Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#10); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Liverpool’s Frankie Goes To Hollywood – with sexually suggestive lyrics and a campy homosexual image – was the Village People of the 1980’s.

What Frankie had, that the Village People did not, was a massive publicity campaign. FGTH began back in 1980 with the formation of Hollycaust (after lead singer Holly Johnson), later renamed Frankie Goes To Hollywood (inspired by a caption to a Frank Sinatra news photo).

An appearance on The Tube television show performing a raw version of Relax, brought them a deal with ZTT Records, and a single release in November, 1983. A BBC ban plus a controversial video and related products only served to push Relax into the spotlight where it dominated the charts for most of 1984 and sold two million copies.

It climbed into Britain’s Top 5 twice in 1984. In America, Relax featured prominently in the film Body Double and went “gold,” and then Frankie-mania was over.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Trevor Horn

Lyrics Written by:

  • Holly Johnson
  • Mark O’Toole
  • Peter Gill