Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
HIGH CONCEPT: FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD'S WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME
by Marc “Moose” Moder
2012-02-28

This article shared 2546 times since Tue Feb 28, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On a recent episode of WBEZ's Sound Opinions, hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis explored the birth of "the album as art" in the year 1967. Born that year were classic albums by The Velvet Underground (w/Nico), The Beatles (Sgt. Peppers) and Pink Floyd (The Piper at the Gates Of Dawn). Music LPs went from a mere collection of singles and B-sides to full-fledged works of art on par with classic novels and films, raising pop music from teen trash to adult immersion in sound. This era continued, more or less, for the next 15 years via concept albums by Yes, Jethro Tull, and even Donna Summer.

By the '80s, singles became far more prominent with the advent of MTV and its faster pacing in presenting music for the masses. While there were still highly wonderfully consistent albums by artists like Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and Prince, the concept album or "album as art" had died off, with one exception. Trevor Horn, owner/founder of ZTT records was creating masterworks by his own bands (Yes, Buggles, Art of Noise) and for other New Wavers like Grace Jones and Propaganda. But his biggest concept—and last gasp of the large-scale concept album—came from a mismatched batch of gay and straight Liverpudlians called Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and the gay 13-year-old Moose was in love.

FGTH came to our US ears via MTV and the rumors of The Queen herself banning their hot single "Relax" (don't do it, when you wanna come!). "Relax" came complete with three different music videos from vanilla to full on leather bar with one directed by then hot director Brian De Palma (Carrie, Body Double). Frankie singers Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford had no problem flaunting their sexuality while the remaining three members seemed to feel good about teasing you into thinking they were a bit gay, which was pretty refreshing and unheard of at that time in pop music. Now with their campy hit single in place, we wanted to hear more but didn't expect much more than your standard one- or two-hit wonders. We were wrong.

The debut double album Welcome To the Pleasuredome was a journey like nothing since Pink Floyd's The Wall (but for homosexuals). First, you start out with the giant album art by none other than Andy Warhol (see Velvet Underground above). The inner sleeve even had a pleasuredome that looked suspiciously like the head of a male member. Obvious references aside, the actual music was far better than it had a right to be, with each of the four sides holding a different mood and two discs acting like two epic films back to back: The Godfather 1 and 2 of music. Side one seemed like one long track, essentially a 25-minute version of Welcome To the Pleasuredome. If you were gay and didn't have sex to its quiet pastoral opening and its building sexual crescendo, then you weren't having sex in the '80s, at least not with anyone cool. Side two was the punch, containing the two hit singles: "Relax" and "Two Tribes," sandwiching a remake of Edwin Starr's "War" with a Reagan-esque voiceover. Side 3 hit you with a few more remakes, like "Ferry Cross the Mersey," Springsteen's "Born To Run" and Bacharach's "Do You Know the Way To San Jose?" Side four kept the energy going, then relaxed again with the epic power ballad (now a UK X-mas classic), "The Power of Love."

By the time this hour-plus epic was over, you were exhausted and happy. It was the closest thing most of us got to good sex in the '80s. After that, FGTH petered out with one more album, the middling Liverpool, then broke up and faded away, and along with it, the giant concept album. Many would try, but no one with the power and vision of FGTH and Trevor Horn again or since. Do yourself a favor and seek out Welcome To the Pleasuredome on its original vinyl and enjoy in order. Unless you actually want to have sex to it, then I'm sure the digital version is far more practical.

On March 8 , Moose will be spinning a special Frankie/Duran set at Downtown Bar.


This article shared 2546 times since Tue Feb 28, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, '9-1-1' actor, Kayne the Lovechild, STARZ shows, Cynthia Erivo 2024-04-12
- Gay comedian/filmmaker Jerrod Carmichael criticized Dave Chappelle, opening up about the pair's ongoing feud and calling out Chappelle's opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, PinkNews noted, citing an Esquire article. Carmichael ...


Gay News

Judith Butler focuses on perceptions of gender at Chicago Humanities Festival talk 2024-04-10
- In an hour-long program filled with dry humor—not to mention lots of audience laughter—philosopher, scholar and activist Judith Butler (they/them) spoke in depth on their new book at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., on ...


Gay News

Andersonville Chamber announces Andersonville Midsommarfest entertainment lineup 2024-04-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 8, 2024) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up for Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Outfest, Chita Rivera, figure skaters, letter, playwright dies 2024-04-05
- For more than four decades, Outfest has been telling LGBTQ+ stories through the thousands of films screened during its annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival—but that event may have a different look this year because ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Dionne Warwick, OUTshine, Ariana DeBose, 'Showgirls,' 'Harlem' 2024-03-29
Video below - Iconic singer Dionne Warwick was honored for her decades-long advocacy work for people living with HIV/AIDS at a star-studded amfAR fundraising gala in Palm Beach, per the Palm Beach Daily News. Warwick received the "Award of ...


Gay News

'Rumors' performers create alternative drag playground 2024-03-24
- At first glance, Dorian's Through The Record Shop (1939 W. North Ave.) looks like a brightly-lit shop with a handful of records on the wall, but there's a secret world behind those unassuming shelves. Visitors are ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer musicians, Marvel situation, Elliot Page, Nicole Kidman 2024-03-21
- Queer musician Joy Oladokun released the single "I Wished on the Moon," from Jack Antonoff's official soundtrack for the new Apple TV+ series The New Look, per a press release. The soundtrack, ...


Gay News

THEATER Chicago's City Lit has anxiety on tap with 'Two Hours in a Bar' 2024-03-21
- Two Hours in a Bar Waiting for Tina Meyer by Kristine Thatcher with material by Larry Shue Text Me by Kingsley Day (Book, Music and Lyrics). At: City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.. Tickets: ...


Gay News

Lollapalooza announces lineup; SZA, Skrillex among headliners 2024-03-19
- Lollapalooza has released its line-up for the event that's taking place Aug. 1-4 at Grant Park. Headliners include SZA, Blink-182, Skrillex, The Killers, Hozier, Melanie Martinez and Stray Kids, among others. Some of the other acts ...


Gay News

Jamie Barton brings nuances of identity to her Lyric Opera 'Aida' performance 2024-03-18
- Chicago's Lyric Opera is currently featuring a production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida starring Michelle Bradley as Aida, Jamie Barton as Amneris and Russell Thomas as Radamès. The opera runs through April 7, 2024, with Francesca Zambello ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lady Gaga, 'P-Valley,' Wendy Williams, Luke Evans, 'Queer Eye,' 'Transition' 2024-03-15
- Lady Gaga came to the defense of Dylan Mulvaney after a post with the trans influencer/activist for International Women's Day received hateful responses, People Magazine noted. On Instagram, Gaga stated, "It's appalling to me that a ...


Gay News

House-music festival on Aug. 30-Sept. 1; icons, Idris Elba to be part of it 2024-03-13
- The ARC Music Festival—an event celebrating house music—will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Chicago's Union Park, per WGN-TV. This will mark the fourth year that the festival will celebrate the genre at Union Park—less than ...


Gay News

COBRAH slithers into Chicago and brings Feminine Energy 2024-03-08
- COBRAH snaked her way into Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., for two nights March 7 and 8 for her Succubus Tour. This Swedish-born talent has a way with naughty words and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jinkx Monsoon, Xavier Dolan, 'Frida,' Lena Waithe, out singer 2024-03-08
- Two-time RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon is headed back to the New York stage, joining off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey beginning April 2, according to Playbill. The casting makes Monsoon the first drag ...


Gay News

Queer Eye's Jai Rodriguez is set to slay at The Big Gay Cabaret 2024-03-05
- Out and proud performer Jai Rodriguez is set to play at The Big Gay Cabaret this March for three days. Presented by RuPaul Drag Racer Ginger Minj, this monthly series highlights the wide world of cabaret ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.