In Review: Perfect Day

Perfect Day is a cover of the 1972 song written and performed by Lou Reed. The song features Roger Taylor back on drums for Duran Duran, the first song (and album) he’d appeared on since leaving the band in 1986. Reed himself describes the song as the “best cover ever done” of one of his songs.


Just a perfect day
Drank sangria in the park
And later, when it gets dark
We go home

Just a perfect day
Feed animals in the zoo
And later, a movie too
And then home

It’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
Such fun

Just a perfect day
You made me forget myself
I thought I was someone else
Someone new

It’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

You’re gonna reap just what you sow.



The most striking thing about this song is the brightness and fullness of Duran Duran’s version. Lou Reed’s original is haunting, and almost hallow-sounding. The “perfect day” described almost seems fake, appropriately so when considering that the song is reportedly about heroin addiction. Where Reed tends to rely on the piano as the backbone, Duran Duran uses a fusion of guitar, and of course, keyboard. The slightly muted guitar just before the final lyrics is a perfect addition, slightly different from the original, but still honoring Lou Reed’s vision.

When first listening to Duran Duran’s cover back in 1995, I never considered the original lyrical intent. It wasn’t until after the reunion that I learned the true meaning of Reed’s original. (I also didn’t know that Roger had appeared in the video and played drums on the record…but that’s another story for another day) Knowing the real meaning didn’t change the song for me, instead, it explained why I was hearing the melancholy and feeling as the song was almost in slo-motion. Vocally, Duran Duran’s cover is as pure and smooth as velvet. However, what I appreciate most about this song is how easily the song feels, and yet there is an undercurrent of darkness just floating beneath the surface. You’re left wondering with the line “You’re gonna reap just what you sow”. I still say it would have been a fantastic song for a psychological horror movie.

While Duran Duran didn’t necessarily reimagine the original, I feel that the way they chose to brighten it, yet still keeping the whispery, almost ghostly coldness of “You’re gonna reap just what you sow” at the end really plays up the juxtaposition of the happiness – the high, so to speak – with the low that inevitably follows. It’s incredibly well-done, but not over the top. The effect is subtle, graceful, and mature.

I particularly enjoy the production on this song. Not overdone in the slightest, and every instrument is heard. On an album that has been ripped to shreds over the years, Perfect Day is one of those rare gems that will never age, instead growing more mellow and beautiful over the years. Well done.

five cocktails!


This is one song that I look forward to reviewing. Just a reminder that when I think about a cover, I am considering if it matches the original, if it detracts from it or adds a new and interesting spin to it. In this case, Duran covered Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, a song that appears on paper to be a super positive, life is great sentiment. Then, you listen to the original and realize quickly that there is a haunting feeling. It starts with what feels like a stripped down song with minimal instrumentation and mostly piano. It feels almost hallow. Empty. Then, the vocals add to this tone. There is no happiness there. No joy. The line about reaping what you sow sticks with you. Then, of course, you find out that the meaning of the song has to do with addiction and it all makes sense. On the surface, everything seems good, happy. Underneath, there is a crisis, a struggle, a sadness. So, the question comes in: Can Duran match that? Can they enhance that? I can imagine that it was a daunting task.

As the Duran version begins, there are obvious differences. While Duran’s also focuses on keyboards like the original’s piano, there is more to the instrumentation. It feels fuller, less hollow. Was that a mistake? I don’t think so. I think it could have been if there was a ton of instrumentation. Instead, there still is a sense that the music is not overwhelming or undermining the message. It just creates a more well-rounded foundation, one that I actually like. Vocally, there is a big difference as well. Simon’s vocals are very different than Lou’s. They have a completely different style. Simon’s vocals are generally thought of as having more melody than Lou Reed’s. For me, Simon’s vocals are more beautiful, even on this song. So, the question comes: Does the beauty override the haunting vibe? The sense that something isn’t right? Again, I don’t think so. Simon’s vocals feel emotional to me. I hear it throughout the song as if he is barely holding on. That said, I noticed that the line “you keep me hanging on” feels a lot more prominent on the Duran version. I am left with a little bit of hope as a result, that while the story is bleak, it is not completely dark. There is a way out.

I know that this review is supposed to focus on the song itself but I have to say that Duran’s video also adds a great deal to their version. The band is in a box that features a rubber room. While the band on the surface looks slick with their fancy suits, they are trapped. On top of that, the images of the world flashing shows that all is not happy. In case you didn’t know that the meaning of this song is not a cheerful one, the video might give you a sense. It is powerful, in my opinion.

Overall, Duran did an amazing job on this track. They managed to keep the feel of the song while adding their own mark to it. More importantly, they added to it. They made the song better in a beautifully haunting way. It is definitely the highlight of the Thank You album and one of the best covers they ever did.

Five cocktails!

By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.


  1. Thanks for the review! Nice touch to compare it with the original. When I first heard the original I thought it was a beautiful love song, in a sad way uplifting.
    The interpetation that the person he sings about is actually a bag of heroïn, turns the song into very bleak territory.
    I still prefer my first interpretation though. I still have a hard time imagining the singer drink sangria, feed animals and see a movie alone, without human company. But the secondary interpretation brings a new and disturbing layer to it. Maybe that ambiguity is captured in the version of Duran Duran and in the video. Their version has an undecided, vague, unsettled quality to it, and in the video clearly not all is well (but not all is bad, either).

Hey there, thanks for commenting! We encourage spirited, kind and thoughtful discussion. Thanks for participating!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.