Monday, January 6, 2020

"Skin Trade" by Duran Duran

Song#:  3004
Date:  01/31/1987
Debut:  83
Peak:  39
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Shaved down to a trio, Duran Duran returned after an extended hiatus with their fourth studio album Notorious. It would be a platinum seller thanks to the #2 title track. This second single would be released, but it didn't fully catch fire. It would briefly sneak into the Top 40 before quickly falling off the chart. The low #39 peak would be the worst showing of the band's career to-date. All of their other charting singles at least made the Top 20 with eight of them going Top 10. It was a bit of a disappointment coming on the heels of a major #2 hit.

ReduxReview:  To me, this sounded like the band's attempt to do something Prince-like with a smidgen of David Bowie tossed in. The funky chorus along with Simon Le Bon's falsetto leaned towards the Purple One's camp while the horn-supported chorus brings in a bit of the Tonight Bowie. I think it all worked well together and I like the trumpet solo. However, it was a different sound for the band and it wasn't quite the hook laden pop that they had been serving up for the past few years. It was more mature and took the band in another direction. I think it got more appreciated later in their career, but at the time it kind of confused listeners and it was not going to be a hit.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The title of this song apparently came from a book that Duran Duran member John Taylor was reading at the time the album was being recorded. Adventures in the Skin Trade was a collection of stories by Welsh poet/writer Dylan Thomas. It was published in 1953, which was the same year Thomas died at the young age of 39. Duran Duran had finished the music for a new song but it still needed lyrics. Taylor suggested the book title as a starting point. Simon Le Bon shortened it to just "Skin Trade" and then sussed out the lyrics.


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