20 Watts

Editor Picks 35: Synths, Saxes and Sex by Jen
October 15, 2008, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: ,

There comes a time in the life of every teenaged boy that he must, like countless others of the past 25 years, find and watch an uncensored version of Duran Duran’s video for “Girls on Film.” Like much of these 80s popsters’ work, the hype surrounding the near-pornographic video nearly overshadowed the actual music. Other Duran Duran staples like “Hungry Like the Wolf” are part of the pop culture repertoire today due in large part to their titillating and bombastic videos – who can forget the first time they watched “I Love the 80s” and saw gorgeous lead singer Simon Le Bon chasing an equally gorgeous, half-naked femme fatale through the rainforest in said video?

I don’t need to convince you that this band was a key part of everything that defined 80s excess: sex, saxes, synthesizers, and that whole men wearing blue eye shadow thing. But the band that made pastel linen suits popular also deserve to be taken seriously as a (beautiful) group of talented, innovative, foreword-thinking guys whose self-titled debut may be the best collection of new wave rock out there. Released in 1981, the album vibrates with angular guitar riffs, sparkling keyboards and pulsating bass lines, all brought together under Le Bon’s urgently seductive croon. Key tracks, from “Planet Earth’s” highly-danceable, staccato beat (above) to the ferocious “Careless Memories” to the strange “Night Boat,” sound more current than a lot of the stuff on the radio today. So suck up your pride and check out the album…it turns out that DD are much more than their “guilty pleasure status” implies.

– Jen Gramer, Senior Editor



Call me crazy but I DO NOT find Simon Le Bon attractive. But I totally support this urge to remove the “guilty” and keep the “pleasure.”

Comment by Alison

You are crazy. He is (was) most definitely attractive. (Though maybe not so much in the latest issue of RS where he was snapped frolicking in a speedo.)

Comment by Jen

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