Frankie Goes to Hollywood were a British band formed in Liverpool, England, in the 1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson (vocals), with Paul Rutherford (vocals), Peter Gill (drums, percussion), Mark O’Toole (bass guitar) and Brian Nash (guitar).
The group’s 1983 debut single “Relax” was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and subsequently topped the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the seventh-best-selling UK single of all time. It also won the 1985 Brit Award for Best British Single. Their debut album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, reached number one in the UK in 1984 with advanced sales of over one million.
Although fairly inauspicious upon initial release, “Relax” finally reached number one on the UK singles chart on 22 January 1984, ultimately becoming one of the most controversial and most commercially successful records of the decade. The single eventually sold a reported 2 million copies in the UK alone, making it the seventh best-selling single in the UK Singles Chart’s history. Following the release of the group’s second single, “Two Tribes”, “Relax” rallied from a declining UK chart position during June 1984 to climb back up the UK charts and re-attain the number 2 spot behind “Two Tribes” at number 1, making them the only act at the time to have occupied the top two simultaneously apart from The Beatles and John Lennon.
Upon its release in the United States, “Relax” repeated its slow UK progress. In its initial release, it peaked at number 67 in May 1984. In January 1985, it re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70, eventually reaching number 10 in March.
The song won Best British Single at the 1985 Brit Awards.
The song featured on the soundtrack of the films Body Double and T2 Trainspotting, in the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in the fictional in-game radio station Wave 103, and on the soundtrack to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.