Watching the Wildlife

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"Watching the Wildlife"
Watching The Wildlife.jpg
Single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
from the album Liverpool
B-side "The Waves"
Released 23 February 1987 (1987-02-23)
Recorded Amsterdam, 1986
Genre Dance, new wave
Length 3:50
Label ZTT - ZTAS 26
Songwriter(s) Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Brian Nash, Mark O'Toole
Producer(s) Stephen Lipson
Frankie Goes to Hollywood singles chronology
"'Warriors of the Wasteland'"
"Watching the Wildlife"
Warriors of the Wasteland
Watching the Wildlife

"Watching the Wildlife" is the seventh and last single by British pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Released in early 1987, it is taken from the album Liverpool.

Of the three singles culled from Liverpool, "Watching the Wildlife" was the most radio friendly, lacking the rocky sound of Rage Hard and Warriors of the Wasteland. However, the single only reached Number 28 in the UK singles chart and #23 in Germany. It is also the only one of the three Liverpool singles not to have a CD single release at that time and the mix used on the 7" vinyl single has never appeared on a UK issued compact disc. A German release did appear in 2002 and apparently contains the mix in question. The 1988 Record Collector magazine discography of the band contains a listing for a UK CD single, complete with catalogue number, but this was an error based on assumption. To date, no original 1987 copy has come to light, not even in promo form, and can be safely disregarded as fiction.

The 7" packaging made reference to animals, with a panda and dolphin on the sleeve. The cassette single made more references to sex. To wit, the instrumental mix was dubbed "The Condom Mix" on the cassette single. The promotional condom that was to be distributed with each single would have stopped the single sales counting towards the UK charts as the official chart provider had introduced new rules to this effect, so the idea was abandoned. Promotional copies complete with the condom do exist however.

The single also featured a brand new track, "The Waves" on the b-side.

Track listing[edit]

(All discographical information pertains to UK releases only)


"animal fur/animal smell"

  1. "Watching the Wildlife" – 3:50
  2. "The Waves" – 3:02
ZTT / 12 ZTAS 26
  1. "Watching the Wildlife" (hotter) – 9:02
  2. "Wildlife Bit 1" [unlisted] - :38
  3. "Wildlife Bit 2" [unlisted] - :37
  4. "Watching the Wildlife" (voiceless) – 3:49
  5. "The Waves" – 3:02

"Watching the Wildlife" (voiceless) was rereleased in 2012 on CD Sexmix Disk 2, Track 13.

ZTT / 12 ZTAX 26
  1. "Watching the Wildlife" (movement 2) – 7:12
  2. "Wildlife Bit 3" – 6:24
  3. "Wildlife Bit 4" – 4:20
  4. "The Waves" – 3:02
  • "Movement 2" is a mainly instrumental mix, featuring a unique orchestration of the song by arranger David Bedford, and until recently was one of the rarest tracks by Frankie, being only available on this 12" record which itself was a low selling item. The Movement 2 mix finally made it onto compact disc as part of ZTTs Element series reissues.
  • "Wildlife Bit 3" is an extended mix by engineer Robert Kraushaar.[1]
  • "Wildlife Bit 4" is an instrumental mix without drums, guitar or bass, showcasing the orchestral arrangement.
ZTT / 12 ZTE 26
Beobachtungen im Wilden Leben mix

"Beobachtungen im Wilden Leben" (roughly translated as "Observations in the wild life")

  1. "Beobachtungen im Wilden Leben" (Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit Mix) (use a condom) – 10:16
  2. "Wildlife Bit 1" [unlisted] - :38
  3. "Wildlife Bit 2" [unlisted] - :37
  4. "Watching the Wildlife" (voiceless) – 3:49
  5. "The Waves" – 3:02
  • "Die letzten tage der menschheit mix" ('The last days of mankind mix') was deceptively listed as mixed by Klaus Schulze, which got ZTT into trouble with Schulze. It was actually mixed by Paul Morley,[1] and features samples from an AIDS phoneline. This release was deliberately packaged to look like a German import, complete with German titles, an Island Records catalogue number (in addition to its correct UK ZTT one) and even an Island Records label design. It is the only UK issue not to have a normal ZTT label.
  1. "Watching the Wildlife" (Bit 4) [aka "Orchestral Wildlife"] – 4:26
  2. "Watching the Wildlife" (Hotter) ["Hotter Wildlife"] – 9:09
  3. "The Waves" – 3:02
  4. "Wildlife Bit 1" ["One Bit"] - :38
  5. "Wildlife Bit 2" ["Two Bit"] - :37
  6. "Watching the Wildlife" (Bit 3) [aka "The Condom Mix"] – 6:26
  • Although the tracks were listed on the sleeve with unique titles ("Orchestral Wildlife", "The Condom Mix" etc.), they are in fact the same tracks that appeared on the first two 12" singles.
  • This cassette single was included on the 2011 deluxe reissue of the album Liverpool, with a reordered track listing (being Bit 3, Bit 4, The Waves, Hotter, Bit 1, Bit 2).

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
Dutch Singles Chart[2] 47
German Singles Chart[3] 23
Irish Singles Chart[4] 24
UK Singles Chart[5] 28


  1. ^ a b Liverpool deluxe edition sleevenotes
  2. ^ Steffen Hung. "Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Watching The Wildlife". Retrieved 2017-07-01. 
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. " - Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Watching The Wildlife". Retrieved 2017-07-01. 
  4. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group - "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 2017-07-01. 
  5. ^ "frankie-goes-to-hollywood | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-07-01. 

External links[edit]