And the Rodneys are still queueing up…
On this day in 1979, the single ‘Duchess’ by The Stranglers was released on 7” single by United Artists Records. Duchess was the first single taken from the band’s acclaimed fourth album The Raven, peaking at #14 in the UK singles chart.
Did you know that Duchess’ ballsy, bonkers and brilliant video featuring the band performing as over-enthusiastic choristers was banned by the BBC as it was considered blasphemous? The video’s director Russell Mulcahy went on to define music video in the 80s, taking his edgy new-wave style into the mainstream with videos for Elton John, Duran Duran, Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and the first video ever aired on MTV ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by the Buggles.
The video for Duchess is now finally available to view on The Stranglers official Youtube channel from today. In hindsight, it is evident that The Stranglers and Mulcahy, whose ‘pre-MTV’ directorial credits also includes The Tubes, XTC and The Vapors, combined here to create something ground-breaking that was way ahead of its time in terms of what music promo videos could and should achieve.