Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Frankie Goes To Hollywoodwas a U. K. Dance pop band which was popular in the 1980's. The group was from Liverpool, England and was formed by Holly Johnson (vocalist), Paul Rutherford (vocalist and keyboard player), Peter Gill (drum player and Percussion), Mark O’Toole (bass guitar player), and Brian Nash (guitar player). The group released their debut single, Relax, and the song was banned by the BBC and it was at number 6 on the charts when this occurred. It also had topped the U. K. Singles chart for 5 weeks and stayed on the charts into 1984. It became the 7th best selling U. K. Single of all time. They also had success with the release of Two Tribes and The Power of Love. They were the second group to reach number one with their first three singles. The first group was Gary and the Pacemakers, in 1964.
Johnson claims that the group’s name came from a page from a New York Magazine which featured the headline, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and had a picture of Frank Sinatra. Another story claims that the story was about Frankie Vaughn. The original member of the group, Hilly Johnson was a former bass player for the group called, Big In Japan, and she also released 2 solo singles of her own. Paul Rutherford was a former member and singer of group, Spitfire Boys.Peter Gill, Jed O’Toole, and Jed’s cousin, Brian Nash, joined Johnson and they called themselves Sons of Egypt. They played small local gigs. The group split up shortly after that but reformed partially when Johnson teamed up with Mark O’Toole, and Ped to form Frankie Goes To Hollywood. A female vocalist, Sonya Mazunda also joined the group. This lineup performed the first gig as FGTH, at the Leeds nightclub called, The Warehouse and they opened for the group, Hambi & The Dance.
After that Rutherford replaced Sonya and the group toured locally with the group known as The Leatherpets. They also recorded promotional promos and videos. About this time, Jed left and Nash returned. In 1983 the group recorded a video for Relax, and they recorded a new session which included, Welcome To Pleasuredome, The Only Star In Heaven, and Relax. Trevor Horn then agreed to sign the group up with the ZTT Records label, in 1993.
In 1985, the title track, Welcome To Pleasuredome, was released as the fourth single for the group. The single reached number 2 on the charts. After that the band seemed to be on the downhill slide because of tensions among the members. The group did manage to release a few more singles after that. The group had a reunion in 2003 to perform a reunion performance but it did not transpire. The group released a total of 2 albums, 6 compilations, 1 DVD compilation, 7 singles, and 4 lost tracks that were never released.
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