Duran Duran – Careless Memories
We know that songs make us travel through time, but this is a special song. Not only because it takes us forty years back (I don’t want to think about it!), but also because this song has really lived twice!
We are in 1981. On the scene there is an emerging new romantic group, they come from Birmingham, and in February they achieved a sensational success with a song about voices and sounds towards space. The song is Planet Earth, and they are Duran Duran.
Two months later, they have to release a second single that shall determine whether or not Planet Earth’s success was an accident, or if the group can truly become famous. The boys had chosen another song, but the label, EMI, intervenes and decides for them. The second single will be Careless Memories, released on April 20, 1981.
Honestly, Careless Memories couldn’t repeat Planet Earth‘s success, but it’s still a beautiful and important song. First, it certainly deserved more success because it is a beautiful and enthralling song. The song also has a video, which is no small feat considering that in those months MTV had not yet started broadcasting. The video is beautiful, still in full new romantic style, and shows us Duran Duran with the look of the beginnings: Simon with dark hair, a redheaded John Taylor, Andy Taylor in platinum blonde, Roger Taylor who was already the only serious guy in the group, and finally, Nick Rhodes with unlikely black hair, who seems to have a marmot or a raccoon on his head.
The song as we said did not enter the top ten, but this did not stop the journey of Duran Duran, who came to terms with EMI and got to choose the next song to launch, which would have been decisive for their future. They chose Girls on Film and things obviously went great.
But we must not think that Duran Duran were not fond of or had denied this song, because years later they really gave it a second life! Duran Duran kept their original lineup only for a few years; after the Arena tour they played together for Do they know it’s Christmas, for A view to a kill, and finally for Live Aid, and it definitely wasn’t their best performance. As we know, the Arcadia and Power Station projects were already active, so we can say that the original line-up lasted until 1984 with some moments of further collaboration in 1985. But we know how things went: in 2004 Duran Duran reunited completely for the Astronaut album and the tour. On that tour they included the beautiful Careless Memories in the setlist. As they performed it, the mega screens behind the stage displayed a manga anime in which Duran were the heroes fighting against giant monsters and spaceships.
And in that cartoon they won in the end, and destroyed the bad guys’ headquarters. By the way, it was a skyscraper with the word EMI on it.
Duran Duran on Wikipedia