Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Music Box: Duran Duran

Surprising as it may be, I was never a Duranie. Have gone to high school from 1982-1985, the halls were littered with 'em, yet I morphed from Limahl to Howard Jones to Paul Weller during my years at Dobson High. (That's not to say I didn't think they were adorable, especially Roger and John.) I remember my brother Bill first discovering them right before they hit it big in America with "Hungry Like the Wolf" -- he saw them open for Blondie at Pine Knob in Detroit, a concert I was slated to attend but wasn't able to -- but always found their albums to be a bit tedious. Their singles, however, were great, and certainly didn't need to be sought out, as they were ubiquitous on the radio and MTV back then. The band's popularity eventually dissipated -- with various members leaving and rejoining over the years -- but they did have that big "comeback" moment in 1993, when the single "Ordinary World" exploded on the radio. While I took notice of that wonderful Beatles-inspired hit, it was the follow-up, "Come Undone," with its seductive lyrics and slinky musical arrangement, that really struck me as something special -- so much so, in fact, that hearing it against the band's hits from its heyday -- "Wolf," "Rio," or the god-awful "Wild Boys" or "The Reflex" -- makes me think in retrospect that it may just be their finest hour three minutes on Planet Earth, an honor I used to reserve for "Girls on Film." (FYI: "Skin Trade" is another post-original-lineup fave.)

What about you, what's your favorite Duran Duran song?


Chad said...

I agree! I fondly remember "Come Undone" during that summer of 1993. Such good memories. And I liked it sooo much better than "Ordinary World" which seems to get more play these days on "retro radio." Why not "Come Undone"?!

nojarama said...

I more than made up for your un-Duranieness. I have adored them since Rodney Bingenheimer played them on his KROQ show all those decades ago. My personal favorite DD song is actualy a b-side: "Secret Oktober". Gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it.

Dennis said...

For my money, you can't do better with Duran Duran than "Save A Prayer." Also "Union of the Snake."

Feel better!

Alpha Omega said...

Come Undone is my favorite Duran Duran song. Great memories of it in college. Second best...All She Wants Is.

James Greenlee said...

My high school years were 1980-1984, so Duran Duran was HUGE for me. Unlike you, I was a fan. One thing I noticed early though, was that MOST of their hit songs were gibberish. Seriously, try to decipher one.

The Wedding Album (with "Come Undone" and "Ordinary World") is fantastic. One of those rare CDs you can play all the way through, and like 90% of it.

But I'll always have a soft spot for the ones you mentioned, and "Is There Something I Should Know", "Union of the Snake" and "A View to a Kill."