Song of the Day #383: ‘Relax’ – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

frankie20 Best Songs of the 80s – #19

1984′s ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood has to be the dirtiest record to ever get non-stop popular airplay. It’s certainly the gayest. In fact, the video for this song (embedded below) was banned by both the BBC and MTV due to its mature content. Compared to the stuff MTV plays today (when it actually plays music videos) this is pretty tame, but I wonder if the gay themes would still get it into hot water even today.

It wasn’t just the video for ‘Relax’ that was banned by the BBC. The song itself was blacklisted after a DJ took a little time to actually read the lyrics. As always, the ban just made the song more popular and it rocketed to #1 on the charts as people rushed out to buy what they were told they shouldn’t listen to.

I remember this song vividly, though I don’t think I really knew what the lyrics meant when it first came out. I remember all those “Frankie Say Relax” t-shirts as well. Musically, this is a great example of that 80s synth-pop sound. I’d be surprised if this hadn’t been sampled by a rap artist by now.

The band, named after the headline over a picture of Frank Sinatra in The New Yorker, lasted all of three years before splitting up. But they certainly made an impression during that time, both on the music industry and a sweet little 12-year-old in South Florida.

Mahaha-hiya
Give it to me one time now
Yeah-hea, whoa-ho ho ho ho ho
Well-ell No-ow!

Relax, don’t do it
When you want to to go to it
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to come
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to sock it to it
Relax ,don’t do it
When you want to come
When you want to come

Relax, don’t do it
When you want to to go to it
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to come
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to sock it to it
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to come
Come (oh oh oh)

But shoot it in the right direction (yeah yeah yeah yeah-ee-yeah)
Make making it your intention (ooh yeah, oh yeah)
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me (hit me)
Hit me (hit me)
Hit me with those laser beams
Laser beam

(One, two)
Relax
Don’t do it
Relax
When you want to come (Come)

I’m Coming
I’m Coming (Yeah yeah yeah yeah-hea)

Relax, don’t do it
When you want to to go to it
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to come (yeah-hea)
Relax, don’t do it
When you want to sock it to it (Whoa-ho)
Relax, don’t do it (Love)
When you want to come
When you want to come
When you want to come
Come! (Hoah)

(Damn)
The Scene of
Or feel it

Relax, don’t do it
When you want to to go to it
Relax, don’t do it

Relax, don’t do it (Higher, higher)
When you want to sock it to it
Relax, don’t do it

One time, one time, one time

Come!

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6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #383: ‘Relax’ – Frankie Goes to Hollywood

  1. Dana says:

    Another classic of the 80′s. Well done you!

    I really was into Frankie (er…not great phrasing there) for a short time in the late 80′s. I owned the album from which this song came (Welcome to the Pleasure Dome). It had some very cool stuff on it, including a very good remake of War (what is it good for?), Born to Run, Stay (Ferry Across the Merci)and San Jose (Do you know the way to…). I think that, had they stayed together, they may have followed the path of Queen in making anthem rock songs and pop hits with a gay twist. Alas, we will never know….

  2. Amy says:

    Oh, Tiger!

    There should be rules against a song this preposterous being performed by a band with a name taken from a headline about the great Frank Sinatra. What about this song influenced you if your sweet, young self didn’t comprehend the oh so subtle lyrics? Sure, the music is incredibly indicative of the 80′s sound, but you couldn’t have necessarily recognized that at the time. And, yes, the shirts were ubiquitous – I particularly like them in the Wham video, and I do hope to see some Wham love at some point in the next 18 offerings.

    Are you choosing songs that made an impact at the time? Or songs that you look back on as being particularly important to the decade?

    For me, this song is just over the top ridiculous. Dana suggests a comparison to Queen?!! He no longer has any credibility in questioning your favorable comparison of any artist for whom you have a weak spot . :)

  3. Dana says:

    Now wait just a rootin’ tootin’ minute! Before you tell me I have no credibility, maybe you should hear the rest of that album!

  4. Clay says:

    This song has a great sound… I see no reason to dismiss it as ridiculous on that front. The lyrics are over-the-top, sure, but that’s part of what makes it great.

  5. Amy says:

    I’m not sure how the lyrics being over-the-top helps to make the song great. Memorable? Sure. But great? Not in my book. And I will not wait a rootin’ tootin’ minute to suggest it’s ridiculous to compare this band to Queen. I do not need to listen to an album of cover songs to dismiss that comparison without a second thought.

  6. Dana says:

    The non-covers are decent as well. Here’s one for your listening pleasure:

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