Thursday, May 7, 2015

How Far We've Come

"Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, was one of the most controversial and commercially successful singles of the 1980s in the UK. Released in 1983, the record and original video was banned by the BBC due to a BBC Radio DJ's distaste for the suggestive single sleeve and lyrics. Regardless the song climbed to number one in the UK despite it's complete ban on BBC radio and TV and video ban on Top of the Pops.

The original video for "Relax" was very suggestive (featuring handsome Paul Rutherford in rubber to boot!). In attempt to garner more rotation, a second video directed by Godley and Creme was completed, but due to the bans BBC never did play either video.

The ban was eventually a huge embarrassment for the BBC as most other commercial radio and video outlets continued to play the song throughout. MTV in the United States banned the first video but allowed rotation of the second G and C version.

Wow, this was 32 years ago...very hard to believe. I appreciate the boundaries that were being pushed by the overt gay sexuality presented in this video - so overt it was banned by the BBC! You gotta appreciate the balls of Trevor Horn and Paul Morley to push the envelope of marketing and creation of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's image at the time. Amazing!

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