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pre-emptively

Welcome to the Pleasuredome (song)

Welcome to the Pleasuredome is the title track of the 1984 debut album by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The lyrics of the song were inspired by the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In March 1985, the album track was substantially abridged and remixed for release as the group's fourth UK single.

Original 1985 single

Despite the group's record label (ZTT) pre-emptively promoting the single as "their fourth number one", an achievement that would have set a new UK record for consecutive number one singles by a debuting artist, "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" peaked at number two in the UK singles chart, being kept off the top spot by the Phil Collins/Philip Bailey duet "Easy Lover". The single spent a total of eleven weeks on the UK chart.

It was the first release by the group not to reach number one and, despite representing a creditable success in its own right, it symbolically confirmed the end of the chart invincibility that the group had enjoyed during 1984. Frankie Goes to Hollywood would not release another record for seventeen months, and they would ultimately fail to emulate their past glories upon their return.

The spoken-word introductions to both 12-inch mixes are adapted from Walter Kaufmann's 1967 translation of Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy. The recitation on the first 12-inch ("Real Altered") is by Gary Taylor, whilst that on the second 12-inch ("Fruitness") and the cassette is by actor Geoffrey Palmer. It is unknown whether Palmer's concluding "Welcome To The Pleasuredrome" was a genuine mistake or a deliberately scripted one.

The first 12" mix is also referred to as "The Pleasurefix" mix (not to be confused with the "Pleasure Fix" instrumental). It's basically an instrumental run through the track followed by a vocal run through, with an edit back to the start after the third instrumental chorus. The introduction uses the spoken voice as detailed above, with some unusual keyboard sounds.

The "Fruitness" mix is a lot more complicated and involves a lot more edits. It also starts with spoken words from an actor, as above. The music starts with a sound loop that's featured on the "got to reach the top, don't stop" part after the 2nd chorus of the "Pleasurefix mix". It then uses stripped down instrumentation without drums from the "shooting stars never stop section", then using the last chorus, again stripped down. It then uses the instrumental section that's also found in double looped form on the album mix (on the album mix with the "Dark side of mood" guitar solo). At the break in this it joins to a vocal only of "shooting starts never stop" from the 1st verse. It then has a keyboard only run through the first chorus. At the end of this there is a short break and it loops to the original start of the track. The first verse is used in instrumental form, with an edit on the last snare beat before the 1st chorus then joining to the 2nd verse in instrumental form. The 2nd verse is followed by the last 3 chords of the 2nd chorus. The "got to reach the top, don't stop" is then uses in instrumental form. The break at the end of this then loops back to the original start. The song then plays through in vocal form. The "got to reach the top" part is edited slightly differently so that there is 1 instrumental section and 3 vocal sections. The song then plays to the original end. There is then a reprise of the female vocals from the "shooting stars never stop" section. Finally the chords from the last chorus are used up to the end of the original track.

On the nearly fourteen-minute album version, the song is preceded by three short segued introductory pieces, titled, in order, "well...", "The World is My Oyster" (both of which are sometimes indexed on CD as one track) and "snatch of fury (Stay)", which consist of atmospheric primeval-jungle sounds as well as eerie, wordless, atonal choral chanting that builds to an early, dramatic climax, which was perhaps intended as a kind of parody/homage to György Ligeti's Requiem, Lux Aeterna and Atmosphères as heard during the discovery of the monoliths, heralding "The Dawn of Man" and his evolutionary journey "Beyond the Infinite", in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The album version uses some clever editing for extension. The first part with beats is worth listening to carefully - it cheekily uses the first 6 bars several times. The flutey sound from the introduction is clearly evident in the edit for the 2nd run through.

Number the first sections 1,2,3,4,5,6, with each one being marked by a guitar chord. 1,3,&5 are the same chord, and 2,4&6 are the same chord. 3 has a crash cymbol at the start, 4 ends with two drum beats, 6 has a single drum beat at the end.

The extension intro uses:

1,2,3,4, 5,2*,3a 5b,6, 1,2,3,4,5,6

  • still trying to verify this.

This version of the song, which is notable for not having the vocal over the drums was used for BBC One evening programme promotions during 1985.

B-sides

All releases featured either a short, long or even longer version of "Get It On", originally recorded for a BBC Radio One session in 1983, plus a faded or full length version of "Happy Hi!", the only brand-new song to appear on the single.

Both "Relax (International)" and "Born To Run" are faux-live recordings (ie. with studio overdubs), based on an actual live appearance on The Tube's "Europe A-Go-Go" in Newcastle during early January 1985.

Video

The video, by Bernard Rose, features the group stealing a car, going to a carnival and encountering all manner of deceptively "pleasureable" activities. The audio soundtrack of the video was included as part of the cassette single.

Promotional releases

In 1984, a few months prior to the album's release, an early instrumental version of the album track was issued as a promotional 12-inch single, entitled "Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Pleasure Fix)", along with a similar early instrumental of "The Only Star In Heaven" (subtitled "Star Fix"). These tracks were subsequently given wider release as part of the B-side to the second 12-inch of "The Power of Love" single.

"Welcome to the Pleasuredome" was also used on several promotional records in the USA during 1985, featuring the following tracks in various combinations:

  • The first UK 7-inch mix of the track ("Altered Real"), labelled "Trevor Horn Remix".
  • An edited version of the album track created by the Sacramento radio station KZAP, and known as "Welcome to the Pleasuredome (KZAP Edit)" (6:22)
  • A version of the second UK 7-inch mix ("Alternative Reel") with a new introduction added, and known as "Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Urban Mix)" (8:08). This is on the Bang! Japanese album and CD.
  • A slightly edited (spoken introduction removed) version of "Relax (International)" (4:26)

Track listing

7": ZTT / ZTAS 7 (UK)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Altered Real) - 4:20
  2. "Get It On" [longer version] (Marc Bolan) — 3:28
  3. "Happy Hi!" [fade] (Gill/Johnson/O'Toole) — 3:47
  4. Matrix numbers on A-side: 1U/2U

7": ZTT / ZTAS 7 (UK)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Alternative Reel) [aka: Escape Act Video Mix] - 5:05
  2. "Get It On" [longer version] - 3:28
  3. "Happy Hi!" [fade] - 3:47
  4. Matrix numbers on A-side: 7U/8U

7": ZTT / PZTAS 7 (UK)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Alternative Reel) - 5:05
  2. "Get It On" [short version] - 2:32
  3. "Happy Hi!" - 4:04
  4. apple-shaped picture disc single

7": Island / 7-99653 (US)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (altered real) - 4:20
  2. "Relax" (International edit) - 4:26

12": ZTT / 12 ZTAS 7 (UK)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Real Altered) - 9:42
  2. "Get It On" [short version] - 2:32
  3. "Happy Hi!" - 4:04
  4. "Relax" (International) (Gill/Johnson/O'Toole) — 4:51

12": ZTT / 12 XTAS 7 (UK)

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Fruitness) - 10:47
  2. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Edit) - 1:23
  3. "Get It On" ("live") - 2:32
  4. "Happy Hi!" ("live") - 4:04
  5. "Born to Run" ("live") - 4:49

MC: ZTT / CTIS 107 (UK)

  1. "Happy Hi!" (All in the Body) - 1:18
  2. "Soundtrack from the "Welcome..." Bernard Rose Video" - 5:37
  3. "Get It On" [even longer version] - 3:56
  4. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (How to Remake the World) - 10:59
  5. "Happy Hi!" (All in the Mind) - 1:05

Reissues

The track has periodically been reissued as a single, including during 1993 and 2000. Although these releases have some admirers, and have usefully made available various original mixes on CD for the first time, the accompanying A-side remixes by contemporary DJs have tended on the whole to bear little or no comparison to the spirit of the originals.

Reissues in the group's name have also tended to shun any overt reference to the identity of the original artists, and the reissue artwork has notably featured no images of the group. It has been suggested that this situation may relate to Johnson's successful but acrimonious court case against ZTT in 1989, which freed him (and effectively the other group members) from their unfair contract with the label.

1993 reissues

CD: ZTT / FGTH2CD

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Original 7") - 4:22
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Brothers In Rhythm Rollercoaster Mix) - 14:36
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Elevatorman's Non-stop Top Floor Club Mix) - 6:06
  4. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Pleasurefix Original 12" Mix) - 9:41

12": ZTT / FGTH2T

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Brothers In Rhythm Rollercoaster Mix) - 14:36
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Elevatorman's Non-stop Top Floor Club Mix) - 6:06
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Elevatorman's Deep Down Bass-Ment Dub) - 6:02

2000 reissues

CD: ZTT / ZTT 166CD

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesister Album Mix Edit) - 3:35
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Remix Edit) - 8:00
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesister Anthem Mix) - 7:32

CD: Avex / AVTCDS-296

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Full Length Mix) - 11:23
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sander's Coming Home Mix) - 10:18
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Paralyzer Remix) - 5:17
  4. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Dub) - 11:22
  5. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesister Edit) - 3:53
  6. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesister Full Length Club) - 7:32
  7. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Pleasurefix Mix) - 9:40

12": ZTT / ZTT 166 T

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Remix) - 11:23
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sander's Coming Home Remix) - 10:18

2x12": ZTT / ZTT 166 TP

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Remix) - 11:23
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sander's Coming Home Remix) - 10:18
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Paralyzer Remix) - 5:17
  4. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Nalin & Kane Dub) - 11:22
  5. UK 2x12" promo

12": ZTT / ZTT 166 TPX

  1. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesisters Anthem Mix) - 7:32
  2. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Paralyzer Remix) - 5:17
  3. "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (Sleazesister Edit) - 3:53
  4. UK 12" promo

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