Frankie Goes to Hollywood perform early stripped-down version of "Relax" before it was released

Originally published at: Frankie Goes to Hollywood perform early stripped-down version of "Relax" before it was released | Boing Boing

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Thank goodness for Trevor Horn.


I was listening to this just the other day


Yep. They went from “meh” to “damn.” I love a stripped down version of a song, but in this case the extra instruments and sound and slight arrangement changes made it way better.


I was listening to it in the car half an hour ago (I’m up to F on my alphabetical, all artists playlist).


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In the UK we’re lucky to have the BBC who have provided us with a superior air-bass gif


When I checked just now I was surprised to find that this only spent 5 weeks at #1 in the UK. It seemed a lot longer at the time.

Also, it was banned for being ‘obscene’ by the BBC (obviously not by Channel 4) and so at the end of Top of the Pops every week, they would announce that it was still #1 and then cut to the credits.

I think what @timd was alluding to was that the were able to keep up the momentum of the record sales by releasing different remixes and 12"s including one with the BBC DJ Mike Read announcing he wasn’t going to play the track 'cos it was obscene.


Here’s a good breakdown of how the song was made and the impact it had on pop music.


I listened to the documentary, then I dug out the 12" and listened to that (followed by Two Tribes) – dance like nobody’s watching.


First-class bellend.


Indeed, the Tube version is an interesting historical artefact; but the chart version was Full-bore 80s.

How odd that Yvonne Gilbert, who painted the cover to the single release, is 70 years now. Where did all those years go?

@jameswest ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. What a great song. It really encapsulates the frustration of a Sunday, doesn’t it? You wake up in the morning, you’ve got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you’ve got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you think “Sunday, bloody Sunday!”.

I wouldn’t even rate him that highly; however, at least, he wasn’t Noel Edmonds (I will not invoke the name of the one who is worse than he).


One great tune deserves another.


i have one of those Frankie t-shirts. i remember the fashion at the time was to have them be oversized and baggy, but it’s pretty form-fitting now, like a normal t-shirt. then again, who’s still the same size they were in high school, anyway, right?


I think Trevor Horn – who is brilliant, don’t get me wrong – is a little unkind when he reminisces about FGTH. He writes them off as crap and said he got all his session musicians in for the actual studio recordings.
But if you listen to the Peel session from 1982, it’s mostly all there. And Frankie’s own bassist could play the bass line to “Two Tribes” Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Peel Session 1982 - YouTube
The trouble is, by the time FGTH were signed, their mix of Liverpool post-punk and Gang of Four punk-funk, sounded dated. Horn gave them sonic pixie dust that transformed them from indie-rock to mid-1980s chart pop, but the production alone didn’t write songs as good as “The Power of Love” and “Two Tribes”.


There’s nothing particularly subtle about the official video, is there?

I was reading the excellent "Good Night and Good Riddance" by David Cavanagh (How 35 years of John Peel changed modern life) last night and also just got to the time when this was banned but John Peel just kept playing it.


The legal case he lost against Holly Johnson didn’t help.

He embarked on a two-year legal battle with ZTT, the case being settled in Johnson’s favour on 10 February 1988, the judge ruling that the original contracts had constituted an unreasonable restraint of trade, remarking that “Mr. Johnson could be 70 years old and still be bound to this contract”.


“Please don’t point that at me.”

He should probably be glad it was a (hopefully prop) gun. It could have been something else.

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