Duran Duran: Careless Memories UK 12″ 
- Careless Memories
The second Duran Duran single was something of an anomaly in that it barely scraped into the UK top 40 following the band’s reasonably successful debut single, “Planet Earth.” I’m sure EMI were sending urgent memos right and left in the aftermath, but the fact of the matter was that EMI chose this single, and in a let’s see you do better” moment, let the band pick their third single, “Girls On Film.” The rest is history, but let the record state that I prefer this song by a long shot.
As I recall, I saw this single in the import cutout bins at Record City some time in 1982, and I bought it for around two dollars. I already had the US pressing of the first DD album and the B-sides were calling my name. Shockingly, the urgent A-side is not one of the band’s famous “night versions,” so an opportunity was lost along the way. But it remains Duran Duran’s most high-velocity “rocker” that fairly crackles with an urgency I can’t recall them obtaining ever since. John Taylor’s staccato bassline interlocks adroitly with Nick Rhodes sequencers and Roger Taylor’s precise drums. The early DD era certainly had a tight rhythm section above all else.
In all honesty, the reason why I was attracted to this single was that there seemed to be a cover version of David Bowie’s “Fame” on the B-side. It was there all right! Oh dear. This was an eerie harbinger of the Ghost of Duran Duran Future if ever there were one. The group’s exceedingly clumsy take on “Fame” was 3:11 of sheer embarrassment for all concerned. At the time, it was most leaden Bowie cover I’d ever heard, but the track seemed to presage the mind-searingly awful “Thank You” album that was still fourteen years in the group’s future at this point. No one from the group emerged unscathed, but I lay the bulk of the blame at the feet of LeBon for this epic misfire.
Fortunately, the other B-side, “Khanada” was everything that their massacre of “Fame” wasn’t; subtle, melodic and languid. This song immediately won me over and remains a favorite Duran Duran track to this day. There’s a touch of Bryan Ferry to LeBon’s vocals in the choruses and he manages to evade the long shadow of his own callow youth [just barely] on his delivery of this track. I love the push/pull nature of the melody on this number. EMI wisely included this track as the B-side to the 7″ version of the single; leaving “Fame” as the ill consolation to buyers of this twelve inch single.
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