Welcome to the Pleasuredome (song)

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"Welcome To The Pleasuredome"
Single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
from the album Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Released 18 March 1985 (1985-03-18)
November 1993 (1993-11)
2000 (2000)
Format 7", 12", cassette
Recorded May - June, 1983
Genre Dance, new wave
Length 13:38 (album version)
4:20 (7" version)
Label ZTT - ZTAS 7
Writer(s) Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O'Toole
Producer(s) Trevor Horn
Frankie Goes to Hollywood singles chronology
"The Power of Love"
(1984)
"Welcome to the Pleasuredome"
(1985)
"Rage Hard"
(1986)

"Welcome to the Pleasuredome" is the title track to 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.

While criticized at the time of release and afterward for being a song that glorifies debauchery, the lyrics (and video) make clear that the point of the song, just as Coleridge's poem, is about the dangers of this kind of lifestyle. This song, along with "Relax", made Frankie Goes To Hollywood even more controversial than they already were.

Original 1985 single[edit]

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.

This is the only single from the group that was not released on a CD single at that time. "Relax", "Two Tribes" and "The Power of Love" all saw a CD-maxi release in Germany at the end of the 80's. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" was not given such a release.

An excerpt from Welcome to the Pleasuredome (The Alternative)

Problems playing this file? See media help.

B-sides[edit]

All releases featured either a short, long or even longer version of "Get It On", originally recorded for a BBC Radio 1 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 (i.e. with studio overdubs), based on an actual live appearance on The Tube's "Europe A-Go-Go" in Newcastle during early January 1985.

Video[edit]

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[edit]

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)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Total
weeks
Austrian Singles Chart[1] 20 4
Canadian Singles Chart[2] 41 11
Dutch Singles Chart[3] 14 8
French Singles Chart[4] 65 4
German Singles Chart[5] 9 13
Irish Singles Chart[6] 2 5
New Zealand Singles Chart[7] 9 13
Swiss Singles Chart[8] 20 6
UK Singles Chart[9] 2 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10] 48 8
U.S. Dance/Club Play Songs Chart[10] 31 5

Track listing[edit]

PZTAS 7 picture disc.

7": ZTT / ZTAS 7 (UK)[edit]

  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

7": ZTT / ZTAS 7 (UK)[edit]

  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
  • Matrix numbers on A-side: 7U/8U

7": ZTT / PZTAS 7 (UK)[edit]

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

7": Island / 7-99653 (US)[edit]

  1. "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" (Trevor Horn Remix) - 4:20
  2. "Relax" (International Live) - 4:26

12": ZTT / 12 ZTAS 7 (UK)[edit]

  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 XZTAS 7 cover art.

12": ZTT / 12 XZTAS 7 (UK)[edit]

  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)[edit]

  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[edit]

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 United Kingdom[edit]

  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 United Kingdom[edit]

  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 United Kingdom[edit]

  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 Japan[edit]

  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 United Kingdom[edit]

  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 United Kingdom[edit]

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

12": ZTT / ZTT 166 TPX United Kingdom[edit]

  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
  • UK 12" promo

Other versions[edit]

A spoken word version can be heard on the compilation album Poplife Presents: Poplife Sucks.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]