FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
"WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"
WELL.../THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER/SNATCH OF FURY - This serves as a teaser for what is to come. A small medley of sorts with siren-like singing, mysterious ancient film extracts and Holly Johnson announcing the world is his oyster and giving us his best maniacal laugh!. Weird, eerie and unusual, just what we wanted from their debut album!
RELAX - A Disco and Club classic, numerous versions and remixes and a debut Number 1 for the band. Pumping beat throughout with Holly's unique vocals. Always about gay sex but initially the band's media claimed it was about "feeling good and just relax". The song was banned, the original video was banned, notoriety abound and it made them the most dangerous band on the planet.
WAR - This cover of Edwin Starr's classic is also a much remixed song by FGTH. The mainly bongo-like drumming with some minimal guitar backing sends a powerful message and is one of my favourite tracks by the band. Chris Barrie (Rimmer in TV show Red Dwarf) portrays Ronald Reagan informing us about Love and War.
TWO TRIBES - Frankie's second number one and yet again with a controversial video with actors playing the roles of Reagan and Chernenko fighting in a ring with the world's media loking on until the world destructs! More rockier than "Relax", this was awesome, loud, brash and a storming song.
TAG - An orchestrated track (snippet from Two Tribes), with Prince Charles (Barrie again) giving us thoughts on orgasm and ejaculation. No idea why this was here, but hey, I am sure it caused controversy which was their forte at the time!
FERRY - A shortened "Ferry Cross The Mersey" (Gerry and the Pacemakers' song) and became a backdrop for the unemployed as it is a really nice cover version that ends with (possibly Paul?) stating he left his DHSS card at home and the jobcentre lady says the supervisor will put him on daily signing if it happens again.
BORN TO RUN - Another cover version, this time of a song by Bruce Springsteen. Holly does a great job and the track really hits the spot, to me the band make it a little more rocky than the original. Blistering Rock.
SAN JOSE - The Dionne Warwick song is next for the Frankie treatment, its a lovely song and just like "The Power Of Love" Holly proves he knock out a ballad as good as anyone.
WISH (THE LADS WERE HERE) - A funky original song by the band, with a catchy chorus "love is on the run, wish you were here, my love has got a gun, wish you were here" and its another song that could have been a hit in my opinion.
THE BALLAD OF 32 - An almost Progressive Rock song with searing gutiar solos and minimal atmospheric backing and breathy vocals faintly heard.
KRISCO KISSES - Not one of my favourites from Frankie, it seems a bit muddled, fast paced uptempo manic Rock, then slowing down with repetitive lyrics. Not a bad song but seems a bit of a last minute addition.
BLACK NIGHT WHITE LIGHT - One of my favourites, a really accomplished song, a little Funk, a little Electro and a little Pop Rock. A really good track.
THE ONLY STAR IN HEAVEN - Could have been a hit single as well. Building up and up into a fast paced crescendo, great chorus, great percussion and guitar licks, a great original song.
THE POWER OF LOVE - Beautifully emotive and romantic and a third number one in a row for the band. Just to totally throw everyone off track there was no controversial video just a nativity play just in time for Christmas! Just like the Frankie's to shake things up a bit and give the unexpected.
...BANG - Ended this awesome album like it began, a small snippet of Electronic orchestation finishing with the great Chris Barrie ending everything as Ronald Reagan stating "Frankie Say...No More!"