“It’s obvious now, but for some reason (maybe the Christmas themed video confused me), it didn’t really strike me at the time that The Power of Love was about AIDS, the holocaust that was currently tearing through the world’s male homosexual population (and beyond). Indeed, Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s Holly Johnson, who sang and co-wrote it, would soon be infected and, in the belief of the time, fated to a slow horrible death from the vampire that had got in the door. Of course, last I looked, Mr. Johnson is still alive as are many who were once doomed (all hail, medical science), which doesn’t in any way detract from the power of Power Of Love – one of those rare songs about that most complex of four letter words, that doesn’t diminish it, doesn’t whore it for cheap emotions, maybe sell some flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day. And I think it’s very much because of that vampire line at the beginning, the truth it nails, figurative and otherwise.” (Philip Random)
The so-called sound art project known as Nocturnal Emissions take a few bland self-help samples, lay down a simple groove and deliver an anthem of sorts on the theme of healing. Because by the time 1985 hit, everyone knew someone who was dying of the big disease with a little name (as Prince put it), even if we didn’t actually know they had it yet. Such was the AIDS crisis of the mid-80s — a death sentence all the way. And yet we’re human, so we never give up. Some of us anyway.