Title - 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome: Deluxe CD'
Artist - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
25 years on and the definitive edition of the '80s masterpiece, 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome' comes to the fore.
Including the original double album remastered, plus classic B-sides, Trevor Horn’s epic 12" remixes of Relax and The Power Of Love, and archive interviews, 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome' is all you ever musically (still) want in this day and age.
The actual intro to the CD is instrumental, orchestral even, before Holly's voice makes it clear that "the world is" his "oyster". But then we are off and running in pure, unadulterated Frankie style with the near-14 minute 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome' - which, as it states, includes 'well ... and snatch of fury (stay)' ... which I have no clue as to what it refers to, sorry! As for the song, well, sure it goes on a bit (I mean, 14 minutes of the same song, same beat, same rhythm, you knew it would), and yet it doesn't get boring ... ever!
The always-brilliant 'Relax (come fighting)' is next, followed by the 6-minute cover of Edwin Starr's 'War (and hide).' The only thing here that I would have wanted to hear was right at the beginning, when Holly is gently chanting the chorus lyric. But when he gets to the crescendo note, instead of a huge, loud 'War,' he goes ultra soft; very quite - as the bongo's and cowbells then kick in! Anyway, primarily, this track has a faux President Ronald Reagan speaking his thoughts on war, what he's going to do after it, and his upcoming autobiography!
'Two Tribes' is next, as pulsating, as energetic is it's ever been to those that have loved it since day one, and then a faux Prince Charles talks of how to distinguish if one has had an orgasm or not (under the track listing guise of 'for the victims of ravishment'), before the beautiful, but ultra-short 'Ferry (Go)' is brought forth. Running at just 1:49, it's a wonder why they included it at all - unless it was only always that length?!
An energetic, breezy 'Born To Run' doesn't match the grit of Springsteen's original, we all know that, but takes Holly's vocals to a reach that he never unleashed again on any other track. A rather pedestrian cover of the Bacharach staple, 'San Jose (The Way)' is next, which is followed by 'Wish (The Lads Were Here)' - which is nothing more than an album filler at best.
Next is 'The Ballad of 32,' a near five-minute instrumental; save for some sporadic spoken words that, again, seems to be there just to fill out the album. Some in-studio shouting then leads to the rampant 'Krisco Kisses,' with the tender, smooth, disco-lite 'Black Night White Light' quickly following behind.
The bouncy, fun, Holly-rapped intro on 'The Only Star In Heaven' brings us into the final lap of this first disc, with the stunningly-awesome, mega-ballad, 'Power Of Love' thereafter. Man, it still gives me chills listening to this song all these years later. With the faux Reagan back, this time repeating over synth chimes, 'Frankie Say ...,' he final ends the disc with the infamous words, 'Frankie Say, No More.'
Side two - what's refered to as Post-Bang, and other things - kicks off with a massive 17 minute 'Relax (greatest bits)' which includes verbal interludes, some moans and groans, but, and for the most part, is one (very) long instrumental version of the song. The following 'One September Morning' is a reflectional, confessional piece - where Holly is asked when and why he thought he would be able to work with Paul (Rutherford), where the name of the band originated, and why he started wanting to sing in the first place.
Alan Partridge aka Paul Whitehouse intro's the near-ten minute 'The Power Of Love' (12" version), inclusive of the opening to The Lord's Prayer, spoken by a faux President Ronald Reagan. A 'M-I-C-K-E-Y' chant introduces the filler track 'Disneyland,' before "The air attack warning sounds like ... this is the sound" delivers us into 'Two Tribes (between rulers and ruling),' before bleeding seamlessly into instrumental versions of both 'War (between hiding and hidden)' and 'Pleasuredome (cut rough).'
'One February Friday' has all of Frankie introducing themselves and talking about stardom to a guitar backbeat, before 'The Ballad Of 32 (mix2)' instrumentally comes in at just over (an unnescessary) 11 minutes. The spoken section IV of the poem 'Little Gidding' (T.S. Eliot) introduces us to the 16 second 'who then devised the torment?' which leads perfectly (given that the poem relates to the Shirt of Nessus in Greek mythology) into 'Relax (Greek disco mix).
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