Top 10 Favorite Songs Live

I have been missing Duran live.  Who hasn’t?  I’m sure that I’m not the only one.  Maybe, this is why I started thinking about what songs I have adored hearing/seeing performed live.  Why have a whole blog about it?  Perhaps, this is my response to all of those fans who criticize the set lists.  (This isn’t to say that I don’t think Duran should mix up their set list because I do, but to say that all of it is bad isn’t true.)  These songs that I have chosen aren’t in any particular order and I tried to find clips that are really representative of great performances.

Planet Earth-
It isn’t surprising to anyone that I would include this in my list, is it?  I openly admit that it is my favorite song.  Each and every time I hear it performed live, I am reminded why and I can’t say that I have seen a tired performance of it.  This past tour has reinforced this idea.  I love that both John and Simon clap in the beginning to get the crowd into it and I will never complain about the DoJo (Dom and John jamming) or the JoSi (John and Simon singing together).  This particular clip is from Biloxi in August 2012.  As someone experiencing front row for the very first time, this performance was overwhelming but I would welcome another chance to experience it, for sure!

Wild Boys-
This is one of those songs that should only be heard live.  Whenever I run across the recorded version or even single version, it sounds lifeless compared to hearing it live.  I loved it live the first time I heard it live and still love it today.  I’m particularly keen of the addition of “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood in the middle of it.  Of course, I won’t ever complain about the JoSi, either.  😉

Careless Memories-
Who doesn’t love this song live?  While they don’t play it at every show, they really should.  It ALWAYS gets the crowd rocking, even if not everyone in the audience knows this one.  In 2004, this song was enhanced with the introduction of Japanese anime that told a story of the band being heroes in a significant battle.  In 2011, I saw a new anime that told a similar story.  This time, the fans were also heroes in the story.  This clip from Glasgow from December 2011 shows just a little of it.  I so, so, so wish that I could get a nice, clean copy of this version of the anime.  Anyone out there have a copy??

The Man Who Stole a Leopard-
I haven’t seen this one live much.  Of course, I have some fond memories of it already, though.  First, there was Bournemouth in which Simon sang, “Do you know where you are?”  I responded a way that made perfect sense by saying, “No,”with all seriousness.  This, of course, made that partner-in-crime of mine laugh and laugh hysterically!  I’m sure that anyone who saw us that night must have thought we had lost our minds.  We probably had a LONG time before that.  By the end of that UK tour, though, this song showed the power of Duran live as thousands of fans clapped along in Glasgow.  This clip is from A Diamond in the Mind and shows exactly what I’m referring to.

Hold Back the Rain-
This song was never a favorite as a kid but definitely is as an adult.  I think seeing/hearing it live really did it for me.  Now, I know that they haven’t played it for awhile but they definitely should whether it is combined with Sound of Thunder or not.  My favorite moment was when John would be singing along even when he was not around a microphone.  Perhaps, I enjoy that moment knowing that the song was written by Simon about John.

In many ways, this song represents not only the reunion of the band but my reunion as a real, die hard Duranie.  When this song came out, I knew that they had me hooked, again.  Then, of course, who could forget hearing this one live the very first time when all five stood on stage with that dreaded heartbeat.  I thought I might have a heart attack myself and die on the spot.  Since then, it is still a song that gets people excited and includes audience participation.  The JoSi isn’t bad, either.  😉

Intros (Girls on Film)-
Girls on Film isn’t a favorite of mine.  Sure, I like it fine but I wouldn’t miss it if it was taken out of the set list.  That said, I would miss the intros–the full on intros in which each person is introduced in a thorough way and in which each person is allowed a moment to shine.  This last tour really showed me how much I appreciate them.  In Biloxi, Simon came out and literally just said everyone’s role and name.  It was such a let down.  In Durham, the intros rocked and the whole venue was into them.  I like hearing how Duran has the beat in Roger, how Nick is the future of the human race, how electric guitar equals Dom and how John should play the f’in bass.

Hungry like the Wolf-
Surprised that I include this one?  I did for two very good reasons.  First, I love to harass my best friend.  Don’t we all?!  Of course, we all know how much Rhonda LOVES this song.  It always makes me laugh just to hear that deep sigh of frustration from her as the song begins.  Of course, the second reason really has two parts as in the DoJo.  Seriously, seeing Dom and John jam together in this song makes it all worthwhile!

Before the Rain-
This song tugs at my heart strings.  It always has since December of 2010.  This was a time of grief and loss in my life and the song seemed to represent my feelings well.  Fast forward to the spring of 2011 when Rhonda and I along with some friends traveled to the UK only to have the shows canceled.  In the back of my mind, I worried that this was another huge blow, another huge loss to grieve.  Thankfully, Simon recovered.  Even better, the band decided to use this song as an opening.  It seemed so fitting to me and truly is a phenomenal piece of music to begin a show with.

Friends of Mine-
Last but not least is this one.  This song, so rarely played live, is such a moment for lifelong Duranies.  It always feels like an acknowledgement of those of us who have been fans that long to love this song.  Every time it is played, someone will always say that it was the best song of the night.  Truly, it usually is among the best.

What are your favorite songs to see/hear performed live?


17 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Songs Live”

  1. I must admit, I agree with your list, though not always for the same reasons you gave. For me, all of the songs you chose really showcase Roger's incredible talent and diversity of styles, and since he is the highlight of any Duran show for me, I love when he gets to shine.

    Sheila1968, a/k/a Shannon O'Malley

  2. I agree with everything you posted here. One I would add is 'White Lines'. It's like Wild Boys in that it is so much better live, the recorded version comparatively thin. Live, it brings a huge energy to the entire room and I find I just HAVE to dance every time I hear it.


  3. I love so many live numbers from the band and given that I love the all of their 3 guitarists these two factors make it difficult to pick up ONLY 10 songs.
    I'll try to resume by saying I love Live from London DVD 2004, the 1987 tour, the MTV 1993 Unplugged Show and the Unstaged live show. Ha!

  4. I have a couple questions and a comment:

    1. Is that clip of Planet Earth yours? Because I felt just as overwhelmed sitting here at HOME with them coming up so dang close as I did that night. LOL Clearly I need more therapy. 😀

    2. Are there other clips up there that you filmed, or did you just pull them all off of YouTube?

    Hungry Like the Wolf. Yeah, I love you too, Amanda. I'd start campaigning for the triumphant return of Zoom In…but that would hurt me too….

    besides, I don't mind the song all THAT much when I've got Dom Brown singing it right in front of me. Funny. 😉


  5. That's cool that you agree with the list because the songs showcase Roger. I think that is the big deal–the great songs should showcase more than one member. 🙂


  6. 1. That Biloxi clip is CJ's off of youtube and she was two people away from you? I still feel overwhelmed with that clip, too! More practice is definitely needed!

    2. All of the clips were pulled from youtube.

    I know you don't mind HLTW as much as you once did. Let's face it. It has its perks. 😀

    Now, please, never mention that Z….song again. Remember, I still have to deal with Come Undone almost every freaking time.


  7. 1. OK – I thought so because my memory (which might be slightly off-kilter) has them coming right down in front of us during that song, right about the time the entire rest of the show went very fuzzy. 😉 Even so – they were right there, weren't they. I remember Dom kneeling down like that with his guitar and I really thought I was going to need to take a break right then! LOL

    So yeah, “I'm on the hunt, I'm after you” has a slightly different ring to it now…. so yeah….it's not SO bad. 😀

    I think they could probably retire Come Undone for a tour or two. We'd survive. 😉 -R

  8. New Religion circa 1982 with Andy going sh*thouse on the guitar. Being Followed. Playing with Uranium & Pop Trash Movie. Nice. White Lines from the late 90's (sorry, R…).

    But I love the list and can't really argue with any of them, even Leopard is good live, just wanted to add some other favorites.

    Although I wasn't the biggest fan of the unplugged era stuff, that version of Planet Earth was pretty good.

    Oh and The Valley…loved hearing that live…

  9. Oh, Chris, I am working on a blog that includes songs that they have played live but don't anymore but should. Other favorites will be included on that list. 🙂


  10. Great blog. I agree with all of your list actually. I've never liked Wild Boys on record, but live I think it's brilliant, has a lot more energy and 'oomph' behind it.

    Careless Memories, have always liked this, just a great song to rock out too. Friends of Mine, again, no reason, probably just because it's a favourite of mine, particularly taken by it on the Rio tour of 82.

    The Chauffeur, I love the 'feel' to that song. I loved the opening on the AYNIN tour, I think to open with such a song proved that they were on top form.

    I'd like to hear Sound of Thunder make a comeback to the set list, Late Bar perhaps. I have heard them peform that, might of been on the Pop Trash tour.

  11. Nice list, but for me I have to include View To A Kill, All You Need is Now, and Ordinary World. Oh, and of course, Rio.

  12. “White Lines from the late 90's”….aw…what do you know anyway?!? 😀 😀

    Of course I'm joking, even though I do take issue with your choice of guitarists on that one. Dom plays White Lines much better. Especially when he's kneeling in front of you while doing so.

    Oh wait, did I actually type that??? 😀

    Yep, totally biased. -R

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