Title: Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Publish date: 30 March 1985
PHENOMENON OF THE YEAR (DECEASED)
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: Welcome To The Pleasuredome (ZTT)
“I am no longer an artist, I have become a work of art.”
From the solemn announcement that opens their fourth single, Frankie Goes To Hollywood claim for themselves the Body Of God, even if to the rest of us they still look like dogsbodies done up like dogs’ dinners.
Make no mistake, for the truly transcendent minutes of ‘Two Tribes’, Frankie Goes To Hollywood achieved brilliance - the only problem was that behind the orgiastic explosions, the tall print, ravishing wrapping and the uniquely tasteful reading list, the least interesting thing about the whole phenomenon was Frankie themselves.
I can’t share Barney Hoskyns’ enthusiasm for Holly Johnson’s ‘ordinariness’, especially when it appears so reluctant. Holly would dearly love to be the screaming superstar deviant; unfortunately he lacks the flamboyance to carry it off. As for the rest, well, Paul Rutherford is a charming chap to have lunch with, and the ‘Lads’, from what I’ve read, are tedious in the extreme.
Raw materials for a Quentin Crisp-type ‘All I have to do is be’ artwork? Well, I think not.
Frankie were built with the briefest span of a built-in obsolescence - anyone who opens with SEX and follows with WAR isn’t taking out a long-term lease on that pedestal. Now what have Frankie got left themselves as the art, their success as their subject matter. Nothing, but nothing fails like success.
Meanwhile, with an optimism that broaches the surreal, the marketing posters blare THEIR FOURTH NUMBER ONE. What is this? Sarcasm? Is ZTT turning the Frankie campaign into a public flogging? The nerve to release yet another single from the thinnest double LP of all time suggests a certain glee in ramming the last morsel of Frankie down our throats. But as the eminent Harry Flowers might say - at the funeral, who’s left holding the sodding baby?
Can ZTT follow Frankie? See below.