Duran Duran - The Reflex. Apparently their biggest worldwide hit. What do you think of it?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bobby Morrow, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    "The Reflex" became the band's most successful single. It was their second single to top the UK Singles Chart, after "Is There Something I Should Know?" in 1983, topping the chart on 5 May, and would prove to be their last UK no. 1. The single entered the charts in America on 21 April 1984 at no. 46, became Duran Duran's first of two singles to hit no. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (for 2 weeks) on 23 June 1984 (see 1984 in music), and was a huge hit internationally. (Their only other single to hit no. 1 in the US was the title song to the James Bond film "A View to a Kill".) It was also the first of two songs that kept "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen out of the top spot (the other one being Prince's "When Doves Cry"). The band wanted it to be the lead single from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, but their label didn't like the warbling singing during the "why don't you use it" segments, thinking this would hinder its success as a stand-alone single track.

    The remixes for both the 7" and 12" singles were created by Nile Rodgers, of Chic fame. It was his first work with the band, and he would later go on to produce "The Wild Boys" single as well as the album Notorious (1986) and several tracks on Astronaut (2004).

    Producer Ian Little recalled the sound Nick Rhodes came up with on his Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard: "...whenever I hear that steel-drum part it always brings a smile to my face because it's so out of tune. Steel drums always are, but it was exactly right in terms of rhythm and tone. So a wood-block sound was mixed in to make it even more percussive and, successfully, it did the job."

    My thoughts.

    The Seven & The Ragged Tiger album was far from a flop, but it makes you wonder how much better it would have done if Duran Duran had been granted their wish of The Reflex being the lead single...

    The first 2 releases, (Union Of The Snake and New Moon On Monday) both did well, but didn’t have the oomph and power to shift a new album that great lead singles often have. A lot of money was spent on the videos. Remember the extended one for New Moon? It was murder.:D The vid for The Reflex was far less flashy, but the song really connected with the world. If it had been lead single and Union been the follow up, might Seven have outsold Rio?

    Either way, what did you think of The Reflex? Then and now. Did it make you a Duran fan, or put you off them? Perhaps you didn’t care either way! Vote and let us know.

  2. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    I love that track! A flashy, fun, very artificial 80s cut perfect for a decadent night :cool:

    But it's far from my favorite DD track - I'd take their first two albums in their entirety over Reflex and yet I love all of it. If that's not a sign of a great band, I don't know what is...
    Maffune, DrZhivago, blaken123 and 5 others like this.
  3. Basenote66

    Basenote66 Forum Resident

    Should have been the second single really, though the album version is very different to the single, and if New Moon On Monday hadn't been a comparative flop would they have got Nile Rodgers to remix it? Who knows....

    I like the single, but its not my favourite DD track.
  4. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    I don't like Simon's voice on this track. The music is great though.
  5. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    I love The Reflex - single version - because of what Nile Rodgers did with it. It's more of a deconstruction than a remix. The album version is okay but it doesn't have that oomph, if it had been the lead single I fear it would have been a bit of a My Own Way level hit. The Reflex ending up the way it is on the single is, as mentioned above, a result of what happened with New Moon On Monday. They needed to re-evaluate where they were going, artistically. Nile showed them the way, and so we got Wild Boys, View To A Kill and the Notorious album.
    Maffune, DrZhivago, bob60 and 7 others like this.
  6. Andy Smith

    Andy Smith You fill up my senses, Like a gallon of Magnet..

    Save A Prayer
    Is There Something I ShouldKnow?
    New Moon On Monday
    Girls On Film

    All far more enjoyable, I think.
  7. Terry

    Terry Senior Member

    I like the version which begins with female vocals.
    Jet Age Eric and davers like this.
  8. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    Great song. Not my favorite Duran. Album was very popular, but adding the flip side Seckret October would have improved it.
    herky10, skisdlimit and JeffMo like this.
  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    They should have added Is There Something I Should Know to Seven too.
  10. gja586

    gja586 Forum Resident

    Gogledd Cymru
    FWIW, I like it but prefer the album version, New Moon on Monday and, especially, Union of the Snake.

  11. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Smash Hits review of The Reflex (and other singles too) from April 1984.

  12. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    I like it it's a pretty good record. But it's far from my favourite Duran single. "Union Of The Snake" from the same album is much better. Seven & The Ragged Tiger is okay but a bit of a misstep IMO and a big drop down from the first two albums
  13. Dan Steely

    Dan Steely See the glory of The Royal Scam

    The first single I bought with my own money?! EPIC!
  14. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Senior Member

    Long Island
    The single mix is brilliant! I actually love all the singles from Seven.....
  15. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    Hilarious how "I Want To Break Free" is reviewed :)
  16. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Seven And The Ragged Tiger was a highly anticipated album following the incredible depth of excellence across Duran Duran's first two albums. Is There Something I Should Know* gave confidence that the streak would continue. First came Union of the Snake which was fine but not really up to the level of previous singles. New Moon On Monday was a step down from there.

    But The Reflex?


    It isn't horrible but I have a hard time even saying I like it so I won't. Perhaps the repetitive why-yi-yi-yi's in the infuriating remix killed it for me.

    Even worse though is that the album proper this time contained filler tracks, a proud tradition that D2 would largely continue to this day**.

    * Is There Something I Should Know couldn't have saved Seven. It was of its time in amongst the first two albums.

    ** Notorious was pretty solid start to finish but not a single release since has come close to the heights reached on the first two albums. All You Need Is Now tried and largely succeeded. It would have totally done so had it not been bloated. Pare it down to nine tracks and it might have been tremendous.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  17. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    I think it's the first example for Duran going "techno", the shift from Colin Thurston to Alex Sadkin and Nile Rodgers is noticeable.

    Following "Rio", the band suddenly was exposed to enormous global success so making "Seven And The Ragged Tiger" can't have been easy. Simon said that after "Rio" the innocence was over. 1983 definitely marked the beginning of a new DD era.

    That said, I like "The Reflex" and "Wild Boys" but not as much as earlier or later singles.
    altaeria likes this.
  18. telecode101

    telecode101 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Let put it this way, Queen were not considered a cool band back in the mid 80s. I remember me and my friends making fun of Radio Ga Ga all the time.
  19. telecode101

    telecode101 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Union of the Snake and New Moon were much better songs of that record IMO
    Steve Litos likes this.
  20. Yost

    Yost “It’s only impossible until it’s not”

    Can I vote “I love The Reflex, but it’s not their best song”? No? Okay, then I just vote for I love it.

    I personally think that The Reflex proves you can greatly improve a track with a proper remix. And I love that remix. At the same time it’s really a lot of fluff and little substance. But hey, so is whipped cream: oh so bad and oh so nice at the same time.
    altaeria and JeffMo like this.
  21. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seven got a good review in Smash Hits in November 1983. Shame it’s so hard to read!


  22. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    "The Reflex"
    Single by Duran Duran
    from the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger

    • 16 April 1984 (Worldwide)
    • 21 April 1984 (US)
    • 5:29 (album version)
    • 4:25 (single version)

    Love the album Seven And The Ragged Tiger. I like the Reflex but I like the intro better from the single release.
    Great tune when it was released it was so futuristic sounding with sharp robust harmonies.

    The WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY got on my nerves after awhile but doesn't take away from this Durranie classic.

    "Isn't that bizarrrrrre!" Love the loud transcending piercing harmonies on that line as well as near the end of the tune " The Reflex what a game" love that lyric so smooth and cool.

    Duran would have better tunes before and after but still a powerful Duran tune nonetheless. One of my 1980's favorites.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
    Max Florian, gja586, altaeria and 2 others like this.
  23. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Yes "Is There Something I Should Know" has little in common with Seven production wise.

    So Red The Rose in 1985 was a return to form - yes it says Arcadia but it's a Duran Duran album minus one important member. An excellent album regardless
  24. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    A great pop single from one of the great pop bands, but I prefer

    Planet Earth
    Careless Memories
    Girls On Film
    Hungry Like The Wolf
    My Own Way
    Save A Prayer

    I'm a bigger fan of the early Duran Duran stuff, but The Reflex is fine and they also released good singles after it.
  25. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    That review for 90125... ouch! :laugh:

    Interestingly enough, today's common opinion seems to be that Duran started going downhill with Seven - no trace of that in contemporary reviews! It's a fantastic album, and Arena as well as Notorious are great, too :cool:

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