Duran Duran (Featuring Andy Wickett)
Girls On Film 1979 Demo EP
Pressed on bright red vinyl, Cleopatra Records has released Duran Duran Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP featuring original frontman Andy Wickett (a.k.a. Fane) on vocals, alongside Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor. The demo was recorded at Bob Lamb’s studio (UB40) in Moseley, Birmingham soon after Rhodes, Taylor and Stephen ‘TinTin’ Duffy formed Duran Duran as an art-school band in 1978.
These previously-unreleased raw demo recordings include the original versions of “Girls on Film” and “See Me Repeat Me” (which would become megahit “Rio”) — along with “Reincarnation” and “Working the Steel.” It is a rare piece of auditory history for Duran Duran fans, or fans of early pop signings. Plus, the LP cover outlines Wickett’s inspiration for the songs and the evolution of the band.
‘It is important for people to understand the true origins of the song “Girls on Film” and to hear the edgy sound that Duran Duran had in the beginning,’ says Wickett. ‘This song was inspired by the dark side of the glitz and glamour, where these perfect idols suffered tragedy and addiction. The film Sunset Boulevard was also a big influence with its tale of a fading movie star.’
The warped pan opening of “See Me Repeat Me” opens the demo. It jumps to fullness when Wickett starts singing, signaling the addition of another recording track being switched on. The demo builds steadily with cool rolling drum and synthesizer licks in “Reincarnation” before climbing to “Girls on Film.” Unfortunately, “Working the Steel” lost the demo’s momentum for me. They were smart to put it at the end.
Wickett’s vocal style on “Girls on Film” is a stark departure from the smoothed-over singing that the pop song would eventually re-record. Plus the harmonica is gold. Once your ears readjust to the scratchy and looser vocal style, Wickett’s gritty take of such a well-loved song is refreshing amidst the monotonous auto-tuned songs of today. Initially, the rawness of the demo, along with the seeming desafinado singing of “Working the Steel” made me question how EMI actually signed them. Given the UK punk and pop scene, Duran Duran Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP definitely falls in line with the music aesthetic of the day. By the fourth take, I was hooked on the first three songs.
Duran Duran eventually released “Girls on Film” in July 1981, and it became a Top 10 breakthrough in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at Number 5 that month. “Rio” was released worldwide in October 1982 and became a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #9 in December 1982.
After Wickett left the band, he went on to produce videos for and co-write albums with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Malkit Singh, Stereo Nation, Taz, and DCS. He has also supported The Clash, U2, Culture Club, Burning Spear, and Orange Juice, in addition to opening on UK tours with Duran Duran and Gregory Isaacs.
Fittingly, Duran Duran Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP’s release coincides with Andy Wickett & World Service’s digital release of full-length album Creatures of Love (Cleopatra Records).
The Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP is available digitally and on CD, as well as on stunning red and clear-colored vinyl HERE.
Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP Track Listing
1. See Me, Repeat Me (feat. Andy Wickett) 03:54
2. Reincarnation (feat. Andy Wickett) 02:56
3. Girls on Film (feat. Andy Wickett) [Demo Version] 03:02
4. Working the Steel (feat. Andy Wickett) 03:23
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: DURAN DURAN (FEATURING ANDY WICKETT) – GIRLS ON FILM 1979 DEMO EP