Sunday, March 20, 2005

"Welcome to the Pleasure Dome"

Along similar lines as the previous song, was ever a band formed around a single, simple sex? No matter how hard I try, I fail to see much more to Frankie Goes to Hollywood. That's not to say their stuff was bad: far from it. But their whole work seemed to be shot through with a salacious, tongue-in-cheek, knowing wink and sly tweak of our collective arse. I get the feeling that all they really wanted to do was fuck themselves silly. Sure, there are no end of artists who spent an inordinate amount of time pondering sex, but to be so one-dimensional, so obsessed about it was something I found totally new and somewhat limiting. This is an immense re-mix of the title track from their debut album, thirteen and a half minutes of it, but it's a fabulous cross-dressing, genre-bending epic. At one point Holly Johnson intones the opening lines of "Kubla Khan", replacing the word "decree" with a lascivious, tongue-rolling "erect!", and you realise that even when the're trying to be serious, they're sending the whole game up. There are hot, sweaty jungle sounds in the background, a hip-entrancing beat, the whole experience is meant to set you up for what follows on the album: it's the Frankie Manifesto. Free your ass and your mind will follow.

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