It seems like only yesterday [cue harp run] that I was waxing eloquent about the ZTT DLX RM of Propaganda’s “Wishful Thinking,” and already, ZTT has another missile in the silo, ready to launch another attack on our wallets. This time, it’s primary ZTT ca$h cow Frankie Goes To Hollywood that get the loving touch. In the last few years, ZTT/Salvo have dropped DLX RMS of the two FGTH albums, and lo, over a decade ago, the godlike “Twelve Inches” collection. I’m still coasting on my initial US pressings of “Welcome To The Pleasuredome” and “Liverpool,” and a Spanish copy of the “Maximum Joy” compilation, along with a German copy [yes!] of “Twelve Inches.” However this new comp addresses the bits that have, largely been swept under the ZTT carpet, with special attention to their cassette “singlette” releases, which were unique to the vinyl issues and anticipated the direction that the CD singles would later move in.
- “all in the body”
- The Soundtrack from Bernard Rose’s Video of the Welcome to the Pleasuredome Single
- Get It On
- Welcome to the Pleasuredome [How to Remake the World, Completely]
- “all in the mind”
- Relax [International]
- The Power of Love [extended, singlette version]
- Holier Than Thou
- Holier Than Thou
- The Power of Love [instrumental, singlette version]
- “don’t lose what’s left”
- Rage Hard [compacted]
- Relax [Sex Mix]
- Later On [from One September Monday]
- Ferry Cross The Mersey […and here I’ll stay]
- Two Tribes [Keep The Peace, intro]
- One February Friday [singlette version, part 1]
- Two Tribes [Carnage]
- One February Friday [singlette version, part 2]
- War [somewhere between Hiding and Hidden]
- One February Friday [singlette version, part 3]
- Two Tribes [Keep The Peace, outro]
- Warriors of the Wasteland [Compacted]
- Do You Think I’m Sexy?
- Watching the Wildlife [Voiceless]
It seems like the goal is to collect as many of the cassette singlette versions of the FGTH oeuvre as possible in this [one presumes] series. The program begins with the “All In The Mind/All In The Body” cassette. It next features the soundtrack of the video for “Welcome To The Pleasuredome” which apparently had a unique mix of the track for completists [of which I am certainly one]. While I have both of the UK 12″ers [12 ZTAS 7, 12 XZTAS 7], the cassette version was re-sequenced/mixed as ZTT were wont to do as well as having a third remix of the A-side, subtitled “How To Remake The World,” that I’ve not had the pleasure of hearing. One important factor here on “Sex Mix” is that this track, which was 9:22 on the cassette, is presented here in an unedited 11:40 version called “How To Remake The World, Completely.” Impressive, yet it makes this endeavor non-canonical! Is the goal to be assiduously archival or to supersede that particular intention?
The next singlette given the archival treatment is the one for “The Power Of Love.” I have 12 ZTAS 5, the envelope 12″, as well as XZTAS 5, the gatefold 2nd 12″ single with the photo prints. I never had the cassette, CTIS 105. Apparently, the cassette version closely follows the format and content of 12 ZTAS 5, with the caveat that the A-side 12″ version has been edited from 9:28 to 8:54, and the contents are said to be “partially mixed.” Presumably for a continuous flow. The odd one out here is the 1989 European CD-5 reissue Island/ZTT 663 874 in my record cell. On that release “Scrapped” and “Trapped” are sequenced together, as are both instances of “Holier Than Thou.”
Disc one ends with the bulk of the “Rage Hard” CD single, which begins with the 0:17 excerpt of “Don’t Lose What’s Left Of Your Little Mind” that originally led into their cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” being the lead-in instead for “Rage Hard [compacted]” in all of its 17:13 glory. What has been left out are the classic rock cover B-sides.
Disc two leads off with the 16:00 mix of “Relax” that this collection takes its name from, matched with the “Later On [One September Monday]” 1:33 edit taken from the cassette of “Relax [From Soft To Hard, From Dry To Moist]” CTIS 102, but the juxtaposition of the two tracks is confusing, given that the cassette of “Relax” never had the 16:00 “Sex Mix” included. This blurs the lines that are being colored in with this project. The inclusion of their magnificent cover of “Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey” further tilts the playing field towards replicating the initial UK “Relax” 12″ 12 ZTAS 1, but the inclusion of the interview snippet from the cassette instead of the 7″ mix of “Relax” is potentially confusing.
The “Two Tribes” portion of the program is all over the place as well. A trio of excerpts of “One February Friday” from the cassette of “Two Tribes [Keep The Peace]” are cheek by jowel with the “Carnage” mix from the 2nd 12.” The one coup here is the mix of “War [Somewhere Between Hiding and Hidden” that is presumably exactly what it describes in its subtitle. I never had the singlette of “Two Tribes,” so this is something new under the sun. The “Warriors Of The Wasteland” section of the program follows. It accurately replicated the CD-5 “Compacted” single ZCID25. It’s nothing new for me since this was among the first CD singles I ever bought. But still m.i.a. is the “Cassetted” version of this release, which features the intriguingly titled “A Phenomenon Of Megabytes.” That’s still in the ether, and presumably pencilled in for volume 2 of this series.
Finally, disc two ends with “a bait, comrades.” Mr. Ian Peel has proffered the public debut of the semi-legendary cover of Rod “The Mod” Stewart’s whorelicious disco pandering single “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” that topped the charts everywhere in 1978. If anyone can bring something to the damaged goods of the song, one hopes that Mr. Horn’s Theam can muster something up for the old warhorse. Finally, the “Voiceless” mix of “Watching The Wildlife” from the “Hotter” 12″ 12 ZTAS 26, is the last cut, and while this would normally be cause for celebration, I couldn’t help but notice that the 3:50 timing on “Sex Mix” falls short of the 5:03 on 12 ZTAS 26.
The ZTT curator in me will buy this disc, but the ratio of wheat to chaff for me personally is skirting the edge. Sure, sure. The Rod Stewart disco cover is enough to provoke the “buy” click, but conceptually, I think it would have been nicer to have produced a straight archive of the various singlette cassettes since most of us outside of the UK probably never heard these artifacts. But they apparently like to mix it up at ZTT, because after all, these are commercial concerns. Curated reissues of their entire back catalogue would appeal to me and other collectors, but at the end of the day you need the casual buyer to put these projects into the black at the mass market level.
– 30 –
I think I might plunk down for this just for the sheer absurdity! An enjoyable absurdity, though. As years have gone by I realize how much I really like Two Tribe, in all its mutations. More than Relax, this is the song that is Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
Oh and Rage Hard compacted…pretty brilliant as well.
I can see how this is a compilist’s (sic?) nightmare. It is kind of all over the place.
Echorich – As much as “Relax” was like a bolt from the blue, it’s also “Two Tribes” that I can return to each time, each mix variant, on an evergreen basis! And you can’t tell in the image, but the sperm cells are not actually in color on the final product; they are clear lamination on the paper cover. All the other printing on the cover is also laminated, so it’s very touchable, just like the new Gary Numan DVD!
I would love to buy this for my latest Frankie fix, but the word ’round the internet is that a bunch of tracks ( I think the first five) are actually MONO recordings because the stereo masters couldn’t be found (and that they sound dreadful). I’m paraphrasing, but basically it’s a horrid rip-off in terms of giving the consumer a shoddy product.
Taffy – The word ’round the internet is even more explicit. This from the official ZTT website:
I can’t say this isn’t a huge leap forward in terms of accountability and letting the prospective customer know the situation. Think of all of those Edsel and Cherry Red projects that get released and cause a stink in the buyer community afterward. More foul ups like this one, please!
Oh, I think that aknowledging the cock-up is not at all the same as fixing it. And offering a download to people who are buying physical product is absurd! At the least offer to send replacement discs to those who buy and request (this happened with one of the Thompson Twins Edsel reissues not too long ago). Fine – they get *slight* props for this apology. But an apology doesn’t make a turd a gem. Sorry, Monk, but apparently I am way less forgiving!
This site has been following this for a while…http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/
I’m tempted to take the dive on this one but I’m afraid it’ll just provide me more ideas to use in expanding my own mix of Two Tribes….it’s called the “Win One For the Gipper” mix and features Ronnie’s “we start bombing in 5 minutes radio gaffe, samples from “Dr, Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” “Mad Men,” “Duck & Cover” and closes with samples from “Planet of the Apes” and “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” mixed with the intro from “The Power of Love.” My main hobby is music but one of my other hobbies is history – especially the Cold War. I finally stopped tweaking this mix & the last thing I need to do is open that can of OCD again.
Tim – That is the béte noir of remixing; when is it finished? We can blame ZTT for opening that Pandora’s box!
I “finished” it a couple of years ago. Every time I find some nugget of cold war goodness I hear a sample and think….hmmmm….there’s a bridge about 5 minutes in that I could insert that.
My favorite part of the mix is at the musical climax of the song where I segue it into the Power of Love & I throw in Chuck Heston in the Planet of the Apes….’You blew it up…..you maniacs…..gawdamn you allllll to hell”
Win One for the Gipper is a part of a larger mix that I had made. Basically I wanted one mix that was the FGTH stuff that I liked that I could listen to in one shot. Opens with WttPD, goes to War/TT, The Power of Love and then “Frankie Say Mix & Mash” which is basically the Dreamtime Mix of “Relax” with three mashups worked into it.
Tim – Phew! That wears me out just reading about it, much less mixing it. I do lots of audio restoration, and occasionally I use a DAW to perform restorative functions discreetly, but I’ve not crossed the line into remixing. Though I always download stems offered by my favorites on the off chance that one day the penny will drop and I’ll devote a weekend to getting my hands dirty.
I suspect that my standards of perfection in the mix are a bit lower than yours are. The hardest part is taking several different sources that were made or re-made & re-modeled by various people in differing years (or even decades!) and trying to keep everything reasonably consistent throughout the mix. For me it’s a hobby and a labor of love. Several years ago I turned a corner from being primarily a consumer of music to someone who is using it as bricks and mortar to make something…..else I per se don’t make any music but I take the things that I like and reconstitute them into something new. I just finished a new mix today that has been christened “Goodbye, Blue Monday” and spans music from Mr. Rogers to Virginia Astley and has samples from several movies. It was wrapped it up about 10 minutes after Jack finished his nap…now I have something new to listen to in my office tomorrow!
Tim – Minimizing the EQ variance is driving me mental just thinking about it!