Saturday, February 13, 2010

Duran Duran -- "Notorious"

This song is just a brilliant melange of nonsense and I love it.

Notorious / Notorious/ No-no-notorious

Here we go! I hope you're all bristling with anticipation.

I can't read about it / Burns the skin from your eyes

Anyone see any skin in that diagram? No, me neither. Although, I suppose "burns the aqueous humor from your eyes" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

OK, so Simon LeBon can't read about it, whatever it is, because it singes off his eyelids, I guess ... or, more accurately, it singes off YOUR eyelids. That's right. You no longer have eyelids because Simon LeBon read about it. Sorry, pal. Good luck trying to blink anymore. NO-NO-NOTORIOUS!!!

I'll do fine without it / Here's one you don't compromise

Does this "it" refer to the same thing as the previous antecedent-less "it," or does it refer to the skin from his eyes?

Lies come hard to disguise / They need to fight it out / Not wild about it

These really are the least comprehensible lyrics I've ever seen, bar none, and that's saying something. Simon LeBon might as well have just dubbed the inscrutable cries of the humpback whale over this music. Actually, that would've been kind of cool.

Let's just sit back and enjoy Simon's descent into madness, shall we?

Lay your seedy judgements / Who says they're part of our lives?

Nobody says that. Nobody says "My seedy judgements are part of your lives." Nobody has ever said that. Except Judge Judy. Once. And I refuse to give Judge Judy any publicity on this blog. I'm a Judge Joe Brown man.

I guess the proper response if someone did inexplicably utter those nonsense words, however, would be "Lay your seedy judgements!" That's fairly self-evident.

You own the money / You control the witness / I'll leave you lonely / Don't monkey with my business

For some reason, I think a lot of the lines in this song would be really funny if Harrison Ford said them in a movie. You know how Harrison Ford doesn't really act anymore, he just barks or growls his lines in a gruff, angry voice? Just imagine these lines as dialogue in a generic Harrison Ford thriller where he is trying to fight back against a corrupt system, or do the right thing against all odds in a world gone mad. Anyone with me here? No? OK, let's move on.

Harrison Ford: (growling) You own the money. You control the witness.
Corrupt DA/CEO/NASA Administrator: (sneering) What are you gonna do about it?
Harrison Ford: (struggling to free himself from hired goons to lunge at corrupt DA/CEO/NASA Administrator) (barking): DON'T MONKEY WITH MY BUSINESS!!!!

OK, now we can move on.

You pay the prophets to justify your reasons / I heard your promise, but I don't believe it

I don't know if LeBon says "prophets" or "profits" here -- they're homonyms. I can say with 100 percent confidence, though, that it doesn't matter which one he actually says.

These lines work well with that Harrison Ford thing, too. Just saying.

That's why I've done it again / No-no-notorious

What have you done again? And why have you done it? Is there any possible way to know? No. No. Notorious.

Girls will keep the secrets / So long as boys make a noise / Fools run rings to break up / Something they'll never destroy

That first verse was a motherfucking well-structured Socratic discourse compared to this gobbledygook.

Here comes the piece de resistance!

Grand Notorious slam (bam) / And who really gives a damn for a flaky bandit?

The only way the second line makes sense, and I mean the *only* way, is if Simon LeBon was trying to get this song used in a Head & Shoulders commercial starring Burt Reynolds.

The only way the first line makes sense is if Simon LeBon was trying to get this song used in a Denny's commercial, which also more than likely would've featured Burt Reynolds. Because, goddammit, say what you want about Burt Reynolds, but he moves merchandise!

Don't ask me to bleed about it / I need this blood to survive

Simon LeBon bravely takes a stand against the use of leeches for medical purposes, about a century too late.

OK, those are all the lyrics, but let's just take another jaunt through the chorus so we can once again bask in its total insanity.

You own the money / You control the witness / I'll leave you lonely / Don't monkey with my business / You pay the prophets to justify your reasons / I heard your promise, but I don't believe it / That's why I've done it again / Notorious

You bet your sweet ass you've done it again, LeBon, you magnificent bastard!


  1. Made famous by Sparkle Motion.

  2. Simon LeBon's lyrics never make any sense, ever. Well okay, maybe now and again but it's very rare. Have you listened to The Reflex???

    Well done, as always.

  3. Okay, the bit about Harrison Ford actually made me LOL.

  4. How is it that I've listened to this song dozens of times and never noticed how insanely nonsensical the words were? I think Simon LeBon must have written it while recovering from a head injury.

  5. If you are a fan of unintentional comedy -- and if you're reading this blog I can only imagine that you are -- I highly recommend the movie "Firewall."

  6. Duran Duran's lyrics rarely ever made sense. You could do a whole month of blog posts devoted to them. Union of the Snake? Hungry like the Wolf (I smell like I sound? What the h..?)

  7. I think you are too stupid to actually get what he is trying to say.. cause he is an avid reader, of books that you wouldnt understand either. A lot of his lyrics have symbolism to them... they arent something that is straight forward and stupid like the generic pop songs that are out there.
    Maybe one day when you quit being so snarky and overly clever, you will understand where a lot of these things come from.

  8. Personally I find Duran Duran (& LeBon himself) quite shallow and mostly useless... But man, you hit a little too hard with the hammer, don't you?

    I think this is one of the couple of songs among the hundreds useless ones they've made that actually makes sense, and more than I'd like to admit.

    Especially the lines that go about 'you pay your prophets to justify your reasons' and 'lies come hard to disguise'. The parts about girls who know the secrets and the boys that make noise may sound ankward but trust me: they make sense :D I may be a little influenced: being from Italy, here is a continuous struggling to keep eyes open and not succumb to the brain death that threats you everywhere in here, starting from the queues of people paid to: -have sex with 'him' (girls' secret), write good things on him on his newspapers, speak good about him on his televisions, go to his stands and scream with the party flag in hand (boys making noise?), sing the disgusting hymns his staff wrote... it's like a bad, bad nightmare.