The Story of... 'The Power of Love' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

3 December 2020, 13:44 | Updated: 16 November 2022, 16:26

Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

'The Power of Love' is a favourite ballad every Christmas, but what is it about?

The Frankie Goes to Hollywood number one was a huge hit in 1984, and it still sounds gorgeous 35 years later.

Here are all the big facts about the timeless song:

  1. Who wrote 'The Power of Love'?

    Holly Johnson in 1986
    Holly Johnson in 1986. Picture: Getty

    It was written by Holly Johnson, Peter Gill, Mark O'Toole and Brian Nash, four of five members of the band.

    The song was featured on their debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome.

  2. 'The Power of Love' meaning: What is the song about?

    Power of Love
    Picture: ZTT

    The song deals with spirituality and religion, and how love is hugely important in life.

    Singer Holly Johnson later said of the track: "I always felt like 'The Power of Love' was the record that would save me in this life.

    "There is a biblical aspect to its spirituality and passion; the fact that love is the only thing that matters in the end."

  3. Is it a Christmas song?

    Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Power Of Love

    It is often regarded as a Christmas song, despite having no reference to Christmas within the song lyrics. It is often featured on Christmas albums and played heavily over the holiday period in the UK.

    However, the video features the Nativity, and the single cover contained The Assumptions of the Virgin.

    Read more: 7 classic Christmas songs that aren't actually about Christmas

    The video was directed by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, who were members of the band 10cc.

  4. Who else featured on the song?

    Anne Dudley, from the UK studio group Art Of Noise, arranged the strings.

    The 12" mix of the song featured Red Dwarf actor Chris Barrie parodying DJ Mike Read's banning of the single 'Relax', as well as his impression of Ronald Reagan.

    The single also featured a Christmas message from the band, entitled 'Holier Than Thou'.

  5. How did it perform in the charts?

    The song followed its two predecessors, 'Relax' and 'Two Tribes', to the top of the UK singles chart. At the time, they were only the second act to score number ones in the UK with their first three singles, after Gerry and the Pacemakers.

    See more: The 20 worst Christmas songs of all time

    It was also a top 10 hit in several European countries, in Australia and New Zealand, and in Canada.

    After spending one week at number one, it was knocked off the top spot by Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'.

  6. Who else has covered it?

    Gabrielle Aplin - The Power of Love

    Holly Johnson recorded his own version of the song for his 1999 album Soulstream.

    In 2012, singer Gabrielle Aplin recorded a cover version for the John Lewis Christmas advert, and it also went to number one in the UK, exactly 28 years after the original.

    In 2018, Dalton Harris released it as his X Factor winner's single, as a duet with former winner James Arthur.

    The Power of Love