Duran Duran Wiki
Hungry Like the Wolf
7 hungry like the wolf uk 12EMI 5295 duran duran single.jpeg
Single by Duran Duran
B-side "Careless Memories" (Live)
Released 4 May 1982 (UK)
3 December 1982 (US re-release)
Recorded Spring 1982
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop
Length 3:23 (Single Version)
4:11 (US Album Remix)
5:14 (Night Version)
Label Capitol, EMI
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Producer Colin Thurston
Duran Duran

"Hungry Like the Wolf" is the fifth single by Duran Duran, released off their album Rio by Capitol-EMI in 1982.

About the song[]

This has become one of the band's signature songs. Its popularity was boosted by MTV, which played the accompanying music video in heavy rotation. The single was Duran Duran's second Top Five hit in the UK and was their breakout hit in the USA

"Hungry Like the Wolf" was written and recorded quickly on a Saturday afternoon in the spring of 1982 at the basement studios of EMI's London headquarters. "That track came from fiddling with the new technology that was starting to come in," guitarist Andy Taylor recollects in an interview with Blender, referring to the rhythmic backing track they came up with by joining a Roland 808 drum machine with a sequencer and a Roland Jupiter 8 keyboard.[1]

"As soon as we heard that, we knew we had something, and I started working out a Marc Bolan-ish guitar part, a very Marshall-sounding Les Paul guitar lick, to go on top of it," Taylor continues. "Then we added the bass and drums, and the whole track was finished that day, including Simon's vocal melody and lyric. He has a great ear for putting a melody to a bunch of chords. I didn't realize it at the time, but his inspiration for that lyric was Little Red Riding Hood!"

A final version was recorded in at London's AIR Studios with producer Colin Thurston. "He was a great organizer and arranger," Taylor remembers. "We gave him far more ideas and music than the track actually needed, and he was important in the process of whittling them down to the essential elements." Thurston and the band decided to keep the demo's original electronic backing track and just rerecord the other instruments and vocals. "AIR was a big acoustic room with a very warm sound, which gave the track a distinctive sound," Taylor says.

The song was first released on 4 May 1982 in Britain, where they had attained some earlier success. The single peaked at #5 in the UK Singles Chart on 15 May.

The original version of the song was initially released in the United States on Capitol's Harvest label (B-5134, backed as in the UK by a live recording of Careless Memories), but did not gain any notice until its re-release (B-5195, with a remix on side A and the Night Version on side B) on 3 December 1982, after the remix album Carnival (September) and the re-release of the Rio album (November), featuring all of side one remixed by David Kershenbaum, began to gain popularity among deejays. At first the song seemed to again be going nowhere as radio airplay was slim to none, but when the newly emerging MTV picked up on the video, requests began to pour into radio stations, and the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 25 December 1982 at number seventy-seven, eventually jumping into the Top Ten, peaking at number three on 26 March 1983, and remaining twenty-three weeks on the chart.

In 2006, online voters rated "Hungry Like the Wolf" #2 on VH1's list of "The 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s" behind Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer".

Music video[]

Music video director Russell Mulcahy, who had directed the band's first video "Planet Earth", was brought back to make the music videos for "Hungry Like the Wolf" and several other songs for the band's ambitious 1983 video album. The band had a vision of jungles and exotic women, and Mulcahy suggested Sri Lanka, a country he had just visited, which had the advantage of being inexpensive. Keyboardist Nick Rhodes remained behind to finish the mixing of the Rio album while the rest of the band began filming in April; Rhodes flew straight to Sri Lanka after handing over the final masters to EMI.

The video was lush and cinematic, with shots of jungles, rivers, elephants, cafes and marketplaces evoking the atmosphere of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The storyline reflected the lyrics "I'm on the hunt, I'm after you", featuring singer Simon Le Bon pursuing a tiger-like woman from parties in the city through obstacles in the jungle, culminating in a final chase and struggle in a jungle clearing. In the meantime, other band members hunt for Le Bon whom they eventually find in a restaurant which is the same one Le Bon is seen in at the beginning of the video although the camera cuts to show scars or rather scratches on the left side of Le Bon's neck.

Les Garland, senior executive vice president at MTV, said “I remember our director of talent and artist relations came running in and said, ‘You have got to see this video that’s come in.’ Duran Duran were getting zero radio airplay at the time, and MTV wanted to try to break new music. ‘Hungry Like A Wolf’ was the greatest video I’d ever seen.”[1]

"Hungry Like the Wolf" was #11 on the century-end MTV "100 Greatest Videos Ever Made"[2] and #31 on the "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos". [3] MTV also named "Hungry" the fifteenth of their most-played videos of all time.[4]

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[]

The "night version" remix of "Hungry" appeared on the 12" single. For some reason, it was released in various mixes with various BPM.

A live version of "Careless Memories", recorded in December 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, was released in 1982 as the B-side to "Hungry Like the Wolf".

Complete list of mixes[]

  1. "Hungry Like the Wolf" - 3:40 (127 BPM)
  2. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Album Version) - 3:35 (132 BPM)
  3. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Single Version) - 3:27 (127.5 BPM)
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Single Version) - 3:25 (130 BPM)
  5. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Night Version) - 5:14 (127 BPM)
  6. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Night Version) - 5:12 (129 BPM)
  7. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (US Album Remix) - 4:02 (127.5 BPM)

Covers, samples, & media references[]

In an iconic scene from the music video, Simon Le Bon comes face to face with his jungle woman.

Over the years the song has been covered by many artists, including:

In live performances the band Reel Big Fish jokingly claimed that the song was originally a Charlton Heston poem.

On their 18 June 2006 show in San Francisco, Gnarls Barkley performed dressed as chefs and opened the show with a cover of "Hungry Like the Wolf".

The song has been used in the soundtracks of several movies, including Hot Dog...The Movie (1984), Small Sacrifices (1989 TV movie), Big Fat Liar (2002), and Old School (2003). The "Far Far Away Idol" contest at the end of the movie Shrek 2 featured a performance of the song by the Big Bad Wolf. It has also appeared in episodes of the television shows Keen Eddie, King of the Hill, Lizzie McGuire and The Shield.

The song has been used as the walk-on music by BDO darts player Martin Adams.

According to the band, the Burger King company has repeatedly asked to use the song in its advertising since the year it came out, but Duran Duran has consistently refused.[1] However, the song did appear in a 2007 commercial for Old Spice Cologne, featuring B-movie actor Bruce Campbell performing the song on the piano in over-the-top lounge lizard style.

While the song itself was not played, the classic "painted wild woman" from the video was briefly recreated in the opening scenes of the second season (summer 2006) premiere episode of the animated series The Venture Bros. The scene included the famous "faces screaming at each other" pose.

The Reel Big Fish cover of the song gets referenced in the webcomic Impy and Aevy.

Chart positions[]

Chart Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Mainstream Rock 1
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play 36
UK Singles Chart 5
Australian Singles Chart 5

Track listing[]

7": EMI EMI5295 (UK)

  1. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Single Version) - 3:27
  2. "Careless Memories" (Live Version) - 4:11

7": Harvest B-5195 (US)

  1. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Night Version) - 5:14
  2. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (US Album Remix) - 4:02
  • This "Night Version" runs at 127 bpm

12": EMI 12 EMI5295 (UK)

  1. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Night Version) - 5:14
  2. "Careless Memories" (Live Version) - 4:11
  • This "Night Version" runs at 127 bpm

CD: Part of the "Singles Box Set 1981-1985"

  1. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Single Version) - 3:27
  2. "Careless Memories" (Live Version) - 4:11
  3. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Night Version) - 5:12
  • This "Night Version" runs at 129 bpm


Other appearances[]


Box sets:




Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

References in popular culture[]

True crime author Ann Rule, on an ABC News special about child murderer Diane Downs, made the false claim that Downs had been playing the song in her car before she shot her three children. Rule again made yet another false claim that Downs, who maintains that her children were shot by a "bushy-haired stranger" on the road, sang the song's chorus in court while recalling her version of events. This scenario, with the soundtrack was reenacted in the 1989 made-for-TV movie Small Sacrifices based on the book of the same name written by Ann Rule. Diane Downs was played by Farrah Fawcett. Rule, who witnessed the court proceedings, says that "Hungry Like the Wolf" gives her "chills" to this day.[5] Three-time BDO World Champion, Martin "Wolfie" Adams uses this as his walk-on music in darts. Today, it features on the Fox News channel.


Darken the city, night is a wire
Steam in the subway, earth is a afire
Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo
Woman, you want me, give me a sign
And catch my breathing even closer behind
Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

In touch with the ground
I'm on the hunt I'm after you
Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd
And I'm hungry like the wolf
Straddle the line in discord and rhyme
I'm on the hunt I'm after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I'm hungry like the wolf

Stalked in the forest, too close to hide
I'll be upon you by the moonlight side
Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo
High blood drumming on your skin, it's so tight
You feel my heat, I'm just a moment behind
Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo

In touch with the ground
I'm on the hunt I'm after you
Scent and a sound, I'm lost and I'm found
And I'm hungry like the wolf
Strut on a line, it's discord and rhyme
I howl and I whine, I'm after you
Mouth is alive, all running inside
And I'm hungry like the wolf

Hungry like the wolf
Hungry like the wolf
Hungry like the wolf

Burning the ground, I break from the crowd
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
I smell like I sound, I'm lost and I'm found
And I'm hungry like the wolf
Strut on a line, it's discord and rhyme
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I'm hungry like the wolf

See also[]


Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
Andy TaylorWarren CuccurulloSterling Campbell

Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged TigerArenaNotoriousBig ThingLibertyDuran Duran (The Wedding Album)Thank YouMedazzalandPop TrashAstronautRed Carpet MassacreAll You Need Is NowPaper GodsFuture Past


CarnivalDecade: Greatest HitsGreatestNight Versions: The Essential Duran DuranStrange BehaviourSingles Box Set 1981-1985Singles Box Set 1986-1995From Mediterranea With Love


"Planet Earth" • "Careless Memories" • "Girls on Film" • "My Own Way" • "Hungry Like the Wolf" • "Save a Prayer" • "Rio"• "Is There Something I Should Know?" • "Union of the Snake" • "New Moon on Monday" • "The Reflex" • "The Wild Boys" • "A View to a Kill" • "Notorious" • "Skin Trade" • "Meet El Presidente" • "I Don't Want Your Love" • "All She Wants Is" • "Do You Believe in Shame?" • "Burning the Ground" • "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" • "Serious" • "Ordinary World" • "Come Undone" • "Too Much Information" • "Perfect Day" • "White Lines" • "Out of My Mind" • "Electric Barbarella" • "Someone Else Not Me" • "(Reach Up for The) Sunrise" • "What Happens Tomorrow" • "Nice" • "Falling Down • "All You Need Is Now • "Girl Panic! • "Leave A Light On • "Pressure Off" • "Five Years" • "Invisible" • "More Joy" • "Anniversary" • "Tonight United" • "Give It All Up " • " Laughing Boy

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