I've recently rediscovered this album after buying the 2005 reissue, I, along with millions of others fell for all the media hype that surrounded Frankie back in 1983!
Back then the British music scene was floundering, New Romance was tired, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal had ground to a halt! Things were looking up as a few bands including Tears For Fears started to create a new sound for the eighties with more than a hint of a Beatles influence.
So, I was searching for something similar and new to listen to at my local record store when suddenly 'Relax' powered its way over the speaker system. It immediately grabbed my attention, a mix of the aforementioned music genre's styles, but somehow produced to be fresh and exciting by the genius Trevor Horn. That along with a controversial cover and explicit lyrics that led to the record being banned by a host of radio stations, only fuelled this particular (then) 18 yr old to purchase!
This double album could not come quick enough for me, we had to wait a whole year as 'Relax' and 'Two Tribes' and a multitude of remixes kept us entertained. When it did arrive we were more than ready. The title track took up one side of the original vinyl copy, a great sprawling epic over 13 minutes long which had us all singing 'who ha, who ha' on the dancefloor!
The cover versions are all excellently performed, 'Born To Run' especially got the Springsteen seal of approval! 'War' originally an Edwin Starr song about Vietnam is, I think better, with its killer bass line and Ronald Reagan narrative segmants which Im pretty sure Baz Luhrmann got the idea for 'Everbody's Free To Wear Sunscreen' from. We get a brief snipit of 'Ferry Across The Mersey' although not credited on the sleeve notes, and a reworking of 'Do You Know The Way To San Jose'. As for the original material excluding the single releases 'Black Night, White Light' is superior although I do like the musical chaos of 'Krisco Kisses'.
Of coarse the album comes to a close with probably the best Christmas ballad ever 'The Power Of Love' which has Holly Johnson reducing us to tears with this exceptional powerhouse of a song.
Frankie say Sex, War, Religion, Enjoy! Not bad for a fiver! Buy it.
And consider myself a bit of a buff when it comes to the classics.....This Album is my All time fave of the 80''s. .... while my friends were into Duran Duran (puke) I was still into the Joy division ....talking heads, David Bowie (My absolute God) The clash and Pink Floyd ......then The Pixies from 86.....People only remember F.G.T.H. due to the Ban imposed on 'Relax' but This WHOLE Album is simply AWESOME ......I could listen to it on a loop for hours..... I've bought about 4 copies that have mysteriously disappeared over the years ....so I got this anniversary copy to save.....Never goes out of date for me. ...unlike Duran Duran (puke) and the other money wasting idiots lmao.....
Firstly, the remaster is excellent, people are used to remasters being 100 decibels (for the deaf Ipod generation). This new remaster brings out even more subtle detail.
Regarding CD2, I'm amazed some people are moaning about it.
Firstly all tracks are taken from the original master tapes (the first time this has ever happened with the exception of The Sonic Collection SACD). They may seem like a mixed bag to some & I agree to a point, the Greek Mix of Relax will never be essential, however you have Greatest Bits (as mentioned is the cassette mix of Relax) which in my opinion is the only mix you'll ever need.
In addition, excellent demo's, a fantastic mix of The Ballad of 32, the only track that shouldn't even really be on this is Watusi Love Juicy which doesn't date from this album, but a curio never the less
The issue is the access to the "Goodies Cupboard". Like a lot of bands archives, labelling was incorrect if at all on many, hence the Pleasure Fix mix of WTTPD & Starfix mix of Only Star In Heaven (both overrated "instrumentals", were indeed found but too late for inclusion.
What we do have finally, is an amazing album finally being given the treatment is DESERVES.
Frankly (or should that be Frankiely?)at this bargain price, who can really complain??