Club Mixes 2000 is a remix album from '80s one-album wonder Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Wisely, only two songs out of the 16 here are not from Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Otherwise, this takes the biggest hits from that album and tries to twist them into techno anthems. And, for the most part, the songs translate fairly easily into that genre. Because of the songs' over the top nature and charismatic arrangements, it's possible to pick and choose some outrageous material from the originals and plaster it onto these techno tracks. Those unfamiliar with the material may find this to be rather boring, as many of the songs are featured several times under different remixers. But unlike the Disco albums that the Pet Shop Boys released to a harsh public, these songs are more well-rounded and tend to play out more naturally than those collections. Overall, this is a decent album that does get repetitive, but contains enough good remixes to make it recommendable to fans of the band.
Strip away all the hype, controversy, and attendant craziness surrounding Frankie – most of which never reached American shores, though the equally bombastic "Relax" and "Two Tribes" both charted well – and Welcome to the Pleasuredome holds up as an outrageously over-the-top, bizarre, but fun release. Less well known but worthwhile cuts include by-definition-camp "Krisco Kisses" and "The Only Star in Heaven," while U.K. smash "The Power of Love" is a gloriously insincere but still great hyper-ballad with strings from Anne Dudley. In truth, the album's more a testament to Trevor Horn's production skills than anything else. To help out, he roped in a slew of Ian Dury's backing musicians to provide the music, along with a guest appearance from his fellow Yes veteran Steve Howe on acoustic guitar that probably had prog rock fanatics collapsing in apoplexy. The end result was catchy, consciously modern – almost to a fault – arena-level synth rock of the early '80s that holds up just fine today, as much an endlessly listenable product of its times as the Chinn/Chapman string of glam rock hits from the early '70s.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood's first double album was a huge hit. Their second offering also met with some success, although it is not as well remembered. And yet, on many accounts, Liverpool can be considered as an improvement over its predecessor. For one thing, the album is shorter, more conventional. While Welcome to the Pleasuredome had some strong material, the length weakened the whole in many places. Here, the band focused on eight tracks and the result is somewhat more convincing. "Warriors of the Wasteland," "Rage Hard," and "Watching the Wildlife" were all minor hits back in 1986, and the other tracks are, for the most part, of the same quality, with perhaps "For Heaven's Sake" standing out as a favorite. Again, Trevor Horn was involved in the production (the band was signed to his famous Zang Tuum Tumb label, so it's no big surprise) – thus the production is impeccable, as one would expect from a Horn-produced album. Worth a listen if you like the band or have an interest for '80s music – of which this is not such a bad sample.
Liverpool is Frankie Goes to Hollywood's second and last studio album, released in October 1986. It would be the band's final album of all-new material, and lead singer Holly Johnson would leave the band following the corresponding world tour, followed by a flurry of lawsuits from ZTT. The album's production was handled by Trevor Horn's engineer Stephen Lipson, who urged the band to play their own instruments on this album (Horn having replaced many of the band's performances and arrangements with his session musicians or his own performances on Welcome to the Pleasuredome.) Liverpool therefore features a heavier rock sound than its predecessor.