4Ever Songs: Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Relax’

“Relax, don’t do it, when you want to suck it to it. Relax, don’t do it, when you want to come…” While these words provided ample excuse for BBC Radio and TV to impose a ban on the joyously hypnotic 1983 debut single by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, they also served as a mid-’80s anthem during an era when homo-eroticism became an intrinsic component of the Britpop scene. Thanks to a suitably lewd S&M promo video that, predictably, was also barred from the airwaves, along with a massive marketing campaign that saw kids all over the UK wearing T-shirts with the slogan ‘Frankie Says Relax’, the band rode a short-lived wave of high-profile controversy. Yet of far longer-lasting impact was the music behind all the hype — a hi-NRG brand of dance-synth-pop that, as crafted by production supremo Trevor Horn, broke new sonic ground, while epitomising ’80s excess in all its garish, overblown glory.

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