I have a degree in film theory from UC Berkeley and enjoy writing about movies, television, and music. I'm also a long-time Duranie.
Let me start off by saying I am an admitted Duranie. I’ve seen them in concert a whole bunch of times, I had their game* and was a part of their fan club.
I even follow them on Facebook, which brings me to this list.
*If you’ve never played the Duran Duran game, let me fill you in. Not how to play, mind you because even if you had a Ph.D. in engineering, you couldn’t figure it out. The game consisted of a bunch of pieces with a band member’s picture on it. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so to get my cat at the time, Duran (I told ya!), to get off of my bed I flicked the game pieces with Andy’s face on them at her. I’m evil, I know.
They have a new song out called "Girl Panic," which is a Duran Duran throwback song and video. The video has a bunch of supermodels pretending to be the members of the band with Naomi Cambell as Simon LeBon, Cindy Crawford as John Taylor, Eva Herzigova as Nick Rhodes and Helena Christensen as Roger Taylor.
The models give interviews and speak as if they are the band. It’s an interesting take and an awesome spectacle, apparently so much so that the video was banned in several places because of the content. Watch the official video now!
Banned? It’s like the days of "Girls on Film," which got me thinking about Duran Duran’s famous songs like "The Reflex," "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Ordinary World," and so many others. But, as a true Duranie, there have been other songs that didn’t get any radio time and seem to have been left by the wayside.
Here is a list of 10 Duran Duran songs that most people have probably never heard, but should.
10. "My Antarctica"
Album: Liberty (1990)
If people remember any song from the Liberty album, it’s usually “The Violence of Summer”, though if you don’t recall that one, you’re not alone. This was the first of several band member changes when Simon, John and Nick brought in Warren Cuccurullo on guitar and Sterling Campbell on drums. Later, even Simon admitted that the CD wasn’t strong enough the songs hadn’t been what he wanted. The one song that spoke to me was My Antarctica, which was the only song that really stood out as having the melody and poetic verses to make me press the repeat button.
The video below is not Duran Duran's, but it is pretty darn interesting nonetheless.
9. "American Science"
Album: Notorious (1986)
Read More From Spinditty
The song “Notorious” became notorious because the riff was used by Notorious B.I.G. and P. Diddy, but D2 had other tracks of note on that record. Duran Duran used Chic’s Nile Rogers as a producer and tried to add a little more funk to their Euro fare. The CD didn’t line up to what they had been known for and the record sales showed that. This was the time that Roger Taylor decided to call it rest and though Andy Taylor played on many of the tracks for the CD, he left the band during the middle of creating the record.
In the end, American Science was the single that never was, which could also be said for “The Winter Marches On” and “A Matter of Feeling”. The video below is the song with a picture of Simon LeBon in a doctor's uniform along with his "patients". The quality of the sound is great though.
Album: Big Thing (1988)
The album had hits in “I Don’t Want Your Love” and “All She Wants Is”. The single “Do You Believe in Shame?” was featured in the film Tequila Sunrise starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell and before he went loco, Mel Gibson. "Palomino" was never a single, but Simon’s deep to breathy vocals along with dreamy and highly visual lyrics makes for an exotic, yet still very D2 song that I still listen to often.
The video below is, once again, not Duran Duran's, but at least this one has some visuals to go with it. Whoever did it was at least kind enough to use old videos, but the song is there and ready for you to listen to!
7. "Friends of Mine"
Album: Duran Duran (1981)
This song is from the band’s debut album, which featured strong singles in “Girls on Film”, “Carless Memories”, “Planet Earth” and “Night Boat”. All of these were strong singles in the UK and the first four proved to be strong in the US as well. “Friends of Mine” has a similar tone as the darkly tinged song “Night Boat”, while also including a pop beat and catchy chorus. The beauty of the song is that every member of the group is featured in a way that is cohesive and fun to listen to.
Finally! Below is Duran Duran's actual video for the song.
"Friends of Mine"
6. "The Seventh Stranger"
Album: Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
Seven and the Ragged Tiger was released in the middle of Duran Duran mania. It had smash singles in “The Reflex”, “New Moon on Monday” and “Union of the Snake”. The last song on the record was The Seventh Stranger, a melodic tune emphasizing a visual journey. The song has an aura of the fantastic yet almost medieval sensibility. Only later did I find out that the song was inspired by Akira Kurosawa and the Seven Samurai films. Its feel makes even more sense to me now.
5. "Skin Divers"
Album: Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
"Red Carpet Massacre" is one of Duran Duran’s most underrated tracks. The song features Timbaland and some really tight beats. It seems the mix of he and D2 members were a bit off since Timbaland doesn’t often work with full bands who play their instruments, but this song is one of several that sound insanely good despite the odd pairing. I'm still not sure why no one grabbed onto the CD or this song. It's just so good.
This one is also videoless. At least this time there are pictures of Duran Duran to go with their music.
4. "Breath After Breath"
Album: Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) (1993)
This song is from Duran Duran’s ‘comeback’ CD which featured the hits, “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone”. It features Brazilian singer Milton Nascimento who belts out Portuguese vocals, which counters Simon's tone nicely. It’s got a beat that belongs on the Latin ballroom floor and is really a change from what the band is used to doing.
3. "Lonely in Your Nightmare"
Album: Rio (1982)
Rio was Duran Duran’s breakout record in the U.S. and had some huge hits in “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Save a Prayer” and “My Own Way”. It’s no wonder this soft song that alters its chorus and straddles the line between ballad and up-tempo didn’t make it to a single. That doesn’t mean, however, that this song isn’t worthy. This song has the distinction of not sounding as pure '80s as the #1 hits do. It also features the poetic lyrics and melodic beats that make the band what they are.
An official video from Duran Duran, which was filmed around the same time they did "Hungry Like the Wolf". They really made their time in Sri Lanka count.
"Lonely in Your Nightmare"
2. "Secret Oktober"
Album: Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
If this song doesn’t sound familiar at all, don’t worry. "Secret Oktober" was the B-side for the hit single “Union of the Snake”. Written by Simon, the song is free-flowing poetry. This song takes me somewhere else: another place, another time, another existence. It almost reminds me of a walk through a forest while walking to a nearby gypsy camp. Don’t ask me why—just listen to the song and be whisked away.
Seriously, the next 'video' is of the 45 playing. For you young folks, that's what they used to sell singles on, because there was no downloading. I know, caveman days indeed. A little bit of nostalgia never hurt anyone.
1. "Box Full O’Honey"
Album: Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
Justin Timberlake was featured on the (also awesome) songs “Falling Down” and “Nite Runner”, but the one song that stood out from this ignored CD is "Box Full O’Honey". Nick shines on the song mixing tones and creating a distressed yet still pop sound that feels morbid and sensual at the same time.
This is another slideshow video. I'm not sure who the Vanessa is the 'video' is dedicated to. It's not me, but I'll enjoy it nonetheless.
"Box Full O’Honey"
Of course, there are other Duran Duran songs that have been ignored but are worth a listen. It seems that almost a decade went by where no one but the faithful paid notice to their music. They made great music and it’s time for some forgotten songs to be heard once again.
Now I want to include some honorable mentions. Every song on this list was written by either Nick Rhodes or Simon LeBon. The band did a tribute CD called Thank You where they performed songs from artists that have influenced their music.
Album: Thank You (1995)
Original Artist: Lou Reed
The song’s sweet prose will forever be linked to the gritty, heroin-infested visuals of the movie Trainspotting. Some didn’t care for this version, but Lou Reed said it was “The best cover ever completed of one of my own songs". A great compliment and though I love the original, I love this one just as much.
"911 Is a Joke"
Album: Thank You (1995)
Original Artist: Public Enemy
Public Enemy? Don’t laugh, this version doesn’t try to be hardcore, but instead goes the route that has never been traveled by Duran Duran: a pop-riddled, bluegrass variation. OK, you can laugh and this song always puts a smile on my face. It seems that people either hate this song or they find it a pure joy. But, how does a band like Duran Duran pay homage to a group like Public Enemy? This will do just fine.
OK, it's another album cover 'video', but honestly, I'm glad about that. I don't know if I'd be able to handle a full video of this song. It would be too much for my mind to grasp.
"911 Is a Joke"
From a Duranie
So, that's my list. Have you heard these songs or was this the first time? Are there some that will have to go on your iPod rotation? Or do you wonder what the heck I'm thinking with these choices? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on October 23, 2019:
Great article! Love Friends of Mine and the Seventh Stranger. Check out my article Top Duran Duran songs from the 80s if you would like to.
arron on November 15, 2018:
Out of my Mind from the move "The Saint"
Greatest Hits Ever on September 30, 2018:
If you are taking about the top 10 famous songs of Duran Duran then it would be your top 10 list:
(1) A View to a Kill
(2) Hungry Like the Wolf
(3) Save a Prayer
(4) The Reflex
(5) Is There Something I Should Know?
(6) Planet Earth
(8) Girls on Film
(10) Ordinary World
Michxo on November 18, 2017:
Why has nobody said UMF off of The Wedding Album? Easily one the most overlooked tracks they’ve ever done.
Phoenix Hurley on August 28, 2017:
Yeah... I know all these songs and every one of their songs. I have been a duranie since 1979...seriously.
Also have a tattoo of the band.
iainbann on July 14, 2017:
All I Need to Know/ Starting to Remember/ The Universe Alone
Other suggestions all good too.
Paul Briand on April 30, 2017:
Love all these songs. To the shore from the first album and I believe/All I need to know ( b side of skin trade) also stand out!
bwcivick on December 22, 2014:
I agree RCM didn't get the attention it should have. There are quite a few great songs on the album. In fact, I thought the song selection on RCM was better than their reunion album, Astronaut. It's a very listenable album.
Paul Adams on December 21, 2014:
I executive produced RCM and it upset me how that record wasn't embraced by the core. The great thing about DD is that even after all the years they still want to be challenged musically. Whilst Justin was a more obvious pairing, Timbaland and more specifically Danja (who produced most of the record) really pushed them and I think they came up with something fresh and exciting. It's a great career regret that the record wasn't the hit I think it deserved to be. If you ever do your article on RCM and want any deets, hit me up! Love yer overall list too,
beliza on September 05, 2014:
Love these songs. Friends of Mine was a favorite of mine.
Greg on August 08, 2014:
Nice selection. I share you appreciation of the more moody, grey, mean, and restless songs. Palomino slow live versions and the My Antarctica demo and instrumental (Throb) are the quintessential DD "art-rock."
Paul on May 23, 2014:
I'm actually amazed that you chose My Antarctica over Serious from the Liberty album. In my opinion, Serious is the greatest song they ever wrote but was a complete flop and very few people would have heard it. You're pretty much spot on with the rest apart from the Red Carpet Massacre songs, NO ONE should have to endure those!
Edgar on February 02, 2014:
Well, I´ve loved Duran Duran since they started and I knew all these songs mentioned.
I am from Brazil and they have always been my inspiration, my happiness, quality and sophistication.Duran Duran forever.They are the best!!!
Barb on August 26, 2013:
Now I know what I'm listening to at the gym tonight - Red Carpet Massacare :)
Georgia on July 23, 2013:
Interesting! From this list, A Matter of Feeling was a really big hit in Brazil. And Anyone Out There was the first DD hit I remember listening on the radio here. It really played a lot.
Kellie on July 22, 2013:
This list is easy for me.
Lonely In Your Nightmare
Someone Else, Not Me
Anyone Out There
Box Full O'Honey
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Friends of Mine
Now there's a nice cd for ya!
Billy Bob on July 22, 2013:
Possibly the biggest mistake this band made was not releasing this song after Come Undone. It would have been their third straight smash. Instead, they just faded away from the public eye (and radio).
samboy on July 21, 2013:
'Late Bar' and 'Faster than Light' are two of the best b-sides ever. They're on the 'Planet Earth' and 'Girls on Film' singles.
josapa on July 21, 2013:
The Chauffeur (blue silver version) is great
Josh on July 21, 2013:
Last Chance on the Stairway
Cracks in the Pavement
kellyatb on July 20, 2013:
Great list! Love, love, love that Secret Oktober was included. It's been one of my favorites since the first time I flipped over my 45 and listened to it.
nessybabe on July 20, 2013:
there are tons but Meditteranean is fabulous, Beautiful Colours and Secret Oktober both should have been released as singles and Late Bar is a classic
Grem on July 20, 2013:
Nick on July 20, 2013:
Here is a playlist I made several year ago called Duran Duran - Underrated. Glad to see we agree on many.
Faith In This Colour
The Seventh Stranger
Friends Of Mine
Do You Believe In Shame?
Alison English on July 20, 2013:
Late Bar is my fav song!
Lori Bauer from Carrollton, Texas on July 20, 2013:
Heard them and love them all, it's like a timeline of different sounds.
Janet on July 20, 2013:
I knew "Girl Panic," have watched the video several times. I remember when we were all waiting for it to be posted.
Chema on July 20, 2013:
Secret Oktober should have been a single. I remember "We need you" and "one of those days"
Cathy Gellis from Blacksburg, Virginia on July 20, 2013:
Great choices!! I still have my Duran Duran video album on VHS that came out in the early '80's, I'm sure you know this but the video's for Lonely in your Nightmare & Save a prayer are ment to go together. I would add a few of my favorites, Faster Than Light, Hold Back the Rain, New Religon, Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me), Khanada. I could keep going...
Melissa Burton on July 19, 2013:
Some good ones. While there's no way to include all the sleepers, I think "Hold Back The Rain", "I'm Looking For Cracks In The Pavement" and "Meet El Presidente" are great and under appreciated.
I'm a huge Duran fan but "Make Me Smile" was where they should have stopped doing covers. I love that Duran paid tribute to songs that inspired them but I say no thanks to the "Thank You" album.
Thank you though for this post!
errbt on July 19, 2013:
Solid list! My "top 27" (was supposed to be top 25) "Alternative Greatest" non-singles list for a Duran forum shares 7 of your 10! My picks, listed chronologically:
1. Anyone Out There
2. Sound of Thunder
3. Friends of Mine
4. Lonely in your nightmare (Full Length Kershenbaum Mix)
5. Hold back the rain (Full Length Kershenbaum Mix)
6. Last chance on the stairway
7. (I'm Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement
8. Of Crime and Passion
9. Shadows On Your Side
10. Secret Oktober
11. American Science
14. First Impression
15. Breath After Breath
16. Sin of the City
17. Success (Iggy Pop cover)
18. Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young cover)
19. Midnight Sun
20. So Long Suicide
21. Starting to Remember
22. Kiss Goodbye/Last Day On Earth
25. Box Full O' Honey
26. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
27. Runway Runaway
The list had to include only officially released songs, even if only B-sides or Japan -only bonus tracks (hence Virus). Otherwise I would have included the unreleased gems Matter of Fact, Salt in the Rainbow (short "edit" version), & Beautiful Colours. Ridiculous that the band didn't see fit to include any of these on albums or even as single B-sides!
Stephanie on July 19, 2013:
I love your list - mine would be pretty similar, however, I have to comment...no LOVE VOODOO?!?!?!?!? :)
genxatmidlife on July 19, 2013:
Love "Friends of Mine" and anything on Seven & The Ragged Tiger. Wonder why you didn't include "The Chauffer," though.
Cathy on July 19, 2013:
I have to say I like My Antarctica and Breath After Breath the most.
I'm a bluegrass country girl... And I'd have to say that 911 song SUCKED!!! Lol
It was more of a twisted fusion of pop, punk and early rap...
All of which I can't stand!!!
sheree on July 19, 2013:
"Ultimate Mind F***" and "White Lines"
Trina on July 19, 2013:
Great list!! So many lesser known, wonderful songs from Duran! Agree that Red Carpet Massacre is highly underrated! I love it!
bwcivick on July 19, 2013:
It was nice to read a Top 10 list like this, with the same songs I have always considered under-rated. Almost a perfect list! The drumming in the song 'American Science', by Steve Ferrone elevates the song to another level.
I also have a soft spot for the DD instrumental songs, such as Tel Aviv, Tiger,Tiger, and Trick me Out. Really good stuff.
treehug2415 on July 19, 2013:
Definatey Late Bar. Has been my favorite for years!
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on July 19, 2013:
I'm just agreeing whole-heartedly with you EricM. I think every Duran fan should listen to So Red the Rose and especially The Promise. And if you're a blubbering fool, then we can be both be blubbering fools...for Duran Duran. When I find a Duran fan, I generally get pretty excited and start blabbering on about albums and concerts and whatnot. I have one lifelong Duran Fan and one I've known for around 15 years and that's about it. I'm so happy to have this D2 connection with more people!
Thank you so very much!!! :D
Valerie on July 19, 2013:
Agree with the list...100%...however...I personally feel some of the Arcadia music was so far ahead of it's time.... and should be a part of any "greatest" list. For me, Simon's sultry lyrics and voice on Keep Me in the Dark is mind blowing.
EricaM on July 19, 2013:
Awesome! I din't mean it to read like I thought you didn't know of, or didn't like Arcadia... was meant for casual DD fans who may not know of them.
And now I sound like an idiot! I don't know why I said the album was called "The Promise" it is of course, "So Red The Rose". FORGIVE ME! I just woke up. SEE we are all capable of mistakes! I guess it is my favorite track so I have mentally renamed the album. SHEESH! (you are kind not to have outed me as a blubbering fool).
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on July 19, 2013:
Steven Batty: I wasn't sure who did the video, so thank you for that! I do love it, though...so very vintage Duran it made me swoon.
Sorry LaMonica, but you'll have to admit there are so many Duran songs that could also make the list. They do great music and sadly most don't get to hear it because it doesn't get radio play.
Holy Beth, thank you for that correction. You know when you read something too many times, your eyes can skip over things and I guess mine did. Taylor was even spelled wrong, lol. All fixed now.
Brenda: All Along the Water, oh man, I do love that one too.
Betsy: I went for Friends of Mine instead of Sounds of Thunder, although both are equally haunting.
EricaM I so love Arcadia. I think Simon's voice along with Sting's was so made of win. Thank goodness I still have a record player, because I have yet to get it on CD or download it. I should probably do that, so I can listen to it in my car...now I have a greater need to do it. :)
I do think Arcadia harkens back to the original Duran Duran album, which is full of darker songs that made you think they would go goth instead of straight up pop.
Actually I could probably do a hub just on Red Carpet Massacre and how it is filled with brilliant writing, great melody and jamming beats. So underrated it makes me weep a little inside.
Thank you everyone for checking out my list. I do love Duran and have since...well, I'll keep that one to myself. I'll just say, I was bummed when I couldn't get my friend's older sisters to take me when they opened for Blondie.
Huzzah to my fellow Duranies!
EricaM on July 19, 2013:
I agree completely with this list, and I see other Duranies are happy too! What I would add are the songs from Arcadia. While not technically Duran Duran, it did consist of Simon, Nick and Roger (I know, no John so it isn't Duran Duran, right?). I find I listen to the album, "The Promise", as much as I listen to DD songs. My favorite from this album, the title track, "The Promise", is also one of my all-time DD faves. AND it has Sting on backing vocals. A collaboration between my two favorite British male singers.
The songs, "El Diablo" and "Lady Ice" are clearly recognizable as Duran Duran-esque but they are darker and grittier. Not the bubble gum pop they were known for in 1985 but I maintain were an introduction to some of the more mature stuff they were going to do later.
I saw them in concert a few years ago and they did sing "Election Day" so even they don't eschew these songs. Give it a listen if you have never heard of it. You won't be disappointed!
Teresa Cameron on July 19, 2013:
Great List I totally agree, but I would have to add "Hold Back The Rain" - Favorite DD Song Ever.
Jaimeek on July 19, 2013:
Secret Oktober is one of my favorite Duran song ever!!! They are the best'
Samiris on July 19, 2013:
I actually have all of these in my workout list!
I would definitely give an Honorable Mention to White Lines from the Thank You album. My favorite concert song! Talk about heart pounding! cannot go wrong when the original Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious 5 are singing along!
So sad that the radio powers that be kept telling them "we can't play this... it has black people in it!".... They would have made a killing if they knew real Duranies have no color barriers.
Ivy on July 19, 2013:
Salt in the Rainbow and Beautiful Colours need to be on this list.
Betsy on July 19, 2013:
Late Bar! (and Sound of Thunder)
Adam on July 19, 2013:
Agree with this list 100%
John on July 19, 2013:
We need you,winter marches on, god there's too many to mention
Playing with Duranium on July 19, 2013:
The Chauffeur - Their Finest Hour - Khanada
Renee Young on July 19, 2013:
There are just way too many Duran songs that should have been on this list. They are just that damn good. Love all those songs.
My personal addition would have been DO YOU BELIEVE IN SHAME?
kim on July 19, 2013:
I can think of a few others: Careless Memories, Khanada, Anyone out there
Brenda on July 19, 2013:
How is "All Along The Water" from Liberty and "Hallucinating Elvis" from Pop Trash not on this list? :)
Holly Beth on July 19, 2013:
Hello fellow Duranie..
Just an FYI: It is Nick Rhodes (formerly Bates)..not Taylor.
All of the songs listed are indeed fabulous! I simply can not think of a single song that I haven't liked or loved. Even with radio stations over-playing the "famous" songs - I love them just the same!
Jack on July 19, 2013:
Some of the b-sides that should have been singles should be an article in of itself. My top five: Time for Temptation, Salt in the Rainbow, Khananda, Fame, and See Me Smile.
Ashe on July 19, 2013:
Playing with Uranium, Big Bang Generation, Preposition,Drug It's A State Of Mind, Read My Lips, Lay Lady Lay, Take You Higher, to name a few but these are my favs as well.
LaMonica on July 19, 2013:
'm a Duranie..So I know all of these songs...But WHY OH WHY IS "Venice Drowning" not on here?.... Or "Land".... AAARRRRGGGHHHHH! Why is the world not perfect?
Tina on July 19, 2013:
Heard them all! Love them all! Secret Oktober is my favorite !
Spinoolean on July 19, 2013:
Great list! One of my favorites is the Japan-only song, "Cry Baby Cry." Like so much from "Red Carpet Massacre," it's Duran Duran through a whole new and exciting lens.
Steven Batty on July 19, 2013:
The video for Friends Of Mine wasn't made by the band, it's from Multi Coloured Swap Shop a BBC kids TV show that used to be on a Saturday morning in the UK.
Rick Jeffreys on July 19, 2013:
Someone else not Me?
Barb on January 15, 2013:
Love, love, love Duran Duran. Reading John's book now :) Want to add New Religion and She's Too Much to the list. I love Breath After Breath, Skin Divers and Box Full of Honey as well.
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on October 09, 2012:
I do love The Violence of Summer, but My Antarctica beat it out. It just resonated with me. Thanks a bunch Daz X
Daz X on October 08, 2012:
brilliant love all of those tracks...I'd have included "The Violence of Summer" tho
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on September 22, 2012:
Thank you Peanutritious. Ever since I wrote this, I found so many other Duranies that were able to push through hard times through their music. It's comforting indeed. I'm glad that it made you happy to read it as I did to go through my albums (that's right, vinyl) and cds, list some of my favorites and search through Youtube listening to various versions they had. Sweet torture indeed :D
Tara Carbery from Cheshire, UK on September 22, 2012:
Thanks so much. I really enjoyed this. I will always love Duran Duran and they got me through some hard times. Voted up and Thanks again. You've made me really happy:D
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on September 06, 2012:
I'm right with you. I will always love D2. There is something about the way they pull a song together that really resonates.
Thanks sha and Jose!
Jose on September 03, 2012:
Got to love these songs, they sound amazing going to go and download some right now. Duran Duran is and always will be my favorite group for music.
sha on August 24, 2012:
Love most of them! I would add make me smile and Last Chance on the Stairway
Vanessa Martinez (author) from Vancouver, WA on January 04, 2012:
You are a Kindred spirit of mine! I love Duran Duran and as a proud Durannie, I'll agree that they are the best band ever!
sam032419 from Largo, Florida on January 04, 2012:
Wow, I have heard all these songs, actually. I love all the songs and Duran Duran is most definitely the best band ever. :) Everybody should hear these songs.