It was about 30 years ago when I first heard “Relax” come blaring out of the speakers in my high school cafeteria as the “closed circuit radio station” dared to play it. At the time it was just an aural assault to me. Knowing nothing about the band or even the lyrical content of the song, it was just a smashing, overwhelming melding of electronic noise, desperately emotive vocals and a heavy rock ‘n’ roll band.
The next Saturday, I hopped a train and got to the closest city where I could buy the record. At the time all that was available was an import 12″ single that cost me two week’s allowance. But I got it home and played it on continuous repeat for about a month. Soon after, Boy George mentioned in an interview that both Holly and Paul were gay. I was even more excited.
Within a month, their second single “Two Tribes” was getting played on the video shows and again I trucked it up to Moncton to get the 7″ single. Again… played it to death. Not long after, more 12″ singles of both songs were available.. I got them all.. a third single followed along with a video that was just a reenactment of the Christmas story.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood managed to be everything controversial… sex, love, politics, religion, violence, homosexuality and commercialism.
They burned out hot and fast but their fan base has never stopped loving them. Occasional rumors of a reunion have never materialized… but I do hold out hope.
Holly, however, is back. Looking and sounding great.