Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Duran Duran Top 10 on 10/10/10

A top ten today seems inevitable, so I thought it a fitting place to give you my top ten favorite Duran Duran songs (in no particular order, as my preference for each song within the top ten is in constant flux):

The Chauffeur - I first got into Duran Duran when I was living in Germany in the early 80s. It's funny how certain things take hold in your psyche. Rio became my favorite album almost on first listen, and it's been my favorite album ever since. And The Chauffeur has always rated with me as one of Duran Duran's greatest tracks. 

The video for The Chauffeur was inspired by the film The Night Porter and the photography of Helmut Newton
As an added bonus for me, when Duran Duran issued their covers album Thank You, they put a track on their called Drive By, which is a sequel/cover of sorts of The Chauffeur:

Rio - It's Rio! She dances on the sand! She has a cherry ice cream smile (which to this day is the highest compliment I will give to anyone)! What's not to love?

Salt in the Rainbow - When the original five members of Duran Duran got back together in 2003 to tour and put out the Astronaut album, they recorded this song, but they inexplicably chose not to put it on the album, which is a shame, as it is one of their best songs.

Lonely in Your Nightmare - Simon's known for writing lyrics that sound deep, but once you scratch the surface, one might think it's pretty sounding nonsense. It this case, it's a perfectly lucid preemptive response to a cry for help:

Must be lucky whether when you find the kind of wind that you need
Come on show me all the light and shade that made your name
I know you've got it in your head, I've seen that look before
You've built your refuge, turns you captive all the same

Because your lonely in your nightmare let me in

And it's barren in your garden let me in
Because there's heat beneath your winter let me in

Late Bar - This is a B-Side from the band's early history, and a crowd favorite on the rare occasion they air it out live.

Faster than Light - Like Late Bar another early B-Side that's a hardcore fan favorite. For me, it's more a sentimental's not one of their greatest songs, but love it. I also like remembering the fact that I used to have the vocal range to sing it at the top of my lungs without scaring dogs and small children away.

Khānādă - Another B-SIde. And yes, the song's just a pretentious as the title is spelled.

Tricked Out - Back in Duran's early days, they'd try to put out at least one instrumental with each album. They wandered away from that for a few years, but on Red Carpet Massacre, their last album, Nick put together one of the band's best instrumentals.

New Moon on Monday - They made a 17 minute music video for it that featured horses, pseudo-Nazis, horrible acting, even worse dialogue, a loose plot, fireworks and Simon pumping his fist in the air. Nothing I can say about this song can top that (as craptacular as the video is, the long version of the song featured in the video is fantastic):

I might have spent the early part of the mid-80s looking for a leather jacket like the one Simon wore in this video...never found it.

Secret Oktober - Through 1985, I'm of the opinion that they put some of their best songs on B-Sides. This dark gem was one of those. I'm guessing it wasn't poppy enough for the Seven and the Ragged Tiger version of Duran Duran. 

And Secret Oktober  is a fitting place to end our 10/10/10 top ten. 

Happy Oktober everyone!


  1. can you explain what the jacket was supposed to symbolize? I'm asking if Simon Le Bon is supportng the Nazi's

  2. While the video definitely had a French resistance WWII vibe to it, I think it's safe to say SLB isn't a Nazi sympathiser. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a leather jacket is just a a leather jacket.

  3. Thanks Paul! Salt in the rainbow is a beautiful secret gem. Like a lot of your top ten Careless Memories would probably make it into mine. along with Leave a light on.