Time (Clock of the Heart)

Album: Kissing To Be Clever (1982)
Charted: 3 2
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song provides a great answer to the proposition, "just give it time." As Boy George explains in the lyric, time doesn't always make a relationship work. Staying together might make you feel like you have a real love, when really all you've done is log some hours as a couple. Time is precious, and it's too valuable to waste on something that isn't working.
  • The members of Culture Club didn't know how to write songs when they got together, so they learned by practice, with each member contributing and sharing in the writing credits. Their guitarist Roy Hay explained in Musician magazine how this one came about: "That song came from me and Mikey (Craig, bass player) getting some music together, and George getting excited and putting lyrics to it. At first, it was horrible, really bland. Then Mikey had this idea to use a staggered beat. I said, 'Yeah, let's do it with the Moog.' So we did that, got the great snare sound and it came together."
  • In America, this was the follow-up to Culture Club's debut single "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?," and it also did well on Adult Contemporary formats and MTV - not a traditional combination, but one that proved very successful for the band.
  • The music video, directed by Chris Gabrin, takes us inside a book with a clock on the cover to show the band performing in a studio. They're also seen sitting in a living room, sharing coffee (out of personalized mugs) and a clock-shaped cake while watching themselves on TV.

    Gabrin told Boy George Fever about the making of the video: "I found an old vacated recording studio, just outside London, I had five men spending many hours working on creating a recording studio for us. It went on for almost a week to just get it ready for filming. We had a few instruments and microphones set up. I guided the camera up and down, capturing the group's faces from every conceivable and inconceivable angle I wanted people to get a warm feeling of this super new group called Culture Club."
  • Backing vocalist Helen Terry makes a rather frumpy cameo appearance in the clip as the curler-wearing housekeeper who serves them cake, a scenario that bothered lead singer Boy George. He said: "I hate the fact that Helen Terry is cruelly dressed looking like a Molly Mop, I'm slightly upset of how Helen Terry is presented in this video. It was a wrong decision made by the director."
  • Saxophone solos were big in 1982. The one on this song was performed by Nick Payne.

Comments: 1

  • Shawn from Green BayThis is probably my favorite Culture Club song with Karma Chameleon being a close #2. Mistake #3 is also a favorite, though not as big a hit. Boy George was an amazing singer. It really didn't matter what you looked like. In the 80's, if you had the talent, you could make it. And his lyrics were always very poetic, not only melodious, but always meaning more than they said. Great band.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty

Rob Thomas of Matchbox TwentySongwriter Interviews

Rob Thomas on his Social Distance Sessions, co-starring with a camel, and his friendship with Carlos Santana.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.