard about Culture Club was in 1982 when I met up with Epic Records’ promotions rep Tom Genetti in Charleston, WV. It was a CBS Records listening party at the Marriott and Tom handed me the single “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” and asked me to give it a listen. All he would tell me that the band was out of the UK.

CBS purposely released this first Culture Club single to radio before the video release and before the album hit the stores. They anticipated that radio programmers in the US, once getting a look at Boy George, might be hesitant to play the record. I took the single back to the station (WCIR in Beckley, WV) and put it on the turntable. I instantly heard a hit.

Unfortunately for this release, major markets were hesitant to play this unknown group at first and for a few weeks we were only part of a handful of stations (perhaps 3 to 5) that were reporting the song to Radio & Records, Cashbox, and Billboard. It was slowly moving up the charts at CIR and did quite well. Eventually secondary and major markets got on board and started playing the single – then the video and the album were released. It peaked at #2.

The next spring, the follow-up single “Time (Clock of the Heart)” was released and did equally as well – peaking also at #2. Although both songs were considered New Wave, there was enough soul influence in their sound that Culture Club resonated quite well with American audiences. “Time (Clock of the Heart)” appeared on the US version of “Kissing to be Clever,” but it was not on the original British LP.

Because of my early action on the singles from this LP, Epic Records presented me with a gold album that still adorns my office wall. “Time (Clock of the Heart)” fulfils day 5 of our tribute to Daylight Savings Time.

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