“Girls On Film” is the second track from infamous English new-wave band Duran Duran’s self titled debut album, released 1981. Duran Duran is made up of five men from Birmingham; Simon Le Bon (vocals), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), John Taylor (bass guitar), Roger Taylor (drums) and Andy Taylor (guitar). The band members wrote the track, and “Girls On Film” is what jet started Duran Duran’s music career.
“Girls On Film” discusses the exploitation of fashion and pornographic models. The track begins with the whirring of a motor drive, as well as cameras flashing. The song has an upbeat, almost punk feel to it, as well as never crossing its boundaries into pop fully.
The track was released before the existence of MTV, hence two versions of the music video existing; an uncensored one and a censored one. Their controversy surrounding the uncensored video (consisting of themes of nudity, sexual exploitation and abandonment, and sexual fetishism) led to it being banned on MTV and on the BBC. However, Video 45 released a censored version of the music video (which aired in the US in March 1983) and won a Grammy Award in 1984 for “Best Form Music Video”, the first year the Academy gave that award. On YouTube, the video has almost 6.5 million views since its upload in November 2010.
Release Date: 13th July 1981
Songwriter/s: Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor & James Bates
Producer/s: Colin Thurston
Label/s: EMI / Capitol
Music Video Release Date: July 1981 (March 1983 in the US)
Music Video Director: Godley & Crème
Chart Rankings: In its year of release, “Girls On Film” charted at #5 in the UK, #11 in Australia, #4 in New Zealand, #15 in Sweden and #16 in Ireland. The track later made its US chart debut in 1991, ranking at #24.