The single that launched a thousand t-shirts in the 1980s, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was released on October 24, 1983, with One September Monday as the B side. The group’s debut single, it was later included on their debut studio album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, released in October 1984.
I wasn’t even a teenager yet when the song was released, so I completely missed its sexual connotations and was oblivious to the controversy that surrounded it. I just associated it with the aforementioned t-shirts and figured this guy Frankie didn’t like to get too stressed out.
The sexually charged lyrics and explicit cover art for the single earned Relax a ban from the BBC, which, of course, only fueled the song’s success. It eventually reached No. 1 on the UK Singles chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.