The Pleasuredome Reopens: Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Surprise Reunion after 36 Years
By Todd Nuke ‘Em
Members of Generation X will recall the vast and brief popularity of T-Shirts and pins that advertised the phrase “Frankie Say Relax.” Perhaps the hype and merchandising of the new-wave band Frankie Goes To Hollywood is more significant in the history of pop culture than the actual band. In America, they were basically a one-hit wonder with the hit “Relax” which was loaded with sexual slang. I even remember playing the song at church dances when I was a teenager, and nobody caught on to what they were singing about. Even I was naïve and unaware. Anyway, if you are like me and enjoy a deep dive into classic alternative, you’ll discover that their brief two-album career is notable. Other outstanding tracks from the band include the cold war anthem “Two Tribes” and the title track “Welcome To The Pleasuredome” from their debut album. They rode a wave of controversy, sexually explicit music videos—most of which were never aired in America, and some damn fine music. All of that energy is, of course, a recipe for disaster which lead to a tumultuous break-up of the band some 36 years ago.
Aging new-wavers (and I have no shame placing myself in that category) will get a kick out of the recent reunion performance of Frankie Goes To Hollywood for the launch of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. No, they didn’t play “Relax,” but they did perform a great version of “Welcome To The Pleasuredome.” I must admit that these aging new-wavers brought me back to my teens. There is no word if the reunion will extend beyond this one-off TV performance, but if they came through town, I’d open my wallet to buy a ticket to see Frankie Goes To Hollywood!
Check out Frankie Goes To Hollywood in X96’s Top 500 Songs of All Time: