Sunday, June 8, 2014

Frankie Goes to Hollywood • Relax

Frankie Goes to Hollywood photo FrankieGoesToHollywood_zps2a92aa2e.jpg

It seems hard for me to believe, but it was 30 years ago when a little known British band released a single that would slowly work it's way up the charts to become a big hit. Frankie Goes to Hollywood released "Relax" in 1984, after the song was a hit in the UK. Of course, the song was first released there in 1983, but it took the scenic route up the charts there as well, for it topped the charts in January of 1984. The song made another run in June of 1984, when it went to #2 on the UK charts, behind another single by the band, "Two Tribes". The band was made up by vocalist Holly Johnson, with Paul Rutherford on keyboards, Peter Gill on drums, Mark O'Toole on bass, and Brian Nash on guitar. The song had sexually suggestive lyrics, which the band played with whenever they could.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax photo FrankieGoesToHollywoodRelaxSINGLE_zps47309a8b.jpg

Relax most likely gained sales in 1984 when the BBC refused to play the song, giving it added publicity and scandal. The sexually nature of the song bothered the BBC, as I am sure the fact that two of the band members, Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford, were gay men. After all, this was 1984... In fact, the song might have been suggestive, but was nothing compared to some of the songs out there by groups like Duran Duran. But the controversy helped build up the song, and made it a hit. It made it to #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This is the music video for "Relax".

As mentioned before, another single from Frankie Goes to Hollywood also topped the charts in the UK. "Two Tribes" went to #1, and was also released in the US. Unfortunately, it only made it to #43 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It is surprising, for the song was catchy, with a big and bold sound, yet it still failed to catch on to the public or get any notable radio play. This is the official music video for "Two Tribes".

Both songs can be found on their first album, 'Welcome to the Pleasure Dome'. You can purchase the album from iTunes and Amazon. After the somewhat fast success of the band, things came to a screeching halt in 1987, when Johnson left Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and the group disbanded. For more about the band, you can visit the official website, and 'like' them on Facebook.

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