My Favorite Music Videos, Part Three: Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’

Most of the music videos on my favorites list aren’t the most popular. But there are a few that were both very good and very popular (for the time each was released), and it would be a shame to not include them just because they aren’t more obscure.

Duran Duran was one of several artists that used video so effectively at the genre’s onset that their videos and the styles of each helped shape the medium. (Others of note were ZZ Top, Michael Jackson, Robert Palmer, Adam and the Ants and PInk Floyd. These artists in particular were able early on to understand and grasp the great power of video images set to their music.)

The band started what I would call the “fashion music video,” where style and fashion–as well as exotic locations, in Duran Duran’s case–was as much of the part of the video (perhaps even more) than the song itself. (Others that used fashion well in their hit videos were Jackson, Madonna and David Bowie.)

“Hungry Like The Wolf” received huge amounts of airplay from MTV upon its release in 1982. According to Wikipedia:

Hungry Like the Wolf” is a song by the British New Wave band Duran Duran. Written by the band members, the song was produced by Colin Thurston for the group’s second studio album Rio (1982). The song was released in May 1982 as the band’s fifth single in the United Kingdom. It reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart, and received a silver certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

“Hungry Like the Wolf”‘s Russell Mulcahy-directed music video was filmed in the jungles of Sri Lanka, and evoked the atmosphere of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Although the band initially failed to break into the U.S. market, MTV placed the “Hungry Like the Wolf” video into heavy rotation. Subsequently, the group gained much exposure; the song peaked at the number three spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1983, and Duran Duran became an international sensation. The video won the first Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1984.

In 1983 Duran Duran released a collection of music videos, based on songs found both on Rio and their self-titled first release, which was reissued with new artwork and a new single, “Is There Something I Should Know?” A collection of music videos by one artist–one of which (“The Chauffeur”) did not even include any band members–was unheard of at the time.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Music Videos, Part Three: Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’

  1. I was always a fan of their “Reflex” video. Saw them a few years ago. They didn’t do “Reflex” but I enjoyed the show anyway. Some admiring fan had been pre-selected to introduce Simon and she did a great job.

    • One of the interesting things about Duran Duran is that they are still able to produce good music even today. While their best years are probably behind them, and even through personnel changes due to tragedy, in the end the band proved to be more than just a few pretty faces. They’re good musicians with real songwriting talent.

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