Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" - Isolated Tracks
December 21, 2013 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" - Isolated Tracks

While not an immediate hit, "Hungry Like the Wolf" is considered a classic song today, due in no small part to the band's use of emerging technology.

“That track came from fiddling with the new technology that was starting to come in”, guitarist Andy Taylor said in an interview with Blender magazine. They joined a Roland TR-808 drum machine with a sequencer and a Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard.

The isolated tracks are a treat to listen to - sadly, Simon Le Bon's vocals are not featured as one of the tracks.
posted by dotgirl (25 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that vocal track sounds phenomenal.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:15 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

I just wish they had split out Nick Rhodes & Simon LeBon into two different tracks.
posted by dotgirl at 8:18 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love isolated track posts. This is cool stuff.

I just watched the video - I don't think I ever realized it's a weird mix of India and Africa and doesn't seem to make any sense. I think all I really remembered from it was the table flip ("screw this! I'm a walk and point!") and a vague sense that Simon Le Bon was hot, because I was kid and couldn't quite process that yet.
posted by sweetkid at 8:36 PM on December 21, 2013

I seem to remember hearing at the time that the video was set in Sri Lanka. I also had more than a vague sense that Simon Le Bon was hot. :)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:03 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

So here's an interesting little tidbit I didn't know... apparently the do-do-do's in Hungry Like the Wolf were based on part of the guitar melody from Gordon Lightfoot's song If You Could Read My Mind. Cool.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:18 PM on December 21, 2013

For Gen-X'ers, there is a gap, between 1984 and 1987. 1987 being the year when the '90s began, and 1984 being the year the '80s ended. In between 1983 and 1989 for most of America is where Classic Rock, as defined by everything awesome about the late '60s and early '70s, got really reals for real, and everyone listened to it, because hair-metal and Debbi Gibson were both terrible.

In 1992, literally a thousand miles from home, I cashed out a fistful of savings bonds as a newly independent 18 y.o. in college, and instead of using it to buy art supplies (I was a photography student), I bought a bright yellow Panasonic waterproof walkman-alike and a Fuji single-speed beach cruiser I put Wald wire panniers upon at the first opportunity.

Into the auto-reverese personal tape deck went...

1) A mix tape a beautiful girl made for me.1
2) A bootleg Led Zep concert tape my new and hateful roommate didn't want me to copy, where John Bonham literally made his drums talk in coherent phrases a month before he died.
3) The "Best Of" Duran Duran, which included "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Sing Blue Silver" but not "Rio" or "The Reflex" or "Union of the Snake"
4) Commercial mix tape that had XTC, Squeze, Flock of Seagulls and TMBG.
5) All of the above.

So, Duran Duran is the demarcation... before then? Amazing new synthesis between musician and machine. After then? View to a Kill: a self-aware mockery of what they were. The reason why we had classic rock stations to begin with.

1This is my lesson to you, when a woman hands you a tape with the Lords of Acid and KMFDM on it, she expects things of you.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:42 PM on December 21, 2013 [18 favorites]

I recommend listening to all of those tracks semi-simultaneously, and making your own mix...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 10:20 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just tried to start them sequentially at various points creating a master browser mix. I failed.
Now I have Duran Duran stuck in my head. Forever.
Fuck you, internets!
posted by a non e mouse at 10:23 PM on December 21, 2013

If you're not into Duran Duran, there are interesting entries at that blog such as the ones before and after the link. Thanks, dotgirl, for a Metafilter FPP with lagniappe!
posted by Anitanola at 10:46 PM on December 21, 2013

This may or may not work. And yeah that video is something else entirely. I have somewhere in my media collection a Betamax VH-1 video single of them with this one and also the not-safe-for-tv "Girls on Film" video.
posted by mcrandello at 10:50 PM on December 21, 2013

Hah. I just noticed that the first vocal track appears to have been stretched out by several seconds for some reason, so once everything preloads it will start playing and gradually turn into that 1000 copies of the white album all mixed together by the end of the 1rst verse :( I imagine if anyone has a DAW and wants to fix that one track it would work okay. Even with the four remaining tracks it's kind of fun to slide the various volume sliders around and pretend I'd pursued that music career instead of the safe govt. job and became a big name producer :-)
posted by mcrandello at 11:00 PM on December 21, 2013

There was really amazing stuff produced during the mid-late 80s. But it wasn't on commercial radio, for the most part.

It's interesting: lots of early classic rock was only 15 years or so old in the late 80s. But it seemed like it was from a totally different time. 15 years ago now is 98-99, which doesn't seem that long ago at all. Even with hip hop, the most vibrant musical genre over the last 20 years.

But maybe this is just an artifact of getting old and getting a lawn.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 11:00 PM on December 21, 2013 [7 favorites]

I've only ever been able to hear "Hungry Like the Worf."
posted by bicyclefish at 11:16 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was expecting the isolated bass to be super rad, but then I remembered it's Japan that had the rad bass (and Rio). Here's the bass track from Rio (and the guitar/saxophone tracks).
posted by Redfield at 11:29 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

So the song's in E, the verse being E (I) to D (VII) and back. The chorus does one of those moves you think will be to a relative minor--but it's deceptive: The C chord at the top of the chorus is major. In fact the chorus is just a I-V-IV in C. The whole damn song is major, even the part where you would expect a ii (D min) is actually a II. So why does it sound so damn moody when the harmonic progression is on par with "Old MacDonald"?

Because Le Bon is playing fast and loose with his intonation. Were he dead on with his pitch it would sound about as square as a Barney episode. But he's kinda "off" in just the right way. If you want to test this, listen to Andy's guitar part but mentally play back the mp3 of the vocal you've carried in your head for decades along with it. Now play it again and imagine in your head a perfectly intonated version of the same vocal part. Different, huh?

Also, so many detractors I know knock them for being just a "synth" band. I would love to hear a mix of this sans Nick's Jupiter track as it really seems like the song could be carried well enough by guitar and drums (which oddly doesn't touch a cymbal until the chorus).
posted by sourwookie at 11:40 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

If you start the tracks one at a time it sounds like a terrible teenage band practising in a garage.
posted by Grangousier at 2:37 AM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm glad I listened to these, because they lead me to search youtube for other versions of this song:
Perfectly synchronised Lupin III version
Hungry Like A Wolf
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:14 AM on December 22, 2013

From this Sound on Sound article regarding Simon's vocals:

"He is not a naturally gifted singer, and as I'm sure he himself would admit, he doesn't have great pitch. It's not unusual for him to sing out of tune, so when I worked with him we would use quite a lot of effects on his voice; mainly Eventide Harmonizer with a very small percentage pitch-shift up or down or both, in addition to the normal step delays and reverbs and possibly even some chorus. Remember, these were the days before Auto-Tune. By making the pitch ambiguous, the Harmonizer helped disguise the fact that his singing was flat.

So now you know all about Simon's "dance on the Eventide". And you thought that was a nonsense lyric, didn't you?
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:34 AM on December 22, 2013 [8 favorites]

Oh my god that Lupin III version synchronized to the Reel Big Fish cover is amazing.

For Gen-X'ers, there is a gap, between 1984 and 1987.

Duran Duran were the soundtrack of my high school years because I spent 1982-1984 in the UK, returning to the US in August 1984 for my senior year in high school. I got to hear Rio hit, and hit big, twice. It burned me out on them in a big way and it took me about 10 years to get back into them. Now I see them live regularly. But I do think there was a big change after Rio, in part because of the way they hit so big and so hard and the effects it must have had on them personally and musically.

Also, there's something kind of perfect about the knowing self-mockery of A View To a Kill as a song. It's very Gen X. (I remembered the movie as being pretty awful other than Walken and Jones, but when I rewatched it a few years ago, it was less terrible than I remembered it other than the third-rate Charlie's Angel as the girl. Still not good, though.)

Last but not least, the story of how they got hired for that song is a hoot.
posted by immlass at 7:58 AM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I expected the isolated bass to be more effect-laden. Doesn't even sound like there's much compression on the track. Yet it punches through in the final mix.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:48 AM on December 22, 2013

I'd love to see a web app or something that plays these in sync and lets you punch in and out each individual track.

It's never more clear than when listening to stuff like this what gods audio producers really are. Yes, each track sounds good, but none of them by themselves sounds like "anything", really only the vocals really strongly suggest a song at all. And you can see that although the result is amazing the parts are, well, workmanlike sure but not individually awe inspiring.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:12 AM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

The "Best Of" Duran Duran, which included "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Sing Blue Silver"

"Sing Blue Silver" is actually a lyric from The Chauffeur, not a song title in itself. (though it was also the name of a documentary about the band)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:56 PM on December 22, 2013

Here's the bass track from Rio

One of my favorites. Super funky.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:58 PM on December 22, 2013

Actually, I messed up. Here is the bass track from Rio.
posted by Redfield at 2:09 PM on December 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was born in 1974. Which means that for much of my childhood, rock/pop was divided into "music that sounded like Duran Duran," and "old music."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:48 PM on December 22, 2013

« Older Meanwhile, on the blue, the thread is flagged as...   |   Common Arabic female name; said by an amnesiac sun... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments