Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ LP

Paul Morley: “It was bad enough trying to get away with four sides and the other thing that I wanted to do was the original cover which is now the back, with the animals copulating. But it was bloody… I was having a quiet night one night and the phone just went mental because suddenly everybody had got the artwork and it was that on the front. And Trevor said, ‘but there’s a cat giving a blow job to a lion’, you know? (laughs) We talked for hours and in the end I was ground down and agreed to reverse it so we put the picture on the front.”
What was the brief for the Pleasuredome illustrations?
Lo Cole: “For the front cover I was to represent all the band members as I saw fit. I had never attempted portraiture before but met the band and was given a whole load of publicity shots to work from. As far as style or content – this was left open as was the medium and compositions. For the gatefold artwork he (Morley) wanted a procession of animals entering a very large phallus and on the back I was instructed to portray a massive orgy of beasts. At least I think that’s what he said. I remember questioning him on exactly how graphic I could be in my interpretation and being given the liberty to indulge my imagination.”
With the printing plant refusing to print the sleeve because of the back cover animal orgy you had to cover the offending article with fig leafs. How did you feel about this, compromising your work?
Lo Cole: “It was my suggestion to cover the offending details with fig-leaves which were drawn onto an over-lay with an instruction to print in green. I was sorry to obliterate from view such delicately drawn connecting genitalia, but not surprised. And I rather liked the idea of being able to introduce an element of green which clashed against the predominantly overall red feel of the picture.”

artist: Frankie Goes To Hollywood title: Welcome To The Pleasuredome format: 2xLP design: XLZTT illustration: Lo Cole photography: AJ Barratt / John Stoddart / Anton Corbijn / Peter Ashworth / Steve Rumney / Eric Watson / Peter Brown cat. no: ZTT IQ 1 date: 29/10/84 art of notes: There were two versions of the inner sleeves, one with swear words censored with black lines, these seem to be rarer than the uncensored version though. The back cover was always censored with fig leaves until the 25th anniversary CD edition and the 30th ‘Inside The Pleasuredome’ box set.

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