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).
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.
B-sides, bonus tracks and remixesEdit
Template:Songbox 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".
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.
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