Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Frankie say... no more!

Loading up Spotify tonight I was elated to find that some of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's material was finally available. However, I was horrified to find yet ANOTHER "best of" as one of the albums available (interestingly, the band's debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome is NOT available yet on Spotify).

Don't get me wrong, compilations - especially hits collections -  from bands form a very necessary role - they can get new fans interested, they can provide material otherwise unavailable (the between album single or a 7" only remix) and they can provide bands a stop gap breather period between studio albums.

Frankie Say Greatest doesn't seem to fulfil many of these points. The band broke up 22 years ago and only released two studio albums.

At current count, there's 4 greatest hits album - 1994's Bang... The Greatest Hits, 2000's Maximum Joy, 2003's Rage Hard: The Sonic Collection and now in 2009, Frankie Say Greatest. That's a lot of greatest hits for a band that only released seven singles.

This release features a second disc with bonus remixes and rarities. Let's face it though, if you have any of the other compilations like Twelve Inches, The Club Mixes, Reload - The Whole 12 Inches or any of the plethora of reissued singles you will have all these remixes already. The non-remixes are quite intriguing, only for the track "Our Silver Turns To Gold," a previously unreleased song demoed at Mediterranean Studios in 1985.

Still, one track doesn't not warrant an album purchase. Especially in the era of iTunes.

As with the 1994 and 2000 hits collections, this time around "Relax" has been released AGAIN as a teaser single with 2009 remixes. A couple of these - by Lockout and Chicane - find their way onto the album as bonus material. Whether we'll get a full single re-issue like in 1994 and 2000 is anyone's guess.

Frankie aren't the only band to receive the business end of a label's greed. The Police have notoriously been reissued over the years. Their Every Breath You Take: The Singles was famously reissued a few years later as a completely new compilation called Every Breath You Take: The Classics. At least ZTT have chosen new names for each subsequent Frankie best of.

I'm excited Frankie are on Spotify and that I can finally listen to them. I'm happy Trevor Horn is clawing back some more of the money he lost on the Frankie experience. I'm not happy one of my favourite bands of the 80s is still being exploited 25 years later.
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