Relax 

  

Taking a delve back into my pre metal days here’s a track from the band that surprisingly (I think) I could pin point the beginning of my love (or obsession?) for record collecting, or buying in general. The only records I had prior to this were some inherited albums from relatives. One was an album of Star Wars music and the other was Doctor Who’s Genesis of the Daleks story on vinyl – which I recently had to repurchase! 

I most definitely didn’t buy Welcome to the Pleasuredome on its release date, or anywhere near, but I’m pretty sure the tape version of the album was the first original music release that I had in my possession. I can’t recall where I got it from, but I remember vividly having it during a Cubs trek in the mid 80’s when we encountered Peggy’s Bank and I was playing it on my personal stereo that I think was an Akai or Aiwa branded machine, rather than the more glamorous and famous Sony Walkman. 

Later on I purchased the album on vinyl around Christmas 1986 and for reason still unknown to me to this day I  promptly stuck a Miami Dolphins sticker on the front of it. In the years following I’ve got the album on compact disc and I’ve had this track on 7″ vinyl, a 12″ picture disc and a reissued CD. 

I don’t know if it’s me being naïve or just stupid, but 33 years after it was banned by the BBC I still don’t know why. Maybe the banning of it made it exciting and dangerous for a 12 year old to own? Possibly it was my friends, or the neighbourhood kids I hung around with at the time, we’re all that bit older. 

Compared to some songs that have reached the upper echelons of the UK charts there have been songs much more controversial and obscene. Thanks to that ban though it has made this track the seventh best seller in British chart history with sales in excess of two million singles. If they’d banned the song solely for pre watershed TV consumption with the infamous video below then I could have understood that. 

Originally the single was released in November 1983. After an appearance on prime time TV show Top of the Pops the track shot up the charts. A week later a Radio 1 DJ expressed his dislike for it prior to a daytime BBC ban. Two weeks later it finally hit the summit and remained there for five more weeks whilst banned. Controversy sells. 

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The Power Of Love

Merry Christmas.

It’s definitely not a white one here, more of a damp squib and getting milder later. It’d be interesting to experience an Australian Christmas in the heigh of their summer. A high of 23°C (or 74°F) in Sydney today according to my weather app.

Anyway, on to Christmas Day’s tune. I’ve had a soft spot for this Liverpudlian band for over 30 years. I loved their debt single Relax when I heard it on the chart countdown on Radio 1, even though I wasn’t old enough to figure out what the song was about. This was Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s third consecutive number one single in the UK.

Debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome would rank very highly if I did a list of albums played over the years. That, along with Status Quo’s In the Army, were my first two vinyl purchases I ever made, shortly before my love of metal kicked in.

This song has also become one of those “our tune” kind of songs between the wife and I. We had it played at our wedding way back when and it is one of maybe five songs I have danced to. I don’t dance, or as Genesis put it in 1991 I can’t dance.

Similar to the previously posted Stop the Cavalry, this isn’t a song about Christmas. It has been embraced by the festive hordes due to it’s promotional video that revolves around the nativity scene. That was more to do with its late release in the year (19th November) and record company executives cashing in on the Christmas vibes. For that reason it appears to be pretty rare to hear this song played on the radio between January and October!