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Frankie Goes To Hollywood|Welcome To The Pleasuredome

Welcome To The Pleasuredome

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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Strip away all the hype, controversy, and attendant craziness surrounding Frankie -- most of which never reached American shores, though the equally bombastic "Relax" and "Two Tribes" both charted well -- and Welcome to the Pleasuredome holds up as an outrageously over-the-top, bizarre, but fun release. Less well known but worthwhile cuts include by-definition-camp "Krisco Kisses" and "The Only Star in Heaven," while U.K. smash "The Power of Love" is a gloriously insincere but still great hyper-ballad with strings from Anne Dudley. In truth, the album's more a testament to Trevor Horn's production skills than anything else. To help out, he roped in a slew of Ian Dury's backing musicians to provide the music, along with a guest appearance from his fellow Yes veteran Steve Howe on acoustic guitar that probably had prog rock fanatics collapsing in apoplexy. The end result was catchy, consciously modern -- almost to a fault -- arena-level synth rock of the early '80s that holds up just fine today, as much an endlessly listenable product of its times as the Chinn/Chapman string of glam rock hits from the early '70s. Certainly the endless series of pronouncements from a Ronald Reagan impersonator throughout automatically date the album while lending it a giddy extra layer of appeal. Even the series of covers on the album at once make no sense and plenty of it all at once. While Edwin Starr's "War" didn't need redoing, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" becomes a ridiculously over-the-top explosion that even outrocks the Boss. As the only member of the band actually doing anything the whole time (Paul Rutherford pipes up on backing vocals here and there), Holly Johnson needs to make a mark and does so with appropriately leering passion. He didn't quite turn out to be the new Freddie Mercury, but he makes a much better claim than most, combining a punk sneer with an ear for hyper-dramatic yelps.

© Ned Raggett /TiVo

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Welcome To The Pleasuredome

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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1
The World Is My Oyster (Including Well / Snatch Of Fury)
00:01:58

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steven Lipson, Producer, Engineer, Assistant Producer, StudioPersonnel - Gerry Marsden, ComposerLyricist - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist - Andrew John Richards, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

2
Welcome To The Pleasuredome
00:13:40

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steven Lipson, Producer, Engineer, Assistant Producer, StudioPersonnel - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

3
Relax
00:03:56

Trevor Horn, Producer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 ZTT Records Limited

4
War
00:06:13

Trevor Horn, Producer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barrett Strong, ComposerLyricist - Norman Whitfield, ComposerLyricist - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

5
Two Tribes
00:03:26

Trevor Horn, Producer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

6
Tag
00:00:34

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

7
Fury
00:01:49

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steven Lipson, Producer, Engineer, Assistant Producer, StudioPersonnel - Marsden, ComposerLyricist - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Music Production, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Born To Run
00:03:59

Trevor Horn, Producer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Springsteen, ComposerLyricist - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

9
San Jose
00:03:09

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steven Lipson, Producer, Engineer, Assistant Producer, StudioPersonnel - Burt Bacharach, ComposerLyricist - Hal David, ComposerLyricist - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Music Production, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1984 Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Wish The Lads Were Here
00:02:48

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

11
The Ballad of 32
00:04:49

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

12
Krisco Kisses
00:02:59

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

13
Black Night White Light
00:04:08

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

14
The Only Star In Heaven
00:04:15

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steve Lipson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Bruce, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Richards, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Luis Jardim, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Cooper, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

15
The Power Of Love
00:05:32

Trevor Horn, Producer - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

16
Bang
00:01:08

Trevor Horn, Producer - Steven Lipson, Producer, Engineer, Assistant Producer, StudioPersonnel - Mark O'Toole, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Holly Johnson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Gill, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Nash, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, MainArtist - Paul Rutherford, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Philip Nash, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1984 ZTT Records Limited

Album review

Strip away all the hype, controversy, and attendant craziness surrounding Frankie -- most of which never reached American shores, though the equally bombastic "Relax" and "Two Tribes" both charted well -- and Welcome to the Pleasuredome holds up as an outrageously over-the-top, bizarre, but fun release. Less well known but worthwhile cuts include by-definition-camp "Krisco Kisses" and "The Only Star in Heaven," while U.K. smash "The Power of Love" is a gloriously insincere but still great hyper-ballad with strings from Anne Dudley. In truth, the album's more a testament to Trevor Horn's production skills than anything else. To help out, he roped in a slew of Ian Dury's backing musicians to provide the music, along with a guest appearance from his fellow Yes veteran Steve Howe on acoustic guitar that probably had prog rock fanatics collapsing in apoplexy. The end result was catchy, consciously modern -- almost to a fault -- arena-level synth rock of the early '80s that holds up just fine today, as much an endlessly listenable product of its times as the Chinn/Chapman string of glam rock hits from the early '70s. Certainly the endless series of pronouncements from a Ronald Reagan impersonator throughout automatically date the album while lending it a giddy extra layer of appeal. Even the series of covers on the album at once make no sense and plenty of it all at once. While Edwin Starr's "War" didn't need redoing, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" becomes a ridiculously over-the-top explosion that even outrocks the Boss. As the only member of the band actually doing anything the whole time (Paul Rutherford pipes up on backing vocals here and there), Holly Johnson needs to make a mark and does so with appropriately leering passion. He didn't quite turn out to be the new Freddie Mercury, but he makes a much better claim than most, combining a punk sneer with an ear for hyper-dramatic yelps.

© Ned Raggett /TiVo

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