Duran Duran – ‘The Chauffeur’ (chosen by Dara Higgins)
It’s with heavy hearts that Duran Duran have had to cancel their upcoming tour of Europe, including, most poignantly for me, the opening night in Dublin. It’s because of Simon Le Bon’s ongoing trouble with his voice, they say. Some of you might wonder why it’s taken Duran 30+ years to finally realise that there is actually a problem, but that’s just being churlish. Sure, they’ve been shit for fives times longer than when they were actually good, but for a while they ruled the earth, like satin clad dinosaurs, gobbling low hanging cocktail olives and devouring fleshless bimbos with voracious aplomb. They even have value as a post-ironic hipster reference point now, name checked by the Artic Monkeys and covered by the Deftones and so far beyond the realms of good taste that they can’t help but be cool. Ultimately, the music, when it was good, was pretty freaking good, the musicianship always pristine, the production always synapse twanging, the hair always solid. Here’s ‘The Chauffuer’, and it’s odd little monochrome video, featuring, you’ll be pleased to hear, no blue silk suits or pet lizards, just some kind of mini homage to Charlotte Rampling and a plethora of eighties visual clichés. All it’s missing is the swinging lightbulb.