Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their marketing department know what a deft move they pulled off in getting their 'The Power of Love' to the summit of the Christmas charts as well as its subsequent enrolment into the list of songs that are dusted down each December. As a composition it was pretty good but when it was put together with a richly produced video that portrayed the nativity scene it was always going to attract a Christmas audience. Inevitably it became the Liverpool band's third UK number one in succession (following their banned debut single 'Relax' and its follow-up 'Two Tribes') and was only knocked off the top in December 1984 by the juggernaut that was Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. Incidentally Frankie’s lead single Holly Johnson contributed to the flipside of the Band Aid for the spoken word ‘Feed The World’, a contribution he made by phoning it in to Bob Geldof.
Given the intensity of their 2 preceding singles 'The Power of Love' was a real surprise as it exposed the band's softer side. Gone were the sexual references and war scaremongering and in their place was a tender ballad produced by Trevor Horn. The video was made by duo Godley & Crème (they had been in 10cc together) and it didn’t feature the band originally but following a sustained period of furore from the media the group were pasted in. The press had poured scorn on the group for capitalising on the season with a song that had all the hallmarks of a work that wasn’t written for Christmas (Johnston subsequently admitted that this was the case).
The b-side for 'The Power of Love' contained a jovial chat involving the band and their hopes for Christmas. It was called 'Holier Than Thou' and can be found online with ‘The Power of Love’ as its backing track. If we’re honest it is probably best forgotten. 15 years after its original release Holly Johnson released a new version of ‘The Power of Love' for his solo album ‘Soulstream’. It didn’t veer too far from the original, perhaps a little more stripped back but Johnson equalled if not surpassed the emotional delivery of his vocal performance from the previous decade.Author: Kevin