This is a new strand for this blog. As the world drifts into self-isolation we all need to keep in touch, have a bit of light relief and keep ourselves going. What I’m going to try to do is write something every day, or maybe every few days, using a piece of music (well this started as a music blog), photograph, piece of writing, tv show… or even just a thought to reflect on these unprecedented times.
I’ve called this strand ‘Strolls in Isolation’ because just because we are stuck inside doesn’t me our minds have to be… let’s wander far and wide and see what we encounter on the way.
To get this off the ground I’ve chosen ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, released in 1983 just as I was coming to the end of my teenage years… and a track I’ve come back to again and again over the course of my life
‘Relax’ has been a guaranteed dance floor filler, certainly for my generation, and it evokes many memories of clubs and discos when I was at University, I was a late developer in that regard. It also brings up memories of listening to it to cheer up my drudging commutes to work when it was first released.
But it’s the message that the song sends that I wanted to talk about today. While acknowledging the sexual undertones (and remembering that it was ridiculously banned by the BBC at the time) that are central to the track, it’s more the openness of the message that I want to talk about.
The ‘Frankie Say Relax’ t-shirts became something of a fashion statement in the 80’s, the were in many ways a return to something very basic, but also said something powerful about inclusivity and acceptance… and this is a message that really needs to be powerfully transmitted today. We are arguably at a crossroads that is personified between whether we hoard items, or whether we give to food banks…
So why not relax, clear a space in your living-area and get your Frankie moves on and be good to each other… to quote another Frankie slogan ‘Choose Life’!
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