From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Although fairly inauspicious upon initial release, "Relax" finally reached number one in the UK singles chart on 24 January 1984, ultimately becoming one of the most controversial and most commercially successful records of the entire decade. The single eventually sold a reported 1.91 million copies in the UK alone, making it the seventh best-selling UK single of all time. Following the release of the group's second single, "Two Tribes", "Relax" rallied from a declining UK chart position during June 1984 to climb back up the UK charts and re-attain number two spot behind "Two Tribes" at number one, representing simultaneous chart success by a single act unprecedented since the early 1960s.
Upon release in the United States in late 1984, "Relax" repeated its slow UK progress, reaching number 67 upon initial release, but eventually reaching number 10 in March 1985.
"Relax" is the song Derek Zoolander is hypnotized to in the movie Zoolander. When he hears this song, he is to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Parts of this song are also in the Bloodhound Gang's song "Mope".
The song was used in the films Body Double. In addition, a version including footage from the Brian De Palma film Body Double as well as a live version, directed by David Mallet, also made the rounds at MTV.