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Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP cover art
Today The Big Takeover has a real treat for you! If you were a child of the ’80s, or even ’90s, Duran Duran should be a household name for you. While the band was headed by Simon Le Bon throughout their time in the limelight, it’s a little known fact that it wasn’t always so. Today we present you four pre-Simon demos that the band shopped around to various labels before eventually signing with EMI.
Cleopatra Records has released Duran Duran’s Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP featuring Andy Wickett on vocals. These are rare debut recordings, which include the original version of the smash hit “Girls on Film” and “See Me Repeat Me”, which would later be transformed into “Rio”. This is an ultimate delight for any fan of the band. These songs sound as fresh as ever and lend great insight into the band’s beginnings. These two tracks in particular show how Le Bon’s stylings going forward may have been influenced by Wickett’s original performance.
Recorded in 1979, these historic previously-unreleased demo recordings by ‘80s New Wave icons Duran Duran feature the group’s early frontman Andy Wickett (a.k.a. Fane), alongside Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor. Another interesting tidbit about this collection is that these track were recorded at Bob Lamb’s studio (home of the band UB40) in Moseley, Birmingham.
Originally formed in Birmingham by Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy in 1978 as an art school band, Duffy left Duran Duran in early 1979. After TV Eye vocalist Andy Wickett left that band, Stephen Duffy took his place. Soon afterwards, Andy was enlisted by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor to front Duran Duran.
According to Andy Taylor’s autobiography, Andy Wickett had a major part in the writing of “Girls on Film” during his tenure with the band. Wicket explains that, unlike the sexy imagery depicted in the video for this song, the lyrics were actually inspired by the lives of the stars of old black and white movies
“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 Andy 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.”
Andy Taylor confirms that Wickett co-wrote an early version of the song that eventually came to be known as “Rio”. Indeed, “See Me Repeat Me” was taken from “Stevie’s Radio Station”, a song written by TV Eye when Wickett was their vocalist. A favorite of Nick and John, it was incorporated into Duran Duran live sets during Wickett’s tenure.
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. The song “Rio” was released worldwide in October 1982 and became a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #9 in December 1982.
Since these early days in his career, Andy Wickett has come to be known as one of the finest performers and songwriters in the Midlands, having gone on to also front The Xpertz and World Service. Apart from playing arenas and venues around the world, Andy has also produced videos for and co-written albums with world renowned artists such as Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan, Malkit Singh, Stereo Nation, Taz and DCS. Over the years, he’s supported The Clash,* U2*, Culture Club, Burning Spear, Orange Juice, in addition to opening on UK tours with Duran Duran and Gregory Isaacs.
Andy Wickett & World Service have also just released a full-length album Creatures of Love digitally via Cleopatra Records, which will be officially released on CD on March 9, 2017 on that same label.
Girls on Film 1979 Demo is available digitally, as well as on CD and on stunning red and clear colored vinyl via Bandcamp
Andy Wickett (vocals, piano, lyrics)
John Taylor (guitars)
Roger Taylor (drums)
Nick Rhodes (keyboards)
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
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