Featuring a few of the leading men from the decade, dramatic statements, and at least one song that you better know.
On my seventh listen of this song on repeat, I managed to convince myself that "Rebel Yell" is true rock 'n roll. This is why I enjoy putting songs on repeat. It's a good way to brainwash yourself and, of course, to get more intimate with a song.
The urgency of the synth melody arrests me. I'm mesmerized, wishing I was a 20 year-old girl at a Billy Idol concert with a feathered haircut, wishing the guitarist would make eye contact with me… Anyway, this is a fantasy I can easily engage in by watching the official video for the song, which, sadly, lacks a storyline and is just a fake live video.
That catchy "More, more, more" chorus. I don't really care about what he's saying for the most part. It's all about his tone as far the vocals go. Except for when things quiet down around 2:54, and he gets a little more intense: "I walked the world with you, babe / A thousand miles with you / I dried your tears of pain, babe / A million times for you." You're probably thinking that he's referring to a special lady in this song… He might be, but it's also believed that he might be referring to Rebel Yell whiskey.
But this part of the track is where it gets killer. The guitar line, pedal-affected and hypnotic, helps me channel some weird determination. A perfect climax before we get that chorus again. I'm particularly looking forward to listening to this when I'm walking to my 9am American Constitutional Law course in a few months.
The first time I heard this song, it was actually a version that is on the "Night Versions: Essential Duran Duran" album, which I bought at a used CD shop on a whim after listening to the first half of the remix of this song. The storeowner kindly cleaned it, and I first listened to it in its entirety on my way to NYC with my boy Cal. The regular version of the song is about half the length, and less cheesy, so I'll first recommend that version to you. And when I call it "cheesy," it's not a bad thing. I actually love cheesy 80s music, but I know it's not for everyone. Anyway, this song is about what would happen at the end of the world... or something like that. In the New Romantic style.
The video plays like some icy (and sometimes hot), incredibly abstract fantasy where Simon Le Bon awkwardly dances his way into my heart. Whether he's languishing in flames or letting a fan gently push his hair back, he's got me. "My eyes so cloudy I can't see you" I love this line because 1) it makes me laugh, and 2) the tone of his voice hits my core. I often rewind the song so I can hear him say this more than once.
There is nothing like this song. I am so captivated. The minimal beat, deranged guitar line… Calm synth rolls in… This track contains one of the best openings of all time. Is that a hyperbolic statement? Maybe. But my feelings are truly that strong. So strong, that one night when I listened to it on repeat, I tweeted about the experience three times. I wanted to go outside and scream the lyrics to the chorus with just the right amount of emotion (or, honestly, maybe too dramatically). I still hope for this to happen one day.
When the drums come in at 3:42, it's over. When he plays it live, he actually plays the drums and sings at the same time. One of the things I love most about this song is that pretty much everyone knows and likes it, whether someone actually and/or ironically enjoys it. I've slowly started to play it when I'm hanging out with people, in hopes that it'll really catch on.