Welcome To The Pleasuredome

This one really surprised me. I bought it because the download was only $5 and I think I had a promo code that dropped it another buck. Every now and then I would put the album in my MP3 cart and then take it out thinking that Frankie Goes To Hollywood were just a two-hit wonder and the other tracks on the album would be complete crap. Back in the mid 80s, they had major hits with “Relax” and “Two Tribes”. Okay, one was monstrous and the other came in with a bang and went out with a whimper. You can guess which one is which.

On the first listen through of the entire album, I am pleasantly proven wrong of what my original thought the experience was going to be like. It has some elements of what makes up a great album, and this all may be in hindsight, but I think it still rings true with Welcome To The Pleasuredome:

  • The hit song(s) that the public wants to hear
  • The songs that the band made because they wanted to or were able to
  • Songs in a style that listeners weren’t expecting them to be able to pull off
  • A couple of cover tunes that are from artists that may or may not be in the same genre as the band
  • The production of the album allows it to seamlessly roll from the end of one track into the beginning of the next

Here’s what made me think twice about the album. Holly Johnson is a great vocalist standing in front of some really talented people. Trevor Rabin (who went on to score films like Gone In 60 Seconds) played guitar, as did Steve Howe (of the band Yes). Some of the incidental vocals were provided by Chris Barrie (Arnold Rimmer on Red Dwarf). It says something special about the band if you are able to get talent like this to perform on your album, particularly a debut album.

Perhaps the biggest surprises for me on the album were the covers; Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run”, Edwin Starr’s “War” and Gerry & The Pacemakers “Ferry Cross The Mersey”. These are all songs that were no small contribution in their own rite, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood does them justice.

The World Is My Oyster1:58
Welcome To The Pleasuredome13:41
War (...And Hide)6:14
Two Tribes3:28
Ferry (Go)1:49
Born To Run3:59
San Jose (The Way)3:10
Wish (The Lads Were Here)2:48
The Ballad Of 324:49
Krisco Kisses2:59
Black Night White Light4:09
The Only Star In Heaven4:16
The Power Of Love5:32