Top 10 List of Duran Duran Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard, But Should
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 PHD 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 CD, 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 Durans, but is pretty darn interesting nonetheless.
9. American Science
Album: Notorious, 1986
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 am 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.
Once again, there isn't a video for this and most of the fan made ones are a bit too distracting. Here is a live version, because it is just as good!
The Seventh Stranger
5. Skin Divers
Album: Red Carpet Massacre, 2007
Red Carpet Massacre is one of Duran Duran’s most underrated. 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 Simons 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.
Another Duran Duran video! Mind you, it's not one of my favorites, but the song is!
Breath After Breath
3. Lonely In Your Nightmare
Album: Rio, 1982
Rio was Duran Duran’s breakout record in the US 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 80’s 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 Hungary 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 has influenced their music.
Album: Thank You, 1995
Original Artist: Lou Reed
The song’s sweet prose will forever be linked to Trainspotting gritty, heroin infested visuals. 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.
This is their video for the song.
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?
Hi, my name is Vanessa and I'm a Duranie. You may not be a part of their fan club, but maybe you listened to a song to two that you'll enjoy as much as I do.