Relax, Take It Easy

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"Relax, Take It Easy"
Relax, Take It Easy CDS.jpg
Single by Mika
from the album Life in Cartoon Motion
B-side "Lollipop"
Released June 2006 (original)
December 2007 (re-release)
Format
Recorded 2006
Genre
Length 4:30 (album version)
3:42 (radio edit)
3:38 (new radio edit)
Label Casablanca
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Greg Wells
Mika singles chronology
"Relax, Take It Easy"
(2006)
"Grace Kelly"
(2007)

"Relax, Take It Easy"
(2006)
"Grace Kelly"
(2007)
Alternative cover
Re-release cover
Re-release cover

"Relax, Take It Easy" is the debut single by British singer-songwriter Mika, from his debut album Life in Cartoon Motion. In the UK, it failed to chart upon its original release, but after "Grace Kelly" topped the charts in January 2007, it managed to peak at number 67 on the UK Downloads Chart because of download sales.

The song makes use of a melody line from the Cutting Crew hit single "(I Just) Died in Your Arms".[1] In North America, it was released as the third single from the album. The song was released as Mika's sixth single in the UK in stores on 31 December 2007, and for digital download on 24 December 2007 as a double A-side with "Lollipop". This single peaked at number 18 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was also featured prominently in the movie Were the World Mine. It is also in the 2011 film Monte Carlo.

Background and composition[edit]

Mika described the story behind the song in an interview with the Sun Newspaper, on 2 February 2007:

"I always wanted to write a dance song that wasn't a really full dance track, that felt organic. So when I came into producing 'Relax' I made sure that most of the sounds we used were actually made by real instruments. We used some great session musicians who had worked with Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson. And we picked up the strangest pedal combinations to get all these weird sounds. It's really effective - you can't tell if it's a full dance track or really laid-back. It feels a bit weird electronically. The organic-ness gives a more classic field to it. So it was one of the harder tracks for me to produce, but also the most rewarding."[2]

During his show Stasera Casa Mika on the Italian channel Rai 2 he said, as a child, to be scared of the tube then growing up he got used to the noise and people around. Many years later he was in London going to the studio and the train suddenly stopped the lights went out and he felt scared as when he was a child. Then the lights came on again, he was told to leave the train along with the other people. Outside it was police all around: it was 7 July 2005 London bombings. He went home walking and still frightened started singing, once home wrote this song in twenty minutes.

It uses the melody from "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight" by the Cutting Crew.[3] The song is an upbeat pop track with a disco-like bassline and a funky guitar riff in the background on the choruses, where he sings: "It's as if I'm scared/It's as if I'm terrified/It's as if I scared/It's as if I'm playing with fire".[4] It is set in the key of F minor.

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from music critics. Beth Johnson from Entertainment Weekly wrote that the song is "a Bee Gees-ish shout-out to Frankie Goes to Hollywood."[5] Craig McLean from The Guardian somewhat echoed Griffith review, writing that the song "become the best song the Bee Gees never wrote."[6] Christian John Mikane from PopMatters wrote that "the song is among the better songs on the album."[3] He described the music as "gloriously synthetic, but the confidence in Mika's voice more than compensates for the artificiality of the music."[3]

While commenting about his voice, John Murphy from musicOMH wrote that "He has an unfeasibly high falsetto, which works on the Pet Shop Boys-like electro pop track."[7] Graham Griffith from About.com wrote that the song "channels the flawless electropop of the Scissor Sisters without being completely unoriginal."[8] Heather Phares from Allmusic agreed, writing that "it is in the same vein of hypnotic, danceable melancholy as the Scissor Sisters' reworking of 'Comfortably Numb', albeit less showy."[9] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine wrote a positive review, saying that "Mika fares best when he straddles the fence, as he does on the thumping hodgepodge 'Relax'."[10] Dom Passantino wrote a more negative review for Stylus Magazine, saying that "Songs like 'Relax, Take It Easy' seem to be an attempt at simulating the effect that Supertramp chloroforming you in your sleep would produce."[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted at number 12 in the week ending 30 June 2007 in the Billboard European Hot 100, jumping to number 8 the following week, to number 4 in its third week, and to number 2 in its fourth week, despite not being released in some European countries such as the United Kingdom. In Spain, the song received double platinum certification for more than 40,000 downloads. The song peaked at number 4 in the Spanish download chart. The song spent 2 weeks at number 1 on the Belgian Ultratop Chart, 7 weeks at number 1 on the Dutch Top 40 Chart and 15 weeks at number 1 on the French Download Chart. The song received gold certification in Russia with 50,000 copies sold.[12]

Music video[edit]

There are two version of the "Relax, Take It Easy" music video. The first features a blue background with drawings based on Mika's songs that contain characters like Lollipop Girl, Big Girl and Billy Brown. It also contained colourful cartoon cables for the amplifiers, and in some parts it contained images of Mika in a concert in Europe. This version played on VH1 around the world. This version was used for the Life in Cartoon Motion release. This version is used for public use. The second version of the video is the newest. It was released in Britain and some countries in Europe for the re-release of the single. Version two contains videos and images taken by fans from Mika's numerous concerts. The video was officially released on YouTube. The video has received high ratings on YouTube, though it hasn't been released in any public release by MIKA.

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Belgium (BEA)[50] Platinum 40,000*
Germany (BVMI)[51] Gold 150,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[52] Platinum 10,000^
Italy (FIMI)[53] Gold 40,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wikane, Christian John (26 March 2007). "Mika: Life in Cartoon Motion – PopMatters Music Review". PopMatters. 
  2. ^ "Relax (Take It Easy) by Mika Songfacts". Songfacts. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Wikane, Christian John (26 March 2007). "Mika: Life in Cartoon Motion < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Berntsen, Alexander (10 February 2007). "Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion (album review) | Sputnikmusic". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Johnson, Beth (30 March 2007). "Life in Cartoon Motion Review | Music Reviews and News - | EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  6. ^ McLean, Craig (21 January 27). "CD: Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion | Music | The Observer". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 March 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Murphy, John (5 February 2007). "Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion | album reviews". MusicOMH. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "MIKA - Life in Cartoon Motion". About.com. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Phares, Heather. "Life in Cartoon Motion - Mika | Allmusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (17 March 2007). "Mika: Life In Cartoon Motion | Music Review | Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Passantino, Don (6 February 2007). "Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion - Review - Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  12. ^ ""2M" - Россия Top 25 >> 24-2010". 2m-online.ru. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "MIKA Relax Take It Easy - 2006 UK 2 track promo only CD | eBay". Cgi.ebay.co.uk. 2011-03-26. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  14. ^ "MIKA Relax Take It Easy RARE EU 4 track CD Jewel Case | eBay". Cgi.ebay.co.uk. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  15. ^ "Mika - Relax, Take It Easy - New Remixes 12" x | eBay". Cgi.ebay.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  16. ^ "MIKA RELAX TAKE IT EASY CD 2 CD SINGLE D2 | eBay". Cgi.ebay.co.uk. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  17. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Mika Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200719 into search.
  22. ^ "Hitlisten.NU – Mika – Relax, Take It Easy" (in Danish). Tracklisten.
  23. ^ "Mika – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Mika.
  24. ^ "Mika: Relax (Take It Easy)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)" (in French). Les classement single.
  26. ^ "Musicline.de – Mika Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  27. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  28. ^ "Chart Track: Week 3, 2008". Irish Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)". Top Digital Download.
  30. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Mika" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  31. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  32. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)". VG-lista.
  33. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. 
  34. ^ "Romanian Top 100 – Top 10" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  35. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200729 into search.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)". Singles Top 100.
  37. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Mika – Relax (Take It Easy)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  38. ^ "Mika: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  39. ^ "Mika Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Pop Rock" (in Spanish). Record Report. 2007-11-03. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. 
  41. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Jahreshitparade 2007 - austriancharts.at". Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  42. ^ "ultratop.be - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  43. ^ "ultratop.be - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  44. ^ "Snepmusique.com, le site du Snep". 1 October 2013. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  45. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  46. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Top Annuali Single: 2007". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  47. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Dutch Charts - dutchcharts.nl". Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  48. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  49. ^ http://www.ukchartsplus.co.uk/ChartsPlusYE2008.pdf
  50. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 2007". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 
  51. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Mika; 'Relax, Take It Easy')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 1 May 2018. 
  52. ^ "Guld og platin i oktober". ifpi.dk. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  53. ^ "Italian single certifications – Mika – Relax" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. 

External links[edit]