Finding infamy with their controversial debut single ‘Relax’ in 1983, cheeky Scousers Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s follow up single was the astonishing ‘Two Tribes’. An awesome production built round a throbbing, infectiously original riff, it showed off  Holly Johnson’s distinctive vocal style to striking effect.

The power of the single lay not merely in its appropriately epic production but the topicality of its lyric which dealt with the escalation of nuclear arms and the prospect of global annihilation.

In order to reinforce the harrowing theme, the group included a chilling voice over from the actor Patrick Allen taken from government papers on the dissemination of information to the public in the event of nuclear war. Allen’s Orwellian instructions on how to avoid fall out while disposing of dogs, grandparents and other loved ones gave the disc a frightening authenticity that perfectly captured the mood of the time.

Like all Frankie’s singles, the record was available in various 7-inch and 12-inch remixed formats with superb packaging and artwork. The annihilation mix was considered groundbreaking at the time due to its complete reconstruction of the original song. From the opening air raid sirens to Johnson’s closing lines of the song, borrowed from an unnamed literary source ‘Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?’ boldly resonate and add more unease upon the listener.

The six-minute plus version of  ‘Two Tribes’ was played in its entirety on UK lunch time radio shows and duly entered the charts at number 1, remaining in the premier position for an incredible nine weeks while the revitalized ‘Relax’ nestled at number 2.

A Godley & Creme promotional film of the song which featured caricatures of US President Reagan and Soviet leader Mr. Chernenko wrestling was rightly acclaimed as one of the best videos of the period and contributed strongly to the ‘Frankie package’.

Truly revolutionary and mind-blowing, it just proves that your older sister was right all along – pop music in the eighties was bloody brilliant.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes annihilation mix