FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD – Welcome To The Pleasuredome,Two Tribes & Relax (Wembley Arena, 2004
17 years after their initial breakup in 1987, the band, whose 1983 hit Relax was banned by the BBC, re-formed to play a one-off Prince’s Trust concert at Wembley Arena in November, 2004. Holly Johnson, the original flamboyant frontman, decided not to take part.
Performing with original band members Paul Rutherford, Peter “Ped” Gill and Mark O’Toole, was Ryan Molloy, 28, who beat 200 hopefuls who flocked to the open audition in Leicester Square a month before their concert performance.
The 2004 Prince’s Trust charity performance staged at London’s Wembley Arena marked the 25th anniversary in show business of producer Trevor Horn, who made his name overseeing hits by artists like the Buggles, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Yes, and ABC.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood (FGTH), formed in 1980, were a British band popular in the mid-1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson (vocals), with Paul Rutherford (vocals, keyboards), Peter Gill (drums, percussion), Mark O’Toole (bass guitar), and Brian Nash (guitar).
“Welcome to the Pleasuredome” is the title track to the 1984 debut album by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The lyrics of the song were inspired by the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
In March 1985, the album track was substantially abridged and remixed for release as the group’s fourth UK single.
While criticized at the time of release and afterward for being a song that glorifies debauchery, the lyrics (and video) make clear that the point of the song, just as Coleridge’s poem, is about the dangers of this kind of lifestyle.
“Two Tribes” is the second single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, released in the UK by ZTT Records on 4 June 1984. The song was later included on the album Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Presenting a nihilistic, gleeful lyric expressing enthusiasm for a nuclear war, it juxtaposes a relentless pounding bass line and guitar riff inspired by American funk and R&B pop with influences of Russian classical music, in an opulent arrangement produced by Trevor Horn. The recording makes extensive use of samples of the British Protect and Survive public information films on how to survive a nuclear attack.
Supported by a striking advertising campaign depicting the band as members of the Red Army and a wide range of remixes, the single was a phenomenal success in the UK, immediately entering at the number one position on 10 June 1984 and staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine consecutive weeks, during which time the group’s previous single “Relax” climbed back up the charts to number two. It was the longest running number-one single in the UK of the 1980s. It has sold 1.58 million copies in the UK as of November 2012. Songwriters Johnson, Gill and O’Toole received the 1984 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 14th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
“Relax” is the debut single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, released in the United Kingdom by ZTT Records in 1983. The song was later included on the album Welcome to the Pleasuredome (1984).
Although fairly inauspicious upon initial release, “Relax” finally reached number one on the UK singles chart on 24 January 1984, ultimately becoming one of the most controversial and most commercially successful records of the entire decade. The single eventually sold a reported 2 million copies in the UK alone, making it the seventh best-selling single in the UK Singles Chart’s history Following the release of the group’s second single, “Two Tribes”, “Relax” rallied from a declining UK chart position during June 1984 to climb back up the UK charts and re-attain number-two spot behind
“Two Tribes” at number one, representing simultaneous chart success by a single act, unprecedented since the early 1960s.
Upon release in the United States in late 1984, “Relax” repeated its slow UK progress, reaching number 67 upon initial release, but eventually reaching number 10 in March 1985.
The song won Best British Single at the 1985 Brit Awards.
The song was used in the films Body Double, Police Academy, Gotcha!, Bony a klid, Zoolander, and The Proposal. It was featured in a season one episode of Miami Vice “Little Prince” , in The Simpsons episode “Homer the Smithers” and in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Saints Row: The Third, and a 2009 television advertisement for Virgin Atlantic, marking 25 years since the company’s foundation.