This new edition of the ZTT Element series makes a refreshing change to the disappointing Frankie Goes To Hollywood compilation albums that have gone before, as it ignores all the album track fillers and the tedious remixes from 1993 to 2009, instead it concentrates on the actual singles formats.
Sex Mix - Archive Tapes and Studio Adventures, Volume One gives a true representation of what made all seven of the Frankie multi-mix, multi-format singles unique, a lot of time and effort has gone into the making of this compilation. For the very first time since the release of those 7inch, 12inch and cassettes, the listener is given the chance to experience FGTH as they should be heard, as a singles band.
The title of this double archive set is derived from the original Relax Sex Mix 12inch, included here along with the exclusive b-sides taken from the cassettes From Soft To Hard From Dry To Moist and Two Tribes - Keep The Peace. The main singlette mixes have been omitted from this edition of the ever expanding Element series as they have already been issued on other volumes, No.06, Welcome To The Pleasuredome and No.21, the various artists compilation The Art Of The 12 Inch, Volume Two. This makes room to include The Power Of Love cassette in its entirety and an approximation of the Welcome To The Pleasuredome singlette All In The Body, All In The Mind with the never before released full length How To Remake The World mix. Those crafted tracks were produced and re-worked by Trevor Horn, assisted by his and with that collaboration of studio masterminds plus the energy of FGTH themselves it is easy to understand why the likes of Duran Duran never stood a chance against them.
Not all of the tracks were recorded during the making of the debut long player, as tracks from the Liverpool period are also included. The CD only remixes, Rage Hard and Warriors see the light of day for the very first time since they were originally released in late 1986. At the time, their first four singles overshadowed these final ones, but listening to them again in this form lets us realise that they deserved more credit than they did when initially released
Frankie were the defining pop band of the 1980s and the template for others since. They were not just a band, they were an entire entertainment package. This new entertainment package was compiled by Ian Peel and includes a booklet with rare photos, a commentary by the curator with a design that reflects the spirit of FGTH.
For me this is the first Frankie compilation that I have enjoyed listening to from beginning to end. The majority of the tracks still sound as fresh today as they did back then. Those that don't, reflect the era that they were recorded in, and are included in their original form rather than being remixed by some DJ destroying the joy of what we grew up listening to. There is space on my shelf for volume two, but until that arrives, volume one is in my opinion the definitive Frankie Goes To Hollywood collection to date.
The only reason I have given this a four star is that tracks 1-5 are not in true stereo or true mono as 1 channel has duplicated in both, which I found out about this morning. Apparently the actual stereo masters have been found and hopefully the problem will be rectified soon.