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The power of Frankie

Just when every other pop star thought it was safe to venture back into the charts, those bold, brash Liverpool lads have returned…

Power Of Love features the fivesome who are Frankie (thats Paul, Holly, Mark, Ped and Nasher) on full throttle yet again, repeating the staggering success which has been theirs ever since they released their first two unforgettable singles on an unsuspecting world. Last month also heralded the release of the bands debut LP, The Pleasure Dome, eagerly awaited to the tune of no fewer than a million in advance sales.

But just over a year ago it was a very different story. The summer of ‘83 found Frankie barely making a living on the dole, while on the musical front things were equally gloomy. The bands energetic musical antics brought plenty of interest, but no offers. No record company dared take them on. The future was looking bleak and Frankie almost decided to call it a day.

However, just in the nick of time, along came wizard record producer Trevor Horn, who lost no time in signing the lads to his brand new label, ZTT. At last Frankie has a home. And shortly afterwards, with the release of their highly controversial debut single, Relax, they had a huge hit on their hands too.

The follow-up, the equally powerful Two Tribes, like Relax shot straight to number one, where it stayed for eight weeks.

Having conquered the charts, Frankie Goes To Hollywood have decided to come out of the studio and ‘tread the boards. Already, theyve gone down a storm on a six-week trek round America, which put paid to rumours that it wasnt Frankie themselves playing on their records.

“A load of nonsense,” said Paul in a recent interview. “Sound grapes from people who are jealous of our success. Once you make it to the top there are always people who try their very best to knock you down.”

Clearly there are a few drawbacks to fame and fortune, as Holly himself pointed out: “Like not being able to have a decent dance because Relax comes on and its too smarmy to dance to your own records!”

Frank-ly speaking

Frankie Goes To Hollywood have hardly ever been out of the news since hitting the heights for the first time earlier this year. Many people love ‘em, but others are just as happy to leave ‘em! So we spoke to some young people in Liverpool, the groups home town, and Norwich (this was before the release of the video for Power Of Love)…

“I think Frankie are great. Id buy 10 of their LPs if I had enough money. They are the best group in the whole wide world. They are handsome and nice looking. Their records are very loud indeed, which I like.”

Mandy Heath, age 10, Birkenhead

“I like the group because they sing good songs like Relax and Two Tribes. I think the one who sings is the best, because he has got a good voice. I like the music with its heavy, thudding beat. I wish that Frankie would do a concert tour of Britain, so that I would be able to see them live. People on Merseyside are waiting to see if they become as big as the Beatles were.”

Candy Wallace, age 10, Birkenhead

“I like Frankie Goes To Hollywood because I like watching their videos. I tihkn thegroup have good singers and make a great sound, good for dancing. Frankie are the best group and I like the rhythm of their songs. In my opinion, War is the best record they have made so far. On Merseyside, we have always had the best groups.”

Ian Johnston, age 10, Birkenhead

“I like the group because their music makes you feel like dancing. I also like the dresses and T-shirts named after the group. I like them because they come from Liverpool. My favourite is their first song, Relax.”

Nikki Johnson, age 10, Birkenhead

“I like the group because their songs are good. I like watching them on television. My favourite is Holly Johnson, because he is the best singer. I like the sound of their music, because it goes well with their voices.”

Lyndsy Marsland, age 10, Birkenhead

“I like Frankie because I like the music, the videos, the T-shirts, and the fact that they are noisy. A lot of grown-ups dont like Frankie, which is another reason why I like them. I like Paul Rutherford, because my cousin has a friend who is a nephew of Paul. Really, I like their music because it is fast and noisy.”

Ken Jones, age 11, Birkenhead

“I dont like Frankie because they try to be different from other groups by making T-shirts saying things like ‘Frankie say War hide yourself. Whats this got to do with playing good music? I think its just trying to make more money.

My favourite band is Ultravox because they make great music.”

Stephen Agnew, age 10, Merseyside

“I really like them. I think the rhythm if their songs is good, and I like the way they move around. Im pretty confident of finding Frankies album in my Christmas stocking. I think theyre going to be even bigger than the Beatles, and my favourite member of the group is Mark OToole.”

Steven Mace, age 11, Norwich

“They dress too common. They should put a bit of jazz into their costumes. Their music is OK, but I wouldnt say its the best. My own favourites are Madness. I like the way they look, their stylish clothes and their songs.”

Michael Roxby, age 11, Norwich

“I rate Two Tribes as a good song but Im not a great fan of Frankie. Theyre a bit too casual. Theyve go no style. I think they could improve a lot. Im a Madness fan. I like their videos and songs. They dont go in for funny words like Frankie, just nice straightforward songs.”

Wayne Clayton, age 12, Norwich

“I like the groups style, and I like their music. Theyve got a nice rhythm, not too heavy. And I reckon Holly Johnson is number one as a lead singer. He doesnt jump about like some do, and you can hear him really clearly.”

Dax Parsons, age 12, Norwich

“I like the music but not the group. I dont like the way they dress and how they stand. Im quite keen on singer Holly Johnson, but I dont care much for the others. I reckon Frankie arent in the same league are Duran Duran. Theyve got good music, good rhythm and they look good.”

Charlotte Nappin, age 11, Norwich

“I rate Frankies music, but think they are too scruffy. I dont like their clothes and the way their shirts hang out. But the singing is good. I like the drums, and Brian Nash because hes nice looking. But Im staying loyal to my favourite group Duran Duran.”

Kirsty Brooks, age 11, Norwich

“My dad is keen on Frankies music, but Im not so sure. Their musics good to dance to, but I think they should change their image for some of the songs. They always look the same. I reckon Paul Rutherford comes across better than the others. Hes different and nice-looking. But I prefer the Thompson Twins.”

Samantha Beckham, age 11, Norwich

“Theyve got lots of talent, and I like how they dress, especially the studs they wear round their arms. And their music is great to dance to. Paul Rutherford is my favourite. I like his style, and hes the best looking.”

Julie Smith, age 11, Norwich