Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Further evidence the 80s were all over the place musically, They began life as a New Wave band from Liverpool in 1980, after emerging from the Punk scene in the late 70s. But as the decade wore on, New Wave slowly morphed into Synth-Pop and then Dance-Pop and then Hi-NRG. And the phenomenon was born.
When they hit, they hit big and despite their 1983 debut single, Relax getting banned from the BBC, it managed to sail up the charts, staying in the top five for five consecutive weeks and staying in the charts for most of 1983, making it the seventh best-selling single in the UK of all time. That stunning debut success was quickly followed by a string of follow-up singles; all of which hit number One, making them only the second UK act in history to do so.
Needless to say, they created a stir. And they continued, picking up Grammys and an MTV Award Nomination for Best New Artist. It was an impressive string and it was a worldwide popularity – although they weren’t as huge in the U.S. as they were in the UK, they were still a popular entry in the ever-evolving 80s – and certainly added to the mass popularity of MTV.
This session, their second for John Peel, puts them around the time of Relax (since it was banned by the BBC, it wasn’t part of the session) and just ahead of their debut album which would be released in January of 1984. Excitement over the band was building and they were enjoying unprecedented success via word of mouth. And the controversial video, along with the suggestive lyrics of Relax, gave them instant credibility.
As with many bands of the day, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s run lasted until 1987 when differences of direction and opinions caused a meltdown. There was a brief reunion in 2004, but by then, the band had gone into the history books and became an indelible slice of 80s music history.
You may remember them – you may not. Hit the play button and find out.