The Reflex

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"The Reflex"
Single by Duran Duran
from the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger
B-side"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" (Live)
"New Religion" (Live)
Released16 April 1984 (Worldwide)
21 April 1984 (US)
Format7", 12", CD Single
Recorded1983
GenreNew Wave
Length5:29 (album version)
4:26 (single version)
LabelEMI
Writer(s)Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor)
ProducerDuran Duran
Ian Little
Alex Sadkin
Certification
Duran Duran singles chronology
"New Moon on Monday"
(1984)
"The Reflex"
(1984)
"The Wild Boys"
(1984)
Alternate Sleeve
US 7" sleeve
 
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For other uses of the term, see Reflex (disambiguation).
"The Reflex"
Single by Duran Duran
from the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger
B-side"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" (Live)
"New Religion" (Live)
Released16 April 1984 (Worldwide)
21 April 1984 (US)
Format7", 12", CD Single
Recorded1983
GenreNew Wave
Length5:29 (album version)
4:26 (single version)
LabelEMI
Writer(s)Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor)
ProducerDuran Duran
Ian Little
Alex Sadkin
Certification
Duran Duran singles chronology
"New Moon on Monday"
(1984)
"The Reflex"
(1984)
"The Wild Boys"
(1984)
Alternate Sleeve
US 7" sleeve

"The Reflex" is the eleventh single by Duran Duran, released worldwide on 16 April 1984.

The song was heavily remixed for single release and was the third and last to be taken from their third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

Contents

Song history

"The Reflex" became the band's most successful single. It was their second single to top the UK singles chart, after "Is There Something I Should Know?" in 1983, topping the chart on 5 May, and would prove to be their last UK #1. It was also Duran Duran's first single to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (for two weeks) on 23 June 1984 (see 1984 in music), and became a huge hit internationally. It was also the first of two songs that kept "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen out of the top spot, (The other one being Prince's smash hit When Doves Cry). The band wanted it to be the lead single from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, but their label didn't like the warbling singing during the "why don't you use it" segments, thinking this would hinder its success as a stand alone single track.

The remixes for both the 7" and 12" singles were done by Nile Rodgers, of Chic fame. It was his first work with the band, and he would later go on to produce "The Wild Boys" single as well as the album Notorious (1986) and several tracks on Astronaut (2004).

Producer Ian Little recalls the sound Nick Rhodes came up with on his Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard: "...whenever I hear that steel-drum part it always brings a smile to my face because it's so out of tune. Steel drums always are, but it was exactly right in terms of rhythm and tone. So a wood-block sound was mixed in to make it even more percussive and, successfully, it did the job."[1]

Music video

The video for "The Reflex" was shot during the Sing Blue Silver tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario on 5 March 1984. Director Russell Mulcahy filmed some of the closeup footage in the indoor arena that afternoon, and the rest was filmed live during that evening's concert.[2]

"The Reflex" is primarily a concert video, accurately portraying Duran Duran's Sing Blue Silver tour performance style. However, in keeping with the band's insistence that their videos "never be ordinary", the video screen above the stage displayed bits of naked models wearing collars and chains illuminated with black light, occasionally interrupted by computerized video white noise. At one point, a waterfall appears to pour out of the video screen above the stage to soak the audience. The computer graphics used to achieve this were typical at the time, but rapid advancement in the field quickly made the effect look dated.

Keyboard enthusiasts have taken special note of the Fairlight CMI (the first digital sampling synthesiser) that Nick Rhodes operated with a light pen in this video, and throughout the tour.

Some symbolic scenes from the official video were taken and later mixed with the alternate version shown in the band's concert film Arena (An Absurd Notion); in the final segment when the band, the crowd and even the fans undertake the final and crucial battle against the evil Dr. Durand Durand.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes

In addition to the 4.26 single remix, the 12" also included an extended remix of The Reflex. The live b-side "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" is a cover of a Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel song, recorded November 16, 1982 (1982-11-16) at Hammersmith Odeon in London, with lead Rebel Steve Harley joining the band onstage.

A second live b-side released on the US single, "New Religion", was recorded 7 February 1984 at The Forum in Los Angeles. This is not the same live version that appears on the Arena album.

Covers, samples, and media references

Cover versions have been recorded by Less than Jake and the duo of Kylie Minogue and Ben Lee.

The song is part of the Hooked on Polkas medley on the Dare To Be Stupid album, by "Weird Al" Yankovic.

The song has also been featured in the soundtracks for the movies American Wedding (2003) and Corky Romano (2001), as well as an episode of the short-lived 2002 television series That '80s Show in which bassist John Taylor made a guest appearance.

The song is also featured in the video game Saints Row 2 as part of its 80s radio station.

A chain of 1980s-themed nightclubs in the UK is named after the song.[3] The Birmingham branch is located directly opposite the former site of the Rum Runner, Duran Duran's early home base.[4]

Chart positions

Chart (1984)Peak
position
Australia Kent Music Chart[5]4
Austrian Singles Chart11
Belgian VRT Top 301
Canadian RPM Singles Chart1
Dutch Top 40[6]1
French SNEP Singles Chart15
German Singles Chart8
Irish Singles Chart1
Italian Singles Chart11
New Zealand Top 406
Swiss Singles Chart10
UK Singles Chart1
US Billboard Hot 1001

Track listing

"The Reflex" was the second Duran Duran single to feature a personalised group catalogue number in the UK, DURAN 2.

  1. "The Reflex" – 4:20
  2. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] – 4:54
  1. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" – 6:35
  2. "The Reflex" [7" version] – 4:20
  3. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] – 4:54
  1. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" [edit] – 4:25
  2. "New Religion (Live in L.A.)" – 4:52
  1. "The Reflex" – 4:20
  2. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] – 4:54
  3. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" – 6:35

Notes

Other appearances

Apart from the single, "The Reflex" has also appeared on:

Albums:

Singles:

Videos:

Video games:

Personnel

Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

References

Preceded by
"Hello" by Lionel Richie
UK number-one single
5 May 1984 - 26 May 1984
Succeeded by
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins
"Automatic" by The Pointer Sisters
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
12 May 1984 - 19 May 1984
2 June 1984
Succeeded by
"Automatic" by The Pointer Sisters
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"I Want to Break Free" by Queen
Dutch number-one sngle
9 June - 14 July 1984
Succeeded by
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 23, 1984 – July 6, 1984
Succeeded by
"When Doves Cry" by Prince