Social Question

lilikoi's avatar

Why was Frankie's "Relax" such a hit?

Asked by lilikoi (10079points) March 19th, 2010

I didn’t exist in 1983. Someone enlighten me, please.

And where did the shirt “Frankie Say Relax” come from?

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11 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

I was 13/14 that year.

That song was so nasty and kids like nasty! The almost not-double entendres! Oooh, is one of those guys gay? Heehee! That synth simulation of a penis ejaculating (yes, we got it, definitely) was just too cool. It was Banned by BBC Radio 1 and a bunch of other stations, preachers railed against it and the T-shirt became a fashion staple that summer: FRANKIE SAY: RELAX!

Kids and young adults eat that stuff up. Well, you know what I mean.

jaytkay's avatar

Danceable, suggestive lyrics. Probably had a sexy video, but I don’t recall.

Trillian's avatar

Add to that that it was a really catchy tune. Lyrics aside, it was very upbeat and driving all the way through. Kind of cook book hit song with: catchy beat and tune, easy lyrics and a good “hook”.

lilikoi's avatar

Thanks all!

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Trillian – Yes, it was.

I always thought another textbook pop tune in that sense is Strangelove by Depeche Mode.

Trillian's avatar

@aprilsimnel Hmmmm. Yes, but done according to their own recipe of delicious minors. I saw them at the Eur Stadium in Rome. It was the Violator tour and they rocked. I saw them later in Biloxi, Faith and Devotion tour. Not so much….

loser's avatar

It’s got a nice beat and I can dance to it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it’s such a great song and so ahead of its time- it makes great mixes ! a stellar 80’s song that and ‘two tribes’

Mamradpivo's avatar

It was definitely the t-shirts.

Frankie says relax, you’ve got to do what Frankie says.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think Trevor Horn took a cue from Malcolm McLaren with regards to the T-shirt, and had it made up once the song got big.

Malcolm McLaren is a promoter, artist, marketer and general shit stirrer, and he brought the members of what would become the Sex Pistols together. He managed the band, and one of his goals for it was to use them to drive business to his and Vivienne Westwood’s clothing shop, Sex.

downtide's avatar

When the song was first released, the BBC, including Radio 1, banned it from broadcast because of the suggestive lyrics. It was such a big seller because everyone wanted to buy it just because the BBC banned it. They lifted the ban later.

I think the t-shirts were an imitation of Vivienne Westwood’s “Choose Life” t-shirt. That started the popularity of big baggy t-shirts with a slogan in big black type.

I was 16 in 1983.

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