Friday, July 7, 2017

"Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Song#:  2093
Date:  10/20/1984
Debut:  79
Peak:  43
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Earlier in '84, this UK band released their single "Relax" in the US. Despite being a huge #1 hit in their homeland, the song didn't catch on Stateside and it initially peaked at an unremarkable #67. In the meantime, this second single was issued in the UK and it did even better than "Relax." The single debuted at the #1 spot and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks, which would end up being the longest run at #1 for a single on the UK chart in the 80s. Those results prompted a US release for the song. The tune caught on at Dance where it peaked at #3. At Pop, the news was a little better than "Relax," but it still failed to get inside the Top 40 (#27 Rock). However, with this song getting the band attention in the US, interest would be drawn back to their first single and soon they would have a major 80s hit on their hands.

ReduxReview:  This is a pretty epic tune. The production by Trevor Horn was outstanding. It's urgent, ominous, and bold. What's weird is that I thought this came out after "Relax" had become a hit on its second run. I also thought it was a bigger hit. I would have said it went Top 10, but it didn't even come close. Or maybe I just wished it had gone Top 10. It really should have. It was a big hit all over the world except for the US. But some things that catch on in places like Europe, don't necessarily transfer to a US audience. Frankie would end up being kind of one-hit wonderish here while in the UK they topped the singles chart three times in a row. The band didn't last long, but they certainly put their stamp on the 80s.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  With the Cold War at its height around this time period, the song was timely and its theme was greatly highlighted in the accompanying video. Actors portraying two of the big Cold War players, US President Ronald Regan and Russian leader Konstantin Chernenko, were set up in a ring and prompted to do a wrestling match in front of an eager crowd. The fight ends up in chaos and eventually the world comes to an end. Apparently, there were a few graphic scenes in the original video and in order to get it on MTV, the video had to be edited. One scene in question had Regan trying to bite off a chunk of Chernenko's ear.


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