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24th August 2022
"Relax" was the debut single by British Synth-Pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Released in 1983 (1984 in the USA) it proved slow to gain traction at first. Adverts in the musical press pushed the sexuality of both the song and the band, and the record was banned by the BBC. Although this limited radio airtime, it also generated notoriety, and saw a wave of T-shirts "Frankie Says Relax" which became a 1980s icon in themselves. The BBC ban was eventually lifted, and the record hit the No. 1 spot in nine European countries (including the UK) and was a top 10 hit in twelve other countries (including the USA).
Renowned English music producer Trevor Horn (remember "The Buggles"?) worked hard on the song, with numerous different versions being produced. He dramatically transformed the band's draft song, with none of the original band actually playing on the record. Here's the outcome:
The song has undergone numerous reiterations and remixes, too many to list here, but here's a select few. Relax "Lockout" Remix (2009):
Final DJs "Relax on the Beach" Remix (2013):
Remastered Version (2020):
Let's GoMusic Remix (2021):
The song has been used in a few movies too. American neo-noir erotic thriller "Body Double" (1984), by Brian De Palma and starring Craig Wasson, Gregg Henry, & Melanie Griffith:
American Spy Comedy "Zoolander" (2001) by Ben Stiller:
British Black-Comedy-Drama "T2 Trainspotting" (2017), directed by Danny Boyle:
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