No band has ever dominated a year like Frankie Goes to Hollywood in 1984.
Born out of Liverpool’s post-punk scene with a brash, mischievous, ‘do what you want’ attitude – Frankie were a one-off. With their first three singles all going to No.1 – a feat previously only achieved by fellow Liverpudlians, Gerry and the Pacemakers – they dominated the charts and the airwaves. They had a sound and image unlike anything else; part punk with rock and dance thrown in for good measure.
Are we living in a world, where sex and horror are the new gods?
The world needed Frankie’s innocence and fun. With a bleak backdrop that included Thatcher, Reagan, Cold War, Trident, the miner’s strike, IRA bombs and HIV – Britain, and certainly Liverpool, were not in a good place. Frankie’s success allowed them to play about with political themes in a serious but entertaining way.
Arguably the last great British pop band to get obsessed over? Maybe. Will we ever see their like again? Possibly not.
The BME is celebrating Frankie’s enormous contribution to British popular music in their home city of Liverpool through a temporary exhibition of some iconic Frankie Goes To Hollywood stage outfits, instruments, memorabilia and a collection of retro “Frankie Say” merch. With focus on their meteoric success in 1984 and the political landscape of that year, the exhibition will launch with a BANG and conclude with Frankie Say 2020 – bringing the story up to date in a sombre but uplifting way, highlighting the strange times we are living through.
The exhibition will be further supported through a season of events celebrating 1984, including film screenings, album playbacks and discussions.
Kevin McManus, Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool commented “I am delighted to hear the British Music Experience are celebrating one of Liverpool’s most successful groups ever. When you look at our illustrious music heritage it takes something to stand out but from their very early days Frankie Goes To Hollywood always stood out. For a year or so they were the biggest band on the planet, cementing Liverpool’s place as the music capital of the world. It is only fitting that this unique exhibition is taking place in Liverpool, the only city that could have given birth to such a brilliant, maverick band delivering works of pure pop genius. I think the exhibition will remind the world of just how significant FGTH were.”
Harvey Goldsmith, legendary promoter and Chair of BME Trustees said “The British Music Experience is thrilled to host an exhibition so important to Liverpool and a close look at the year 1984, which captures our imaginations. We’re excited to try to decipher that magic something Frankie Goes To Hollywood brought to the world at just the right moment in time. It was an amazing year, when cultural norms were being pushed and challenged, Relax and then the wildly successful Frankie Say T-Shirt campaign was ground-breaking, followed by Two Tribes and The Power of Love. Frankie Goes To Hollywood smoothly pulled off a level of success not seen since the 1960’s.”
The exhibition runs from 9th January 2021 to 4th July 2021, with the private ticketed launch on 8th January.
Frankie Say 1984! is included with the cost of general admission to the British Music Experience. All general admission tickets are valid for 12 months to alleviate the uncertainty of Tier Restrictions.
Frankie Say 1984! – exhibition launch night
8th January 2021, 7pm
Join us for a private viewing of the Frankie Say 1984! exhibition before it opens to the general public.
The lads are here! To start the exhibition off with a BANG, Frankie guitarist Nasher will be in conversation with local music-writer Paul Fitzgerald talking about how 1984 changed his life. Nasher will also be performing a short live set.
All tickets £15.
Tickets to the event will allow you unlimited general entry to the BME for one whole year. You can help us support and grow the archive and collection of instruments and outfits by agreeing to Gift Aid your event ticket. We will receive £0.25 for each £1 spent. Remember to complete your Gift Aid declaration and hand it to us on arrival. Thank you for the support. Launch Night tickets are limited due to current restrictions, ensuring social distancing can be maintained. If BME is forced to cancel due to Tier Restrictions the event will be re-scheduled.
Tickets go on sale at 10am, Friday 18th December from www.britishmusicexperience.com
About the British Music Experience
The British Music Experience is the UK’s Museum of Popular Music – a place where visitors relive the moments that helped put British music on the map. The BME opened in the heart of Liverpool in the iconic Cunard Building in 2017. The BME has made its mark as the centre for everyone who wants to celebrate the fantastic history of British music.
Boasting an unrivalled collection of stage outfits, objects and instruments, the museum charts the beginnings, rise and influence of British pop from 1945 to the present day. In addition to an incredible collection of artefacts and memorabilia – which includes some of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust costumes, the iconic Beatles’ Saville Row Apple Corp Door and the original handwritten lyrics to ‘Blue Monday’ – the museum also covers the impact that British music had on the culture, fashion, art and politics of the time. It reminds us that British music has at times defined and celebrated what it means to be British, challenged the status quo and given voice to the dispossessed.
The Museum includes galleries, learning zones, audio visual experiences, an interactive instrument studio, a dance area and a live music venue.
The Learning and Public Programmes, together with our temporary exhibitions further enrich the visitor experience through a range of events; from educational workshops for school children, to master classes and gigs hosted by industry experts.
Finally, there is a gift shop filled with the best of music heritage merch and a café, open to the general public, overlooking the Mersey.
The BME is a registered charity with a mission to advance the appreciation and understanding of the art, history and science of popular music in Britain. (Registered Charity 1125752).