“Karma Chameleon” is perhaps one of the best happy-go-lucky songs out there. It’s the perfect song for long drives, and a perfect remedy for quick stress relief. I had never heard of neither Culture Club nor “Karma Chameleon” till 2000; and the first time I ever heard it was at a Millennium party held at one of my aunt’s. I forgot the song as time progressed, but heard it again in the movie “Scary Movie 4” (The part when a huge iPod nano falls from the sky, and this song starts playing). I searched frantically over the internet, and finally got acquainted with the song (Long lost love finally found!). It is one of my most cherished ‘happy-go-lucky’ songs from that day onwards. Let’s get started then!
History: “Karma Chameleon” is a song from Culture Club‘s 1983 album “Colour By Numbers“. The song hit markets like an epidemic, and made the song one of the most popular songs of the 80’s. It spent 3 weeks on the Number 1 position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It performed equally well all over the world, and gained the Number 1 position in over sixteen countries, and made it in the Top 10 in many more. It also cut it’s way to the Number 1 position on the U.K. Singles Charts. It’s widely considered to be their signature song. “Karma Chameleon” also won the Best British Single at the 1984 Brit Awards. For the complete Charts and Certifications, click here, and for their Chart Positions & Certifications, click here. There are two versions of the song; one being the 4 Minute 12 Seconds Album Version, and the other being the 3 Minute 51 Seconds Single Edit Version. [Source: Wikipedia]
What it tries to convey to us: Boy George (Band Front man) has explained (And I quote) “The song is about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It’s about trying to suck up to everybody. Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.”
Review: The song starts with the bass guitar (Mikey Craig) and joins in with the drums (Jon Moss) at 00:03. They further mix in with the harmonica (Judd Lander) at 00:07, and Boy George starts the vocals straightaway at 00:12. His tone is really soothing (The stress relief I was talking about), and the background vocals add another bit of spice to the song. The soothing vocals, coupled with mellow beats and bass, and a typical Country harmonica gives the song it’s amazingly subtle properties. Going on a long drive? Lighten up the mood on the highway or in the traffic by listening to the song. It’s also the perfect song to listen when you’re having a backyard barbeque, or pool party – keeps the air really lively. Anyways, the first chorus starts at 00:44. This is the best (And most recognized) part of the song; the frittering vocals, and the quirky harmonica add a really nice feel to the song (Especially “Loving would be easy..”).
The second para starts immediately, and before you know it; you’re listening to the chorus (01:36). No, this is not a fast paced song; the verses are shorter than normal. Then starts the vocal interlude (01:57), which results in a brief instrumental (Harmonica) interlude. The “I’m A Man..” ‘pre-chorus’ takes over again, and then starts the chorus again at 02:49. This time, however, it (The chorus) is looped, playing with only the drum beats for the second time (The third one onwards is normal). The song starts fading off at 03:54, and ends at 04:14.
Rating: If it’s a song which will make you happy in traffic, it surely deserves a perfect score, doesn’t it? 10/10 for this lifesaving song! Hallelujah!
Lyrics for “Karma Chameleon” : http://artists.letssingit.com/culture-club-lyrics-karma-chameleon-6j7j1bs
Download link for “Karma Chameleon” : http://silentragedy.net/stereo/music/cultureclubkarmachameleon.mp3 (Right Click on link, click ‘Save Link/Target As”)