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Dance - Released October 20, 1984 | ZTT Records

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

Rock - Released November 18, 1993 | ZTT Records

Frankie Goes to Hollywood hyped their debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome so much that when their second record, Liverpool, failed to live up to expectations, their career was effectively over. That didn't stop them from releasing greatest-hits albums, however, nor did it stop the inevitable wave of '80s nostalgia that surged forth in the '90s. To cash in on whatever meager Frankie nostalgia that may have existed, Bang!... Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes to Hollywood appeared in 1994 and was reissued in 1998, when the rights shifted to Universal Records. Bang! is as good a compilation of Frankie's material as could be assembled, featuring no less than eight songs from Pleasuredome (including, of course, "Relax," "Two Tribes," "The World Is My Oyster," and "Bang") and five songs from Liverpool. There were a couple of good songs stranded on the second album ("Ferry Cross the Mersey," "Rage Hard") and certain casual fans may enjoy having those singles on the same disc with the hits, but the fact remains that Frankie can only truly be understood (and, to a certain extent, truly enjoyed) on Pleasuredome. That debut stood on its own, sounding unlike any other record of its time, and it contained all of the big hits in the first place. Consequently, many casual listeners will be satisfied with simply acquiring that record, even if the album versions were slightly different than the singles. If they feel otherwise, Bang! will serve as the definitive singles collection, satisfying both the hardcore and casual fan. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

Dance - Released October 20, 1986 | ZTT Records

Frankie Goes to Hollywood's first double album was a huge hit. Their second offering also met with some success, although it is not as well remembered. And yet, on many accounts, Liverpool can be considered as an improvement over its predecessor. For one thing, the album is shorter, more conventional. While Welcome to the Pleasuredome had some strong material, the length weakened the whole in many places. Here, the band focused on eight tracks and the result is somewhat more convincing. "Warriors of the Wasteland," "Rage Hard," and "Watching the Wildlife" were all minor hits back in 1986, and the other tracks are, for the most part, of the same quality, with perhaps "For Heaven's Sake" standing out as a favorite. Again, Trevor Horn was involved in the production (the band was signed to his famous Zang Tuum Tumb label, so it's no big surprise) -- thus the production is impeccable, as one would expect from a Horn-produced album. Worth a listen if you like the band or have an interest for '80s music -- of which this is not such a bad sample. © Alex S. Garcia /TiVo

Rock - Released May 1, 1994 | ZTT Records


Rock - Released August 18, 2001 | ZTT Records


Rock - Released January 6, 2000 | ZTT Records

Maximum Joy gathers one disc of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's career highlights and another disc of remixes by acts like Apollo Four Forty and Rob Searle. Disc 1 features most of Frankie's definitive tracks, such as "Relax," "Two Tribes," "Ferry Cross the Mersey" and the title track, while DJ Rene's mix of "Maximum Joy" and "Welcome to the Pleasuredome: Sander's Coming Home Mix" are some of the fresh perspectives Disc 2 offers on the group's sound. By offering both the original versions and remixes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's output, Maximum Joy offers fans some of the best of both worlds. © Heather Phares /TiVo

Rock - Released November 9, 1984 | ZTT Records


Pop - Released January 1, 1985 | ZTT Records


Pop - Released February 23, 1987 | ZTT Records


House - Released March 25, 2013 | Robot 84