In Review: Success

Well, since we survived last week and “911 is a Joke”, we’re moving on (thankfully) to this week and “Success”. The song was originally written by Iggy Pop, music composed by none other than David Bowie and guitarist Ricky Gardiner. Iggy Pop released the song as his only single from the 1977 album, Lust for Life.

While the band reportedly recorded the album as a way to keep the peace between band members, it was not well-received, particularly among critics. “Success”, for example was lauded as being recorded as though it were a Gary Glitter tune. Is this fair criticism? Let’s see!



Here comes success
Over my hill
Here comes success
Here comes my car
Here comes my Chinese rug
Here comes success

[Verse 1]
In the last ditch
I’ll think of you
In the last ditch
I will be true
Sweetheart, I’m telling you
Here comes the zoo

Here comes success
Hoo-ray success
Oh oh success
Hoo-rah success
Oh Oh Sucess
I can’t help myself
I just
Got to [3x]
I can’t stand it!
I need success

Ah, Ah, Ah

[Verse 2]
Here comes my face
It’s plain bizzare
Here comes my face
Out of the crowd
Sweetheart I’m telling you
Here comes the zoo

Oh oh oh

[Verse 3]
Baby lets blast off
We blast of for success
I’m going to crash my car
I’m going to wear a dress
Oh you slay me baby
Were going to do the twist
Were going to hop like a frog
Cause we love success

Da, da, da, da, da


There are more than a few songs that Duran Duran has covered over the years that they’ve improved in the process. “Success” is one of them. Simon’s vocals blow those of Iggy Pop out of the water, and the music has a much deeper, fuller, and multi-dimensional, sound. I don’t know that I would make the suggestion that the song is even close to Gary Glitter, but it does have a certain amount of glam. It is neither over-the-top, nor difficult to hear. So where does that leave me?

I love the overall balance of the production, and the way they brought the melody forward without losing the groove of the rhythm section is fabulous. Terry Bozzio, notably the drummer for both Missing Persons and Frank Zappa, is on drums for this track and does a great job tricking the listener into believing he’s been there all along. The way the song was produced and recorded really convinces the listener that they’re hearing a jam session from a party, and it’s one that you wish you were there to witness in person.

While “Success” has never been a favorite of mine in any version – I give props to Duran Duran for improving upon Iggy’s original. Granted, musically it is Bowie DNA, which I’m sure didn’t hurt. I wouldn’t say Duran Duran reimagined the song, but the spirit of the song has been lifted, highlighted, and made a bit brighter with Duran’s treatment. I wouldn’t call it Gary Glitter, but I wouldn’t call it Bowie, either.

three and a half cocktails


How many more tracks do we have left on Thank You?! I have to ask. It feels like each and every week is a bit more difficult than the last. Part of that is due to the fact that Duran is covering someone else’s songs. In this case, for me, the challenge also has to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of the original. I am well aware of Iggy Pop’s place in the musical timeline. I can even give him some props, but I have to admit that I am not one to put on Iggy Pop to listen to. Ever. So, in that sense, I am assuming that I’ll appreciate Duran’s version better.

Much of what I might comment on in terms of the musicality and vocals Rhonda covered well. The first and most noticeable difference is the vocals. Again, I’m not an Iggy fan so it would not be hard for me to appreciate Simon’s vocals here. That said, I have to admit that Simon’s made significant improvement in this case. Iggy’s vocals are such that they lack a real life to them, in my opinion. Simon’s, on the other hand, ooze life. You are feeling the success when you listen to the Duran version. It creates a much more emotional response for me. As far as the instrumentation goes, Duran’s version isn’t *that* different but yet it is fuller, more robust. Again, the instrumentation creates a feeling of life. Rhonda describes it as the sense of a party. I can go with that. The word celebration comes to my mind.

How do I judge this one, for real? Is the Duran version better? Yes. In my opinion, it is 100% better, more enjoyable for me to listen to. It isn’t a complete make-over as it does retain the core of the song. I don’t know what Duran could have done to make it completely new or all theirs and still keep the integrity of the original. So, all in all, they did the best they could. Do I rate it based on that? Based on how good the song is? For example, if I did not know it was a cover, would I grade it differently? I might be harsher in my rating, in that case. Thus, I will acknowledge the improvement but with the caveat that I just not a fan of the song.

Two and half cocktails
Two and a half 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 comment

  1. I actually really like this song! I have an Iggy Pop album, and like him, but he’s another artist I haven’t obsessively pursued. I may have confessed elsewhere that I’m so out of touch that I didn’t realize Thank You was a tribute album at first listen.(I didn’t read the credits at first, either) So I formed my opinion on the songs as if it was a Duran album even if I did wonder about the inspiration for some of the tracks,. Ahh .Maybe I won’t check out the original songs-it could be dangerous. But if this is compared to a Gary Glitter album, then he’s an artist I should check out.

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