Electric Barbarella

Album: Medazzaland (1997)
Charted: 23 52

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a man who falls in love with his robot lover. Duran Duran is named after the mad scientist character Durand-Durand in the 1968 movie Barbarella, but this song has very little to do with the movie's plot, which finds Barbarella traveling through space looking for a device that will save earth. The wacky sound effects from the movie are incorporated into this song.
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, a fashion photographer who worked on the album art, directed the video, in which lead singer Simon Le Bon plugs in a curling iron between the legs of his robot lover (played by a real person).

    Von Unwerth specializes in sensual, striking images of beautiful women; Rihanna, Britney Spears and Claudia Schiffer have all been in front of her lens, but this is most likely the first time she portrayed one as an android.
  • This was the first single from Medazzaland, which sold poorly and marked a low point for Duran Duran. Their fortunes turned after the original five members of the band reunited in 2001 and played some very successful shows. Many contemporary artists came out in support of the band, citing them as an influence, Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani among them.

Comments: 5

  • Li from Jakarta, IndonesiaMyka Dunkle as The Electric Barbarella :)
  • Stephanie from Naselle, WaWasn't this the first song ever sold online?
  • Jorge from Waco, TxWho was the girl in the video? She was freakin HOT!! please email me the answer at publius_enigma@yahoo.com
  • Rj from Battle Creek, MiThe song is ACTUALLY about Cyber sex. Simon LeBon said it himself in an Entertainment Weekly article around the time the song came out.
  • Ellen from Anchorage, AkActually, the orgasmatron was the device of the evil scientist Durand Durand, who used it to try to kill Barbarella (instead, she overloads it).
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Bob Dylan Lyric Quiz

Bob Dylan Lyric QuizMusic Quiz

Think you know your Bob Dylan lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Dean Pitchford

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.