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Danse Macabre - By The Original Artists

Danse Macabre is announced and the initial facts are in. There will be three new Duran songs, 3½ ‘re-workings’ of Duran tracks, and 6½ cover versions. Andy had spoken about re-recording Shadows On Your Side and New Moon On Monday, but these do not appear to have made the cut (at least until the inevitable deluxe edition turns up in January).

So over half the album are cover versions – does this refresh the Duran catalogue, or force us to re-endure the Thank You debacle? Let’s take a look at what Duran have chosen.

Bury A Friend – Billie Eilish (2019)

Shows off Playful Duran, and has the potential to get it just right. The only cover version on Danse Macabre NOT played at the Vegas Hallowe’en special last year.

Supernature - Cerrone (1977)

Back to the Rum Runner with Nick as DJ for this disco smash

Ghost Town – The Specials (1981)

After the silliness of the first two covers, this HUGE hit throws us back into the bleakness of Mrs Thatcher’s Britian. Youth unemployment was soaring, race riots were on the streets, football hooliganism was rife. At the same time Duran released the Girls On Film video. Has the potential to be the 911 Is A Joke of the album.

Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones (1966)

If Warren is on anything, it is surely this one. A classic, one of the Stones’ best. Likely to annoy all the right people.

Superfreak – Rick James (1981)

Not MC Hammer. Played live on the recent tour, mixed up with Lonely In Your Nightmare, which will be the same on Danse Macabre (it is listed as ‘Super Lonely Freak’). It’s… alright. Skippable. Kinda annoying, frankly. Look, I lasted 90 seconds of this video. Next.

Spellbound – Siousxie and the Banshees (1981)

Siousxie was a favourite of the band from their punk roots in 1976, but this choice is five years into their career when it’s all gone a bit New Romantic. We may see a press release from Siousxie, in the style of a hostage video, saying how delighted she is Duran have covered one of her songs. That said, it’s a fun song and it a welcome palate cleanser after Superfreak.

Psycho Killer - Talking Head (1977)

You know this one. And it will be the third single. Will Duran go big band, or acoustic for this one? Likely to upset the Elvis Costello contingent.


Initial thoughts: This album inevitably carries the echoes of Thank You (which also included Duran re-working an old song of theirs, and welcomed back a departed Fab Fiver). Initial stand out themes are that Danse Macabre fulfils Thank You’s promise of being a fun, quick, selection of Some Of The Things We Like. Thank You (which was announced in 1992) got bogged down in production overkill, extended release schedules before finally being released in 1995. Danse Macabre is being released exactly when signposted at the of 2022. Full marks for that. It contains a mixture of silly and serious – which may jar with some as any ‘theme’ loses its flow, but means it fits with every Duran album since Notorious (where Meet ‘el Presidente’ was next to Winter Marches), to Future Past (where More Joy! is followed by Falling).

It is FANTASTIC we are getting this album so soon – I can’t wait!

AND - you can listen to all these tracks HERE on this Spotify playlist, curtousy of Ben Vokes

1 Comment

Aug 23, 2023

As an avid fan of Duran Duran, a collector and a purist of their musical whimsy and the New Romantic movement of the 1980's; it's with great anticipation that we savor this moment. A solemn time that will conclude with possibly the greatest hat tip, since the Beatles. We are losing a friend... eventually and the nightman cometh. We all know, and we all push forward with a smile and hark back to great memories. We forget that we are getting older, and long for what we called simpler times. I was 11, in the winter February of 1981 living in Germany when I heard Planet Earth. It changed the musical course of my music making life. I wanted a…

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