Salvo
Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Welcome To The Pleasuredome (deluxe 2CD)

Format: CD
Cat. No.: SALVOMDCD03
Barcode: 698458990327
Playing Time: 2h 20m

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25 years on, the definitive edition of an 80s masterpiece. Includes the original double album remastered, plus classic B-sides, Trevor Horn’s epic 12" remixes of Relax and The Power Of Love, and archive interviews. CD2 also features previously-unheard studio demos of War, Two Tribes and Welcome To The Pleasuredome, an early, 11 minute version of Ballad Of 32 and a completely unreleased song from the end of the Pleasuredome era, Watusi Love Juicy. Beautifully expanded artwork includes previously-unseen photos, paintings and new liner notes. (Official release date 12 April 2010.)

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Reviews:

Deluxe reissue of bold 80s pop statement with bonus remixes

A combined 15 weeks at No 1 on the singles charts of 1984 were testament to Frankie’s fashionable dominance and their puppet masters’ talent for hype. Surely, the house of cards would collapse when it came to taking on the albums market....

Not so, as Pleasuredome turned out to be one of the following year’s most audacious and ambitious releases, a whirlwind of elaborate dancefloor inventiveness, finely-tuned pop sensibilities and cock-a-snoop attitude. The 13-minute title track both mocked and reinvigorated the notion of the concept album, while savvy covers of Bacharach (Do You Know The Way To San Jose?) and Springsteen (Born To Run) were equal parts tongue-in-cheek and interpretative swagger.

It may surprise some listeners how little this silver anniversary edition has dated, but though contrived playlist scandals and oversized slogan T-shirts inevitably become tiresome, there’s no sell-by date on sonic adventure or creative chutzpah. Frankie never managed to repeat the trick, of course, but for one glorious hour-and-a-bit, 25 years ago, they were arguably the best band in the land.

4 stars

Terry Staunton

RECORD COLLECTOR


The sound of 1984. Too bonkers to be dated.

Back in 1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their debut album were seen as merely producer Trevor Horn’s playground. Come the inevitable reissue (with expert new sleevenotes and a fscinating second disc) comes  the truth that is was the zenith of Horn’s deranged genius, but who cares? Away from the chart-topping singles, the title track with its soaring chorus remains Horn’s most astounding 13 minutes, The Only Star In Heaven is appropriately divine pop and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run clatters manfully. More timeless than you might expect.

John Aizlewood

4 stars

Q

 

Although no-one realised it, Frankie Goes to Hollywood was possibly the only band that espoused the punk ethic at the shiny epicentre of the 80s. Their success was a triumph of the DIY guerrilla marketing ethic, arguably the last group to make it before the corporate departments came to rule the day. It wasn’t just about money; it was about smartness, talent and having a bloody good laugh.

Originally released in October 1984, Welcome to the Pleasuredome remains Frankie’s high-water mark. Producer Trevor Horn brought all the excess of new technology to the project. He made simple songs – Relax, Two Tribes, The Power of Love – sound overblown and exciting, while publicist Paul Morley eulogised the group with his flowery phrases: a parody and update of the starched-shirt beat-speak on the reverse of early Beatles and Cliff albums.

But none of it could have been done without the full-on personality of the group themselves, which united the scally side of Liverpool with the city’s arty, eyeliner wing – there was an aesthete, a cuddly dancer and ‘the lads’. The group’s humour, ideas and sexual deviance gave Horn and Morley more than enough raw materials to play with.

Horn may never have produced something better than this album’s title track. It was stupid, audacious, and hilarious. It was the best progressive rock record of the 80s. It may have been buried in bright shiny veneers and modernism, but it was a Yes track, really – underlined by the fact that Steve Howe from the group played acoustic guitar on it. Over-heard at the time, but now not heard enough, it was the prog Trojan horse within the chart’s castle walls and the best track here by an enormous distance.

This is a beautifully-packaged version of the album, gathering almost the whole story together with rarities such as Disneyland, the unreleased Watusi Love Juicy and the 17 minutes of Relax’s Greatest Bits (previously only available on ‘cassingle’, fact fans).

It was over really for Frankie Goes to Hollywood the moment Welcome to the Pleasuredome came out. The hype couldn’t be maintained and although there was a sell-out tour and further chart hits ahead, it was never the same. But for now, marvel once more at their splendid, excessive audacity.

Daryl Easlea

http://www.bbc.co.uk

 

Situationist, chart-storming pop. Now remastered with rarities disc.

Frankie’s sprawling but frequently brilliant debut double album was a recation to Thatcherite consumerism, Trevor Horn’s massive production perfectly reflecting the decade’s ostentatious decadence. A mix of bombastic pop, cold war politics and outrage - their cover of ’War’ has a Ronald Reagan soundalike quoting Hitler - it slips occasionally, with ill-advised stabs at Springsteen’s ’Born To Run’. But the throbbing, vulgar innuendo of ’Relax’, ’Two Tribes’, ’The Power Of Love’ and a preposterously  epic 14-minute title track remain invincible.

4 stars

Wyndham Wallace

Uncut

 



CD
CD1: Welcome To the Pleasuredome
1.
The World Is My Oyster including well…. and snatch of fury (stay)
2.
Welcome To the Pleasuredome
3.
Relax (come fighting)
4.
War (and hide)
5.
Two Tribes
6.
for the victims of ravishment
7.
Ferry (Go)
8.
Born To Run
9.
San Jose (The Way)
10.
Wish (The Lads Were Here)
11.
including The Ballad Of 32
12.
Krisco Kisses
13.
Black Night White Light
14.
The Only Star In Heaven
15.
The Power Of Love
16.
bang
CD2: post-bang, and other things
1.
Relax (greatest bits)
2.
One September Monday
3.
The Power Of Love (12” version)
4.
Disneyland
5.
Two Tribes (between rulers and ruling)
6.
War (between hiding and hidden)
7.
Pleasuredome (cut rough)
8.
One February Friday
9.
The Ballad of 32 (mix 2)
10.
who then devised the torment?
11.
Relax (Greek disco mix)
12.
Watusi Love Juicy
13.
the last voice