Remember I said I had trouble with My Own Way.
That's nothing, NOTHING I TELL YOU, compared to the trouble I've had with this one.
Lonely in Your Nightmare, one of the Rio album tracks that got the Russell Mulcahy treatment in Sri Lanka. But this one, I'm not so sure about. The video, in common with many Duran Duran videos, comes in more than one version. The 'original' and the one that appear on the 1983 video singles release.
I'm torn as to which one to assassinate, sorry, I mean critique. On the one hand, if I follow the precedent I set with Careless Memories, I should do the original, but I'm not sure you'd thank me all that much as it is a bit, well, pants.
Actually, here's fun, lets do both. This could be tricky, and I don't want to set a dangerous precedent, New Moon on Monday has about five quite different versions (four of them involve Nick dancing - I'll be reviewing the fifth).
It's safe to say at this stage that neither version of this video is a fun filled hoot and a holler like previous Duran Duran videos. I can see why, it's a slower song, but prepare yourself mentally for this. It's going to be a long four minutes and fifty seconds.
Now, we'll start with the original version.
We start with an establishing shot of a nice pretty lady laying gently on her gossamer encased four-poster-bed. It's all very soft focus and romantic, she is clad in virginal white, she is softly turning in her sleep. I believe she is dreaming. Or is it a nightmare? Come on folks, lets find out.
Well if this material that is intercut with images of her softly turning in her sleep is to believed, she's dreaming of some form of folk dancing festival. Dancing children, folks with arrows piercing their cheeks, carnival style costumes, that sort of thing. Not sure why... (You know, if anyone ever writes a book critiquing Duran Duran videos of this era, it should be called "not sure why....")
Anyway, some nice synchronised whip-action going on there, it's all good fun.
Back to lady softly gently sleeping in her slightly tossy-turny sort of way, this time in close up and seemingly slow motion, which is really unnecessary. Really. Something must be due to happen soon, surely?
Yes, she is now dreaming of the band members watching a display of folk dancing. Simon has his earnest face on and made such an impression on that elephant from the Hungry Like the Wolf video, that the elephant has followed him here. He is singing with earnestness (Simon, not the elephant). Next we get a nice honey-shot of Roger turning to speak to Nick who transforms into a strange ear-ringed Sri Lankan folk dancer in front of his eye. Roger doesn't seem surprised by this, but to me, it's the second strangest thing I've ever seen Nick do on video (wait 'til the Election Day video dance routine). It is possible that this is Nick's true appearance of course and that he has been concealing his true appearance from us using magical powers. The mask slipped for a second due to him being startled by Simon's elephant stalker.
Anyway, now she's dreaming that Simon is singing to her at the folk dancing festival. She looks unimpressed, but she may not be able to hear him over the noise of the elephant.
More softly turning in bed type shots, and then we see her appearing in a white archway, dressed like Miss Haversham. Turns out, she's on a different island to Simon. More bed shots, more Simon singing earnestly, more soft focus, no elephants, no metamorphosing Nick, no Andy playing the accordion, no Roger teleporting, no John trying to snog Simon's girlfriend.
Simon walks across the water to the island in his nice white linen suit (ah, Simon and his magical water repelling skills). Miss Haversham has disappeared though. She's legged it through the market, only just avoiding being attacked by a cobra which appears in the hotel room adjacent to hers. I'd call hotel management if I was her, that's just sloppy housekeeping.
Simon has now broken in to her hotel room and is singing into her ear, earnestly. Wearing his Tiger Baby (he likes it 'cos it's odd).
Anyway, her dream seems to has perked up a bit due to Simon's seranade, she dreaming of happier times. Times she spent by the beach drowning native children. Honestly, Simon, I'd skip this one, she's is a nightmare, no wonder she's lonely.
Next we see some really poor quality, badly graded, under exposed shots of Simon singing, earnestly. We also get a shot of John wearing his red suit and string bow tie again, not sure why...
Simon starts nuzzling with Miss Haversham. She's staring out to sea, moodily, probably trying to work out how to chuck more children to the sharks. John is miming backing vocals, Miss Haversham is still in bed (someone please wake her up, for heaven's sakes), dreaming of being serenaded by Simon, who walks down what appears to be the launch strip for Thunderbird 2 (if anyone gets that reference, I'll be impressed).
And that's it for the original version. How could they improve on that classic? Well they tried and came up with this.
I've poured myself a Whisky (Glendronach - Muscatel finish - tastes like Creme Brûlée), I'm going in.
Immediately we see this is radically different, Simon has gone all moody and grey, mean and so restless. He picks up a photograph from a dusty floor, goes monochrome, and heads off up some long abandoned stairs with no banisters (health and safety alert!).
He goes to a long abandoned dressing table and finds some long abandoned polaroids. I know I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but I think the things we are about to see are flashbacks from Simon of a love affair that ended a long time ago, and judging by the rather strange expression on the girl's face, in a galaxy far, far away.
Moody stare out of a window from Simon, pay attention to the window, we are going to see a lot of moody staring out of it from all of the band in the next few minutes.
So Simon is looking at a lady walking down the street, she has awesome hair. I really like mad long curly hair, it's my thing, what can I say. She's also walking past an old Ford Fiesta, I think it may be an XR-2. They are also lovely. Sorry, I like cars too, cars and ladies with mad curly hair. And Duran Duran, obviously.
Sorry, got distracted.
Oh Christ, we are back in the cobra infested hotel room again.
Simon is not looking earnest in this version, he is looking wistful. He does wistful well, although we do appear to be heading perilously close to another of those close-up nostril shots which appears to be a Mulcahy speciality.
There's that arch on the island again! Miss Haversham is back! Simon walks on water, lady runs though
a market, all is well with the world, but we get a bit of extra mood inserts from Simon. No elephant stalkers, though.
Hang on, what do we have here? We have Roger and Andy doing a spot of shopping at a market.But they see the lady with the awesome hair, roger recognises her and tries to prise Andy's attention away from the bargain spuds on offer. He manages, but alas, too late, he misses her. Please note Andy's exceptional fruit juggling skills in this short vignette.
Anyway, we are back to the folk dancing and synchronised whipping. Nice.
Ah! I get it, awesome haired woman is Miss Haversham. But dressed in black, with much better hair and a hat. I was worried, I thought Simon's elephant stalker had got really, really good as disguising itself. I worry a lot about stuff like this you know. I'm still considering claret trousers.
Anyway, she still likes drowning children, so I've gone off her a bit.
Cue John. John sits down in readiness to attempt to pull the lady he has ascertained to be Simon's girlfriend who is unable to find any children to drown, and so is apparently following Tom Lehrer's advice and is poisoning pigeons in the park (google it). She disappears before he can make his opening gambit, he looks puzzled and disappointed and a hell of a lot more handsome than me or anyone I have ever met. Bastard.
We are now into badly photographed, badly graded, under exposed flashback footage. It drives me bananas this bit, I'm not sure if it's meant to be stylised or if it's badly executed day-for-night footage, but it looks horrid.
Lets gloss over this, I've said all that needs to be said about the Sri Lanka footage.
We move into honey-shot time. Nick first, but this time, they do a poor cut which disguises Nick's true appearance. Still, he does the smouldering look into the camera well. Good fringe work.
Next, we get Roger, good work from the shy one. Then John, he even does some ironic eyebrow work, awesome stuff. Then we get another flash of Nick who morphs into Andy, like that would ever happen.
Simon descends the stairs, the song is done.
Sadly, neither of these videos do the song justice.
This is also Duran Duran's first headband free video. I am gutted.
Never mind, next we get Save a Prayer, which has many of the same elements of this video, but somehow manages to be the exact polar opposite.