It is just over 30 years since Duran Duran found musical success with their single Girls on Film in 1981 but I remember it well. Not only it is a great track, but its popularity was helped, as is always the case, by its video being banned by the BBC for having ‘unsuitable content’. Fancy a reminder or see what all the fuss was about? Here is a link to an uncut version on YouTube. Quite racy for the 1980s – I suspect it would be banned even now. NB this presents an extended version of the single, a much diluted format in my view.

Once they got going, DD of course became one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. They had 14 top 10 hits in the UK and 21 in the USA. Since forming in 1978, they have sold over 100 million records. Not bad.

I have one of their greatest hits albums – Decade (1989) and Astronaut (2004).

Decade has all DD’s big hits, including my favourites – Rio and Save A Prayer. With all their releases, DD continued to exploit the emerging power of the music video, and Rio is a great example of the typical image which I can remember seeing. Glamorous people in a glamorous setting – totally unwordly and unattainable. Looking at it now, if you can get past all the 80s veneer, it is also quite witty and mildy self-parodying, but this did not come through to me at the time.

The tracks themselves hold up though. Classic, quality pop songs.

And as for Astronaut, well this is surprisingly good too. I wrote about a smilar scenario with Blondie, where I had a combination of a greatest hits album and a revival album, with the latter being very disappointing. And I feared the worst with DD also. But no! The tracks retain the familiar DD style, with an added sense of maturity.

I was never a die-hard Duranie, or in the habit of listening to their stuff every minute of the day, and am not likely to start anytime soon. But as I am finding through Project LJ, a good track has staying power and it’s good to dig them out now and again.


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