Title: Five days before its official release…
Author: Alan Jones
FIVE DAYS before its official release last Monday (29th), Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s eagerly awaited debut album ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ established a new British record for advance sales by a single or an album at 1,099,550 (LP: 700,000, Cassette 400,000). The first album to register a sale of more than half a million prior to release was ‘Beatles For Sale’ which attracted advance orders of 750,000 in 1964. It was eventually surpassed by Abba’s ‘Super Trouper’, which reached an even million before going on release in 1980.
Two singles have also achieved a seven figure sale in advance of release – ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ (1963) and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ (1964), both by the Beatles.
As a double album, the orders for ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ are staggering, and represent over £5,000,000 worth of business for ZTT’s distributor, EMI.
The week before the Frankie Goes To Hollywood album was finally released, ‘Relax’ dipped out of the singles chart to bring to a close its formidable run of 50 consecutive weeks in the top one hundred (48 weeks in the top 75, and 42 weeks in the top 50).
The extend of the Frankie phenomenon can be judged by the fact that new albums by their closest competitors, Culture Club and Wham!, have generated far fewer advance sales. Culture Club’s ‘Waking Up with The House On Fire’ shipped 499,000 copies last Monday (213,000 on cassette), whilst Wham!’s ‘Make It Big’ album passed the half million mark last Wednesday, twelve days before release.