Frankie Goes to Hollywood became infamous when their first single, ‘Relax’ was banned by the BBC in 1983 for its overtly sexual lyrics and homoerotic video. The video was set in an imagined BDSM club populated by Leathermen and drag queens. It was filmed in The State nightclub, Liverpool.
Almost immediately interest in the record catapulted it to number one. The record sleeve also oozed sexuality. Holly Johnson explains the story behind it -
“Our friend, the illustrator Yvonne Gilbert, had done some erotic illustrations for Men Only magazine which I had seen. I showed them to Bob and the rest of the band, and decided on one with a man on his knees and a red haired woman reclining on his back. This image was sent to XL to incorporate into a record sleeve”.
Holly Johnson, A Bone in My Flute, 1994.