it would seem that today is duran duran appreciation day, look you see. presumably this is a day where we are all supposed to celebrate, or if you like appreciate the band called duran duran, rather than the bonkers character of the same name off of the film Barbarella.
why is August 10 the official duran duran appreciation day? it might have something, i suppose, to do with that "August moon's surrender" line off of Wild Boys. or maybe it's because there is a new moon, i don't know if there is, and it's a monday, which would make today like that other lyric that goes "new moon on monday", although the title of that song escapes me for the moment.
it is entirely possible, i dare say, that i would be a great deal more enthusiastic about a duran duran appreciation day if Simon and the boys had a bit of an appreciation day for me, what with Simon le Bloody Bon shamelessly basing his look on me for nearly a decade now.
the difference, of course, is that i pull the look off rather well indeed, whereas Simon's efforts, whilst somewhat noble and credit worthy, see him simply be in a position where he attracts supermodels, sexually frustrated housewives, assorted "MILFs" (whatever they are), record producers, fans, money and that sort of thing. still, i suppose if he is going to insist on walking around trying to emulate my look, every day that Simon walks is a day that he has an appreciation day for me.
them people over at the Metro, that lot who give away the free paper in london for the londoners, or if you like cockneys, to spread all over the tube trains so that they may beautify them, have done a "best to worst" list of all top 20 duran duran singles. to be honest, outside of them being lazily harsh on duran's very good and very relevant cover of White Lines, the list is on the button, in particular with regards to their choice for number one - an amazing song for anyone, all the more stunning due to the fact that it came out at a time when the band was dismissed as irrelevant has-beens.
i was surprised, if not taken aback, to see two of my personal favourite duran duran singles not feature in the list. a bit of research showed that they did not, as point of fact, crack the top twenty. hey ho, in honour of today, here's my tribute to them two, then.
i always liked duran duran, but heart i was, am, and always will be, a frankie fan. just as frankie were departing the scene, however, duran decided to release - i think their first single as a three piece band - Skin Trade. for some reason i thought it got to number 7 in the charts, but maybe that's because it was released in 1987.
here's an image of the three of them, very much in commodore 64 mode, promoting the single in Japan.
for what reason do i love this song? that's a really rather good question, as usually i would run miles and miles away from anything with a jazzy, sax laced sound, to be honest. i think it's the way Simon delivers the lyrics. it's rather different from anything else he'd done before, and it's very effective.
also, lyrically it was/is brilliant. it's quite a go at the sense of entitlement of youth; a go that would be appreciated if someone would have a go at the people of today with their ideas of entitlement.
should for some reason you want to hear a really crappy quality 20 second clip of the lyrics that strike me the most, here you go, but i would encourage you to rather seek out a proper version of the song.
that "you get angry at the weekend then go back to school, so big deal" line has to be one of the biggest "ouch" put downs i have ever heard. i wonder who it was aimed at? anyway, the "when it comes to making money" line is, well, on the money.
my other choice is somewhat controversial. i get knacked for it, called an idiot and that. they, to slightly misquote one of their big inspirations, put me down and say i'm wrong. about and for what? the Medazzaland album. buried at the point of release (no official UK release so i had to give HMV £18 of real money to get an import) and considered a mess, i love the sound and i love the lyrics. all of which are very much present in one of two singles from the album, Electric Barbarella
a still from the video in commodore 64 mode? sure. here's a look at Simon apparently purchasing an electric sex doll from a total nutcase looking professor scientist inventor dude.
what do i like about this one? the sheer audacity of it, and the precise way in which it clocked the ways in which increased electronic communication over interaction would batter our perceptions of love, romance and that sort of thing. not that they intended to, but it did. but mostly the audacity.
basically, the song seems to be all about pure, unadulterated, cold, non-committal carnal experience, imagined for the purposes of the video as the two proper remaining (at this stage) members of the band and that one they roped in, Wayne or Warren whatever, purchasing an electronic sex doll, as mentioned above.
a bit of this video? it was banned and cut and all that good stuff at the time, but you can see it in decent quality on a few places around the net. if for some reason you want 30+ seconds of it here in poor quality, then here you go.
i think that it was the case that Electric Barbarella was the first ever single to be able to buy as a digital download. bear in mind this was 1997, ten years after Skin Trade and a couple of years before the ipod came along and gave a natural outlet for downloaded music, legally downloaded or otherwise. i think the single not cracking the top 20 was attributed to no one having a clue as to how to work out how to add up download sales, since they in theory did not exist.
the Medazzaland album had one other single, Out Of My Mind, which was awesome, despite its tacit association with a Val Kilmer film. the shirt that Simon le Bloody Bon wore in the video for that single is a shirt i have always wanted, but alas they don't seem to make them in my size.
well, there you go. i most certainly enjoyed giving those two tracks a spin on this, the apparently official duran duran appreciation day. whatever you did to celebrate, i hope it was as awesome as that river they did a song about.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!