Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Live At Wembley Arena – January 13, 1987 – Live and Loud.com
Frankie Goes To Hollywood to end the week. Recorded live at Wembley Arena on January 13, 1987 and spiffed-up, turbo-charged and given a new lease on life by Flip Martian at Live and Loud.com.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood formed in Liverpool, England, in the 1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson (vocals), with Paul Rutherford (vocals), Peter Gill (drums, percussion), Mark O’Toole (bass guitar) and Brian Nash (guitar).
The group’s 1983 debut single “Relax” was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and subsequently topped the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the seventh-best-selling UK single of all time. It also won the 1985 Brit Award for Best British Single. Their debut album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, reached number one in the UK in 1984 with advanced sales of over one million. After the follow-up success of “Two Tribes” and “The Power of Love”, the group became only the second act in the history of the UK charts to reach number one with their first three singles; the first being fellow Liverpudlians Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 1960s. This record remained unbeaten until the Spice Girls achieved a six-single streak in 1996–1997.
In 1985 the band won the Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act. Associated with the Second British Invasion of the US, they also received Grammy Award and MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best New Artist. Songwriters Johnson, Gill and O’Toole received the 1984 Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Two Tribes”. In 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 14th-favorite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
In 1986, FGTH appeared at the Montreux Rock Festival which was broadcast on UK television. This performance saw the first airings of two future singles, namely “Rage Hard” and “Warriors of the Wasteland”. Both versions were different from the versions eventually released. In August 1986, the long-awaited new Frankie Goes to Hollywood single, “Rage Hard”, was released, reaching number 4 in the UK. Initially showcased promotionally with songs like “Warriors of the Wasteland”, the group’s sound had developed a significantly harder edge with a less flamboyant, more nitty-gritty lyrical side. The album, Liverpool, was released in October 1986 and reached UK No. 5. It was generally panned by the music press and chart returns declined rapidly with the follow-up singles “Warriors of the Wasteland” (No. 19) and “Watching the Wildlife” (No. 28). The group meanwhile threatened to implode of its own accord, in the course of a tour promoting the new album. Johnson kept himself markedly separate from the rest of the band when offstage during this period, tensions becoming exacerbated during a backstage altercation between Johnson and O’Toole at Wembley Arena in January 1987, reflecting the generally collapsing relationship between lead singer and the rest of the band. Things were so bad that fellow Liverpudlian singer Pete Wylie was approached to replace Johnson but declined the offer. FGTH completed the tour, but Johnson ultimately left the group thereafter, citing musical estrangement.
And as history would have it, this is the concert the above altercation took place. However, you and the rest of the audience at the time won’t notice. It’s just one of those factoids to pique your interest. Either way, crank it up and get ready for the weekend.