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Frankie Say But Have You Heard These?
August 26, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Along with the endless myriad of remixes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood was known for their b-sides. Beginning with Ferry 'Cross The Mersey, a b-side to the single Relax (snippets of which are included on the Welcome To The Pleasuredome album), they consistently showed their humor and talent through non-album tracks.

As with all things Frankie, any link here may or may not contain NSFW content

The B-Sides:

One September Monday (Relax b-side) - Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford in remixed conversation with Paul Morley [transcript]

One February Friday (Two Tribes b-side) - The Lads (Mark O'Toole, Brian Nash and Peter Gill) in remixed conversation with Paul Morley [transcript]

The Last Voice (Two Tribes b-side)

Get It On (Bang A Gong) (Welcome To The Pleasuredome b-side)

Happy Hi (Welcome To The Pleasuredome b-side, substituted for Do You Know The Way To San Jose on some releases of the Pleasuredome album)

The World Is My Oyster (Scrapped) (including Holier Than Thou The First) [FGTH's 1984 Christmas Message] (The Power Of Love b-side)

The World Is My Oyster (Trapped) (including Holier Than Thou The Second) (The Power Of Love b-side)

SuffrRAGEtte City (Rage Hard b-side)

Roadhouse Blues (Rage Hard b-side)

(Don't Lose What's Left) Of Your Little Mind (Rage Hard b-side)

The Waves (Watching The Wildlife b-side)

Bonus Extra Frankie:

Watusi Love Juicy (unreleased Pleasuredome-era track)

Disneyland (unreleased Pleasuredome-era track)

Starfix (instrumental version of The Only Star In Heaven)

Our Silver Turns To Gold (unreleased Liverpool-era track)

Stan, Pamela, & Pocket Vibrator (outtakes and unreleased track from Liverpool era)

Bonus Track: Rage Hard: Young Person's Guide To The 12-Inch

FGTH previously on MetaFilter
posted by hippybear (41 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Frankie Goes To Hollywood is ridiculously underrated and dismissed by people who've never actually listened to them. I highly recommend The Wasteland, a meticulous fan reconstruction of Liverpool to more closely align that record with the standard set with Welcome To The Pleasuredome.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 11:22 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's fascinating, beaucoupkevin. I've never heard of that. It's a shame that I may NEVER hear it, as the only release of it I can find is a very unhealthy torrent with no seeds at the moment.
posted by hippybear at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2012


These are great, really taking me back to the halcyon days and all that. Especially that Paul Morley interview with the lads.

As it happens, for the past three months, every morning I've awakened singing The Only Star in Heaven. Sometimes I put it on while I shower and do the Gangnam Style pony dance along with it. Splish splash!

Thanks for the links.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:31 AM on August 26, 2012


Beginning with Ferry 'Cross The Mersey

"'Cause this land's a place I love,
And here I'll stay..."

They didn't, of course. They fucked off to London, first chance they got.

Unlike this guy.

(Kinda related, because I first met Holly Johnston and Paul Rutherford when they were rehearsing with Pete Wylie and Budgie who went on to become the drummer with Souxsie and the Banshees, long before any of them were even close to famous.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:50 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hippybear should check his MeMail. That is all.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometime in the tequila-stained late-90's, I stumbled into a Frankie Goes to Hollywood show with a good-sized group of my friends at, of all places, Emo's in Austin. The group played 'Relax' a total of 3 times. I do not remember any of their other material, though I've never been a fan so I likely wouldn't remember it no matter what. After the show I got to talking to their guitar player, who told me that there were none of the people who'd played on the original 'Relax' in the band at that time; indeed, there were none of the original members at all. They'd been hired by an agent who'd bought the rights to the FGtH name, making them essentially a cover band with the legal ability to use the name of the band they were covering. It was pretty intriguing to me and much more interesting than if we'd seen one or two of the 'real' Frankies, tired and gray, with a bunch of hired hands.
posted by item at 11:56 AM on August 26, 2012


Now you've done it. I'm now listening to Holly Johnson songs at YouTube: Heaven's Here, Americanos, etc. There's goes the afternoon.
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holly Johnson - LIVE Potsdam June 30, 2012 "Relax".
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on August 26, 2012


It was pretty intriguing to me and much more interesting than if we'd seen one or two of the 'real' Frankies, tired and gray, with a bunch of hired hands.

To be fair, in the late 1990s, the original Frankie members would have been in their late 30s. Hardly an age to be considered tired and gray.

But yeah, the Faux Frankie thing is something that happened. As is the whole "let's find a substitute for Holly" thing which took place before a Prince's Trust show.

I still hold out hope for a full reunion, but it's more likely that Mercury will be found to be human habitable than it is for FGTH to reassemble with its original members.
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting factoid: "Holly Johnson took part in a charity project for the Hillsborough disaster fund and recorded a popular single 'Ferry Cross the Mersey' with Paul McCartney, The Christians and others. The single reached number 1 in the UK and Ireland."*
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on August 26, 2012


Holly has started a blog this summer with dispatches from his tour.
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I first met Holly Johnston and Paul Rutherford when they were rehearsing with Pete Wylie and Budgie

I'm all intrigued now. Was this Spitfire Boys-era?
posted by panboi at 12:37 PM on August 26, 2012


Holly has started a blog this summer with dispatches from his tour.

"It was the perfect excuse to put on a kilt and to watch Mr Jimmy Somerville perform."

Some part of my brain just exploded.
posted by hippybear at 12:40 PM on August 26, 2012


but it's more likely that Mercury will be found to be human habitable than it is for FGTH to reassemble with its original members.

Freddie?!
posted by chavenet at 2:44 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Warriors b-sides (not included in this post) are my favourite. In addition, completists might want to know that there is an alternative version of "Happy Hi" without the Holly Johnson sung vocal but with the spoken vocal from the Pleasuredome single. It's on the cassette single of WTTPD.
posted by infobomb at 3:46 PM on August 26, 2012


Thanks for including "Disneyland" - one of the best FGTH tracks ever, IMHO. I don't know the story behind it- did trademark law prevent it being included in an official release?
posted by infobomb at 3:52 PM on August 26, 2012


The Warriors b-sides (not included in this post) are my favourite.

Yeah, with the exception of the Rage Hard 12", I tried to stay away from remixes with this post. Warriors has great remixes on its various singles, but no actual new tracks.

Maybe someday I'll do a post with all the various remixes from the original era. But this isn't that post.
posted by hippybear at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2012


I remember hearing Ferry Cross the Mersey on the Relax 12" and loving it. They were a band I never got into more than superficially back in the day but have found more interesting musically as I got older. Now I'm going to end up digging hard into their back catalog. Hippybear, your posts are so bad for my wallet.
posted by immlass at 4:06 PM on August 26, 2012


To be fair, in the late 1990s, the original Frankie members would have been in their late 30s. Hardly an age to be considered tired and gray.

I guess you're right, though in my defense when I was 22 people in their late 30's definitely seemed like old farts to me. My friends who were that age seemed to come from another planet, as I'm sure I did to them. All I really know and all I've really learned since then is that now, at age 35, I can and do easily slip into unmistakable 'tired and gray'.

So tell me more about this Faux Frankie. As I said, it's fascinated me since it happened, the fact that a name and image could be sold off so completely like that.
posted by item at 4:22 PM on August 26, 2012


Here's an article from Spin in 2000 which lays out the whole Faux Frankie thing. There's other stuff about it online if you dig around, but this is probably the best article I've seen about it.
posted by hippybear at 4:59 PM on August 26, 2012


If that's not very legible, here's a summary article that's actually a webpage that lists the salient points.
posted by hippybear at 5:06 PM on August 26, 2012


Trevor Horn's production on the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album is phenomenal. I highly recommend listening to it at high volume on a good pair of headphones. When Holly's voice comes on saying "The world is my oyster..." you'll jump out of your skin.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:22 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it also decodes very well using Dolby Pro Logic II music surround decoding. It's obviously a matrixed surround decode which creates a faux surround picture, but like with a lot of music recorded after the development of Pro Logic surround, it seems to have been designed to work well and give a good sound picture on that setting.
posted by hippybear at 6:32 PM on August 26, 2012


This is from a zttaat.com article in August 1984:
"Composer Gerry Marsden (of Gerry & The Pacemakers) is reported so far to have earned £22,000 in royalties from FGTH’s version of ‘Ferry Across The Mersey’."
I'm guessing that number is quite a bit larger by now!
posted by TDavis at 6:53 PM on August 26, 2012


Ooh, great b-sides (especially intrigued by the covers)! Thank you for introducing me to a few more good songs!
posted by Mael Oui at 8:07 PM on August 26, 2012


Frankie Goes To Hollywood is ridiculously underrated and dismissed by people who've never actually listened to them. I highly recommend The Wasteland, a meticulous fan reconstruction of Liverpool to more closely align that record with the standard set with Welcome To The Pleasuredome.

Hmm. Googling coming up with nada.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:26 PM on August 26, 2012


Hippybear should check her MeMail. That is all.

Hey!
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:26 PM on August 26, 2012


"Disneyland" did get an official release, on the 1985 label compilation Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled. I suspect it would have become a b-side if there had been another single from Welcome To The Pleasuredome.

My go-to non-single Frankie tracks are "The Ballad of 32" and "Black Night White Light" from the latter half of WTTP. "Black Night" in particular is great moody nighttime driving music.

Brian Nash apparently has an autobiography coming out next month, which I'm looking forward to for another perspective on the lawsuit/breakup and what Horn was like to work with.

Anyone who wants to share that fan reworking of Liverpool, you could make an old ZTT geek very very happy...!
posted by Lazlo at 1:10 AM on August 27, 2012


It's called "The Wasteland: Liverpool Re-imagined", which might make your search a little easier. (you WILL need a torrent client to get it on your own)

Liverpool was the 2nd Compact Disc album I ever purchased. (while not strictly an "early adopter" I was most definitely the "first on my block" to have a CD player) Safe to say it was nothing short of a complete let-down in the wake of "Pleasuredome." Hard to imagine how the same people behind such obvious catchy hits like "Relax" and "Two Tribes" managed to come up with absolutely NOTHING to back it up with. I was bummed. Frankie was one of my favorite acts at the time, and it was difficult to even face up to my own disappointment (having spent essentially an entire day's wages on their sophomore CD release) It was just "meh."

(my first CD purchase was Big Audio Dynamite's "No. 10 Upping St." which was also what I would consider a "sub-par second outing". I certainly had bad luck in those days.)
posted by ShutterBun at 4:26 AM on August 27, 2012


I was always kind of partial to FGTH's cover of "Born to Run". They play it, er, straight.
posted by chavenet at 5:06 AM on August 27, 2012


I've always seen Liverpool to be an outstanding album. It's certainly not Pleasuredome, but then it wasn't trying to be.

It's a pretty complete artistic statement from beginning to end. Opening with Warriors Of The Wasteland, which is an assessment of society "outside the pleasuredome", if you will... Then Rage Hard, which is a call to action for all those who live in the pleasuredome to work against the forces in the world outside. Kill The Pain is a vision of how the outside world can be changed, by building an ocean of hope and rearranging the nature of the game. Maximum Joy is the promise of what can be for everyone if the plans are successful.

Side two starts with Watching The Wildlife, sitting inside the pleasuredome lifestyle and seeing all the people doing their non-pleasuredome things around you, and having those people also see you as Other because you are in the pleasuredome. Lunar Bay speaks of the mutual support those who live the changed lifestyle experience, and For Heaven's Sake is once again a call to get out of the mundane and into the pleasuredome. Finally, the album closes with Is Anybody Out There?, a lament and a love song for anyone who is willing to make these changes to step forward and join the pleasuredome.

Okay, so that quickie writeup is a bit hokey, but it's how I've seen that album since the day I got it. It's a fairly subversive countercultural call to action. I listen to it pretty regularly even all these many years later.
posted by hippybear at 6:39 AM on August 27, 2012


Sounds great!

If only they;d written some nice songs to go along with that scenario.

(I'm fully willing to admit that there was something awesome that I just "didn't get" and dammit, I really wanted to. I was a HUGE fan of their first album, and deliberately paid twice the price of a normal album to get "Liverpool" on CD. I probably listened to it all the way through about 4 or 5 times, vs. 100+ listens of "Pleasuredome.")
posted by ShutterBun at 7:33 AM on August 27, 2012


I have a Frankie question that hopefully someone here can answer. I frequently listen to SomaFM's Underground 80s channel with my morning coffee, and they often play this remix of FGTH's cover of Edwin Starr's "War". Between the verses, there is a Ronald Reagan impersonator reading a text that sounds to me like an outtake of some political figure's memoir. Does anyone know where said words come from? This has been bugging the hell out of me for a while, and I found a reference online claiming that it was from Mein Kampf, but the text mentions Malcom X and Che Guevara, so I think we can rule that out. Was it just something someone from the band and/or production team wrote for the song, or is it a real text? Surely with all of the Frankie knowledge floating around in this thread, someone knows the answer!
posted by vibrotronica at 4:07 PM on August 27, 2012


Frankie Goes To Hollywood is ridiculously underrated

nthing this. The title track on Welcome... blew me away the first time I heard it, some years after "Relax" and "Two Tribes" had come and gone.

Apropos of which, one of my favorite moments at the opening ceremonies in London was hearing an excerpt from "Relax" and imagining that conversation. "Well, Your Majesty, the song encourages listeners to relax if they want to come...in first place at these Games at which Your Highness is presiding. Yes. Yes, that's it."
posted by the sobsister at 4:41 PM on August 27, 2012


Between the verses, there is a Ronald Reagan impersonator reading a text that sounds to me like an outtake of some political figure's memoir. Does anyone know where said words come from?
I think it's a riff on Hitler's speech at his trial for treason vibrotronica.

I've never actually found out what it was prior to today but Ronnie Raygun uttering the phrase "the goddess of the eternal court of history" has stuck with me since I heard it on the Two Tribes 12-inch I bought as a kid. It's not a direct translation, but close enough to be funny to me a few fuck I'm old decades later.

Almost certainly Morley's doing.
"Well, Your Majesty, the song encourages listeners to relax if they want to come...in first place at these Games at which Your Highness is presiding. Yes. Yes, that's it.
connecting all this together, the two-tribes 12 inch had Patrick Allen proclaiming "mine is the last voice you will ever hear, do not be alarmed" which is based on his work for Protect and Survive and apparently the house used in the Olympics opening ceremony is a copy of the one in the information the government put out when people still believed surviving that shit was possible.

We have much cooler dog-whistling over on this side of the pond.
posted by fullerine at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Between the verses, there is a Ronald Reagan impersonator reading a text that sounds to me like an outtake of some political figure's memoir. Does anyone know where said words come from?
"You may pronounce us guilty a thousand times over, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear to tatters the verdict of this court - for she acquits us."
This is a paraphrase of something Hitler said in court in Munich in 1924 after his failed putsch.
"Just think, war breaks out and nobody turns up."
This is very close to the old hippie saying "suppose they gave a war and nobody came", popularized by Charlotte Keyes in the 1960s, and was a lyric in a Monkees song.
"The logic of war seems to be if the belligerent can fight, he will fight. That leaders will not surrender until surrender is academic. How is a national leader to explain the sacrifice of so much for nothing?
I can't easily find anything about the content of this quote. It may be a paraphrase or it may be invented whole cloth using language which is often used to examine wartime motivations and such.

I know there's a version where the faux Reagan goes on about heroes and love of country and ideals and such, but I'm not easily finding that version either in my collection or as lyrics online.

I've been curious about those quotes for ages, too. It would be interesting to find out.
posted by hippybear at 6:42 PM on August 27, 2012


Oh my God! The Faux Reagan was Rimmer!
posted by fullerine at 6:50 PM on August 27, 2012


(I'm fully willing to admit that there was something awesome that I just "didn't get" and dammit, I really wanted to. I was a HUGE fan of their first album, and deliberately paid twice the price of a normal album to get "Liverpool" on CD. I probably listened to it all the way through about 4 or 5 times, vs. 100+ listens of "Pleasuredome.")

Well, if I can't convince you to give it another listen, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree about this one.
posted by hippybear at 6:51 PM on August 27, 2012


Okay, after years of wondering for myself I finally researched all the Reagan quotes from "War"/"Two Tribes". To my surprised, they're virtually all sourcable -- I thought they'd been made up by Paul Morley, for the most part. I'm sure there's more in the vaults, too.

From "War (hide yourself)":
"The logic of war seems to be if the belligerent can fight, he will fight. That leaders will not surrender until surrender is academic. How is a national leader to explain the sacrifice of so much for nothing?"
-- Thomas Powers, Thinking About The Next War (1983).
From "War (...and hide)":
"Man has a sense for the discovery of beauty. How rich is the world for one who makes use of this discovery. Beauty must have power over man.[...] After the end of the war I want to devote myself to my thoughts for five to ten years, and to writing them down. [...] Wars come and go. What remains are only the values of culture."
-- Erich Fromm, quoting Adolf Hitler (unsourced), in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1974).
"Then of course there is revolutionary love. Love of comrades fighting for the people, and love of people. Not an abstract people but people one meets and works with. When Che Guevara talked of love being at the centre of revolutionary endeavour, he meant both. For people like Che, or George Jackson, or Malcolm X, love was the prime mover of their struggle. And love cost them their lives. Love, coupled with immense pride."
-- David Graham Cooper, The Grammar of Living (1974).
From "Two Tribes (annihilation)" (aka for the victims of ravishment):
"You may pronounce us guilty a thousand times over, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear to tatters the brief of the state prosecutor, and the sentence of this court, for she acquits us."
-- Adolf Hitler, closing statement of the Rathaus Putsch trial (1924).
"Condemn me. [...] History will absolve me."
-- Fidel Castro, manifesto of the 26th of July Movement (1953).
"Singing this'll be the day that I die"
-- Don McLean, "American Pie" (1971).
"Just think of it: war breaks out, and nobody turns up." (Original: "Stell dir vor, es kommt Krieg, und keiner geht hin...")
-- Early '80s slogan of the German peace movement, selectively quoting Berthold Brecht, who continued: "...it would amount to fighting for the cause of the enemy, if one did not fight for one's own cause." Which sort of takes the wind out of its pacifist sails.
"It's enough to make you wonder sometimes if you're on the right planet." (Original: "C'est a demander parfois si on est sur la bonne planéte.")
-- Samuel Beckett, "The End (1955).
"Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?"
-- Paraphrased quote from Terry Bishop's film Cover Girl Killer: "...surely sex and horror are the new Gods in this polluted world of so-called 'entertainment'!"
Next up: sleeve text! (Maybe.)
posted by Lazlo at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Synergisms.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:26 PM on August 27, 2012


Thank you, Lazlo! That's why I love this place.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:02 AM on August 28, 2012


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