Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome

FGTH - Welcome to the Pleasuredome

 

This month’s selection is by Alain Dupuis.

Welcome to the Pleasuredome is the debut studio album from the British synth-pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Released in October of 1984, Pleasuredome hit #1 in the UK and European charts, eventually reaching triple platinum status in their home country, moving more than 900,000 units. The album found success all over the world as well, reaching the tops of many international charts.

The album was a commercial hit that spawned no less than four singles, including Relax, Two Tribes, The Power of Love, and the titular Welcome to the Pleasuredome.

There was a fair amount of controversy surrounding the album, not the least of which involved the producer, Trevor Horn, whose heavy-handed approach to the record production was so dominating that the band’s own instrumental performances were often replaced by session musicians or Horn himself. This annoyed fans and drew criticism, because the singles that had been released prior to the album sounded different than what they had been used to hearing.

Then there was the issue with FGTH’s debut single, Relax. In January of 1984, almost three months after the single had been released, a DJ for the BBC was playing the song and became outraged by the overt sexual nature of the song, removing the disc from the turntable live on air, branding it “obscene.” Two days later, the BBC outright banned the record from all their TV and radio outlets. This, of course ended up working out just fine for the band, as “Relax” immediately shot to number one in the UK charts and stayed there for five weeks. The BBC eventually lifted its ban on the song many months later, allowing the band to perform it on the Christmas edition of Top of the Pops.

It’s been 36 years since Frankie Goes to Hollywood first made their appearance in the cultural lexicon. So for October, 2020, let’s explore their debut double-disc, Welcome to the Pleasuredome.

Be sure to check back at the end of the month to hear what we all thought of the album, and if you want to play along, listen to it with us and share your thoughts in the comments, or on your favourite social media channel.

Links:

Welcome to the Pleasuredome – Wikipedia
Apple Music
Spotify
Amazon

Other Albums Considered This Month:

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – The Smashing Pumpkins
Life After Death – Notorious B.I.G
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones

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