The early 90s have never been my favorite Duran Duran era. Forever grateful that the Wedding Album brought the band commercial success, it doesn’t get a ton of play in my collection. The Thank You album gets even less. The choice of songs felt jaded and misguided and only a few hold my interest for the entire song (“Lay Lady Lay” probably being my favorite). However, it was an interesting time for the band and one that ultimately carried them through a decade that was unkind to many of the most popular 80s artists.
This week, I randomly typed in “Duran Duran live 1995” into the YouTube search bar looking for inspiration and came across a fairly off-the-wall MTV show called MTV’s Most Wanted featuring Duran Duran promoting the new record. Perhaps validating my disappointment in the songs that ended up on the album, the band opens the show with David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” which comes across better than anything on the album itself. Simon owns the Bowie track with a swagger that he hasn’t always shown. That confidence carries the tune and the band looks in fine form.
The show has some, shall we say, odd interludes in-between the music. When the host starts talking about the new single “Perfect Day”, the band shouts out that they won’t be playing it before launching into a raucous version of “Success” that the studio version doesn’t come close to. The final song, however, isn’t so successful as the band’s rushed grunge-metal version of “Hungry Like the Wolf” comes off the rails and not in a good rock-n-roll sort of way. If you manager to survive it, there is a little nugget at the end called “Plastic Girl” which is nothing more than an impromptu jam session but it evolved into an unreleased song from the Medazzaland period. Check out the entire, wacky experience below!