Taking Over Planet Earth
February 2, 2014 6:35 PM   Subscribe

On February 2, 1981, an experimental New Romantic band from Birmingham released their first single. It was the beginning of the still-continuing, at times tumultuous, hugely successful tenure of Duran Duran. From 33 years ago: Planet Earth. B-side for the single was Late Bar, or in the US was To The Shore. Plus the Planet Earth (Night Version) extended remake.
This was the first of many, many singles from Duran Duran.

The successful first album lineup consisted of John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor (no relation) and Andy Taylor. The first album, 1981's Duran Duran, yielded the following singles:

Careless Memories (b-side: Khanada, 12" b-side Fame (David Bowie cover)
Girls On Film (original video) [NSWF] (b-side: Faster Than Light, Girls On Film (Night Version))
Girls On Film (edited version)

As a pre-release for Rio, Duran Duran released My Own Way (b-side: Like An Angel, My Own Way (Night Version)). [The song would be re-recorded for the album with a new arrangement.]

Rio (1982) would yield three singles of its own:

Hungry Like The Wolf (b-side: Hungry Like The Wolf (Night Version))
Save A Prayer (b-side: Hold Back The Rain (remix), Hold Back The Rain (remix) [extended])
Rio (b-side: The Chauffeur (Blue Silver))

Another non-album single, Is There Something I Should Know, was released in 1983. (It would later be included on US reissues of their debut album, Duran Duran.) (b-side: Faith In This Colour)

1983's Seven And The Ragged Tiger gave the world three more Duran Duran singles:

Union Of The Snake (b-side: Secret Oktober, Union Of The Snake (Monkey Mix))
New Moon On Monday (b-side: Tiger Tiger (Ian Little Remix), New Moon On Monday (Dance Mix))
The Reflex (b-sides: New Religion (Live In LA) - Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me), The Reflex (Dance Mix))

The live album Arena (1984) yielded yet another single, the studio track The Wild Boys. (b-side: The Wild Boys (Wilder Than Wild Boys Mix), (I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement (live))

At this point, Duran Duran "took a little break" and two other groups emerged.

The Power Station featured Robert Palmer, and John Taylor and Andy Taylor. Their first single was Some Like It Hot, followed up by a cover of Get It On (Bang A Gong) (b-side: Go To Zero), and finally Communication (b-side: Murdress)

Also in 1985, Arcadia appeared. Featuring the other "half" of Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor), the one album they produced elicited four singles: Election Day (b-side: Election Day (Cryptic Cut / Fact & Story Mix)), Goodbye Is Forever (b-side: Missing, Goodbye Is Forever (extended), The Promise (b-side: Rose Arcana (extended) The Promise (extended) , and The Flame (b-side: Flame Game (Yo Homeboy Mix), The Flame (Extended Mix)).

Arcadia also contributed at track to the Playing For Keeps soundrack, Say The Word.

Duran Duran regrouped as their successful 5-member line-up in 1985 to record their hugely successful Bond theme, A View To A Kill (b-side: A View To A Kill (That Fatal Kiss)).

In 1986, Duran Duran lost two of its members, drummer Roger Taylor, and guitarist Andy Taylor. Nile Rogers substituted on guitar in the studio and heavily shaped their new album, Notorious. This album yielded three singles:

Notorious (b-side: Winter Marches On, Notorious (Extended Mix), Notorious (Latin Rascals Mix))
Skin Trade (b-side: We Need You, Skin Trade (Stretch Mix), Skin Trade (Parisian Mix))
Meet El Presidente (b-side: Vertigo (Do The Demolition))

The 1988 album Big Thing (with the same 3-original-member line-up) saw three singles released:

I Don't Want Your Love (b-side: I Don't Want Your Love (Big Mix))
All She Wants Is (b-side: I Believe / All I Need To Know (medley), All She Wants Is (US Master Mix))
Do You Believe In Shame? (b-side: The Krush Brothers LSD Edit, God (London))

The retrospective album Decade also included a new single: Burning The Ground (b-side: Decadance, Decadance (2 Risk E Remix 12"))

1990's album Liberty saw two more singles from the band:

Violence Of Summer (Love's Taking Over) (b-side: Throb, Yo Bad Azizi)
Serious (b-side: All Along The Water)

1993's Duran Duran (not to be confused with the earlier album) saw a revitalization of the band's popularity, and produced several singles:

Ordinary World (b-side: My Antartica, Ordinary World (Acoustic Version), UMF)
Come Undone (b-side: Time For Temptation, Stop Dead, Falling Angel)
Too Much Information (b-side: First Impression)
Drowning Man

1995's infamous covers album Thank You also yielded some singles:

Perfect Day (Lou Reed) [featuring a reappearance by drummer Roger Taylor] (b-side: Femme Fatale, The Needle And The Damage Done [sadly unavailable], 911 Is A Joke,, Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile), Perfect Day (Acoustic Version))
White Lines (too many b-side mixes to list)
Lay Lady Lay

The 1997 soundtrack for the movie The Saint saw Duran Duran including the single Out Of My Mind (b-side: Silva Halo, Sinner Or Saint)

1997 also saw the release of Medazzaland, which yielded one single, Electric Barbarella. (The b-sides for this album are primarily remixes and previously released tracks, in varying combinations.)

Pop Trash was released in 2000, and it also only featured one single, Someone Else Not Me, which was the first video to be done entirely in Flash. (b-side: Starting To Remember)

The entire original line-up of Le Bon, Rhodes, Taylor, Taylor, and Taylor reunited for 2004's Astronaut, which included two singles:

(Reach Up For The) Sunrise (b-side: Know It All, plus countless remixes)
What Happens Tomorrow (b-side: )

After Andy Taylor's final departure, the four remaining original members out put Red Carpet Massacre in 2007. The single from this album was Falling Down (b-side: Falling Down (Extended Version) [along with many other remixes])

Duran Duran's most recent album came out in 2010. All You need Is Now featured three singles:

All You Need Is Now
Girl Panic! [more a short film than a simple music video] (b-side: Girl Panic! (David Lynch Remix))
Leave A Light On

The "Fab Five" (now down to four) is currently in the studio recording their 14th studio album.
posted by hippybear (64 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
This is like stopping in to Record Runner and finding a Japanese import of 'Carnival' with the original poster.

Thank you, hippybear!
posted by yellowcandy at 6:52 PM on February 2, 2014 [9 favorites]

Duran Duran
posted by euphorb at 6:54 PM on February 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember like it was yesterday seeing the uncensored version of Girls On Film on USA's Night Flight. Puberty pretty much kicked in that night. It was all the kids at school (with cable) were talking about.
posted by birdherder at 6:55 PM on February 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

When I was in college I took a screenwriting class and I called my screenplay "Planet Earth" because the only thing I really understood about movies was that it would be awesome to have "Planet Earth" playing over the opening reel.
posted by escabeche at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

Awesome post! Those of you who are into Duran Duran should check out the Classic Albums series DVD for Rio (it's on Netflix, but only on DVD, not streaming)
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:59 PM on February 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just remember being utterly confused and utterly delighted by the Wild Boys video. And The Reflex. I had no frame of reference for any of it and so spent hours trying to puzzle out what it all meant.
posted by emjaybee at 7:02 PM on February 2, 2014

Nile Rodgers basically laid out the blueprint for early Duran Duran (which, don't get me wrong...has aged incredibly well). Chic Cheer, 1978
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:40 PM on February 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is like stopping in to Record Runner and finding a Japanese import of 'Carnival' with the original poster.

Oh god, I spent so, so long dreaming of finding a copy of Carnival at all in my youth.
posted by mykescipark at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dude. This is awesome!

We got basic cable in 1983 (thanks to my couch potato dad), and I pretty much mainlined MTV whenever possible for about the next 3 years. Needless to say I consumed a lot of Duran Duran, as being one of the earlier bands to really get into making videos, they were in super heavy rotation. And it certainly colored my experience of them, because while I'm sure I heard them on the radio, I always see the videos in my head every time I play them.

I suppose this is the part of the thread where I admit that I had a giant (like probably 4'x6') poster of Duran Duran hanging on my wall, whereupon I might occasionally whisper sweet nothings into Simon's lovely ear. There is also the possibility that I still have, in a trunk in my closet, the Arcadia Election Day 45 that I bought with my paper route money (I also bought Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles album with my enormous riches).
posted by DiscourseMarker at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

In my childhood crayon scribblings from 1983, you will find a red car with a ZZ keychain, a man wearing a black tie, a lady with legs, a man dancing with a dwarf, a band playing in a junkyard, and a child watching a snake from an elevator. I STILL don't understand that last video. Thanks for the post.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:56 PM on February 2, 2014

Nile Rodgers basically laid out the blueprint for early Duran Duran

I thought the group basically admitted that the whole idea was Chic + Bowie + Roxy. That was a decent plan until the group decided to record next door to David Sylvian and then we wound up with Nick looking like he did for the next twenty years.

(But I always considered Japan's Quiet Life the lost Duran Duran album)
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:59 PM on February 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

Duran Duran was in the Seven and the Ragged Tiger stage when I was in college, and I remember a guy who worked at Waldenbooks looked exactly like Nick Rhodes, down to the floppy, feathered, bleached hair and makeup. I was desperately in love with him.
posted by xingcat at 8:02 PM on February 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Apparently Molly Meldrum played the band INXS's Original Sin, which was produced by Nile Rogers, so they decided he was the man of their dreams/needs/wants.
posted by threeze at 8:17 PM on February 2, 2014

Huh? Original Sin was released in 1984.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:22 PM on February 2, 2014

i don't think "experimental" is a descriptive i would ever use for this band.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:49 PM on February 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

...and this.
posted by davebush at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2014

I was 11 in 1983, when Seven came out and all the magazines carried dozens of photos from that one press conference: *pow* right in the sweet spot. I don't remember precisely if we (my best friend up the street and I) heard about Duran Duran and then insisted we wanted our MTV (and therefore cable, which had just become available in the sticks where we lived) or if it was vice versa, but it wasn't more than 3-4 months between events either way.

Everything changed. Everything. That's literally when puberty started. We'd stay up late at our separate houses, or occasionally each others', waiting for the videos to come on so we could record them on special always-waiting VHS tapes in our giant VCRs (mine had to go on the floor because the TV cart couldn't bear its weight; hers was on a bookshelf and HAD A REMOTE CONTROL on a 15' cord). Duran Duran was our gateway drug to everything - our first boobs besides our own, our first concrete awareness of countries besides the US, our first exposure to art and fashion and gay as a concept, our first trips to bigger cities to crawl the import bins. We watched Night Flight and learned about sex and drugs and alcohol and boys and feels, a couple of years before we had to deal with them in person.

I simply cannot separate the ages of about 11 to 14 from Duran Duran.

And it made me a bass player, though by the time I actually bought one I had to say it was OMD and The Church and INXS, but really deep down it was John who made me a bass player.

The music still holds up, even though that fact surprises me every time something randoms up on my phone. (My phone! My friend and I knew of "Late Bar" for probably more than a year before one of us found an import and actually heard it; I now carry it around on a device about 100 times more complex than the 25lb VCR on the floor then. I could work the VCR with my toes.) But there are some songs that hold up far better than they should. And the videos, shit. They don't hold up, and it's okay. Everything was wonderfully stupid then.

The Power Station was my first concert (with OMD opening). I didn't actually see DD live (with that same friend from up the street) until college; it wasn't great and it made us both feel weird and I haven't done it again. But they still make me happy in a strange confused way.

Thanks, hippybear. Your taste, as usual, is exquisite.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:04 PM on February 2, 2014 [30 favorites]

i don't think "experimental" is a descriptive i would ever use for this band.

That's how John Taylor describes the band in its early days in this interview... "“We started out as an experimental band,” recalled John. “But we had teeny-pop stardom foisted upon us. It was always quite incongruous to us, really.""

Who am I to question that?
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on February 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

i don't think "experimental" is a descriptive i would ever use for this band.

Those early singles (the first album, and honestly even most of Rio) were weird. Like, structurally weird as music, on top of being lyrically incomprehensible. That's what experimental sounds like if you're not personally into it.

They never would have made if if most of them hadn't been fairly attractive and the timing hadn't been basically perfect. They were good, just technically quite proficient for being so young and in an age when genius producers didn't fall out of the sky every time it rained, but they were also very lucky. And attractive, right as the video age hit.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:15 PM on February 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

Do people like their cover of Watching the Detectives?
posted by clockzero at 9:38 PM on February 2, 2014

Oh my god, I love this post. I was not a Durannie back in the day, but I freely admit the lads make me squee a little now.

My husband and I, who discuss this kind of thing, have been known to describe their lyrical style as Impressionistic. Their songs are about giving you a sense of something, as opposed to someone like Bruce Springsteen, who can write a tight little scene in four lines. They are our name-check band for describing this lyrical style.
posted by immlass at 9:43 PM on February 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

On reflection, it's amazing to me that Rio came out in 1982 because I think of how I would sneak the small black and white TV from our kitchen into my bedroom when Hungry Like The Wolf was popular on Friday Night Videos and I remember it as my first transgressive act into adulthood and I was still, basically, a baby.

This is an awesome post, and I'm so glad I guessed who posted it before I got to the bottom.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:07 PM on February 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is like stopping in to Record Runner and finding a Japanese import of 'Carnival' with the original poster.

Oh my god, I had a copy of Carnival. And then I fucking sold it a few years later when I decided I was a Serious Music Fan and thus above Duran Duran.

There is none so stupid as a 16-year-old trying to gain cred with record store clerks.

(Great post -- thanks!!)
posted by scody at 10:31 PM on February 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

A View to a Kill is the best Bond theme ever, even if the movie is, well

When I was in grad school about four years ago I played the Greatest collection over and over and over. It was a great way to de-stress.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:08 PM on February 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

Also Power Station turned me onto Palmer, so that's awesome
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:19 PM on February 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Man, those two first records especially just kill. Thanks for this post. Long time Duran fan.
posted by readyfreddy at 11:26 PM on February 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember like it was yesterday seeing the uncensored version of Girls On Film on USA's Night Flight. Puberty pretty much kicked in that night.

Apparantly, Girls on Film was Andy Warhol's favourite wank fodder...
posted by MartinWisse at 11:50 PM on February 2, 2014

Did you just take 33 years off my age, dear OP?
posted by infini at 12:45 AM on February 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I remember when Ordinary World came out and we were all oh Duran Duran, bunch of old fogies, trying to be hip and make a comeback. That was 1993??

posted by fshgrl at 12:57 AM on February 3, 2014 [6 favorites]

This is hilarious. Never have so many gone so far on so little, in a music career, than Duran Duran. I blame MTV.

I think my favourite moment in this career might be the one a few years ago my friend spent some time documenting on film, when they hired Timbalake at 75k per day to "reinvent" their sound for today's kids. He didn't even bother not to outsource most of the actual production work to his lackeys. Final product didn't turn out so well.

Although, I will give them this, they at least have enough taste to try to steal from quality sources like Chic and Roxy.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:38 AM on February 3, 2014

What a fantastic post. My favorite band (other than Japan) from age *mumble* until...well...I still love them. And they are awesome live, I have seen them live more times than I care to think about, including in their home town Birmingham during the height of their popularity (at Villa Park in 1983 with Robert Palmer, which is what The Power Station came out of), and BOTH nights in Toronto on one tour.

Lots of great memories here...

oh my dog I am so old
posted by biscotti at 3:16 AM on February 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is an amazingly crafted post. I think it's lovely someone still cares about the Cabbage Patch Kids.
posted by spitbull at 3:34 AM on February 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Unsure if there is a Duran Duran walking tour, but folk around here (Digbeth, Deritend) of a certain age have a wealth of stories about them. This somewhat anonymous and small abode was a place they lived in while still trying to make it.
posted by Wordshore at 4:03 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Duran Duran Duran
posted by Monkeymoo at 4:07 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was always annoyed that people thought Duran Duran was a bunch of poseurs instead of a great pop band, as if the two were mutually exclusive.

I only know the first few albums, but those songs were impeccably written, arranged, performed, and produced. Go back and listen to them now and you might be surprised how much is going on.
posted by dfan at 5:06 AM on February 3, 2014 [7 favorites]

Watch the making of Rio video, and see John Taylor explain the complexities of the bass line, then tell me they're just fluff.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:29 AM on February 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

Man, I wish they would remake A View To A Kill just so there's a movie worthy of Duran Duran's song.
posted by KingEdRa at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Roxy Music was a big influence on Chic too, by the way. Perhaps sartorial as much as musical, but Rodgers has spoken of he and Bernard Edwards going to a Roxy Music show and being very impressed.

I think the guy from Duran Duran has Edwards' Music Man bass, too.
posted by thelonius at 6:57 AM on February 3, 2014

Lyn Never, you sound like a somewhat more perceptive and self-aware version of my first wife's little sister. She would have been about the same age when Duran Duran really hit.

The main thing I remember about her now is that Duran Duran were playing an arena show in Norfolk, Va., which was a good couple of hundred miles away from where we all were, but still within the boundaries of the state of Virginia - and that was good enough for her. When she was pretty sure that the guys had to be on the ground in Norfolk, she rushed outside - in driving rain, mind you, raining cats and dogs outside - to get down on all fours and kiss the front lawn, because it was ground in the same state that Duran Duran was in.

We had followed her out onto the front porch and were having a good snicker at her, when she looked up at us, soaking wet and with rage in her eyes, (not so unlike the girl in the Rio video, actually) and snarled at us like some feral creature defending its kill, "You've never been in LOVE before!"

Of course that cracked us up even further and she went on to have a first class meltdown.
posted by Naberius at 7:01 AM on February 3, 2014 [7 favorites]

Just to cross-reference, there was a Blue post a month or two ago with the isolated tracks from Hungry Like the Wolf.

I had also posted a link to a Sound on Sound article that went into some detail about the recording of Seven and the Ragged Tiger. The band has alluded to the extreme pressure they were under to complete this album and this article kind of confirms that.

"In those days, EMI had to lock out the pressing plant for three days to create enough product for the stores by the scheduled release date, and it was therefore a big deal for them to make that booking. Well, we went through two deadlines, and by the time we were approaching the third one EMI said 'If you don't deliver on time, the record won't be released for Christmas, and that is not going to happen."
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:13 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love when people make these band discography megaposts, even though I only ever click on a few links + bookmark the whole thing for later. That cover of Bowie's Fame is really good, for some reason the original's never done much for me so maybe I'm more open to an interpretation of it. Liking their version of 911 Is A Joke too.

Growing up I routinely confused Duran Duran with Wham when I wasn't ignoring music entirely, but I couldn't name you a Wham song off the top of my head now whereas A View To A Kill and Hungry Like The Wolf have stuck with me down the years.

fshgrl: I remember when Ordinary World came out and we were all oh Duran Duran, bunch of old fogies, trying to be hip and make a comeback. That was 1993??

posted by comealongpole at 7:15 AM on February 3, 2014

Not to be confused with Duran Duran Duran.

Bah, Monkeymoo beat me to it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Still one of my favorite bands of all time.

Fairly recently they re-tweeted a tweet I made in which I mentioned them and 'A View to a Kill'. I felt like I was internet famous for like 4 minutes (or the length of the song). I do so wish they'd made an extended version. Luckily a fan stepped up to the task and did a pretty damn good job with 'A View To A Kill ("That Fatal Extended Kiss") Mixed by The OWF' that features the b-side mixed with the a-side.

Thanks for this bad ass post.
posted by brokeaspoke at 7:48 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I never really liked Duran Duran, but I really liked the girls who liked Duran Duran. I remember leaving their concert ('84?) with a lot of phone numbers. For that, I will always be thankful.
posted by misterpatrick at 7:51 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember watching MTV's Friday Night Video Fight, in which viewers would call in to vote for which video they liked best between two contenders. The week that it was "Photograph" by Def Leppard (my older brother's favorite band at the time) and "The Reflex" by Duran Duran (mine), shit got personal in our house.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:07 AM on February 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

> Those early singles (the first album, and honestly even most of Rio) were weird.

This performance of "Night Boat"* starts out sounding surprisingly prog.

* Obligatory: "Incorrect. Look, a canal!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:11 AM on February 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I really liked the prog side of Duran Duran. Night Boat is still one of my favorite songs.
posted by brokeaspoke at 8:21 AM on February 3, 2014

Duran Duran never were particularly experimental or avant-garde; they were always on the polished, populist New Pop side, a generation of copying removed from the messiness of post-punk and New Wave proper. They weren't Scritti Politti or someone.
posted by acb at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2014

Watch the making of Rio video, and see John Taylor explain the complexities of the bass line, then tell me they're just fluff.

Rio isolated bass
Hearing this gave me newfound respect for Taylor and Duran Duran's music.
posted by rocket88 at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

Make no mistake, these guys had serious chops. They also happened to be a pop group.

To see what came before (in a way), listen to Japan.

Someone told me once that Duran Duran heard Japan and decided "this sound is cool, but let's make a commercial album".
posted by 4midori at 9:35 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I will defend "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone" to the death. Both perfect, atmospheric pop songs and so asynchronous with their time.
posted by mykescipark at 9:45 AM on February 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was 13 and miserable and trying to find my punk-ass way around Gunne Sax dresses and compulsory Sassoon jeans when Duran Duran came out. Night Boat and Planet Earth were super moody and the lyrics were mysterious and therefore grown up and I loved Nick Rhodes and his makeup so, so much.

I started a band called English Subtitle (I played drums) and wrote teenage sad poetry lyrics that were completely unintelligible, inspired by their music. I always thought they were much deeper than their pop image in Bop Magazine appeared. Then again, I was 13.

Nope, still love Duran Duran.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:47 AM on February 3, 2014

Listening to "A View To a Kill" made me feel like I was motherfucking James Bond when I was 10 years old, and, having just listened to it, still does.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was 15, MCMikeNamara - I felt like a motherfucking Bond Girl.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

I played with them at a local radio station almost 10 years ago....
posted by cherryflute at 11:30 AM on February 3, 2014

I listened to Wild Boys. That song still thrills me to the bone. (pun not intended, but ok).
Does it really say, in that one spot, "Wile boys always....WANT BOYS!" ? It really sounds as if they deliberately made it impossible to say for sure. That wording does, IMO, clearly go with the video (which is the only music video I ever purchased or cared to purchase).

Does that make me a fan?
posted by Goofyy at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I won a trivia night outing by insisting that "A View to a Kill" was by Duran Duran, despite my team mates' (both male and gay) unshakeable belief that I was wrong, that it was Wham!. I stuck to my guns and OH HO GUESS WHO JUST GOT US A $50 BAR TAB BOYS.
posted by Kitteh at 12:35 PM on February 3, 2014 [8 favorites]

I do not understand people who confuse Wham! and Duran Duran.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 2:56 PM on February 3, 2014 [6 favorites]

I actually preferred the Arcadia spin-off to regular Duran Duran. Maybe it was the aura of New York glamorous artsy-ness that appealed to my suburban-Kansas-City closet case high school self.
posted by dnash at 5:23 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw Duran Duran in 2011 on their most recent US tour. They were touring in support of their newest album. They easily could have made the show just a long jukebox show of all their hits, but they didn't. They played well over half the tracks from All You Need Is Now, did extended jams on old favorites, were quite obviously having a great time. (Neon Trees opened for them, and they were a revelation. It's no wonder they've taken off.)

They're a hard-working band who could rest on their laurels, but they aren't willing to do that. They continue to try to innovate and create. Some of what they do are missteps (that concert stream they did with David Lynch was pretty awful, even I have to admit), but they are still out there, still trying.

I'm quite curious to see how the new album turns out. Nick Ronson is once again producing. He did a pretty great job with All You Need Is Now, creating a sound which was at once classic DD but also very current and even pushing the envelope in a few ways. Perhaps they will push even a bit further this time. If there is only ONE track that is as amazing as The Man Who Stole A Leopard, I will likely be happy.
posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

My fundy guardian and I were at a Claire's Boutique at the local mall one day, and the cashier there was playing a cassette of Rio on a little boombox (which I was silently enjoying) when "Save A Prayer" came on. The lyrics went over my guardian's head. She chose to believe it was about praying for someone. "See?" she said to me. "Other young girls are Christians and are proud of it. You need to think about where your soul will end up!" It was all I could do to not burst into laughter and risk a pop upside the head in public. But some of the clearest,, most straightforward lyrics they've ever written were: "Some people call it a one-night stand, but we can call it paradise."

I was 13 and knew exactly what they meant. To this day, all I can do is facepalm and shake my head. If she'd only known what I wanted to do to John Taylor back in the day. These 90s and 00s girls can have their Jonathan Taylor Thomases and their Justin Timberlakes. I know who the real JT is, 'K?
posted by droplet at 8:06 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I know who the real JT is, 'K?

Not sure if it's coincidence or if you already know this, but @thisistherealJT is John Taylor's twitter handle.
posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on February 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

I do not understand people who confuse Wham! and Duran Duran.

True; Wham! were to Duran Duran what Duran Duran were to the likes of PIL and the Human League.
posted by acb at 1:57 PM on February 4, 2014

So much love for this post. I can't wait to check out all of the links here. Thanks so much, hippybear!

Duran Duran was my life in high school. So much of that time is directly influenced by this band in one way or another. There are so many memories this post brings up, but I've already shared my favorite Duran Duran story.
posted by MsVader at 2:43 PM on February 4, 2014

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