#11 | Culture Club – Time (Clock of the Heart)

In grade school, when storyteller Marc Abbott fell in love with a particular Culture Club song, he just had to put it on a mixtape to impress a lucky girl. Marc was willing to go great lengths to record it — even if it meant messing with his father’s sacred music collection.


 

About Marc Abbott

Marc Abbott is a novelist, playwright, short film director, and storyteller. His written works include “A Gamble of Faith, “The Hooky Party,” and “The Dead Syndicate.” His short horror film, “Snap,” was an official selection at the 2015 Coney Island Film Festival. Marc is also a Moth StorySlam and GrandSlam winner, as well as the host of the monthly open mic “Maaan, You’ve Got to Hear This!” at Precious Metal in Bushwick. He is also co-host of the podcast Beef, Wine, and Shenanigans. Marc was born and raised in Brooklyn, and is still proud to call the best borough his home today. Visit www.whoismarclabbott.com to check out more of his work and future appearances.


Five Fast Facts About Culture Club’s “Time (Clock of the Heart)”

  1. “Time (Clock of the Heart)” was released in 1982 as the second single from Culture Club’s debut album, Kissing to Be Clever. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983, and was the follow-up to the #1 hit, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”
  2. With the release of their third single, “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya,” Culture Club became the first band since The Beatles to have three Top 10 hits in America from a debut album.
  3. The music video — which was shot in an old recording studio in London — takes viewers inside a book with a clock on the cover, which reveals the band performing in a studio, and then to a living room where there’s a (surprise!) clock-shape cake while watching themselves on TV. It was directed by Chris Gabrin, who also made videos for Pat Benatar and John Mellencamp.
  4. Lyrically, the song is about how time and love push and pull against one another. Boy George explains that time doesn’t always make a relationship work. He’s conveying that time is precious, and that it shouldn’t be wasted on a relationship that isn’t working.
  5. While the lyrical content is quite deep for a first album, the members of Culture Club admit that they didn’t know how to write songs when they got together. Each member learned with lots of practice, which meant they all contributed and shared writing credits. For “Time (Clock of the Heart), guitarist Roy Hay and bass player Mikey Craig created the instrumentals, then Boy George put lyrics to it. To spice it up, Mikey decided to add a staggered beat, and Roy suggested they do so with a Moog to create the snare sound.

Do you have a story about searching for that perfect song for that special someone, just like Marc? What lengths did you go to in order to find it? Drop us a line at playitbackradio@gmail.com. You can even pitch us a different kind of story for the show.

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