Duran Duran – Girls On Film
The diving man's coming up for air
'Cause the crowd all love pulling Dolly by the hair, by the hair
And she wonders how she ever got here
As she goes under again
Girls on Film
July 13th has always been an important day for the 80s music, maybe because of summer, or maybe the heat. In 1985 on that day there was the famous Live Aid, the highest point of the 80s, the watershed between the first and second parts of this fantastic decade. In fact, as early as 1981 a song was released on that very day that was designed to change many things. If you think about it, on July 13, 1981, the real 80s were not yet beginning, because we know that they actually began at the end of that July, when Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s marriage immediately projected the United Kingdom into a new modernity, while the next night in America MTV began broadcasting, with the famous “Video killed the radio star”.
But a couple of weeks before, we said, a song came out that would have a resounding impact. In Birmingham, a new romantic group had a resounding success moths earlier with their first single, “Planet Earth“, and they immediately understood the importance and power of the videos. The production had chosen the second single, “Careless memories”, but it had not been as successful. And so, the five members of the band chose the third single on their own, and they chose this song, “Girls on film”. We are obviously talking about Duran Duran, who were also known for their love affairs with various models, and so they wrote this song to denounce the condition of models who were increasingly forced to weird performances and photo shoots that sounded kind of degrading.
We said that Duran Duran understood the power of videos, and for “Girls on film” they turned to the producers and directors Godley and Creme, of 10cc, who would later become the interpreters of “Cry“, but above all the directors of great videos such as “A view to a kill”, “Every breath you take”, “Victims”, “We close our eyes”, “Two tribes“, “The power of love” , “Fade to grey”, “When we was fab” and many more.
There’s a problem though: we said that MTV hadn’t started broadcasting yet. And in fact Duran Duran didn’t shoot the video in order to be broadcast on MTV, but for showing on nightclubs large screens. And so they decided to make a quite explicit video, with images that caused a stir. And they succeeded, because in the video Duran Duran are quite marginal, but the protagonists are models involved in scenes from various sexual stereotypes – all stuff that today could safely be broadcast at dinner time, let’s face it.
The video was a resounding success, and pushed the song to number five on the hit parade, officially consecrated Duran Duran. There were censures and discussions, but in the end “Girls on film” became one of the most famous videos of the entire 80s.
In any case, “Girls on film” also became one of Duran Duran’s most beloved songs, so much so that after many years in their concerts it is often one of the very last songs performed during the encores, often performed last, and during this song Simon Le Bon presents the band members to the public for the final greetings.
Duran Duran on Wikipedia