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on 6 November 2012
This review is for: Frankie Said (The Very Best Of)

***PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the original CD edition, not the CD/DVD edition***

I was worried following the recent mess made by this record company on Frankie's "Sex Mix" CD with the dreadful sound quality, but I'm pleased to report that the sound quality on this CD is excellent.

The sleeve on this CD has a sticker on which states "The very best of Frankie Goes To Hollywood". I think that is a bit misleading because the standard single version of "Relax" is not included here. Apart from that minor detail, I feel this is a really well thought out CD which really flows well. It gives the casual buyer all the biggest hits (although "Relax" is in a remix and a 12" version). It also gives the fans some great CD exclusives. I was particularly pleased to finally get the "Relax (The Last Seven Inches)" mix on CD. The short version of "Warriors (Attack)" is superb in this version as is the beautiful instrumental version of "The Power Of love". Also on CD for the first time is the Bob Kraushaar remix of "Rage Hard" from the limited edition second single. Here's what you get on this CD:

01) "Two Tribes (introduced by the piano of Anne Dudley)"
30 seconds intro which is a pleasant introduction to the disc.

02) "The Power of Love"
The standard 7"/album version.

03) "Relax (The Last Seven Inches)"
The promo-only 7" Version (a/k/a Warp Mix). A good alternative to the overplayed original mix.

04) "Two Tribes (We Don't Want To Die)"
This is the guitar-driven version from the 7" Picture Disc which is slightly longer than the standard 7" version. I personally prefer this to the standard version.

05) "War!"
One of the 12" B-Sides from "Two Tribes". Shorter than the album version. It's a very good cover version of the 1970 Edwin Starr Tamla Motown classic.

06) "Welcome To The Pleasuredome (A Remade World)"
The correct title for this mix is "Welcome To The Pleasure Dome (Alternative Reel)", which comes from the apple shaped picture disc. The picture disc has the words `A remade world' on the A-Side and `How to steady the world' on the B-Side, but the correct mix title is `Alternative Reel'. It is also known as the `Escape Act Video Mix' and used on a limited edition second 7" single.

07) "Ferry `Cross The Mersey"
One of the 12" B-Sides from "Relax". Originally a hit in the sixties for fellow Liverpudlians Gerry & The Pacemakers.

08) "Rage Hard (Bob Kraushaar Mix)"
Great remix from the limited edition second 7" single.

09) "Watching The Wildlife"
The inlay says this is a previously unreleased version, but gives no further information. It's a good mix.

10) "Born To Run (live on The Tube)"
Great live version that shows Frankie were not just an electronic studio band. They really could play.

11) "Warriors Of The Wasteland (Attack - Seven Inch)"
This is a previously unreleased seven inch version of the Attack Mix featuring legendary rock guitarist Gary Moore. It follows "Born To Run" particularly well.

12) "Kill The Pain"
Previously unreleased version of the track from the "Liverpool" album.

13) "Maximum Joy"
Seems to be the same as on the "Maximum Joy" CD, except it fades 10 seconds earlier. Why?

14) "Two Tribes (Annihilation)"
This is the 9 minute original 12" version with the actors playing Ronald Reagan and the public information announcements for the first 5 and a half minutes and the song at the end of the mix.

15) "Relax"
This is the third 12" version (the one that is best known and most people would have bought while it was in the charts). It is titled here as `Relax (New York)', but that was actually the second 12" version which was an 8 minute edit of the original 16 minutes sex mix. The version included here is generally known as `Relax (U.S. Mix)' (because Trevor Horn mixed it after visiting the U.S. and hearing what was being played at The Paradise Garage) and some copies of this 12" actually had a sticker saying "Special U.S. Remix". Confusingly the record label on all the 12" versions show only `Relax (Sex Mix)' so you had to look at the matrix numbers in the run-out groove on the vinyl to know which version you were getting (I remember confused shop staff giving me furtive glances as I got each 12" out of its sleeve to closely inspect). For absence of doubt, the version included here is the one that is instrumental for the first 4 and a half minutes and similar to the 7" version for the rest of the mix.

16) "The Power of Love (...Best Listened To By Lovers)"
This is a previously unreleased instrumental version with lush orchestration. Really lovely!
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on 5 November 2012
When I noticed this greatest hits compilation I thought " not another one",but on closer inspection we have a few sought after Frankie gems! The first being the 7inch warp mix or the last seven inches mix as it was also known,of Relax,a rare white label promo only single that I still have's a bit of a mash up of the original 12 inch and 7 inch singles in a 3 minute mix,nice and compact and well thought out.The second must have mix is the 7inch picture disc version of two tribes known as "We don't want to die".A very different mix to the standard 7 inch release, on cd for only the second time.The rest of the tracks are pretty standard along with the 12 inch release of Relax (the third version not The Original 16 minute version) and The Annihilation 12" inch of Two Tribes,the best version in my opinion.So,for these few tracks alone,a great purchase for the Frankie faithful.
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on 23 March 2013
The FGTWs catalogue has been pillaged and raped so many times previously it's easy to have `compilation fatigue'. I'm glad that I (belatedly) bought this and here is a summary of why it may be worth you doing likewise, in my order of priority:

- 79 minutes packed with good stuff and great sound quality.
- Sensitive alternative versions - if you want a `vanilla' best of then look elsewhere.
- Good edits - no bloated remixes that have you pressing the 'fast-forward'. All the fat (some very tasty) has been left on the other compilations.
- Power of Love (for Lovers) 4:31 - lush orchestral instrumental of a great track that is both powerful and lovely. First time on (non-single) CD. Worth buying for this track alone!
- Relax (last 7") 3:33 - similar but different to the well-worn standard version. Nice alternative. First time on (non-single) CD.
- Two tribes (0:32) - lovely piano instrumental. First time on (non-single) CD.
- Two Tribes (We don't want to die) 4:12 - concise version including edited air raid warning.
- Relax - `US mix' 7:27- not the pukka `New York mix' as stated - 4:30 of leisurely instrumental intro before the 7". This is the edited version of the original (16 minutes +) `sex' mix that was so excessive and bloated it almost stopped `Relax' from charting.
- War 4:15 - edited version (from 6:11) with spoken intro, best version kept all the good bits!
- Born to Run (Live from the Tube) 4:52 - good lively version, shows they could cut it live.
- Ferry Cross the Mersey 4:08 - good cover version of a B-side often missed off other CDs.
- Two Tribes (Annihilation) 9:10 - great 12", with `President Ronnie Reagan' intro with chilling public announcements in the event of a nuclear attack.
- Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Remade World) 5:09 - proper title `Alternative Reel', a good edit.
- Warriors of Wasteland (Attack mix 7") 3:31 - with Gary Moore on OTT extra geetar a good edit.
Plus other tracks that round off a great package.
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There have been a number of FGTH compilations over the years, and a sudden rush of releases from Salvo/ZTT in the past couple of years with rare or unreleased material - there have been deluxe versions of Welcome to the Pleasuredome and Liverpool, as well as the 'Frankie Say Greatest' and 'Sex Mix' double CDs. Each of these have been flawed to some extent, however. Much of the bonus material has been patchy, to say the least, and the WTPD cassingle on Sex Mix was seemingly in mono, having been mastered incorrectly.

After this deluge of CDs, Frankie Said is a new single CD compilation that claims to be "The Very Best of Frankie Goes to Hollywood". And is it? Well, in a word, yes. All the singles are present, in a variety of versions. Relax has the rare white label 'The Last Seven Inches' mix, as well as the 12" US mix. Two Tribes has a previously unreleased 30 second piano intro by Anne Dudley (from the Art of Noise), as well as a 7" version and the fantastic Annihilation 12", which was by far the best of the Two Tribes mixes. The Power of Love is there twice, as the original single, and as a wondrous orchestral version that mirrors pretty closely parts of the original b-side to the 12" of the single. WTTPD is represented by the version from the single's picture-disc; the second 7" mix of Rage Hard gets its first CD outing (I think), as do a 7" edit of the 'heavy metal' Attack mix of Warriors featuring Gary Moore, and the 7" version of Watching the Wildlife. The latter is not the same as the album version, as it has a different ending.

Throw in a few album tracks (Kill The Pain, Maximum Joy, Ferry Across The Mersey), the original version of War, and the monumental live version of Born to Run, and there's not a weak track present. Given the 80 minute or so constraint on a single CD, it's hard to think what could have made the compilation better. For non-Frankie fans, it's a great introduction to a band that largely sound as relevant today as they did almost 30 years ago. For casual Frankie fans, there's plenty of great music to remind you of what a great band they were. And for die-hard fans, there's enough material new to CD to make this an essential purchase. Oh, and it also comes in a jewel case, making the physical box far less prone to damage than the massive gatefold cardboard sleeves that have been a feature of the other Salvo Frankie releases. A small bonus, but an important one.
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on 11 February 2013
I will not be tippy tapping a long essay to furnish you with all the minutia about this CD.
I grew up listening to Frankie as he launched on the the music scene, and it has been such along time that I thought that I would make a purchase of a compilation of the groups biggest hits.
This purchase did not let me down!
Awsom trip down memory lane this album has the sound quality as if they had only been singing the songs last week.
If your considdering it, dont hold back, just do it!
The only down side is that if there is anyone around me that does not like Frankie, I will probably drive them mad cos i keep playing it.
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on 28 November 2012
All the hits are here, some with new arrangements, some previously unreleased. This album shows just how much of a class act Frankie Goes to Hollywood were. These songs stand the test of time. Do yourself a favour, relax in this pleasure dome once more.
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on 9 November 2012
I seem to be in the minority in thinking that the recently released 'Sex Mix' by FGTH was actually a great double CD set despite the problems with the Pleasuredome tracks. It certainly added a lot of tracks missing from my FGTH collection. Within a month or so we have this new collection and once again it adds further tracks that I didnt have on CD. There have been several other 'best ofs' over the years but as others have noted this has been compiled using alternative mixes of many of the classic Frankie tracks. Therefore it is really worth having if you were, and still are, a fan of Frankie as it has some great mixes on it and offers a different perspective to thier music. Not radically different but different enough to make them interesting and worthwhile to the more well known versions contained on the other 'best ofs'. It is a really well compiled CD at a great price. The music still sounds awesome all these years later. Whether there is any more unreleased Frankie left in the ZTT vaults we will have to wait and see!
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on 28 February 2014
It may be a cheaper option now it has been out a year or so, but you can purchase this product with a DVD now. The music is for the ears and pleasant it is too, but for the eyes to benefit too spend the extra £'s and get the DVD version which has both.......... for the ears and for the eyes. The original Frankie flame only burned for a few short years, but then the fuse was relit and Frankie once more became a force not to be ignored. Early 90's Remixes, into the 2000's there was remixes. the Twelve Inch more celebrated now than it was back when it was only a vinyl in the hand. Now it has more force with so many different ways of listening and purchasing it. Once it was only record or cassette now you can hear at the touch of a button, but was it so different then when a touch of a button could make sounds like you hear on this CD? The sounds had to come from an idea though and that came from 5 lads in Liverpool who if it were not for them the Frankie machine could not have been possible. There are many collections of Frankie's music available, but this id probably one of the best of them - although i repeat I would advise spend a bit more and purchasing the one with the DVD. Until the next remix/rehash/release Frankie Say - Listen to this one for now!
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on 1 March 2013
you would have thought it difficult to make a mess of a Best Of set for a band that only had 7 singles and 2 albums, but thus far all Frankie compilations have been strangely incomplete sounding. Frankie Said, to borrow a line from an infamous interview with the band, is the hammer that knocks the nail it. of all the many versions of the first singles the best cuts (and best remixes) are here, as well as some great songs that did not sell millions. worthwhile for the casual fan and even those who have a shelf full of Frankie already.
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on 15 January 2013
I think this must be my 3rd or 4th FGTH collection and this one has been the top one I have bought. The Anne Dudley orchestral opening is great and the mixes (for the completist) are essential. Not sure how much more is in the vault but hopefully this wraps it up with the collections.....and it would be a high note if it ended with this.

For any FGTH fan....this is essential listening!
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