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Frankie-Mania Strikes

Audiences, Stations Go Hollywood

TORONTO — Frankie came to Canada and caused more than a ripple of media excitement, more than a wave of audience enthusiasm and more than a flood of sales and radio action to support “Welcome To The Pleasure Dome,” released the same week as five concert dates in Ottawa, Montreal and here (Billboard, Nov. 10).

A low-key Ottawa univerity pub date quietly kicked off Frankie Goes To Hollywoods North American tour. But the next night, Halloween, the Liverpool band pumped up Le Spectrum in Montreal before a capacity crowd. Sellouts greeted the band the next night in Montreal and for two shows at The Concert Hall in Toronto, Nov. 3 and 4.

Radio greeted “Welcome To The Pleasure Dome” as if it were an album by an established artist, not a band with just two singles to its credit. With three known exceptions — CFOX in Vancouver, CITI in Winnipeg and CILQ in Toronto — every FM station with an AOR format in the country added the record out of the box.

The band supported the dates with in-store appearances in Montreal at Sam The Record Man (drawing more than 700) and in Toronto at the downtown A&As (drawing about 2,000).

The bands first single, “Relax,” has sold a reported 80,000 copies in Canada, including 4,000 as a 12-inch. “Two Tribes” has sold some 63,000, including 37,00 as a 12-inch. The double album “Welcome” shipped 65,000 copies Oct. 29 and by the end of the week was reported at 71,00, including reorders. Island plans to issue “The Power Of Love” as the next single Nov. 19.