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 Pleasuredome – The 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.
- • UK Pre-order: Frankie Said (Deluxe Edition) [CD / DVD]
- • USA Pre-order: Frankie Said: Deluxe Edition [CD/DVD]
- • GERMANY Pre-order: Frankie Said (Deluxe CD+DVD Edition)
- 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)
- 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”