Duran Duran

Thank You

Originally released: 1995
Capitol Records Inc.

It's no secret that most big-time rock musicians are also big-time rock fans, but that rarely shows in public. Perhaps that's why it's so much fun to hear Duran Duran gee-whizzing its way through "White Lines" along with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Although it's not a terribly inventive interpretation, mixing straight-off-the-record imitation with laughably overblown special effects (the snort and giggle at the beginning of the track), it's hard to argue with the spirit of the performance. Let's be honest: Didn't fans of the original single rap along with Melle Mel as earnestly as Simon LeBon does?

Of course, most of those fans were content to rap in the privacy of their homes, while LeBon and the rest of the Durannies are hanging out their enthusiasm for all to see. Still, as tempting as it may be to snicker at their shamelessness, think about the daring that goes with it. How many other bands would have had the guts to try to update Sly's "I Wanna Take You Higher," much less work in an allusion to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust"?

Admittedly, some of the ideas at play here are stunningly wrongheaded, like the easy-listening arrangement given Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives" or the version of Zeppelin's "Thank You" that sounds like the band is covering Chris DeBurgh. But it takes a certain demented genius to recognize Iggy Pop's "Success" as the Gary Glitter tune it was meant to be or to redo "911 Is a Joke" so it sounds more like Beck than like Public Enemy. Had the band indulged in more such remakes, Thank You would have been even more welcome. (RS 709)



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