konstantin chernenko

Mikhail Gorbachev walks behind the pallbearers carrying Chernenko’s body across Red Square during the leader’s funeral on March 13, 1985
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko (24 September 1911 – 10 March 1985) was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985. Chernenko was also Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 11 April 1984 until his death.

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On this day in music history: October 29, 1984 - “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”, the debut album by Frankie Goes To Hollywood is released. Produced by Trevor Horn, it is recorded at The Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, UK and SARM West Studios in Notting Hill, London, UK from July 1983 - July 1984. The eighteen track double LP set features the Liverpool dance-pop bands’ first four hit singles including “Relax” (#1 UK, #10 US Pop), “Two Tribes” (#1 UK, #48 US Pop), and “The Power Of Love” (#1 UK) which make them the second band in UK chart history to have their first three singles reach number one on the UK singles chart (fellow Liverpudlian natives Gerry & The Pacemakers are the first to achieve that feat in 1963 - 64). The album is a huge success upon its release in their home country, receiving advance orders of over a million copies in the UK alone. Though a hit on US dance floors during its initial release in late 1983, “Relax” takes more than a year to reach the top 10 on the US singles charts (peaking in March of 1985). After being featured in the comedy “Police Academy” and Brian DePalma thriller “Body Double” (with the band performing the song in the film), Island Records in the US reissues and re-promotes the single in late 1984 to coincide with the albums release. The band’s second single “Two Tribes” is accompanied by a highly memorable music video directed by Godley & Creme (The Police, Herbie Hancock, U2) that feature actors that are look a likes of then US President Ronald Reagan and Russian Premier Konstantin Chernenko. It depicts the two world leaders literally wrestling and battling for world control in an arena, ending with the destruction of the earth.  The album is also the subject of major controversy when it is later revealed that the band did not actually play their own instruments on it, with those roles being filled by studio musicians including Art Of Noise members J.J. Jeczalik and Anne Dudley, producer Trevor Horn (bass), Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin, and former Yes guitarist Steve Howe. Original pressings of the album feature a painting by artist Lawrence Cole on the back cover of animals copulating with their genitalia fully visible. The artwork is censored on later reissues with fig leaves superimposed over the “offending” images. In 2014 to commemorate its thirtieth anniversary, ZTT Records issues a limited edition boxed edition of the album, featuring a remastered version of the original double album, plus additional CD’s, vinyl and digital downloads with the numerous remixes of the singles, a DVD featuring music videos and a cassette single. “Welcome To The Pleasuredome” in the UK enters the UK album chart at number one and is certified 3x Platinum, peaking at number thirty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.