Karma Chameleon

thhq551m07  Download    There is no explaining this song. It’s loads of fun to perform, and one of those melodies that sticks in your head decades after you heard it the first time. That, ladies and gentlemen, is by definition a true “hit”.

“Karma Chameleon”  was recorded in 1983 (yes, it’s that old) by Culture Club, featuring front man Boy George.  It was during the filming of this video that Boy George developed his “signature look” –  fingerless gloves, colorful costume, long braids, and the black derby.  I, personally, have some issue with his overuse of mascara, but that’s just me.  The man has the smoothest of voices and carries himself like the coolest of the cool.  He may be a bit eccentric, but I like him and his music.  Smooooooth…

The most interesting part of this tune is the harmonica (and great fun to duplicate on a keyboard).  It was played by a black actor in the video, but was actually done by a white Englishman named Judd Lander, a musician from the “sixties “era.  If you have a harp player in your group, just mute track 6 and let him play away.  That instrument makes the song what it is.

Boy George explains the piece as being about ” the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing.  Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get karma-justice,  that’s natures way of paying you back”.

And here I thought we were all just having fun…

[Pop/Rock List]


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