The band formed in Birmingham, England in 1978, and fashioned themselves as a post-punk art band whose influences included Roxy Music and David Bowie. The group was named after a character from the 1968 Jane Fonda film, Barbarella. Signed to EMI, Duran Duran's self-titled debut LP was released in 1981, and they found immediate success in the U.K. (and a bit in U.S. clubs).
It was around this time that the "Girls on Film" video benefitted from almost unbelievable good luck. Directed by future video superstars Godley and Creme, the original video was designed for late night TV shows and dance clubs, and featured a fair amount of nudity. It was subsequently banned by the BBC, which generated a ton of publicity for the band. An edited version of the video found its way to MTV and received some airplay, although neither the song nor the album really broke through on their initial release.
However, the success of the video seemed to solidify the band's visual focus, and led to the tremendous success of future Duran Duran albums and videos, starting with 1982's Rio. A 1983 reissued version of the debut LP broke the top 10 in the U.S in 1983, one of 3 top 10 LPs that the band had between 1982 and 1983.
As many readers will know, Duran Duran has never officially broken up, although they have had several extended periods of inactivity and a few lineup changes through the years.