[10] Duran Duran, ‘Notorious’

Our budding Lester Bangs in the backseat admits, “I liked David Bowie better.” And, well, that’s the sane response, isn’t it? She does clap along to the first few bars, but interest soon wanes as if we’re acting out Duran Duran’s career in microcosm. Five minutes later they’re releasing Public Enemy covers and Junior is into Suede.

This is where Duran Duran put their “We want to sound like Chic crossed with the Sex Pistols” money where their mouth was, and came out sounding like, erm, Hipsway. But credit where it’s due, it has some funk and a nicely rearranged ‘Union Of The Snake’ chorus, and full marks for actually trying. With Andy Taylor jettisoned, they no longer needed to pull shoddy rock shapes and could get on with working that groove.

It’s just a pity no one cared anymore.

Don’t monkey with my business:

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[9] Duran Duran, ‘The Reflex’

While Frankie and Wham! were carving up the UK, Duran Duran were perfumed, whacked-out, be-mulleted Kings of the World. Cash and supermodels dripping off them like sweat from Le Bon’s podgy face. Total UK chart domination seemed to elude them, this being only their second and last No.1 single, but of course they provoked scenes of hysteria not seen since you-know-who.

I was one of those quieter, male Duranies. Bought this single on poster bag 7”, admired by the boys on the lift home from school. It was only when you hit 13 that Duran Duran became hopelessly naff. I stayed bewilderingly faithful, achingly cool though I was, until they slipped off my radar ten years ago.

The best bit of this song is obviously Andy Taylor’s processed burps in the middle section. It’s the only part that makes sense in the lyrical sea of nonsense. They tried to convince us that Taylor was saying “yeah”, but where’s the fun in that?

Junior is an aficionado of the belch, a burping connoisseur. None were forthcoming this morning as she’d obstinately foregone breakfast, so she contented herself with leaning forwards over the side of the inflatable, trying to give her parents the fear. The only time she paid attention was when the “ta la la la”s came in at the start. The moment Le Bon opened his mouth, she dived for cover.

That’s your lot, Duranies. God knows what happened to ‘Wild Boys’.

[13] Duran Duran, ‘Skin Trade’

Like a typical Duranie of the period, Junior was indifferent to this. There was a brief slapping of the thighs at the start, yet attention soon turned to the socks. So, what made the fans desert in their droves? I don’t think it’s a bad record even now, but it was the first to miss the Top 10 in years. Maybe it’s because it had an almost intelligible lyric.

Arcadia and the Power Station diluted the fanbase and the preceding single ‘Notorious’ scraped to No.7 on comeback power alone. A-ha had nicked the girls and the CD age had come and populated the chart’s upper reaches with the more ‘serious’ artists. The biggest bands in the country were now Dire Straits and U2. Duran Duran’s fabled mix of the Sex Pistols and Chic – without the Sex Pistols and the disco joy – wasn’t cutting the ice.

So, Simon, we’ve explained the reason for this strange behaviour. Perhaps you shouldn’t have allowed all those Taylors to jump ship, and then replaced them with AMERICANS.