Cleopatra Records has released Duran Duran ‘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’, as well as ‘See Me Repeat Me’ and two other songs that the group shopped around to various labels before eventually signing with EMI.
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. They were recorded at Bob Lamb’s studio (home of the band UB40) in Moseley, Birmingham.
Andy Wickett – photo credit Sunday Mercury
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 T.V. 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. Wickett 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’. That song was called ‘Stevie’s Radio Station’, a song written by T.V. Eye when Wickett was their vocalist. A favourite of Nick and John, it was incorporated into Duran Duran live sets during Wickett’s tenure. “‘Rio’ was taken from a song called ‘Stevie’s Radio Station’, which I wrote with my previous band T.V. Eye and then performed with the Durans,” says Andy Wickett.
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.
John Taylor, Fozzit and Andy Wickett 1979 – photo credit Adam Redding
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.
The ‘Girls on Film 1979 Demo’ EP is available digitally and on CD, as well as on stunning red and clear colored vinyl at https://durandurangirlsonfilm.bandcamp.com/album/girls-on-film-1979-demo (Shameless Promotion PR)
Andy Wickett (vocals, piano, lyrics)
John Taylor (guitars)
Roger Taylor (drums)
Nick Rhodes (keyboards)
- See Me, Repeat Me (feat. Andy Wickett) 03:54
- Reincarnation (feat. Andy Wickett) 02:56
- Girls on Film (feat. Andy Wickett) [Demo Version] 03:02
- Working the Steel (feat. Andy Wickett) 03:23