“Planet Earth” – The first single by the band Duran Duran
Believe it or not, the very first single released by the English band Duran Duran is my favorite song of theirs. With all of the songs they have released over the years, “Planet Earth” still remains my all time favorite song by this quintet that eventually became known as the “Fab Five” Don’t get me wrong on any notion of me dismissing their bigger hits. I like just about every song and album they’ve released, including their most recent album “Paper Gods”. But I always come back to that first song I heard.
The year was 1981. I had just graduated high school a few weeks prior. Most of the music I listened to carried over from 1980, so The Cars, AC/DC and Black Sabbath were pretty regularly played on cassette and LP. I was at Music Plus and heard this song “Planet Earth” I asked one of the employees who this was. Duran Duran. Who? Never heard of them. But I liked the song a lot. So I ended up buying the LP. I had to sneak the album into my house as my mom hated pretty much any music I liked and listened to.
Once I knew my mom was not home, I put the album on the turntable. The rest of the album was pretty good. It opened with “Girls On Film” which became a huge hit in of itself not long after the album came out in the states. The second song on the album was “Planet Earth” This version was longer on the first LP issued. The 1983 US reissue of the album replaced the longer version of the song with the official single-shortened version.
Also replaced was the song “To The Shore” with a new song called “Is There Something I Should Know?” which ended up being a decent sized hit. Many people that had only heard of “Rio” and “Save A Prayer” from their second album, hadn’t heard the first album. The reissue took new fans back a couple of years, most likely discovering the greatness of “Planet Earth.”
From a pure nostalgic mindset, the song “Planet Earth” still has that signature Duran Duran sound that any of us long time fans have come to know.
And of course, I’ve had every one of their albums since that debut in June of 1981. I’ve seen them live once, where they did perform “Planet Earth” but it wasn’t the original line-up. The tour was for the “Big Thing” album, which came out in 1988. I would love to have seen the band when all 5 members reunited in 2001 and toured for a few years.
So there you have it… an original first song by a band I have embraced so much over the years. What is your favorite Duran Duran song?