Duran Duran - song-by-song rate & discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Blame The Machines, May 5, 2019.

  1. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I checked the forum and couldn't see any thread to discuss all of the songs of Duran Duran. If there is enough interest, I would be happy to list all of the songs from Duran Duran through to the present day.


    The planned rules will be:

    1. One song each day.

    2. All studio recordings to be discussed in chronological order (i.e. any single & b-side preceding an album will come before that album).

    3. The first Power Station & Arcadia albums/eras will be included. (I've yet to decide if any other offshoot material will be included at this stage).

    4. Votes (out of 5 but allowing .5 scores) to be written in the posts as a poll can't be edited every day.

    Obviously there could be lots of discussions about in what order the songs should be discussed and the number of alternate versions available complicates things (i.e. I'm thinking of doing My Own Way (single + Rio album version); & The Reflex (7&TRT album version + Nile Rodgers single remix) twice), but we will see how we go.
    deredordica, RobRoyF, omikron and 3 others like this.
  2. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    001. Planet Earth

    "Planet Earth" is the debut single by the English pop rock band Duran Duran, released on 2 February 1981.

    It was an immediate hit in the band's native UK, reaching #12 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 February, and did even better in Australia, hitting #8 to become Duran Duran's first Top 10 hit anywhere in the world.

    The song later appeared on the band's eponymous debut album Duran Duran, released in June, 1981.

    The song was the first to explicitly acknowledge the fledgling New Romantic music/fashion movement, with the line "Like some New Romantic looking for the TV sound".

    The music video for the song was directed by future film director Russell Mulcahy, who would go on to direct a dozen more for the group.
  3. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Great debut by Duran Duran. Although I don’t think they really got going until Girls On Film, PE is a strong single and stood out in 1981 even though it wouldn’t be their biggest hit.
  4. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    I think Planet Earth represents the actual debut album far better than Girls on Film. PE is far more sparse, minimalistic in lyrics and music, as is most of the LP. GoF is fantastic too, and it's logical to me that it would prove to be their first true smash in the UK.
  5. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    My thoughts:

    Planet Earth - Arriving with an Giorgio Moroder style intro that sounds bizarrely akin to a 1981 UFO landing in the desert.

    Production-wise, it's still holds up well today, like a shiny glacier, with lyrics so arty/pretentious even the early 80s were embarrassed; 'my head is stuck on something precious let me know if you're coming down to land'.

    Song wise they had better to come, but PE remains an astonishing opening statement by the children of Bowie/Roxy Music.

  6. pwhytey

    pwhytey Forum Resident

    Bit of a shock to realise I was only 10 years-old when 'Planet Earth' was a hit, but it still made a huge impression on me. It remains one of my favourite Duran songs and the 'Night Version' still gets a regular spin on my turntable (I'm not a big fan of the alternate 'Night Version' on Strange Behaviour, however). I didn't know that chart fact about Australia, although I do remember PE was on high rotation down here in 1981 and there was an immediate buzz about the band.

  7. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I post a couple of alternative versions of the Birmingham New Romantics debut single:

    Duran Duran - Planet Earth (1980 Manchester Square Demo)

    ^ With clips of them playing live at Birmingham's Rum Runner nightclub, where they were the resident band. This demo features the additional Simon Le Bon penned extra verse which was dropped from the studio version.
    Echo, negative1 and Chris Bernhardt like this.
  8. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Duran Duran - Planet Earth (Night Version)

    ^ This is the extended 12" version with more prominent Bass Lines; Horns; Drums/Percussion; & Guitars than the studio version designed for playing in Night Clubs. This later turned up on the 1982 Carnival dance remix EP. To my ears it is far superior to the 7:00 version that turned up on the Strange Behaviour 2CD set.
  9. Bluepicasso

    Bluepicasso Android Confused

    Arlington, Va
    Fantastic debut. Love all versions of Planet Earth. They could not do wrong in this period! They should embrace this period more!
  10. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    002. Late Bar

    The "Planet Earth" B-side was originally written before Simon Le Bon joined the band. It was originally titled "Breaking Away" and was lyrically very different. Le Bon rewrote the lyrics.

    Produced by Colin Thurston, the song wasn't included on the original version of the Duran Duran album released in 1981.

    The track was recorded at EMI's Manchester Square Studios in London, UK during December 1980. A demo was made on the 8 December, which is available on the Duran Duran: Special Editions album released in 2010.

    "Late Bar" is a concert favorite and played every once in a while. The song appeared in the band's SkyArts Songbook Special (2009).

    What are your thoughts on this track?
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Excellent debut single. Some folks made a big noise about this, and of course (believe it or not) the phrase the "New Beatles" was being thrown around.
  12. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    My thoughts:

    Late Bar - I just don't understand why it never made their debut album. Perhaps its seedy rawness was a little too much for EMI. A cracking pop tune with hedonistic lyrics that showcases the rocky side of the band in under three minutes. 4.0/5.0
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    That's the first time I have heard this track, as I have never been a singles buyer. It is actually very good, and I would probably have preferred it to some tracks on the debut album.
  14. Chris Bernhardt

    Chris Bernhardt Forum Resident

    Chicago IL
    I love Late Bar. It should have been on the album. It drives me crazy that they haven't put these early B-sides on vinyl . Obvious RSD release to me.
  15. Record Rotator

    Record Rotator Forum Resident

    A few years down the line, the British media referred to the band as "The Fab Five".
  16. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    So, so long ago. I was just 14 when this came out, my group of friends were greatly into the New Wave/New Romantic movement, or as much as a group of school kids from a South Wales town could be. I bought this when it was on its' ascendency, and still have that copy today. I thought Late Bar was ok, but obviously preferred the A side. I didn't get the 12" until 1984 when I was working and had more income. Thankfully in 1984 they repressed all the earlier 12" singles because they were starting to cost a lot of money at that time. I was able to get most of the 7" and 12" over the years up to 1985.

    A really strong debut and a deserved hit.
  17. Rojo

    Rojo Forum Resident

    "Planet Earth" -- a great opening statement for the band.
    Blame The Machines likes this.
  18. Nightfly3000

    Nightfly3000 Forum Resident

    I have never heard "Late Bar" until today, so thank you for that. I hear strands of "Rio", GOF and HLTW. Cool track to hear after all these years.
  19. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    New England
    I like Late Bar so much I made it the title track to an early b-sides cdr I made a few years ago!
  20. BZync

    BZync Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    I remember the early Duran Duran singles being played on alternative radio in NYC but I don't recall them being a big deal. The New Romantic thing took a little while to filter its way to me. Maybe it was me but I don't recall Planet Earth making much of an impact.

    I didn't purchase the first album until after Rio had come out and I recall being pleasantly surprised that I knew a few of the songs. Oh! This one is Duran Duran as well? Cool!

    Planet Earth is a good track and has a lot of energy but feels somewhat tentative to me. With the benefit of hindsight, it sounds like a band still trying to find their identity. Like a baby foal that will grow to be a race horse. Beautiful but a little shaky on it's legs, yet.
    pwhytey and Blame The Machines like this.
  21. negative1

    negative1 80s retro fan

    wow, love duran duran.

    i hope you slow down on the tracks, as the going by way too fast.. (faster than light)..
    i got into them with 'rio' and 'hungry like the wolf', like most people in the US.

    then because they released 'is there something i should know', and repackaged it
    with the earlier 'duran duran' album, i jumped on that also.

    it was weird hearing their earlier work after rio, but i liked it equally as well,
    since it was such a strong debut.

    i didn't realize that 'to the shore' had been missing for quite a long time until i got
    the original UK version.... [it actually was the b-side, to planet earth in the US]

    anyways, back to planet earth: 5/5
    i never any tracks from the first album played on the radio here,
    they ignored them until rio was out, and i didn't go to clubs,
    so i guess i missed out on them there also.

    loved the different artwork for
    different countries
    US promo 12 inch

    french 12 inch

    a strong song, and strong statement, with quite the simple basic video,
    although they look quite silly, they were having fun with it.

    i like the remix of it also, but the 2nd one had a much stronger rock theme to it.

    back when 12 inches were re-recorded, and not just cut and pasted. it was odd
    having the song kick in 4 minutes after it started, but that works. i have my own
    mix where i moved it up into the middle of the song.

    one last thing, they use this as an encore quite a lot,
    and i never understood them adding the 'switch it on / off'
    line, unless they're referring to the TV sound reference.

    late bar : 4/5
    i love this song, but its too short, and too repetitive

    i thought it should go on the first album also, but no, it doesn't
    quite fit in with the flow and theme i get for it, so it worked much
    better as b-side, along with fame. now faster than light, yes it should
    have been on the album. but thats my pick.

    looking forward to the rest of the songs and albums.

  22. Sea Within a Sea

    Sea Within a Sea Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Yeah, I assume "switch it off" refers to the TV. Does anyone remember if Simon sang that line on the Arena live album? Because that line, along with his squeaky-voiced "Owwww" in "Union of the Snake" (which is definitely on the Arena album), has turned into a weird sort of call-and-response thing from the audience at their shows, who I'm guessing have the Arena versions of these songs drilled into their heads. I've seen them enough in recent years to notice that even if Simon doesn't add "switch it off" the die-hards will yell it at him en masse. I was weirdly amused the first time I found myself surrounded by 50-year-old women who felt compelled to yell "switch it off" and "owwww" at maximum volume. Along with chants of "Play the ****ing bass, John!" That's a "thing" at Duran concerts. No idea how it started.
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  23. Markyp

    Markyp Forum Resident

    Yeah ! Every time I play that song no matter if it’s live or studio version I shout that out!
    My copy of Arena went missing years ago so I’d forgotten where it came from!
    maywitch likes this.
  24. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    "Planet Earth": As someone who dismissed this band because of people at our school that were into them, I was surprised when I heard this song first. Which would have been around 1984. It was really good. It still took me until 1989 to buy my first DD album. There was other music around. And DD just didn't seem cool. Ironically I find myself now defending this band against people going "Are they still around?" or "What? £100 for a Duran Duran album"?

    "Late Bar": As non digital music connoisseur I have to admit that I have never heard this song. I'm just starting to get the old 12-inches so.....

    From what I've heard above it's great. It's a favourite of Nick after all. :cheers:
    Blame The Machines likes this.

    GLUDFSSR Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    One of my favorite 12” mixes not just by Duran but by anybody.

    Blame The Machines likes this.

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