Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DURAN DURAN - 1981

Love 'em or hate 'em...DURAN DURAN were a huge part of the 80's and an influence on many of today's bands from The Bravery to Hard-fi to even the latest American Idol winner....so you gotta give it up for them. I'm old enough to remember their humble beginnings. When they started out it wasn't all flashy videos and hungry wolves. They started out kinda cool. Of coarse I started to detest them when they released the God-awful WILD BOYS, but by that time I think we all kinda moved on.
But they were the coolest thing since slices brains in the early 80's.....so here's some selections from the first couple of 12-inch singles.
Released in 1981. "MY OWN WAY" burst on to the dance scene and didn't really represent where Duran Duran would eventually go. The track (and "Night Version") was a little too dance-y for me, but the B-side "LIKE AN ANGEL" was a great bit of Roxy Music mixed with Japan slice of acoustic dance-rock. I still love it to this day...they should have included it on their debut LP.

"PLANET EARTH" was released the same year, and this was truly the beginning of the phenomenon. Still love the song, but the B-side, "LATE BAR", was truly special. Another track they should have included on the first album. I mean...c'mon...they couldn't have left off TEL AVIV ?
GIRLS ON FILM was released after PLANET EARTH and now the Duran Duran we all grew to know had finally emerged. Another killer single, and another killer B-side in "FASTER THAN LIGHT".
And finally with the "CARELESS MEMORIES" single comes these fabulous B-sides. "KHANADA" and their cover of David Bowie's "FAME".
Things go downhill from here, I'm afraid. They would eventually become cartoon characters (and not in a good way) and over-produce the hell out of things, but for a while they were just cutting edge enough for the hip crowd and just accessible enough for the tween crowd. It didn't last....it never does.

1 comment:

nenuphar said...

I was busy and didn't have time to thank you for this post. This is the real Duran Duran. Whenever I mentioned I liked them, friends would gush, "Ooooh yes, Simon is soooooo cuuuute!" and it turned my stomach. I wanted to shout, "Screw the Top 40 hits, you're missing out on the good stuff!" But I didn't bother. I wanted to keep these things to myself anyway...

You love Japan too? The works of David Sylvian influenced everything about my musical tastes, and even my own character and world view, that a musical catalogue possibly could.