Lost Treasures: #2 Bedroom Toys
CL welcomes Baranduin to these pages with a fantastic, passionate plea for a second listen to Duran at their most playful.
The question isn't why I like "Bedroom Toys". The question is: why don't you? A recent poll by @boysmakenoise asked us to rate four random songs: "Danceophobia", "Bedroom Toys", "Safe", and "Tempted". "Bedroom Toys" came in 4th, and as he said "Also known as last". This lead to a discussion on why the excellent "Bedroom Toys" was even included in this "random" list and how it could possibly be ranked below those other selections. There were two or three of us who voraciously defended it as being a vastly underrated song, and far above the classification of merely random, whatever that means (insert side eye).
Then came along Ruth Gavin's @lipstick_cherry poll about best DD song to have sex to, and "Bedroom Toys" got brought up in that conversation as well. Once again I found myself defending BT as the great song it is. Oh, you doubters out there, have you listened to "Bedroom Toys" since that first go 'round of the "Astronaut" album? If you've been hitting fast forward whenever BT comes up, it is long past time to reacquaint yourself. Go ahead, put it on, listen to the opening notes, how they move you forward, bounce bounce bounce. SLB's voice comes in. How about that cadence? Bounce bounce bounce.
I don't think it's the music that bothers most people. Is it the subject matter? Are we embarrassed? I honestly don't know what this song is about. Not big picture. It's confusing, like boys and girls. I don't think it's about bedroom toys. Is it about abusing power? Perhaps. At any rate, there is nothing explicit in the lyrics, some glances towards some more, uh, kinky pleasures, but not blatantly. So nothing to be embarrassed by.
So then there's the lyrics themselves. Curling chickens and rhyming romance with fancy pants. Hello people. This is Simon LeBon were talking about. [Also credited for this song: Nick Rhodes, John Nigel Taylor, Roger Andrew Taylor, Cid Eduardo Meireles, and Andrew Taylor]. This is the band responsible for:
"Don't want to be in public,
My head is full of chopstick
I don't like it."
"Shake up the picture the lizard mixture
with your dance on the eventide"
"Solace to the angry mob, score to the weak
Cinderella, cup of love, their pain is what you seek"
You know you love those lyrics. You grew up on them. You've been singing them since... well always. You're singing them loud and proud in the car with no-one else there. A little quieter in the line at the grocery store. You wouldn't change them if you could. Don't come to me and say "but "make your chickens curl' or 'lazy bed star la di da petty bourgeois'?" If that is the reason you're not enjoying this song, then you'd best let it go. Listen to how this song moves. Bounce bounce bounce. Sing along. This is a fun one to sing along with. It's a great song to sing a line or two at that friend or coworker: "Forget about the reeling talk about the feeling" or "Oh my would you look at the time".
Now think about Duran Duran playing this live. This song was made to be played live. You're out there in the crowd, I'll give you a good seat in the first few rows. The music starts up, that beat, that bounce. You know SLB is going to have fun with this. He's going to play it up, tease us like he does. You will love every minute of it. Right then, right there that will be your favorite song.
"Oh my God, what's this?" Solid gold, my friend. Don't get scared by the title or overthink the lyrics. "If you can't destroy it, you might as well enjoy it"... this song incites, it conveys, it moves, it bounces. It's a ride. Enjoy the ride.
concert photos (c) Baranduin from MGM National 31 December 2016 (though photos were taken after midnight on 1 January 2017!)
For the record, Bedroom Toys was played live 27 times on the Astronaut tour, most recently on 31 May 2005 in Amsterdam. And you can watch a minute of that performance here.