Experimental psychologists at the University of Melbourne have just published a controversial paper in which they provide evidence for a counterintuitive claim. While scientists previously assumed that the 12-inch extended version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” was a relaxing song, Ph.D. candidate Declan Dawson and his team may have proven them wrong.
“We brought 300 undergraduates into the lab and took their blood pressure before and after listening to ‘Relax’,” said Dawson. “While we were expecting the song to relax them, it had the opposite effect, hyping these students up so much they could barely sit still. I know these results are shocking, but the stats don’t lie.”
But experimenting on human participants can be risky, and Dawson came close to endangering one student’s life.
“One subject started ‘Relax’ with a blood pressure of 120/80. He went into arrhythmia at the 4:39 minute mark when the chorus vocals reemerged after a lengthy instrumental breakdown. He probably would’ve died if it weren’t for the fact we were able to calm him down with a copy of Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’ we had on hand from another experiment.”
Dawson plans to replicate the experiment with several other versions of “Relax”.
“We decided to use the 12-inch extended version because we thought it would be more relaxing. But before we start deriving conclusions from our data we really need to perform the same experiment with other mixes of ‘Relax’. We couldn’t call ourselves scientists if we didn’t include the Ollie J Mix, the Jam & Spoon Trip-O-Matic Fairy Tale Mix, and the infamous 16-minute long Sex Mix in our study.”