Reviews

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: “Frankie Said” Deluxe CD+DVD review

frankiesaid

The original Frankie Said made a lot of sense. It was a Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘budget’ compilation released by Salvo in November 2012 that managed to please die-hard fans via the inclusion of rare mixes and edits, while not alienating the broader musical audience who accepted it at face value as a ‘greatest hits’.

Considering the group only released seven singles and the last two (Warriors of the Wasteland and Watching The Wildlife) didn’t even make the UK top ten, the 16-track collection does a good job of  ‘making sense’ of Frankie without containing too much filler. The inclusion of two twelve-inch versions of Relax and Two Tribes at the end is appropriate, given how popular these were at the time.

This new CD+DVD deluxe edition is a slightly harder sell, to be honest. The best elements are the typically stylish and ‘on brand’ packaging, but the DVD – for the most part – is just a rejig of the Hard On compilation from 2000. We get the same three versions of Relax (standard, ‘live’ and ‘laser’) the great Godley and Creme directed Two Tribes and The Power of Love, as well as the long version of Welcome To The Pleasuredome. There are bonus versions of the last three (not on Hard On) but the Video Destructo version of Two Tribes was already on the 2008 ZTT Box Set and all three alternates are basically re-edits of the standard video rather than a whole different promo altogether.

What’s most disappointing is the sound and picture quality. Relax sounds awful. It’s very flat and muffled, rather like it’s being played in the other room while you watch. The picture quality is identical to Hard On i.e. not that great. Given it’s the 30th Anniversary of ZTT Records and they hope you might buy the same compilation you bought last year, someone might have at least tried to restore or clean up the videos and/or sync it to remastered audio. The inclusion of the DVD offered up the opportunity to dust down the Frankie surround mixes that have laid dormant since Rage Hard: The Sonic Collection SACD when out of print many years ago, but just like when The Art Of Noise‘s Who’s Afraid was reissued as a CD+DVD, the chance has gone begging.

To be fair, the sound does improve and The Power Of Love sounds fine. The menus have also been well thought out with the fonts and design matching the packaging of the CD/DVD. The real draw on disc two are the Top Of The Pops appearances. More than any other video content they capture the spirit of 1984 (in particular) with Holly memorably going ‘walkabout’ during Two Tribes with the band left alone on stage dressed in matching white tuxedos. A few years later the Rage Hard appearance raises a few smiles with the band mostly wearing shorts and Paul Rutherford looking in pain with a stocking over his head!

The included TV commercials remind you of the days when it was financially viable to advertise a single release on telly, but only the Welcome To The PleasuredomeThe Event Of The Decade is of note. The David Frost-voiced ad contains an amusing (is that Mike Read I spot?) animation of Lo Cole’s original Pleasuredome artwork and small clips from this are used throughout the DVD for backgrounds to the menu screens.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this CD+DVD edition of Frankie Said. If you don’t own ANY Frankie Goes To Hollywood in many ways it’s the perfect purchase, combining audio and visuals for those brief years of pop dominance. However, if you are a fan of the band (or ZTT) and tend to pick up most of the reissues, it really is slim pickings.

ZTT spun on the axis of Frankie Goes To Hollywood for a year or two, and so we might have expected more than just a rehash of a hits compilation for the 30th Birthday Party. On the other hand the year is young, perhaps there is more to come.

Frankie Said Deluxe Edition is released on 10 February 2014.



Track listing

CD

  • 1. Two Tribes (introduced via the piano of Anne Dudley)
  • 2. The Power of Love
  • 3. Relax (the last seven inches)
  • 4. Two Tribes (we don’t want to die)
  • 5. War!
  • 6. Welcome to the Pleasuredome (a remade world)
  • 7. Ferry Cross The Mersey (and here I’ll stay)
  • 8. Rage Hard
  • 9. Watching the Wildlife
  • 10. Born to Run (live on The Tube)
  • 11. Warriors of the Wasteland (attack) seven inch
  • 12. Kill the Pain
  • 13. Maximum Joy
  • 14. Two Tribes (annihilation) twelve inch
  • 15. Relax (New York) twelve inch
  • 16. The Power of Love (…best listened to by lovers)

DVD

  • 1. Relax (promo video)
  • 2. Relax (live version) (promo video)
  • 3. Relax (laser version) (promo video)
  • 4. Two Tribes (promo video)
  • 5. Two Tribes (video destructo) (promo video)
  • 6. The Power of Love (promo video)
  • 7. The Power of Love (version 2) (promo video)
  • 8. Welcome to the Pleasuredome (an alternative to reality) (promo video)
  • 9. Welcome to the Pleasuredome (the escape act) (promo video)
  • 10. Rage Hard (promo video)
  • 11. Warriors of the Wasteland (promo video)
  • 12. Watching the Wildlife (promo video)
  • 13. Relax (5/1/84) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 14. Two Tribes (9/8/84) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 15. Welcome to the Pleasuredome (28/3/85) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 16. Rage Hard (4/9/86) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 17. Two Tribes (25/12/84) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 18. The Power of Love (25/12/84) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 19. Relax (25/12/84) (Top Of The Pops)
  • 20. Wish (The Lads Were Here) (The Oxford Road Show)
  • 21. War! (The Oxford Road Show)
  • 22. “Relax – No.1 and Guiltless” version 1 (Commercial)
  • 23. “Relax – No.1 and Guiltless” version 2 (Commercial)
  • 24. “The Power of Love – Win Hearts and Minds” (Commercial)
  • 25. “Welcome to the Pleasuredome – The Event of the Decade” (Commercial)
  • 26. “and meanwhile… backstage”

You might also like…

26 responses to Frankie Goes to Hollywood: “Frankie Said” Deluxe CD+DVD review

  1. Nick Watson says:

    Great review Paul. Exactly what we needed to know!

    I totally agree that not using the 5.1 versions for the DVD is a massive wasted opportunity. Although there were problems with those mixes imo – I seem to remember lead guitar and snare routed inexplicably to the LFE channel in one case, plus synth parts missing from Pleasuredome… but that’s ancient history now!

  2. I agree that the non-appearance of the 5.1 mixes from “The Sonic Collection” is a bit of a dropped ball. I’ve spoken with Ian about these mixes in the past (as well as the AoN ones) so I know he’s aware and it would be great to finally get these in an affordable fashion seeing as every example of the original Rage Hard: TSC SACD that shows up on eBay, usually has a starting price of £99.99 or above :-/

    I’ve got virtually all of the ZTT 5.1 releases bar this one and the Seal DVD-A. It’d be nice to get them officially again and at a sane price point.

    And then maybe revisit some other classic Horn productions, such as Duck Rock and Slave to the Rhythm. But I’m not holding my breath ;-) I’m encouraged by the Steven Wilson work on Yes’s back catalogue and hope that 90125 will get the 5.1/HiRes treatment at some point.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes it’s frustrating. Probably like quite a few I came late the the SACD party and as you say it’s virtually impossible to pick the Rage Hard SACD up for sensible money!

      As Nick Mentions I know they are not perfect, but at least they exist. Short of getting Trevor or Gary Langan in to do new surround mixes (which doesn’t sound very likely to happen) it’s all we’ve got.

      Even without surround sound, the DVD offered the opportunity to put a hi-res stereo version of “Frankie Said” on it. There is something about ‘pop’ reissues… these things don’t seem to be explored in the way they are with Jethro Tull, or Yes, or Pink Floyd. Annoying.

  3. Stephen Strahan says:

    It would be nice to get the Pleasuredome album as an anniversary edition on High Res Pure Audio Blu-ray this year. With surround mixes!! :)

  4. omar says:

    I think it was a big opportunity to make this a 2cd/dvd set and include all the tracks that appeared on the Japanese 2cd Frankie Said collection. Considering that it was Ztt’s 30th anniversary they sorely missed out.

  5. Simon says:

    I agree with Rob, let’s have a decent reissue of Duck Rock, please.

  6. PAC says:

    Thrilled to have my favourite TOTP performance from the BBC archives, rather than a grainy old VHS but as one of the many ZTT completists, disappointing to read your review on the rest of the DVD.

  7. Marko says:

    And what about Seal I + Seal II deluxe treatment?

  8. Koen says:

    so…. in short…. if you got the cd version of this one still sealed in your collection…. there’s no need to buy this cd/dvd version?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Depends whether you ‘need’ to have the TOTPs and Oxford Road Show appearances on DVD or not. They are exclusive to this release.

  9. Mike says:

    Why should they bother making an effort? They can milk it till we are all dead!

  10. Jesper says:

    The SACD was a great dissapointment to me. I had it for a number of years before I finally got a sound system set up for 5.1 and SACD, so my expectations where sky-high.

    Especially since the first 5.1 SACD I listened to was Pink Floyds Dark Side which is phenomenal. The second SACD I put on was the Frankie one … and it is lacking . It wasn’t quite the sound experience I hoped for…

    Just imagine the possibilities for 5.1 in a track like WTTP…

  11. Jesper says:

    And another thing:

    Paul – there seems to be different tracklistings for “Art of the 12 Inch, vol. 3″ on Amazon UK and DE.

    Do you know if that is correct or a typo?

  12. Jesper, a 5.1 mix of WTTPD is right up there on my list of muti-channel desires :-)

  13. graham says:

    on the verge of getting this mainly for the dvd but can anyone let me know the difference between the two Power of Love’s? Is one 7 inch and the other 12 inch? Cheers

    • David says:

      The second Power of Love (“best listened to by lovers”) is an instrumental, featuring just the strings used in the arrangement. Not released anywhere else, as far as I’m aware, and particularly luscious.

  14. Mike Bushell says:

    I’ve ordered this as i don’t poses any Frankie videos. I was a huge fan at the time -all those 12″ Two Tribes were really special. However in my view, their finest moment was Maximum Joy off Liverpool!

    Did anyone see the recent BBC programmes on the Cold War? when they got to the 1980s, there was a fantastic secion on Frankie and how they sort of “won” the whole (non) shooting match. And I thought it was the wimmin at Greenham common!

  15. Pingback:#ZTT30 / Celebrating ZTT Records | superdeluxeedition

  16. Pingback:#ZTT30: Gary Langan on ZTT and the Art Of Noise | superdeluxeedition

  17. Robert Morgenstern says:

    Okay, the picture quality is better now, and the Sound (the power of love and the original relax) is sometimes remastered, but not on every video. There is an alternative version of “the power of love” from top of the pops, which sounds different and very interesting. I’m happy with this DVD.

  18. Pingback:#ZTT30: J.J. Jeczalik on Fairlights, the Art of Noise and life at ZTT | superdeluxeedition

  19. David says:

    Overall a fantastic DVD… it is an advancement on “Hard On” no matter what others say…. but… still very disappointed that alternative 1986 version of Rage Hard video wasn’t included here.

  20. Pingback:Simply Frankie Goes To Hollywood | superdeluxeedition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>