Song: “The Reflex” by Duran Duran
Reached #1: June 23, 1984 (their first, 2 weeks)
While this definitely my favorite Duran Duran track… and given that it was their only non-soundtrack #1, it must be a lot of people’s favorite… it always nagged me that I had no idea what the hell they were singing about.
It nagged at me until I saw the note in Songfacts that Simon Le Bon also has no idea what the hell he was singing about. Apparently, this came together over a little too much wine at a recording session, they liked it, and it went into the Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.
Then they had to convince themselves, and the label, that this was actually a viable single. It took a remix by Nile Rodgers to get all sides to agree to release it. This now seems to have been a good idea.
The video was supposed to be a concert shoot, but the band couldn’t resist playing with the new art of digital graphics, which explains the waterfall effect. That’s their story, at least, and they’re sticking to it.
Duran Duran got their name from the villain of the Jane Fonda movie Barbarella (Dr. Durand Durand), which they nodded to with their 1997 single “Electric Barbarella”. They’re one of the few ‘80s bands that never fully broke up, although there have been extended breaks for side projects (Arcadia, The Power Station) and drop-outs by original members, always followed by drop-back-ins.
Currently, four of the classic five-man lineup are still touring (Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, and two Taylors – John and Roger) – 35 years after the band got together in Birmingham.
Tomorrow, an artist known as much for his high-profile dating as for his romantic ballads…
No other song reached #1 on June 23.