Thursday, March 27, 2008

532. Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome (1984)

Track Listing

1. World is my oyster
2. Welcome to the pleasure dome
3. Relax
4. War
5. Two tribes
6. (Tag)
7. Fury
8. Born to run
9. San Jose
10. Wish the lads were here
11. Ballad of '32
12. Krisco kisses
13. Black night white light
14. Only star in Heaven
15. Power of love
16. Bang...


If there is a first impression to this album ,it is the fact that it is much stranger than I expected at first. But then it is also much better, and probably for the same reason. The album has an internal coherence that makes it quite uncommon pop.

Actually the whole band is uncommon, they are very much coming from a Post-punk background, and get producer extraordinaire Trevor Horn to make their album. It becomes some kind of gaudy masterpiece sounding like a gay apocalypse party in the mid-80's.

This is a long album, and it has a little interesting interlude with three nice covers, but the real strengths here are the originals, from the 14 minute long title track to the huge hits. One cannot stop from thinking what would the world have been like if Frankie would have kept going instead of imploding, I think it would be a funner world.

Track Highlights

1. Two Tribes
2. Relax
3. Welcome To The Pleasuredome
4. The Power Of Love

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

On Thursday 5 January, Frankie Goes to Hollywood performed "Relax" on the BBC flagship TV chart show, Top Of The Pops, and in less than a week, the song had risen to number 6 in the UK singles chart. On 11 January 1984, Radio 1 disc jockey Mike Read expressed on air his distaste for both the record's suggestive sleeve (designed by Yvonne Gilbert) and its lyrics. Perhaps Read's decision was based on his interpretation of the song's lyrics as being sexually explicit: "Relax, don't do it, when you want to suck it to it, Relax don't do it, when you want to come." He announced his refusal to play the record, not knowing that the BBC had just decided that the song was not to be played on the BBC anyway.

In support of their DJ, BBC Radio banned the single from its shows a reported two days later (although certain prominent night-time BBC shows - including those of Kid Jensen and John Peel - continued to play the record, as they saw fit, throughout 1984). The now-banned "Relax" rose to number 2 in the charts by 17 January, and hit the number one spot on 24 January. By this time, the BBC Radio ban had extended to Top of the Pops as well, which displayed a still picture of the group during its climactic Number One announcement, before airing a performance by a non-Number One artist.

This went on for the five weeks that "Relax" was at number one. The single remained on the charts for a record consecutive forty-two weeks. It would rise up from a declining chart position to number two during the UK summer of 1984 whilst Frankie's follow-up single "Two Tribes" held the UK number one spot.

The ban became an embarrassment for the BBC, especially given that UK commercial radio stations were still playing the song. Later in 1984 the ban was lifted and "Relax" featured on both the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops and Radio 1's rundown of the best-selling singles of the year.

Two Tribes:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this album when it first came out (and for a long times afterwards). If I remember correctly, the Vinyl, Cassette and CD versions all had different track listings, and some of the songs on each were remixes. Which made it all very confusing.

Frankie say, 'No More'