In October, 1983, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, released the slowest burner of an eventual chart topper probably ever. The song would go on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.K. and it is the 7th biggest selling single of all-time.
The song was previewed live on Channel 4’s The Tube and with that one performance the 80’s changed. New Wave, waved goodbye and mainstream Pop, albeit with an edgy dark underbelly, eased to the fore.
F.G.T.H. were like a shot in the arm back then and like many great outfits burned so very brightly for the briefest of moments. Pretty much everybody bought the records, well, the first 4 singles anyway.
Relax is the pick of the bunch but Two Tribes and Welcome To The Pleasure Dome were great singles too. The period of time when Two Tribes was Number 1 and Relax was Number 2 is amongst the best I have ever felt about chart positions – for once the charts reflected the real shift in trends and music of the actual time. Two Tribes stayed at Number 1 for a staggering 9 weeks and Relax crawled back up the charts. The records sat at the summit like 80’s lions sneering at the other chart fodder – for once the music buying masses got it right.
I saw the band at the peak of their powers when they played at the Birmingham Odeon which was a venue way to small for how big they were. They are, reflectively, not my usual thing musically, but as a 15 year old they were clearly the best mainstream outfit of the period.
Relax never looked better than in the Brian De Palma movie Body Double. The song and movie show the 80’s as many will fondly recall them. Edgy. Pushing things forward and just going for it…