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Lost Treasures #1 Yo Bad Azizi

Duran take an axe to the Rio yacht...

First winner of the new CL poll – we present Worst B-Side to Yo Bad Azizi.

Mr Azizi can place this poll win alongside his double-Worst Duran Song Ever from the CL polls in 1994 and 2000. Congratulations!


Can this track be resurrected and re-appraised, even at this late stage?

Lest we forget, this was the b-side to Serious, the worst performing Duran single ever.

Liberty had died without a trace - a summer album with no hit and any publicity falling in the dead media months.

So those few of us who dutifully trooped along and bought the various incarnations of Serious (Gatefold 12”! Etched disc with poster!) might have expected better from an extra track.

We start with 13 seconds of the infamous Marilyn Munroe Happy Birthday song. This incongruous start is not explained by the following noise, and I have always wondered about the cost of using this clip – is it in the public domain?

The song then begins with drums reminiscent of those on Read My Lips, which the track most resembles. Then the infamous vocals intoning ‘Nuclear War…” Not one to soundtrack summer BBQs, you are already thinking. By 46 seconds Warren is letting rip and you start to get one of those feelings that the band are having more fun than you.

By the midway point we have to remember our younger selves who have become bored of the poster and, of course, already know the A-side. We have worked out this is not to be a Secret Oktober moment.

At 1:56 something of a song starts to break out as Simon follows up some Russian bit with shouted indistinct phrases. And that’s your lot with the repeated title refrain before they give up after 3 and a bit minutes.

So what was all that about?

I wonder if this was part of the Duran de-construction of their 81-85 years. The title is, of course, from their biggest UK hit and most derided lyric. What had been a throwaway piece of pop ephemera had become a stick to beat them with. Pop trash indeed.

This was the sound of Duran taking an axe to the Rio yacht to sink their image and icon status – to create a new band for the new decade. In one of Simon’s more revealing interviews, (on the Easter Egg Liberty interview on Greatest), he talks of wanting to record another album and then tour. “We want to have a new repertoire, we’ll have a different set of music to play… and we’ll only do the old songs in the encores.”

In some way, Yo Bad Azizi fits this over-arching idea – this new five-piece band was going to hack at the past to claim a new future. OK, so that didn’t play out, but this was the sound of Duran determined not to compromise and fighting for a new identity.

you can also enjoy the song to the images of nuclear war...

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