March 22, 2013

High blood drumming on your skin it's so tight

Another week, another late entry to the 1983 in music series. At least this time I have an excuse: I spent a lot of my free time out of the house and wasn't able to sit down and blog. Stop complaining, it's free.

"Billie Jean" continued its domination of the Billboard Hot 100 on March 19, 1983. Meanwhile, a single from a band that would become one of the quintessential musical groups of the 1980s reached its peak on the chart. Kept from the top spot by both "Billie Jean" and Culture Club's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," the second single from their 1982 album Rio peaked at #3: "Hungry like the Wolf," by Duran Duran.

"Hungry Like the Wolf" comes close to being the definitive Duran Duran song. The lyrics are vaguely, er, suggestive of Little Red Riding Hood; the accompanying video is inspired by Indiana Jones. And none of it, in the end, actually gets around to meaning anything.

Duran Duran was one of my guilty pleasures back in my teens, as I discovered them as they were becoming unfashionable, so I listened in secret, for fear of the Jews. My earliest copy of Rio was on cassette, and that was how I heard the album for about 15 years before I bought the 2001 re-release on CD. Of course, the sound quality was far superior to my well-worn tape, but the first thing I actually noticed was that the CD cut of "Hungry Like the Wolf" was considerably shorter than I remembered—by nearly two minutes, in fact.

The Internet can tell you anything. It turns out that there were three versions of the album track: the original British LP track, the US album remix, which is half a minute longer, and the extended "Night Version," which is the one I had on cassette. The 2001 remaster uses the UK album version. I don't know if the Night Version has ever been released on CD. I'd love it if it were.