“Hot Rocks”: Peter Godwin’s video visions play on our minds in his sexy “Images of Heaven”

By on January 17, 2018

When Night Flight hosted the world premiere of the Playboy Channel’s “Hot Rocks” on Friday, July 15, 1983, we were one of the only cable TV shows bold enough to show uncensored and obviously NSFW music videos.

One of the first videos you’ll see on “Hot Rocks” was the uncensored video for Peter Godwin’s “Images of Heaven,” directed by David Rose.

Watch it now on Night Flight Plus!

PETERGODWIN15

Godwin’s icy synth-pop tune tracks over sexy vignettes of two models who cavort around naked while putting on makeup, and kissing and touching eachother.

Godwin, meanwhile, looks on somewhat detached, sometimes sitting in a wicker chair, or petting a leopard skin which magically turns into a woman!

PETERGODWIN13

We haven’t been able to find out much about this R-rated video beyond a few mentions here and there online, mostly with dead links where it had previously been shared.

Here’s the “clean” PG-rated music video for “Images of Heaven” that aired on MTV and other “safe for kids” cable video networks:

Night Flight reached out to Godwin via Facebook, to ask him about the details about this video, particularly any background info he might want to share about the concept, or the models, and here’s his reply:

“I prefer to leave some mystery around the creative process, whether recordings or videos, and let people have their own experience, without explanations, because the work itself will always be more eloquent than any of that.”

PETERGODWIN2

There are two versions of “Images of Heaven” on a Oglio compilation of Godwin’s best tracks, called (what else?) Images of Heaven, released in 1998.

Here’s what Godwin himself wrote for the disc’s liner notes about the track, which was apparently written by Godwin in July 1980, but not released until the end of May 1982:

Untouchable madonnas for medieval knights or ‘hello boys’ supermodels for Jack the Lad. Whether it’s stained glass or Hasselblad, it’s all just a trick of the light: but we still love to believe. I wrote this in the summer of 1980. Warren Cann, the drummer from Ultravox, smashes some Simmons drums and a great guitar player called Colin Wight plays the first-ever guitar synthesizer and it soars like a hawk.

PETERGODWIN14

The original Images of Heaven mini-LP featured a cover photo, by Peter Ashworth, featuring Godwin wearing a blue silk suit by Antony Price, posing along with model Lisa Vanderpump, a British restaurateur, author and actress who today is probably best known for her appearances on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and “Vanderpump Rules,” and one season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

PETERGODWIN3

The lyrics for the song are also included on his Oglio artist page (we liked this particular verse):

Something possessed me – an image of you my love
Video visions that play on my mind
Nobody blessed me with power to reach my love
One cheap illusion can still be divine
And nobody believes in this new religion

“Images of Heaven” almost made it into the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, “bubbling under” at #101 in 1982, and in the Top Twenty of Billboard‘s Dance charts, despite the fact that the chart is mostly made up of 12-inch dance mixes.

“Images of Heaven” would end up on many compilations of essential new wave recordings, notably Rhino’s 1995 CD, Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The ’80s, Vol. 12.

Read more about Peter Godwin below.

IDevices-For-NF-web

Hey! Do you have a Night Flight Plus subscription?

We’re offering up original uncut air masters of Night Flight programming from the video vaults of the 1980s TV show, as well as provocative new selections from the world of music, documentaries, animation, cult films and more. Sign up today!

PETERGODWIN6

Peter Godwin had previously been in a glammy synth-pop band called Metro, which he’d formed in 1976 with fellow British singer-songwriter Duncan Browne and guitarist Sean Lyons.

Their self-titled debut album reminded many critics of earlier glam-rock icons like David Bowie and Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry (more recently they’ve been compared to a duo who came much later, Tears for Fears).

PETERGODWIN8

In 1977, Metro’s debut (on the UK’s Transatlantic Records Ltd.) was distributed by Sire in the U.S.

After partnering up with drummer Stewart Copeland, Metro briefly changed their name to Public Zone for a one-off power pop single (it’s a very expensive collectible if you can find a copy).

PETERGODWIN20

Duncan Browne would leave Metro before their next album, New Love (1979), which was followed by Future Imperfect (1980), released only in Germany where Metro had a loyal following.

Metro finally called it a day in 1981, with Godwin signing as a solo artist with Polydor UK.

His first solo album, Images of Heaven, arrived in 1982, its title track and lead-off single becoming a synth-pop cult hit.

PETERGODWIN10

In 1983, one of Godwin’s old Metro tracks, “Criminal World,” was covered by David Bowie for his album Let’s Dance, no doubt keeping Godwin flush with songwriting royalties ever since.

It received even more notoriety when the BBC banned Bowie’s version over its bisexual references.

PETERGODWIN7

Godwin released a second album, Correspondence, but despite his success in Europe, he wasn’t able to attract a larger audience in the United States.

Peter Godwin’s 2010 interview with Emily Carney on the Popshifter blog is an in-depth personal look at the entirety of his career, should you like to know more.

PETERGODWIN12

Godwin’s a very visible presence on the internet these days — he goes by R4949 on YouTube — and if you’re interested in following his career — and his most recent band, Nuevo — you can check out his Facebook page.

PETERGODWIN9

Playboy Channel’s “Hot Rocks” premiere also features David Bowie‘s rarely-seen “China Girl” video, as well as videos by Queen, the Tubes and Marty Balin.

Be sure to check out our previous posts about some of the other sexy videos you’ll also see here, including Berlin‘s “Sex (I’m A…),” Doug & the Slugs’ “Making it Work,” Wet Picnic‘s “He Believes,” and Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film.

Watch “Hot Rocks” — Playboy self-promoted the show as “the hottest party tape on TV” — on Night Flight Plus!

PETERGODWIN1

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.