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.
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