Duran Duran Wiki
Planet Earth
8 planet earth uk EMI 5137 DURAN DURAN SINGLE
single by Duran Duran
B-side "Late Bar"
Released 2 February 1981
Recorded December 1980
Red Bus Studios, London
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop
Length 3:59 (Single Version)
6:20 (Night Version)
Label Capitol, EMI
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Producer Colin Thurston
Duran Duran

"Planet Earth" is the first single by Duran Duran, released by Capitol-EMI from their eponymous debut album Duran Duran on 2 February 1981.

About the song[]

The song reached #12 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 February. It was also a Top 10 hit in Australia, reaching #8.

"Planet Earth" begins with a slow synthesised sweep backed with electronic rhythm, but the real rhythm section of throbbing bass and crisp drums soon kick in. Muted guitar carries the up-and-down melodic hook of the song as the singer joins in.

The song was the first to explicitly acknowledge the fledgling New Romantic music/fashion movement, with the line "Like some New Romantic looking for the TV sound". Simon said in interviews that he saw the phrase "New Romanic" printed in NME, and put this into Planet Earth in order to be associated with this early 80s cultural and artistic shift in music; popular in the charts at that time; and published elsewhere as "New Wave". Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet was quoted as saying that this line seems to be prophetic, in that bands had no idea that videos on TV would become the future of pop music, nor that Duran Duran would be the pioneers of those videos. (Source, from 31:00). Spandau took image inspiration from the stage show Cabaret, while Duran took inspiration from the movie Barbarella; both of which feature outrageous clothing, makeup and hair styles.

The United States space agency NASA has a long tradition of playing Duran Duran songs for astronauts on space missions. They have often been known to play this song loudly when a space shuttle is due for arrival (along with "Hold Back the Rain" if the weather is poor).

Music video[]

The music video for the song was directed by future film director Russell Mulcahy, who would go on to direct a dozen more for the group.

Fairly primitive by the band's later standards, the video features the band (dressed in frilly, floppy New Romantic fashions) playing the song on a white stage tricked out with special effects to look like a platform made of ice or crystal. Interspersed with the performance are shots of the band members alongside the four elements. The video focused closely on the band's faces, highlighting their varied good looks. The instrumental middle section features friends of the band from the Rum Runner nightclub dancing in their outlandish outfits. At the end of the video, singer Simon Le Bon leaps from the stage, caught in a freeze frame shot above an apparently bottomless abyss.

The video was parodied in the music video for the Dandy Warhols' "You Were The Last High".

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[]

The B-side to the "Planet Earth" is a concert favorite called "Late Bar", which was one of the earliest songs Duran Duran had written together after their classic Le Bon/Rhodes/Taylor/Taylor/Taylor lineup had solidified.

Beginning with "Planet Earth", Duran Duran began creating what they called "night versions" for each of their songs: extended remixes that were featured on their 12-inch singles. Back in 1981, the technology to do extended remixes was still quite rudimentary, so the band chose instead to create a new arrangement of the song, loosely based on the version they were playing live at the time. This formed the basis for the "night version".

In addition to the 12", the night version of "Planet Earth" was included on the EPs Nite Romantics and Carnival.

For the 1999 remix album Strange Behaviour, EMI inadvertently unearthed unreleased alternative mixes of both "Planet Earth" and "Hold Back the Rain".

Covers, samples, & media references[]

Cover versions of "Planet Earth" have been recorded by Home Grown, J Church, Hate Dept., The Mavis’s, and Nu-Man.

The song was included on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Free Enterprise.

During the first elimination show of Rock Star: Supernova, contestant Matt Hoffer, who was one of the bottom three contestants that week, chose to sing "Planet Earth" for survival. Gilby Clarke derided the song choice, and Hoffer was subsequently cut from the competition for not being "rock" enough. Later, in an interview, Hoffer said that had he known that during the 1980s, Duran Duran and Mötley Crüe, Tommy Lee's former band, had allegedly feuded, he would have chosen a different song to perform, as the song choice apparently had offended Lee.

Track Listing[]

Release information pertains to UK release only.

7": EMI EMI 5137

  1. "Planet Earth" - 3:59
  2. "Late Bar" - 2:54

12": EMI 12 EMI 5137

  1. "Planet Earth" (Night Version) - 6:20
  2. "Planet Earth" - 3:59
  3. "Late Bar" - 2:54

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

  1. "Planet Earth" - 3:59
  2. "Late Bar" - 2:54
  3. "Planet Earth" (Night Version) - 6:20

Other appearances[]

Apart from the single, "Planet Earth" has also appeared on:


Box sets:


Duran Duran are:

Also credited:


Only came outside to watch the night fall with the rain
I heard you making patterns rhyme
Like some new romantic looking for the TV sound
You'll see I'm right some other time

  Look now, look all around, 
  There's no sign of life
  Voices, another sound, 
  Can you hear me now?
  This is planet earth, 
  You're looking at planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop 
  This is planet earth

My head is stuck on something precious - let me know 
If you're coming down to land - Is there 
Any body out there trying to get through?
My eyes are so cloudy I can't see you

  Look now, look all around, 
  There's no sign of life
  Voices, another sound 
  Can you hear me now?
  This is planet earth, 
  You're looking at planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop
  This is planet earth


  Look now, look all around, 
  There's no sign of life
  Voices, another sound
  Can you hear me now?

  This is planet earth,
  You're looking at planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop
  This is planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop
  Calling planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop
  Looking at planet earth
  Bop bop-bop bop bop-bop bop-bop
  This is planet earth

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 PastDanse Macabre


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 " • "Danse Macabre" • "Black Moonlight"

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