Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 15/05/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Careless memories

Remember 'Careless Memories' by Duran Duran? Not surprising, really. You probably remember 'Planet Earth', which made the Top 10 in Australia and broke them as a group. 'Careless Memories' was the follow-up and made the Top 20, but these days it doesn't even get a reaction in Retro, the Sydney nightclub devoted to all things 80s. It seems that Duran means 'Planet Earth', 'Rio', 'Hungry Like The Wolf', 'The Reflex', 'Ordinary World' and maybe a couple of others. Not a bad achievement by any means, but why the mental gap among people who admit (by paying $10 to get in) that they're 80s devotees?

The process of a band's repertoire being whittled away in the collective consciousness to just a few numbers is quite a common one. Culture Club is another useful example. 'The War Song', their late-1984 single, was one of their bigger releases, cracking the Top 3 in the UK and the Top 10 here, but trying to find a Culture Club compilation with that track on it is quite a challenge. I tried and eventually succeeded, but it seems these days half the room on any Culture Club compendium is put aside for obscure Boy George-related projects. (I'm not knocking those tracks, I just think they need a compilation of their own.)

Or take Wham! (and no, I'm not making the obvious gag here). Everyone remembers 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go', even people who were under the age of eight when it was released. How many people remember 'Freedom', its equally successful follow-up? How many people recall that 'Everything She Wants', the B-side of 'Last Christmas', went on to become a substantial hit in its own right within the same year? Yes, Wham! really were that big.

Unless you're a crazed obsessive like me (or a few other people I know), I guess the answer is you live for the moment and when it starts to fade, there's no predicting which bit will fade first. But I can't help thinking that if 'Careless Memories' was included on the soundtrack of the next Jim Carrey movie, it still wouldn't inspire swoons of recognition from the incomprehensibly huge audience.

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