October 29, 2009 marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Welcome To The Pleasuredome
, by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
, kicking off the short rule of Frankie over reality. oh so much
Emerging from a fairly scandalous beginning
, they were "disovered" by producer Trevor Horn who worked to mold their sound
. After teasing the public with the lead off singles Relax
(NSFW) [safe version
] [even safer version
], and Two Tribes
], the double album was released at the top of the charts and became an instant legend of pop music success
, blending art, fashion, and music into a dominant (and controversial) force
They quickly followed the album's release with a dominant holiday single, The Power Of Love
which was knocked off the Christmas #1 position by Band Aid's "Do The Know It's Chrismas?"
Rumored to be unable to play live, FGTH released a fourth single (Welcome To The Pleasuredome
) and toured the world in earnest
in 1985, and even were featured on the program Europe A Go Go
. Trying to return to England after their tour abroad, they found themselves exiled due to failure to pay taxes, and Frankie vanished, landing in Holland
, leaving fans puzzled.
They finally resurfaced in 1986 with lead-off single Rage Hard
, and announced their new album Liverpool
. The sales performance of the album was a disappointment, and Frankie tried to boost its appeal by releasing two more singles, Warriors Of The Wasteland
and Watching The Wildlife
, and embarking on an ambitious tour in 1987. [nearly complete filming from Kiel, Germany: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11]
The pressures of fame and touring soon overwhelmed the band, and they broke up after the Liverpool tour
, with the band members going their own ways. Holly Johnson became involved in a legal battle with Frankie's record label
, and his victory won freedom for all the band members.
Peter Gill (Ped), the drummer, went on to form Ltd. Noise
(click the band name for RealAudio music links). Mark O'Toole, the bassist, joined a US punk band, Trapped By Mormons
. Brian Nash (Nashers), the guitarist, released several albums under his own nickname
[MySpace page, surprisingly non-retina-scarring, with audio], and continued performing
. Paul Rutherford, backup vocalist who "just came to dance", released Oh World
, an electronica / dance / pop album which featured the singles Get Real
, I Want Your Love
, and Oh World
, before he retired to New Zealand for many years.
has remained the most active of any of the Frankies, using his hard-won artistic freedom to release several albums. His first, Blast, was a chart-topper in Britain and yielded four singles, Love Train
, Atomic City
, and Heaven's Here
. Later albums yielded less successful tracks, including Where Has The Love Gone?
, Across The Universe
, and Disco Heaven
Meanwhile, the Frankie legend has hardly faded. ZTT's practice of releasing endless numbers of remixes of the FGTH catalog
[extensive discography link] has continued unabated over the decades, culminating with a near reboot of Frankiemania in 2009
sparked by a new mix of Relax
. Johnson did some press related to the silver anniversary of the birth of the phenomenon
, and Virgin Atlantic's choice to use FGTH's lead-off hit in an advertising campaign
soon sparked rumors of a full-on reunion
. Johnson himself only this month squashed those rumors
, leaving many Frankie fans, new and old, to feel their disappointment, even as Peter Gill and Paul Rutherford announce plans to team up on a new project
, Mark O'Toole and Holly Johnson have recently become active in at least one online fan forum
, and the band's official website
has begun to feature new, previously unrevealed content from the past.
Bonus footage: "Frankie Say Reform" VH1's 2004 documentary chronicling the attempt to replace Johnson as lead singer after his refusal to reunite for a Prince Of Wales charity concert. Parts 1 2 3
FRANKIE SAY NO MORE! But only for now. At least, we hope!