Picks and Pans Review: Relax

UPDATED 05/07/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/07/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

When the BBC banned both the song and the original video, audiences in Britain did the expected thing and made the song number one. Here in the colonies, MTV also refused to air the clip unless the boys cleaned up their act. Thus, this hyperbanal second Relax. It's standard studio fare, with the five members of FGTH fingering away at instruments while colorful laser beams zoom in occasionally as special effects. Holly Johnson, the group's lead singer, does little more than saunter insouciantly across the screen in a blaze of light. He seems to be smirking at his censors as if to say, "See how mundane this is next to the original," which takes place in a back-alley gay nightclub populated by a lone female and men in various configurations of leather. Bodies writhe in cages high above the patrons of the club; below is sadomasochism, bestiality and a brooding sense of hopelessness. There's not much chance that Relax I will appear on any kind of TV before the downfall of civilization becomes considerably more imminent, but it is shown in some clubs, for those adventuresome and voyeuristic enough to seek it out.

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