The Stand-Alone Single That Finally Sent Duran Duran to the Top


Duran Duran’s “Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” arrived as a stand-alone music on March 14, 1983, and rapidly turned their first No. 1 single within the U.Ok. It will contribute to their burgeoning U.S. success too, however solely after an extended wait.

The session was co-produced by the band and Ian Little, a manufacturing assistant on Roxy Music’s Avalon. Everybody decamped to Tony Visconti’s Good Earth Studios in Soho, and members of Duran Duran proceeded to craft the music. As was typical at the moment, they had been in inventive sync.

“After organising, tuning their devices and warming up, they began to loosely jam collectively,” Little wrote in his guide, Baptism of Hearth. “Andy [Taylor] had an excellent Beatles-style guitar riff that was hooky and endearing, and it rapidly turned clear {that a} music may very well be constructed round it.”

Between the music’s guitar riff, wealthy multipart harmonies and Le Bon’s melodic lead vocals, the Beatles ended up being a strong comparability. These weren’t the one traditional prospers: Roger Taylor’s drum sample initially of “Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” echoes the legendary “Be My Child” beat by Hal Blaine, a stunning distinction to Nick Rhodes’ fashionable synthesizer work.

Simon Le Bon’s craving lyrics, in the meantime, trace at miscommunication and turmoil with a romantic associate. “Do not say you are straightforward on me,” he pleads. “You are about as straightforward as a nuclear conflict.” Later within the music, the desperation continues to mount, as Le Bon shares, “Are you able to see how a lot I would die? / Each time it passes by?” whereas backing vocalists repeat the road, “Please, please inform me now.”

Watch Duran Duran’s ‘Is There One thing I Ought to Know?’ Video

The recording went effectively, however discovering the most effective combine for “Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” was difficult. In response to Little’s guide, the drums weren’t recorded fairly proper, making it troublesome to stability the amount ranges for the ultimate model.

Everybody was decided to discover a combine that suited the sterling musical performances captured at Good Earth. They even introduced in engineer Bob Clearmountain, who was identified for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen. In the long run, nonetheless, Duran Duran opted towards utilizing the Clearmountain model.

“Nick remembers sitting with Bob by way of many of the evening whereas he combined the music at Energy Station Studios in New York,” Katy Krassner wrote in a 2014 “Ask Katy” column on Duran Duran’s web site. “After they left within the early hours of the morning, it appeared as if that they had one thing very particular however on reflection some days later, everybody within the band felt that though it was a good looking combine, it was slightly too delicate for the sound they had been making an attempt to attain.”

Fortunately, Duran Duran and Little ultimately discovered the correct mix because of Alex Sadkin and engineer Phil Thornalley. Collectively, they put the ending touches on a crisp, glowing single that confirmed off Duran Duran’s inimitable mixture of glowing synth work and rock ‘n’ roll heft.

“Alex and Phil had been an incredible pair,” Little wrote. “They’d the identical sort of nearly telepathic understanding that the band had. It made the blending course of an actual pleasure to behold.”

Watch Duran Duran Carry out ‘Is There One thing I Ought to Know?’ in Live performance

“Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” spent two weeks at No. 1 within the U.Ok. however wasn’t launched within the U.S. till months later. Duran Duran’s label, Capitol Information, initially wasn’t even going to situation the music as a single in America, in line with an April 1983 Billboard report. In the meantime, mum or dad firm EMI “was making an attempt to forestall export of the file from Britain.”

The reluctance made sense when you think about the singles from 1982’s Rio had been nonetheless burning up the U.S. charts on the time. Nevertheless, Duran Duran’s momentum prevailed — and when “Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” lastly noticed launch in Might 1983, it soared to No. 4 in America.

“Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” was additionally sequenced right into a reissue of Duran Duran’s 1981 debut album. Initially, the LP wasn’t successful in America — however after the success of Rio, Duran Duran’s label determined to launch a brand new model that featured an up to date band picture on the quilt. The second time was the attraction, as Duran Duran turned successful, reaching the High 10 of the Billboard chart.

“Is There One thing I Ought to Know?” was the opening observe of exhibits on the band’s Sing Blue Silver tour dates, setting an explosive tone for the triumphant trek. Sadkin, Little and Thornalley, in the meantime, would work once more with Duran Duran to make 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

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