The 10 best Duran Duran songs ever

27 July 2020, 15:18

Duran Duran

As one of the greatest British bands of the 1980s, there’s so many favourite Duran Duran tracks it’s incredibly hard to pick an ultimate top ten - so we’ve taken the plunge and made a list for you!

Here are our top 10 best Duran Duran tracks - does your favourite feature?

10. 'Notorious'

As the first track as a 3-piece band after the departure of Roger and Andy Taylor, this 1986 single reached a very respectable no. 2 in the US Chart. According to songwriter Simon Le Bon, the lyric "Who really gives a damn for a flaky bandit" was a direct dig at the departure of guitarist Andy.

The track was later sampled by the rapper The Notorious B.I.G. and also featured on the 2009 film about the rapper, also titled Notorious. Band politics and rapping aside, it’s a proper toe-tapping track!

9. 'Planet Earth'

Duran Duran’s debut 1981 single simply cannot be omitted from this list.

The band started out managed by two entrepreneurial nightclub owners from Birmingham. The brothers had so much faith in the Fab Five that one even mortgaged his house in order to finance a tour, and thank goodness they did, otherwise we might not have been creating this list today!

8. 'A View To A Kill'

The band’s working relationship with composer John Barry for the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill was apparently not the smoothest, but their collaboration achieved them a Golden Globe for best original song and to this day it is still the only James Bond theme track to make it to no. 1 in the US Charts.

It was also the last track recorded by the original 'Fab Five' (keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bass guitarist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, guitarist Andy Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon) until the reunion of the original line up in 2001. 

7. 'Is There Something I Should Know?'

This 1983 single gave Duran Duran their first number one single in the UK. It's also one of those songs where you might have forgotten its title and prefer to call 'Please Please Tell Me Now!'.

While it wasn't a huge hit the first time around in the States, it eventually became more well known thanks to the success of the Rio album.

6. 'Hungry Like the Wolf'

“This is the best song ever written that you all pretend not to know,” once said Courtney Love. 

With it’s Indiana Jones-esque video shot in Sri Lanka, 'Hungry Like the Wolf' was one of the songs that helped break the Duran Duran in the US with the help of the new music video channel, MTV. So much so, it reached no. 3 in Spring 1983 and went on to win the first-ever Grammy Award for music videos in 1984. 

5. 'Girls on Film'

The 1981 track had a strong initial response both on the radio and in the charts when it was first released. However, it was the controversy that followed that pushed Duran Duran’s third single into the UK Top Ten for the first time.

The song itself was apparently about exploitation in the fashion industry, however the music video was inadvertently quite racy and once released on MTV, sparked a lot of conversation. Nevertheless, it was the attention the catchy track deserved, even if it was initially for the wrong reasons.

4. 'Ordinary World'

As the 80s slid into the 90s, Duran Duran became short of cash and short of ideas. Thankfully, the band had a huge comeback in 1993 with the album Duran Duran, which featured this power ballad.

Le Bon’s beautiful delivery of the nostalgic lyrics stormed up the charts to reach no. 1 in the US Chart, showing a new, softer side to the band. Soon later, he performed a duet of the song with none other than Luciano Pavarotti at a charity concert. 

3. 'The Reflex'

This was the last single taken from their album Seven and the Ragged Tiger, and it went on to become one of the band's biggest hits. It gave the band their second number one in both the UK and US.

Producer Ian Little later recalled the sound Nick Rhodes came up with on his keyboard: "Whenever I hear that steel-drum part it always brings a smile to my face because it's so out of tune. Steel drums always are, but it was exactly right in terms of rhythm and tone."

2. 'Rio'

If you’re looking for a stylish music video, look no further than 'Rio'! The vivid promo features iconic images of the band singing and playing around on a yacht speeding over the crystal blue Caribbean Sea. You don’t get much cooler than that!

Nick Rhodes was reportedly seasick while filming the music video, and has often said "I hate boats unless they're tied up and you're having cocktails on them."

Also - THAT sax solo! *swoons*

1. 'Save a Prayer'

Read more: The Story of... 'Save a Prayer'

There’s something a little different about this Duran Duran track. It was the first ballad the band released as a single and it was… more artsy? Less pop-like? More sophisticated? It’s hard to pinpoint, but whatever it is, it works! 

The panoramic music video, shot off the back of 'Rio', made it seem like being in Duran Duran was the best thing in the world, and being a fan of Duran Duran might not be far off either. We certainly agree!