Christmas 1984. One of my presents that year was the album Arena by Duran Duran. It was a live album recorded from concerts around the world. Critics were dubious if the album really was live or were the crowd bits just added in on a mixing desk. I didn't care either way. Bar Smash Hits! most critics in the media were dubious or scathing of Duran Duran anyway, they were then simply the pop I most liked. Back in 1984 teenagers, mainly girls, were always very loyal to either Duran Duran, Wham! or Culture Club. I liked all 3 groups. I had posters of John Taylor and Simon Le Bon on my bedroom wall alongside Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Nobody I knew liked pop in school. Arena featured singles such as Is There Something I Should Know, Union Of The Snake, The Wild Boys, Hungry Like The Wolf and Save A Prayer. Save A Prayer should be my favourite Duran Duran song but there was one song that was better. That song was The Chauffeur. It was an album track on their Rio Album. The words the chauffeur are never sung in the song but Sing Blue Silver is. Sing Blue Silver was the name I wanted to use for my blog originally but that blog is v different to this one if you check it out. They are the three words that remind me of a whole period of pop music. I loved the Arena album because I never thought that I would ever see Duran Duran in concert. Then one day a few years ago I read on Teletext that they were to play Dublin. I was 15 again. My good friend Brian said he would go even though he didn't know some of the early songs. The concert was simply like being in a video. Though not The Reflex video. The band were all high on the nostalgia that 1980s bands were gaining from the nostalgia tours that still are happening today. The crowd was mainly women aged 30+ but there were guys there too. I smiled at the thirty something guys standing near us singing along football fan style to Wild Boys and Hungry Like The Wolf. You never sang those songs on a Ballinasloe street back in 1984 I thought to myself. The concert was one for the true fans and the band performed all the singles. They also performed The Chauffeur. How wonderful it sounded in a live concert, as good as it did one Christmas from a vinyl record. One of the last songs they performed was a cover version of White Lines (Don't Do It) by Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel. I never knew that Duran Duran had a hit with it in 1995 from their album Thank You. At the end of the concert I tried to get a copy of the set list from the stage. Instead what I got was the lyrics of White Lines. Who were they for? Simon? Who knows. It's a great souvenir. Duran Duran are of course famous for their videos and video films. The Chauffeur was never a single but it had it's own video which was very influenced by the film The Nightporter. I don't know when I first saw the video but it is one that tells a guy if he's straight or not. That video is of course 'embedding not enabled!!' and can instead be viewed here. This is song number 26 of my 40. From the albums Rio in 1982 and Arena in 1984 this is The Chauffeur by Duran Duran. This is a version performed as part of the 1984 Cinemax/MTV film As The Lights Go Down.
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