Girls on Film

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"Girls on Film"
Duran girls on film.jpg
Single by Duran Duran
from the album Duran Duran
B-side"Faster Than Light"
Released13 July 1981 (1981-07-13)
RecordedDecember 1980 (1980-12)
StudioRed Bus Studios (London)
Genre
Length
  • 3:27 (Single Version)
  • 5:31 (Night Version)
  • 5:45 (Extended Night Version)
  • 5:41 (Instrumental Version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Colin Thurston
Duran Duran singles chronology
"Careless Memories"
(1981)
"Girls on Film"
(1981)
"My Own Way"
(1981)
Music video
"Girls on Film" on YouTube

"Girls on Film" is the third single by English new wave band 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 studio 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 action video game Sleeping Dogs.

Background[edit]

Originally written and demoed in 1979 by an early line-up of the band featuring lead vocalist Andy Wickett, Duran Duran re-wrote and re-recorded the song in 1981. The different original version, which co-writer Wickett said "was inspired by the dark side of the glitz and glamour", was released as part of an EP in 2018.[3]

Music video[edit]

The song fared well on the radio and the charts before the music 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) and director of photography Steven Bernstein 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) and was given the R13 rating in New Zealand. 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.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[edit]

The B-side of the single was another song initially unavailable anywhere else, a synthesiser-heavy dance track called "Faster Than Light".

The extended night version of "Girls on Film", similar to "Planet Earth" wasn't a remix, but a completely new arrangement of the song.

There are two slightly different mixes of the Night Version, one clocking in at 5:45, the other at 5:27. The video version clocks in at 6:19.

In 1998, EMI released Girls on Film – The Remixes, featuring a swathe of newly commissioned re-constructions of the song by Tall Paul and Tin Tin Out. A couple of these mixes were included on the 1998 UK release of the single "Electric Barbarella".

Covers, samples, and media references[edit]

Cover versions of "Girls on Film" have been recorded by Björn Again, Wesley Willis Fiasco, the Living End, Girls Aloud, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, Billy Preston, Kevin Max, La Ley, Midnight Oil, Mindless Self Indulgence and Chord Overstreet.[4]

Formats and track listing[edit]

7": EMI. / EMI 5206 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film" – 3:29
  2. "Faster than Light" – 4:26

12": EMI. / 12 EMI 5206 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film (Night Version)" – 5:31
  2. "Girls on Film" – 3:29
  3. "Faster than Light" – 4:26

12": EMI. / 062-20 07176 Greece[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film (Night Version)" – 5:45
  2. "Girls on Film (Instrumental)" – 5:41
  3. "Faster than Light" – 4:26
  • The Greek 12" release of "Girls on Film" contains a version with a longer camera intro not found on the other 12 inches. It was also released on some versions of the 1982 Carnaval EP. It appeared for the first time on CD on the 2010 remaster of Duran Duran as the "Extended Night Version".
  • The "Instrumental" was not released on other vinyl releases and remains unreleased on CD.

CD: Part of "Singles Box Set 1981–1985" boxset[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film" – 3:27
  2. "Faster than Light" – 4:26
  3. "Girls on Film (Night Version)" – 5:31

CD: Part of Duran Duran 2010 Special Edition (CD2)[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film" (Extended Night Version) – 5:45
  2. "Girls on Film" (Night Mix) – 5:42
  • Track 1 is the same version as the Greek 12" release (EMI / 062-20 0717 6).
  • Released in 2010.

CD: The Remixes United States[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film" (Tin Tin Out Mix) – 6:55
  2. "Girls on Film" (Salt Tank Mix) – 6:29
  3. "Girls on Film" (16 Millimetre Mix) – 7:28
  4. "Girls on Film" (Tall Paul Mix 1) – 8:28
  5. "Girls on Film" (Night Version) – 5:31
  6. "Girls on Film" (8 Millimetre Mix) – 5:47
  • Released in 1999

12": The Remixes United States[edit]

  1. "Girls on Film" (Tin Tin Out Mix) – 6:55
  2. "Girls on Film" (Salt Tank Mix) – 6:29
  3. "Girls on Film" (Tall Paul Mix 1) – 8:28
  4. "Girls on Film" (8 Millimetre Mix) – 5:47
  • Released in 1999

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1981–82) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5][6] 11
Irish Singles Chart 16
New Zealand[7] 4
Portugal (AFP)[8] 1
Swedish Singles Chart 15
UK Singles Chart 5
Chart (1999) Peak
position
US Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs 24

Year-end charts[edit]

Year-end chart performance for "Girls on Film"
Chart (1982) Position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[6] 61


As of October 2021 "Girls on Film" is the fifth most streamed Duran Duran song in the UK.[9]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Other appearances[edit]

Apart from the single, "Girls on Film" has also appeared on:

EP's

  • Nite Romantics (1981, Japan)
  • Night Versions (1982, Australia) (1984, New Zealand)
  • Carnival (1982, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada, United States, except from the Japanese release)

Mini-LP:

  • DMM Mega Mixes (1983, Germany)

Albums:

Singles:

Personnel[edit]

Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ People Weekly, Vol. 62. Time, Incorporated. 2004. "But the big-haired lineup that gave us such '80s synth-pop hits as "Girls on Film," "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio" has reunited for Astronaut, which finds the group taking creative flight again."
  2. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Girls on Film - Duran Duran | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  3. ^ Cleopatra Records release rare 1979 Duran Duran 'Girls on Film' EP featuring Andy Wickett Torched Magazine
  4. ^ [1] Archived 18 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1982". Kent Music Report. 3 January 1983. Retrieved 22 January 2023 – via Imgur.
  7. ^ NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, March 7, 1982
  8. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. 19 January 1982. p. 71. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Duran Duran's Official Top 20 most-streamed songs revealed". Official Charts. 26 October 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  10. ^ "British single certifications – Duran Duran – Girls on Film". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 May 2021.

External links[edit]