Relax (single)

From Academic Kids

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Single by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
From the album Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Single Released 24 October, 1983
Single Format vinyl record (7" & 12"), Cassette tape
Recorded May - June, 1983
Genre Dance, New Wave
Record label ZTT
Producer Trevor Horn
Chart positions 1 (UK)
10 (USA)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood single chronology

"Two Tribes"

"Relax" was the first single from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, released in October 1983.

It is also the first to be released on Trevor Horn's record label, ZTT. It sold 1.9 million copies in the UK alone and spent 5 weeks at number one, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all-time.

With its lyrics filled with thinly-veiled references to homosexual sex it was banned by the BBC, providing it with publicity that only aided its popularity, especially as a gay anthem.



The original 12" mix of "Relax" by Trevor Horn was an amazingly rambling 21 minute affair. It was completed mainly as a dare by Paul Morley.

The first 12" mix to appear on vinyl was an overblown 16 minute "Sex mix", completed in part as a reaction to Horn's visiting New York's Paradise Garage night club with Chris Blackwell of Island Records. This was quickly withdrawn and trimmed down to a shorter 8 minute version, entitled the "New York Remix" or "Sex Mix Edit".

The more popular extended version everyone knows is called the "Long Version" or "U.S. Mix" and is basically "Relax (from soft to hard)", the instrumental version of the track, tacked onto the beginning of the single mix to roughly double the length of the track.

B-sides and Videos

The single featured two b-sides. The first, "One September Monday" is essentially an interview between ZTT media man Paul Morley and the musicians of the band recorded on a Monday in September 1983. The second is an expanded cover version of "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" originally done by Gerry And The Pacemakers. A short version of the track, entitled "Fury", appears on the Welcome To The Pleasuredome album.

Videowise, there were a myriad of videos shot for "Relax", most of them banned. The one that was shown (directed by duo Godley & Creme) mainly featured band members Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford in a room lit by lasers.


"Relax" eventually topped the charts in the UK in January 1984, taking a lengthy ten weeks to do so. By March 1984, "Relax" had sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone.

Staying at Number One for five weeks, it eventually resurfaced at Number 2 when Two Tribes reached top spot.

However, in the US it didn't fare nearly as well, eventually reaching the paltry heights of Number 10 in March 1985. On its original US chart run in 1984, it managed to hit Number 67.


All discographical information pertains to UK releases only

7" single (ZTAS 1)

  1. "Relax (move)" (3:52)
  2. "One September Monday" (4:47)

12" single (12 ZTAS 1)

  1. "Relax (sex mix)" (16:24)
  2. "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" (4:03)
  3. "Relax (from soft to hard)" (4:21)

Reissued 12" single (12 ZTAS 1)

  1. "Relax (U.S. mix)" (7:20)
  2. "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" (4:03)
  3. "Relax (from soft to hard)" (4:21)

Cassingle (CTIS 102)

"From Soft To Hard - From Dry To Moist"

  1. "The Party Trick (acting dumb)"
  2. "The Special Act (adapted from the sex mix)"
  3. "The US Mix (come dancing)"
  4. "The Single (the act)"
  5. "Later On (from One September Monday)"
  6. "Ferry Across The Mersey (...and here I'll stay)"

Song in pop culture

  • Both is version and a cover version played in the movie Zoolander
    • In The Wedding Singer, the Russian-immigrant catering chef sports a "RELAX" t-shirt, which is perhaps a culture-shock joke, in that the shirts had become passť by 1985, when the movie is set.
  • In the "Friends" episode "The One With The Tiny T-Shirt", Ross and Rachel argue over possession of a vintage "Frankie Say Relax" t-shirt.

External link


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