Duran Duran Wiki
Electric Barbarella
210 electric barbarella single song BARBDJ97 duran duran cd 1997 discography discogs wiki
single by Duran Duran
B-side "Out of My Mind"
"Sinner or Saint"
"Girls on Film"
Released 16 September 1997 (US)
27 January 1999 (UK)
Format 7", 12", Cassette, CD
Genre Pop
Length 5:15 minutes
Label Capitol, EMI, Virgin
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Simon Le Bon
Producer TV Mania
Duran Duran

"Electric Barbarella" is the 29th single by Duran Duran, and the first official single from the album Medazzaland.

In 1997, the single and album were released only in the United States; "Electric Barbarella" was not issued as a single in the UK until January 1999 on the back of the late 1998 release of the compilation album Greatest.

About the song[]

"Electric Barbarella" is a direct tribute to the 1968 Roger Vadim film Barbarella, from which the band took their name.

It has been touted as the first song available for digital purchase/download on the Internet, and dozens of different mixes were created from the song. A Dom T mix exclusive to the Internet was available for download in the US for 99 cents. This pioneering move annoyed many American retailers as they saw it as infringing on their retail territory and they either refused to stock the album or provided little to no promotion of the disc.

Song Development[]

Nick said: "Electric Barbarella," was really a song about loneliness. I'd started to look at the modern world and thought, "Wow. So people really are moving into this future ahead where their best friends could well end up being dolls or robots. I'd seen a few bits of media, and I often go to these sort of tech conferences to look at what's out there. And it occurred to me that the sex dolls of the future were going to be like people — and they are now in fact becoming much more like that. I found it both terrifying and rather depressing. At the same time, I was able to find some dark humor in it, and to say, "Well, yep. This is what's coming." So that was "Electric Barbarella." [1]

Music video[]

The video, directed by photographer Ellen von Unwerth, involved a robot sex doll and had to be mildly censored before receiving airplay on MTV or VH1; by the time the modified video was delivered, the song had already fallen off the charts.

Myka Dunkle is the actress playing the robot; Devon Aoki also appeared.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[]

The b-side for "Electric Barbarella" was a mix of their previous single, "Out of My Mind".

Numerous remixes were issued on various promo releases and on the internet.[2]

Worlds First Commercial Digital Download, and Single Banning[]

Nick said "It was a complete nightmare, full stop. Firstly, the Napster technology . . I was a little concerned, not just for me so much, but for other musicians, if everybody downloads their free album off Napster, or whatever the other ones were, BitTorrent... All those things that came out.

I thought, "Well, the obvious answer is to make a legitimate version, so that at least people who are honest and who can afford it will say, 'We're going to support the music. We're going to buy it.'" But if that doesn't become available, then people are going to use the illegal downloads all the time anyway because of the convenience of it, and I understand it.

So I went to the record label, that was Capitol Records I was dealing with at the time [in the U.S.], and EMI in the UK, and I said, "This is what I'd like to do. Can we release this?" We'd found a company called Liquid Audio who said they could do it and you could pay. So I said, "Can we please do this for the record? And nobody there wanted to do it; they really argued against it. There was one [employee] whose name I've forgotten now, who was much more forward-thinking, and she went and fought with them and said, "I think we should let them do it." I think, in a way, because we were always known to use technology and to try to do things in a different way, they finally took a view on it, "Well, somebody's going to have to do it, I suppose. We may as well let them do it.

I sat at Abbey Road Studios with Simon and Warren, and I pushed a button on the computer where we got it all set up so it would be the first download ever sold online. Of course, there'd be many free ones. The payment went through, because there was no PayPal or anything like that then. So, in fact, it worked. It came back. I was a little disappointed with bandwidth. I thought it really sounded like a slightly better cassette quality than even a CD. At that time, MP3s weren't what they became.

We didn't sell very many copies of it. I mean, the low thousands I think, because nobody wanted to put their credit cards online, understandably then. [Laughs.] And there were no other payment systems, so very few people actually bought it that way, but it did become a big story. In fact, most of the major retailers, certainly in the United States, banned the record and refused to sell it. They'd seen it as us really violating the system by going directly to our audience and cutting out retail when, of course, that was the last thing on my mind. [3]

List of remixes[]

  • “Electric Barbarella” (Album Version) - 5:16
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Edit) / (Radio Edit) - 4:16
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Single Edit) - 3:58
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Single Edit/No Solo) - 4:00
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Tee's Club Mix) - 5:50
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Tee's Speed Dub) - 6:24
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Tee's Dance Mix) - 6:09
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Tee's Radio Mix) / (Tee's Radio Edit) - 4:04
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Tee's Capella) - 2:13
  • “Electric Barbarella” (TNT In-House Mix) - 5:18
  • “Electric Barbarella” (TNT Radio Mix) - 3:23
  • “Electric Barbarella” (All Fired Up Mix) / (Dom T Remix) - 7:09
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Internet Only Mix) / (Dom T Remix Edit) - 4:16
  • “Electric Barbarella” (Barbarella Bonus Beats) - 4:41
  • “Electric Barbarella” (The Americruiser Remix) - 6:17
  • “Electric Barbarella” (The Yo Shorty Americruiser Remix) - 5:05
  • “Electric Barbarella” (The Electric Sex Remix) - 5:06
  • “Electric Barbarella” (The Electric Sex Instrumental Remix) - 5:04

Media references[]

The cosmetics company Hard Candy was preparing to launch a color of nail polish named "Electric Barbarella" at the same time the single was released, but had to halt it because the proper permissions had not been received from the owners of the Barbarella name.

Chart positions[]

The song was released on 16 September in the United States, and peaked at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 1 November

Track listing[]

7": Capitol / S7-724381972175 (US)

  1. "Electric Barbarella" (Album Version) - 5:15
  2. "Out of My Mind" (Album Version) - 4:16

CD: Capitol / C2 7243 8 58674 0 8 (US)

  1. "Electric Barbarella" (Album Version) - 5:15
  2. "Electric Barbarella" (Tee's Club Mix) - 5:41
  3. "Electric Barbarella" (All Fired Up Mix) - 7:09
  4. "Out of My Mind" (Perfecto Mix) - 5:51
  5. "Sinner and Saint" - 4:06 ("Sinner or Saint")
  6. "Electric Barbarella" (Video - Director's Cut) - 4:50

CD: EMI / CD ELEC 2000 (UK)

  1. "Electric Barbarella" (Edit) - 4:15
  2. "Girls on Film" (Tin Tin Out Radio Mix) - 4:51
  3. "Electric Barbarella" (Tee's Radio Mix) - 4:05
  • Released November 1998
  • Also released on MC - TC ELEC 2000

12": Capitol / Y 7243 8 58674 1 5 (US)

  1. "Electric Barbarella" (Tee's Club Mix) - 5:54
  2. "Electric Barbarella" (Tee's Dance Mix) - 6:16
  3. "Electric Barbarella" (All Fired Up Mix) - 7:12
  4. "Electric Barbarella" (Barbarella Bonus Beats) - 4:49

12": EMI / 12 ELEC 2000 (UK)

  1. "Electric Barbarella" (Tee's Club Mix) - 5:54
  2. "Electric Barbarella" (Electric Sex Mix) - 5:02
  3. "Girls on Film" (Salt Tank Mix) - 6:27
  • Released November 1998


  1. "Electric Barbarella (Internet-Only Mix)" - 4:20 [Dom T. Remix Edit]
  2. "Electric Barbarella (Dom T Remix)" - 7:08
  • First commercially downloadable song; sold for 99 cents

Other appearances[]

Aside from the single, the song has also appeared on:



Duran Duran are:



I knew when I first saw you on the showroom floor
You were made for me
I took you home and dressed you up in polyester
Princess of my dreams
Emotionless and cold as ice
All of the things I like
The way you look
The way you move
The sound you're makin'
In ultra-chrome, latex and steel

I plug you in
Dim the lights
Electric Barbarella
Your perfect skin
Plastic kiss
Electric Barbarella
Try to resist
Then we touch
Hallucinate and tranquilize

(she's so fine)
(she's all mine)

Our private life is subject to investigation
No time to waste
People say they heard about our deviation
But you never looked so good
Wear the fake fur and fake pearls for me
And put on your mystery
The way I feel you know
I'll never keep you waiting
In ultra-chrome, latex and steel

I plug you in
Dim the lights
Electric Barbarella
Your perfect skin
Plastic kiss
Electric Barbarella
Try to resist
Then we touch
Hallucinate and tranquilize

Princess of my dreams
Princess of my dreams
Major domo plasticomo Barbarella
(She's so fine)
Pro-genetic you Electric Barbarella
(She's all mine)
My pretty pretty pretty pretty Barbarella

See also[]


Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
Andy TaylorWarren CuccurulloSterling Campbell

Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged TigerArenaNotoriousBig ThingLibertyDuran Duran (The Wedding Album)Thank YouMedazzalandPop TrashAstronautRed Carpet MassacreAll You Need Is NowPaper GodsFuture PastDanse Macabre


CarnivalDecade: Greatest HitsGreatestNight Versions: The Essential Duran DuranStrange BehaviourSingles Box Set 1981-1985Singles Box Set 1986-1995From Mediterranea With Love


"Planet Earth" • "Careless Memories" • "Girls on Film" • "My Own Way" • "Hungry Like the Wolf" • "Save a Prayer" • "Rio"• "Is There Something I Should Know?" • "Union of the Snake" • "New Moon on Monday" • "The Reflex" • "The Wild Boys" • "A View to a Kill" • "Notorious" • "Skin Trade" • "Meet El Presidente" • "I Don't Want Your Love" • "All She Wants Is" • "Do You Believe in Shame?" • "Burning the Ground" • "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" • "Serious" • "Ordinary World" • "Come Undone" • "Too Much Information" • "Perfect Day" • "White Lines" • "Out of My Mind" • "Electric Barbarella" • "Someone Else Not Me" • "(Reach Up for The) Sunrise" • "What Happens Tomorrow" • "Nice" • "Falling Down • "All You Need Is Now • "Girl Panic! • "Leave A Light On • "Pressure Off" • "Five Years" • "Invisible" • "More Joy" • "Anniversary" • "Tonight United" • "Give It All Up " • "Danse Macabre" • "Black Moonlight"

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