Duran Duran took the 12” format in a different and unique direction by creating what they referred to as “Night Versions” of each of their early singles.
Like their contemporaries they created reworked extended versions, designed for the dance floor.
But Duran Duran invested a little more in their remixes, by heading back into the studio to record additional parts to include in their new nightclub-friendly versions.
The end result was that rather than simply creating extended versions, Duran Duran’s 12” singles actually had a different feel and a different sound to their 7” equivalents.
“Night Versions” were produced for most of the group’s early singles including Planet Earth, Girls On Film, My Own Way and Hungry Like The Wolf.
The example here is the Night Version of Girls On Film, from 1981, of which two slightly different versions exist, one timed at 5:45, and this one which clocks in at 5:27.
A version of the controversial Girls On Film video was also edited to accompany this remix, the idea being it would be shown in nightclubs with video screens.
With MTV just around the corner, Duran Duran were one of many bands experimenting with the music video format. MTV was actually launched just 3 weeks after the release of Girls On Film.
As for the Night Versions format, Duran Duran moved towards more common re-editing techniques within a couple of years, possibly because rapid advances in technology made remixing so much easier.
But the idea and the name were resurrected by Soulwax in 2005 for their “Nite Versions” album which contained re-recorded dancefloor-friendly versions of tracks from their “Any Minute Now” album, paying homage to Duran Duran’s early 12” singles in both name and format.
And one final piece of trivia regards the track Girls On Film, which was actually written by the band’s previous singer Andy Wickett, who left and was replaced by Simon Le Bon in 1980.
Upon his departure the band paid Wickett £600 to waive his rights to the track, before their new version became Duran Duran’s breakthrough single in 1981, reaching number 5 in the UK chart and become a live favourite for decades to come.
Cat No: 12EMI5206