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Duran Duran - Girls On Film (1981)

  • Video Views 8,436,988
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.31
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Girls on Film" is the third single by Duran Duran, released on 13 July 1981. The single became Duran Duran's Top 10 ...

"Girls on Film" is the third single by Duran Duran, released on 13 July 1981.

The single became Duran Duran's Top 10 breakthrough in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at Number 5 in July 1981. The band personally selected the song for release following the failure of its predecessor, "Careless Memories", which had been chosen by their record company, EMI. Its popularity provided a major boost to sales of the band's eponymous debut album, Duran Duran, which had been released a month earlier.

The song did not chart in the United States on its initial release, but it became popular and widely known after receiving heavy airplay on MTV when the Duran Duran album was re-issued in 1983. The song was used as the opening theme song for the anime series Speed Grapher in the Japanese-language version (the song wasn't able to be licensed for releases outside of Japan), and the night version appeared on 2012 Square Enix video game Sleeping Dogs.

Music video

The song fared well on the radio and the charts before the video was filmed, but the controversy that ensued helped to keep the band in the public eye and the song on the charts for many weeks.

The video was made with directing duo Godley & Creme (of 10cc fame) at Shepperton Studios in July 1981. It was filmed just weeks before MTV was launched in the United States and before anyone knew what an impact the music channel would have on the industry. The band expected the "Girls on Film" video to be played exclusively at nightclubs that had video screens. The raunchy video created an uproar, and it was consequently banned by the BBC and heavily edited for its original run on MTV; the band unabashedly enjoyed and capitalised on the controversy.

A Video 45 for "Girls on Film" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" was released in the United States in March 1983. The VHS-format tape contains the MTV-friendly edited "day version" of "Girls on Film", while the Betamax and CED Videodisc format contained the original uncensored "night version". The Video 45 won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1984, the first year the Academy gave that award. The uncensored video was also included in the Duran Duran video album (1983) and the Greatest video collection (released on VHS in 1999, and on DVD in 2004, which was given a restrictive 18 rating in the United Kingdom and Ireland). The edited version would later be used in the 2008 karaoke video game SingStar Pop Vol. 2.

Simon Le Bon commented in the audio interview on the Greatest DVD collection that the scandal of the music video overshadowed the song's message of fashion model exploitation.

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