Liverpool (album)

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Monochrome photo of 5 men with 5 superimposed colored pictograph-like symbols
Studio album by
Released20 October 1986[1]
RecordedMarch – July 1986
ProducerStephen Lipson
Frankie Goes to Hollywood chronology
Bang!... The Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Singles from Liverpool
  1. "Rage Hard"
    Released: 25 August 1986
  2. "Warriors of the Wasteland"
    Released: 10 November 1986
  3. "Watching the Wildlife"
    Released: 23 February 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[3]
Record Mirror[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide1/10[6]

Liverpool is the second and final studio album by British band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, released in October 1986. It was produced by Stephen Lipson, but in the end Trevor Horn did extensive mixing. In comparison to its predcessor, it is more rock than dance in sound. It would be the band's final album of all-new material, and lead singer Holly Johnson would leave the band following the corresponding world tour, followed by a flurry of lawsuits from ZTT.


Johnson was distant from the band during the sessions and was unhappy about the album's focus on rock over dance.[7] Jill Sinclair, Horn's wife and one of the ZTT founders, later alleged that Johnson had been uncooperative and absent for most of the sessions.[7] According to Nash, Johnson's was preoccupied with the serious illness of Wolfgang Kuhle, then Johnson's boyfriend, but he did not tell the band.[8] Johnson's distancing and disinterest came to the point that the band members concluded he was "finished and were in the market for a new singer".[8] They invited Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon but he declined, Pete Wylie was also approached, but Johnson eventually remained with the band and completed Liverpool.[8][9] The session studio recordings were made in Ibiza, Holland and London.[10]


The album's production was handled by Trevor Horn's engineer Stephen Lipson, who urged the band to play their own instruments on this album (Horn having replaced many of the band's performances and arrangements with his session musicians or his own performances on Welcome to the Pleasuredome). According to Nash, the band was given contradicting information, with Horn considered as a producer or executive producer.[8] In the end Horn took over mixing it on which "spent a whopping £500,000 (making £840,000 in all) tidying it up".[7][11] The band was so much in debt that they had to sell at least a million copies to start earning "a penny".[8]


Liverpool features a heavier rock sound than its predecessor. Frankie Goes to Hollywood have not released any more studio albums since Liverpool. The cover photo was different depending on what format was purchased (LP, cassette, or compact disc).


The album was a commercial disappointment compared to the band's previous effort, though it charted generally high at No. 5 in the United Kingdom and Germany, No. 7 on the Austrian and Swiss music charts and No. 8 in Norway. It produced the top 5 single "Rage Hard" (No. 1 in Germany), top 20 single "Warriors of the Wasteland" and top 30 single "Watching the Wildlife". By March 1988, the album had sold around 800,000 copies.[7] On 20 June 2011 was released a 2xCD reissue including session recordings, mixes and covers of David Bowie, the Doors and Rolling Stones.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

In the 80s and 90s album received poor critical reception. The Rolling Stone Album Guide wrote: "Like most of the era's one-hit wonders, the group did make a second album, though God only knows why anyone would want to hear it."[5]

Alex S. Garcia writing 2.5/5 review for AllMusic considered that "on many accounts, Liverpool can be considered as an improvement over its predecessor", that being shorter duration and almost the same quality of all songs, and "the production is impeccable ... worth a listen if you like the band or have an interest for 80s music—of which this is not such a bad sample".[2]

Paul Lester in BBC review of 2011 reissue noted how "many of the [original] tracks are straight hard rock/metal, with the lavish sonics and orchestral pomp typical of the ZTT label dropped on top", and that the reissue is "a superb repackage of what remains one of the great anticlimaxes in pop".[10]

Steve Howe, who played on the album, said in a 2023 interview, "I just was hoping so much that Liverpool [...] would [...] make a meaningful dent in the [...] success of the band because it was just great."[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Brian Nash and Mark O'Toole unless otherwise stated

1."Warriors of the Wasteland"4:53
2."Rage Hard"5:08
3."Kill the Pain"6:16
4."Maximum Joy"5:32
5."Watching the Wildlife"4:18
6."Lunar Bay"5:42
7."For Heaven's Sake"4:29
8."Is Anybody Out There?"7:25


1 CD

  1. "Warriors of the Wasteland"
  2. "Rage Hard"
  3. "Kill the Pain"
  4. "Maximum Joy"
  5. "Watching the Wildlife"
  6. "Lunar Bay"
  7. "For Heaven's Sake"
  8. "Is Anybody Out There?"
  9. "The Waves"
  10. "Pamela"
  11. "Suffragette City"
  12. "Roadhouse Blues"
  13. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (monitor mix / Sarm sessions / May 1986 / voiceless)"
  14. "(Don't Lose What's Left) Of Your Little Mind"
  15. "Rage Hard (voiceless)"

2 CD

  1. "Rage Hard (Montreux mix)"
  2. "Warriors of the Wasteland (Montreux mix)"
  3. "Warriors Cassetted"
  4. "Wildlife Cassetted"
  5. "Our Silver Turns to Gold (monitor mix / Ibiza sessions / May 1985)"
  6. "Delirious (monitor mix / Ibiza sessions / May 1985)"
  7. "Stan"
  8. "For Heaven’s Sake (monitor mix / Wisseloord sessions / March 1986)"


Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Additional personnel



Certifications for Liverpool
Region Certification Certified units/sales
France (SNEP)[31] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[32] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[33] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[34] Gold 100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Smith, Robin (11 October 1986). "News Digest". Record Mirror. p. 52.
  2. ^ a b Garcia, Alex S. "Liverpool – Frankie Goes to Hollywood". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 3. MUZE. p. 584.
  4. ^ Morton, Roger (25 October 1986). "Albums". Record Mirror. p. 22.
  5. ^ a b The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. p. 262.
  6. ^ Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. 1995. pp. 154–155.
  7. ^ a b c d Bradley, Lloyd (March 1988). "The final chapter?". Q.
  8. ^ a b c d e Nash, Brian (2012). Nasher Says Relax. Liverpool: Trinity Mirror Media. p. 230–245. ISBN 9781906802981.
  9. ^ Wright, Jade (6 November 2012). "Ex-Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Brian 'Nasher' Nash reveals all in his new autobiography". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b c d Lester, Paul (2011). "Frankie Goes to Hollywood Liverpool Review". BBC. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  11. ^ Aston, Martin (October 1992). "Where are they now?". Q. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Steve Howe: New Yes Album | Topographic Live Tapes | Rick Wakeman's hatred of TFTO | Tormato Album". YouTube.
  13. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 118. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 0861". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  16. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  17. ^ "European Hot 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3, no. 46. 22 November 1986. p. 19. OCLC 29800226. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 August 2021 – via World Radio History.
  18. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  19. ^ "Ísland (LP-plötur)". DV (in Icelandic). 14 November 1986. p. 43. ISSN 1021-8254 – via
  20. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  21. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  22. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  23. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  24. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  26. ^ "Frankie Goes to Hollywood Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  28. ^ "European Hot 100 Albums – Hot 100 of the Year 1986" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3, no. 51/52. 27 December 1986. p. 35. OCLC 29800226. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 July 2021 – via World Radio History.
  29. ^ "European Charts of the Year 1987 – Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 4, no. 51/52. 26 December 1987. p. 35. OCLC 29800226. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 July 2020 – via World Radio History.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1987" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  31. ^ "French album certifications – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 19 November 2021. Select FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD and click OK. 
  32. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Frankie Goes to Hollywood; 'Liverpool')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  33. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  34. ^ "British album certifications – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Liverpool". British Phonographic Industry. 8 January 1987. Retrieved 18 May 2022.