Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, January 13th

On this day in 1984: BBC Radio 1 announced a ban on ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, after DJ Mike Read called it ‘obscene’, a BBC TV ban also followed. The song went on to become a U.K. #1 and spent a total of 48 weeks on the U.K chart.

“Relax” is the debut single by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and was released in the United Kingdom by ZTT Records in 1983. The song was later included on the album ‘Welcome To the Pleasuredome’ (1984).

Although fairly inauspicious upon initial release, “Relax” finally reached #1 on the U.K. singles chart on January 22, 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 U.K. alone, making it the seventh best-selling single in the U.K. singles chart’s history. Following the release of the group’s second single, ‘Two Tribes’, “Relax” rallied from a declining U.K. chart position during June 1984 to climb back up the U.K. charts and re-attain the #2 spot behind “Two Tribes” which was at #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 U.K. progress. In its initial release, it peaked at #67 in May 1984. In January 1985, it re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #70, eventually reaching #10 in March of 1985. The song won Best British Single at the 1985 Brit Awards.

Here’s what was happening on the U.S. singles chart on this day back in 1984:

1 1 SAY SAY SAY –•– Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson (Columbia)-13 (5 weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 SAY IT ISN’T SO –•– Daryl Hall & John Oates (RCA)-11 (2)
3 3 UNION OF THE SNAKE –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-10 (3)
4 4 OWNER OF A LONELY HEART –•– Yes (Atco)-10 (4)
5 8 TWIST OF FATE –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-10 (5)
6 12 TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP –•– The Romantics (Nemperor)-14 (6)
7 10 BREAK MY STRIDE –•– Matthew Wilder (Private I)-17 (7)
8 11 I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES –•– Elton John (Geffen)-11 (8)
9 9 UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-9 (9)
10 5 ALL NIGHT LONG (All Night) –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-17 (1)

11 6 UPTOWN GIRL –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-16 (3)
12 7 LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD –•– Pat Benatar (Chrysalis)-16 (5)
13 17 KARMA CHAMELEON –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-6 (13)
14 14 MAJOR TOM (Coming Home) –•– Peter Schilling (Elektra)-16 (14)
15 21 RUNNING WITH THE NIGHT –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-7 (15)
16 13 CHURCH OF THE POISON MIND –•– Culture Club (Virgin)-12 (10)
17 22 JOANNA –•– Kool & The Gang (De-Lite)-10 (17)
18 23 READ ‘EM AND WEEP –•– Barry Manilow (Arista)-8 (18)
19 16 SYNCHRONICITY II –•– The Police (A&M)-10 (16)
20 15 CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE –•– Quiet Riot (Pasha)-17 (5)

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