Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 08/04/15

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (1984)

The Black Dog having decided to take up a more permanent residence (to be found currently lying curled up in its basket next to the radiator with an evil sneer on its face, intent on causing more of the annoyance, anxiety and physical sub-paritude described here), I'm in desperate need of uplift from somewhere.

The mid-Eighties. Not a good time in a lot of ways. Not if you preferred authenticity to hype, honesty to advertising gloss, real music to manufactured, over-produced, slimy sleekness.

And yet...

Yes, I know, I know: Frankie Goes To Hollywood. A good band spoiled by cynical manipulation by a Svengali producer and a pseudo-intellectual poseur (or 'Trevor' and 'Paul', as they were known to their friends). Touting one of their concoctions would normally lead to demands that I proceed through the streets ringing a large, tuneless, clanking bell and croaking, "Uncool! Uncool!".

Yes, I know, I know (part 2): who knows who from the actual, y'know band, can be heard on this, apart from the gay glamour twins Johnson and Rutherford? Did Steve Howe really play the acoustic guitar on it, and did he realise what he was getting involved with? And which tracks on the double LP featured Howe's fellow Yes-man Trevor Rabin? Questions, questions...

Bollocks to it. I can't call this track a guilty pleasure, because I don't feel remotely guilty about it. It hits its groove early on and resolutely stays in it, with Johnson's forever lascivious vocal stylings over the top ('over the top' being les mots justes, I think). On it chugs until - at about the eleven-and-a-half-minute mark - it starts to move into overdrive with the addition of soulful girl singers taking it on to a whole new level (one would say 'climactic', except that one would get sniggered at for it, especially in the light of the band's most notorious waxing...oh dear, there goes another double entendre...) with even an already strong bass line getting that little bit extra...

Oh, to hell with it! Just listen, will you?

YouTube logo