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Planet Earth

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"Planet Earth"
by Duran Duran

more Planet Earth videos

Song details
Duran1st Track number 2
from the album
Duran Duran
Previous track: Girls on Film
Next track: Anyone Out There
Length: 3:59
Writer(s): Duran Duran
Producer(s): Colin Thurston
Planet Earth |
Single details
UK release: February 2, 1981
Label: EMI
Format(s): 7", 12"
B-side(s): "Late Bar"
Peak chart positions:
#12  UK Singles Chart
#8  Australia

Duran Duran singles chronology
"Planet Earth" "Careless Memories"

"Planet Earth" was the first single by the pop/rock band Duran Duran, from their first album Duran Duran. The song was released on 2 February, 1981, and reached #12 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 February. It was also a Top 10 hit in Australia, reaching #8.

About the songEdit

"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".

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).


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 anybody 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?
Is 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
This calling planet earth
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop
This looking at planet earth
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop
This is planet earth

Music videoEdit

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". See the Dandy Warhol's video here: [1]

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixesEdit

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 referencesEdit

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 ListingEdit

Release information pertains to UK release only.

7": EMI EMI 5137Edit

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

12": EMI 12 EMI 5137Edit

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

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

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

Other appearancesEdit

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



Duran Duran are:

Also credited:


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 Massacre


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


"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"

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