Is there something special about today’s date? Is there something I should know about February 2nd? (Pun intended.) Groundhog Day? Is that it? Hmm…it must be something Duran related. What could it be? Oh yeah…some song got released on this day. What song?! Hmm…Thinking. Thinking. That’s it! Planet Earth! This song was released on this date in 1981. 37 years ago.
Part of me definitely thinks that this date should be a holiday. No, I’m not talking about Groundhog Day. I don’t even pay attention to that. After all, I live in Wisconsin. It doesn’t matter what the little critter determines. We will have at least six more weeks of winter, no matter what. Anyway, the holiday I’m talking about is celebrating the song, Planet Earth. Now, some might say that I haven’t been very clear about my feelings about this song. I’m kidding. I think everyone knows what I think about this one. It is my very favorite Duran Duran song. I’m not quite sure when it took this prized placement in my heart but now that it has…I don’t think it is going anywhere. As a kid, I probably would have said that the Reflex was my favorite because it made me the Duranie I am today…but I don’t love that song like I once did. If I had to make a guess, it was seeing and hearing Planet Earth live that did it.
Why do I love the song live so much? Simple. It has everything I could ever ask for, including a little John Taylor solo, JoSi moments, audience participation and a means of separating casual fans from diehard ones with “switch it off”. (Fun fact: I once tested Rhonda’s husband about that before the three of us went to a show together. He felt certain that he should be up in the front with us as opposed to his section six spot in the back. I asked him about that and he did not do well clearly indicating his proper seat placement.) Back to Planet Earth, I simply love it. Let’s watch a clip.
The audience participation starts right away with this clip as John and Simon get the crowd clapping. Later, there is more clapping encouragement for John’s solo. (My personal favorite is when John used to push us to action by calling the crowd “motherfuckers.”) Then, of course, there is all the JoSi for the “look now, look all around” and “voices, another sound” parts. Sigh. Heck, in this clip, there is even DoJo about 1 minute into it. Dang. It really does have everything.
While I always love this song live, I remember one performance in particular…Biloxi, Mississippi in August of 2012. (Please note. Planet Earth starts about 6 minutes in.)
Unfortunately, as you know, they have had not this song in the set list much lately at all. Did I just accept this or did I put up with a little fight?
Here’s a picture of a little love note that I might have left on the stage last year…
Oh, heck, if you want to know the story, check out this blog here. Rhonda has no problem sharing my insanity. (Not that I can blame her. I can be pretty ridiculous.)
In all seriousness, beyond the live performances and adorable intro video that I will include at the end of this, this song is so much more. It captures a time when humanity was thinking about our place in the universe and questioning whether or not we are alone, which I love. More than that, it represents the beginning of Duran Duran and their career. Where would Duran be without having this song as their very first single? I cannot begin to know. I’m just grateful that it exists. So, today, I’ll celebrate it and the story of the band that I love that followed.