The video featured in the playlist above is the alternative video for Relax that wasn't banned, which simply features the band, rather than all of the controversial sexy stuff.
The only member of the band to actually perform on the single was Holly Johnson. Producer Trevor Horn wasn't happy with the band's sound, and roped in Ian Dury's backing band, The Blockheads, for some musical sessions. However, being the perfectionist that he was, even they weren't up to Horn's standard, and so he created an electronic version for the final single release.
This remix was released to promote the compilation album Frankie Say Greatest, and features an appearance by Holly Johnson. You can see the video in the playlist. There are lots of scantily clad ladies, and the innuendo of popping corks with foaming champagne spurting out of bottles, but nothing quite as controversial as the original.
This superb ballad was the band's third single release from the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album and was also Frankie's third No.1 in a row. It only topped the charts for one week in December 1984, as the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas" claimed the top spot the following week just in time for Christmas!
The song was covered by Gabrielle Aplin for the John Lewis UK TV advert for Christmas 2012. It's one of the best cover versions I've heard and she has a very haunting voice, although I still prefer the production of the original.
Frankie's fourth single (released in March 1985) was the title track
from the #1 album. Promotional posters suggested that this would be
"their fourth number one". Unfortunately, the song peaked at #2 in the
UK, but still achieved silver in sales which was extremely respectable
for a fourth single from a debut album.
Welcome To The Pleasuredome was inspired by the poem "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. A re-issue in 1993 (with remixes) reached #18 and featured on the album Bang! The Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Another re-issue in 2000 (with yet more remixes!) reached #45 and featured on the album Maximum Joy.
Now, this is a little gem I found on Youtube - it's pretty amazing if I may say so myself! This version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's classic Welcome To The Pleasuredome is one of the best I've heard, and adds a lot of fresh ideas and new sounds. After hearing all of the 12" mixes around, including the original ZTT mixes and dance remixes, this is certainly the most refreshing and intriguing.
The original album version is a 13 minute epic produced by the legendary Trevor Horn, who had the knack of making everything sound dramatic and exciting - this is a guy who likes to pull out all the stops. For me, this the best track on the album, and it's a shame it didn't manage to top the charts, but by the time it was released almost everyone had bought the album anyway.
War was originally a soul song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Mowtown label in 1969. This top quality cover featured on the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album, and the live version a cracking performance (love the guitar work on this) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who are performing their version of War live on the 80s British music show The Tube on Channel 4.
was originally released in 1970 by Edwin Starr and topped the bilboard
Hot 100 in the U.S. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in
1969, the song was originally produced for The Temptations, although it
was was never released as a single by the American vocal group. However,
it did feature on their album Psycheldelic Shack, and was much tamer
than Starr's full-on version.
This was Frankie's fifth chart hit and it was the first single to be lifted from the Liverpool album. In this performance the band appear to have just robbed a bank! Keep your eyes open at 1:05 when the cameraman runs into lead singer Holly Johnson, who, in response, sticks his middle finger up to him!
As with all of the Frankie singles, there are quite a number of versions of Rage Hard, and the original UK 12" vinyl release included the Broad Version, Roadhouse Blues, (Don't Lose What's Left) Of Your Little Mind and Always Note The Sequencer. The Broad Version version has a rather weird intro, but once it finally gets going then it becomes a decent enough listen.
With lyrics inspired by the poet Dylan Thomas, the song also had a more of a rock
sound than previous releases, but lacked the production skills of Trevor
Horn, a decent chorus, and the controversial lyrics that the record-buying public came to
expect from the band. I actually quite like Stephen Lipson's
production, but from a commercial point of view the song was never going
to repeat the success of the golden days.
The sixth Frankie single was released on 11 Nov 1986 and reached No.19 in the UK. The single version had more of an electro-rock sound than the original album version, as it had been totally re-worked using a computer sequencer with samples of the band playing their instruments.
This is the official video for Paul Rutherford's (Frankie's backing singer and dancer) solo single which was released in 1989 and was taken from the album of the same name.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood leaving the Hammersmith Apollo in London, 1985. Photo by Jane McCormick Smith
Paul Rutherford, Brian Nash, Mark O'Toole and Holly Johnson grace the cover of Smash Hits in February 1985. Drummer Peter "Ped" Gill isn't featured for some reason.
Hardback book by Dean Anthony (1984)