One cannot have a meaningful discussion of ’80s pop music without devoting significant time to British chart-topper Culture Club. Fronted by the ever-charismatic Boy George, the group debuted with 1982’s Kissing to be Clever and its hits “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”. That was just the start. In 1983, Culture Club released their sophomore effort, the smash Colour By Numbers. Included here are “Karma Chameleon” (you know you’re humming it right now), “It’s a Miracle”, and “Miss Me Blind”. Hugely popular album with endless radio airplay and videos on MTV. Huge. So, what about Colour By Numbers on CD? Let’s look at one early aesthetic issue.

In Europe and Japan, Virgin Records owned the rights to Culture Club’s catalog in the ’80s. Virgin first issued Colour By Numbers on CD in its homeland U.K. and the rest of Europe in 1983 under catalog number CDV 2285. Typical of an early European issue, the disc was pressed in West Germany by Polygram. Therefore, the disc has no clear plastic ring at the center (i.e., aluminum up to the center hole). Also in keeping with many early West German pressings, the disc has an attractive paint coating — powder blue.

The Colour by Numbers disc label is particularly eye-catching with fonts and characters reproduced from the album artwork. The disc does not state where it was pressed, but it clearly is an early West German pressing. The matrix code is “CDV 2285 2893 288 01”. The back insert, with no barcode, states “Printed in West Germany”.

This early Culture Club release is not terribly rare, as it was likely pressed in substantial quantities for the time given the band’s enormous popularity. Look for it online, as it is a worthy addition to any music and music collector’s shelf. For the record (CD?), a similar West German pressing was issued on Virgin for Kissing to be Clever under catalog number CDV 2232.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the original Virgin issue of Colour by Numbers, along with the West German pressing.

 

The cover for the original West German pressing of Culture Club Colour by Numbers (Virgin, catalog number CDV 2285). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the original West German pressing of Culture Club Colour by Numbers (Virgin, catalog number CDV 2285). There is no barcode. Note “Printed in West Germany” along the bottom.

 

The original West German pressing of Culture Club Colour by Numbers (Virgin, catalog number CDV 2285). The matrix code is “CDV 2285 2893 288 01”.

Comments are closed.

-->