It’s probably my age, but i’m still adding to my collection of vinyl. Just last weekend I picked up an almost complete collection of Altered Images 12 inch singles, all in great condition, and I was well chuffed.
I’m still adding to my Frankie Goes To Hollywood collection. There are just a handful of discs I need but I’m going to have to work hard to find them, I won’t get them at a car boot sale, and even then a couple are well outside my price range. More about that later, but what I will say now is that ZTT records certainly made things interesting for the record collector.
First there’s the 7” versions. There’s a few of them…the standard 7” and the picture disc 7” (did you know that if you have ‘relax’ on a compilation CD it won’t be the 7” mix, it’ll probably be the album version, which is slightly different). Then there’s the limited edition ‘last seven inches’ white label…both of them! One is a mis-pressing with ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ wrongly listed as the ‘B’ side and with A & B labels actually the wrong way round. The other is correctly pressed with ‘One September Monday’ on the reverse. Other ‘variations’ are available! I had to get a US copy of Relax with alternative chequerboard sleeve and slightly different mix to the standard UK 7” too…
If you have a smashing 12” copy of the ‘sex mix’ then the chances are you don’t actually have the ‘sex mix’. I went through this is in ‘Is That The 12” Mix’. The original 16 minute sex mix was mastered at 33rpm and had the cat no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. However, upon criticism that it was too long, an edited 8 minute version was then put out…at 45rpm in the same ‘sex mix’ sleeve and with the cat. no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. This didn’t appease the critics so Trevor Horn put out a new 7 minute plus mix…again with the same sleeve and cat.no – this is actually known as the US Mix or New York Mix and is the one that sold in 90% of cases. You can tell which mix you have by looking at the matrix number in the run out grooves. 1A-4U (or 1A-5U) is the US Mix which is pretty standard. But 1A-1U is the original sex mix and A-2U / 12-IS-ZTAS-1 the 8.20 mix. All are pictured apart from the original 33rpm pressing as I still need that. There’s also a 12″ picture disc that contains the US Mix…
I hope you’re keeping up because it gets a little tricker. ZTT records then decided to confuse everybody by reissuing the 16 minute sex mix at 45rpm but with ‘original mix’ written in big letters on the inner label (there was no picture sleeve for this pressing)…and if you’ve got a German 12” and the label indicates it is the 8.20 mix then it could be the US/New York Mix (as mine does) instead as there are several pressings emanating from there too. One thing ALL the UK 12″ versions have in common is the instrumental mix of Relax (with an acapella start) on the B side along with Ferry ‘cross the Mersey.
A couple of years ago Salvo music reissued a new 12” of Relax featuring a new ‘sex mix edition 3’ – it has a purple lettering rather than the standard peachy colour. It is open to debate whether this is a ‘new’ mix or one that had remained in the ZTT archives waiting to be discovered for the best part of three decades.
There’s a cassette single too….containing the ‘greatest bits’. This is a type of megamix which incorporates the best of all the Relax mixes. This ,along with every other mix has appeared on one of the many recent CD releases that Salvo music have put out since acquiring the rights to the ZTT back catalogue.
I might add that I always have a budget. I never spend more than £10 (including postage!) for a record, which is why the single sided ‘Warp mix’ of Relax is out of reach as it tends to go for upwards of £50. As it’s virtually the same as the ‘last seven inches’ version I won’t lose any sleep over that. There’s also a ‘Greek Disco Mix’, released only in Greece which is a cut and paste mix using bits of the 16 minute mix and 7” mix – this too goes for a fortune. The other I still need is the original sex mix pressing at 33rpm (mentioned above) ..not that rare a pressing but all of them advertised on discogs are actually the 45rpm version. Remember the key is that matrix number etched into the run-off grooves..in this case it has to be 1 A-1U.. I’ll have it if you have it for sale please.
ZTT decided not to confuse all of us who liked Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax 1984 follow-up TWO TRIBES. They didn’t need to replace any mixes in order to get the song noticed, simply because FGTH HAD been noticed by now – but they did issue their second consecutive number one in a large number of formats in the UK.
There’s the standard 7” version, although amazingly that original mix (‘cowboys & indians’) is virtually unobtainable on CD. The 7” picture disc is a slightly different mix (‘we don’t want to die’) as is the American pressing (which I don’t actually have) which is the same as the album version (‘for the victims of ravishment’)
The 12” mixes are easily recognisable. The standard 12” with Lenin on the cover is the ‘annihilation mix’. The second, released a few weeks later, is the ‘carnage mix’. Both have an extra track, War , on the B side as well as an alternative version of Two Tribes (‘surrender’).. A third twelve inch version featured the ‘carnage’ mix on the B side with a remix of War (‘hidden’ mix) on the A side instead. War was not available on the 7” versions despite being classed as the double-A side in the UK.
A fourth UK 12” was the picture disc, which had the same tracks as the third release before a final fifth disc -featuring the ‘Hibakusha’ mix of Two tribes, with War back on the B side . There was no picture sleeve for this one and for many years was considered a ‘rare’ disc.
I do have a sixth 12” disc – a rare promo copy that features the ‘carnage mix’ on side A and the (correctly-titled) US mix of Relax on the reverse.
The cassette single of Two Tribes is similar in format to that of ‘Relax’, pasting together bits of various mixes of the track.
I will keep collecting Frankie Goes to Hollywood releases. Unfortunately there are others 80s acts i’ll also keep collecting. Needless to say, I have an understanding partner & younger brother who is just as insane…his blog is at http://thefreeeps.blogspot.co.uk/