ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

The best No 1 records: Frankie Goes to Hollywood—Two Tribes

1984: This disco-metal warhead presented a loopy but potent cocktail of satire, hedonism and dread

If nuclear annihilation was just a button away wouldnt you want to make a record that contained every idea youd ever had? That was what Two Tribes sounded like. Inspired by Mad Max, William Burroughs, the Falklands war and a big bag of weed, Holly Johnson dreamed it up in obscurity. The cash bonanza of Relax enabled producer Trevor Horn to turn it into a gleaming disco-metal warhead and po-mo visionary Paul Morley to expand it into a multimedia art statement. The songs loopy cocktail of satire, hedonism and dread was potent enough to sustain all the conceptual weight piled on to it. The British public signed up to the lunatic largesse of the whole project by keeping it at No 1 for nine weeks. Apocalypse, wow!