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In their native UK, Duran Duran first hit with their 1981 self-titled album, sending four songs to the UK singles chart, including the #5 “Girls on Film”. Their second album was introduced with the first single “Wolf”. It marked the double D’s first trip to the U.S. singles chart. The song was praised by Pitchfork Media’s Rob Mitchum, who said “singles don’t come much stronger than ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’.” WK The New York Times’ Jon Pareles said the group “kept the choruses clear and catchy, never disguising their pop intentions” but that it was “no less enjoyable for that”. WK
The song owed much of its success to the fledging MTV music video television network. The group’s ready-for-teen-mag looks made them hits with adolescent girls while the video for “Wolf” had the DD crew romping through Sri Lanka with exotic women a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. The video was “more filmic and action-packed than much of the competing material of the time.” TB As lead singer Simon LeBon said, “Video made it possible to create a cult of personality across the globe.” SF “Wolf” earned the group the distinction of taking home the first Grammy for Best Short Form Video.
The song helped establish the band at the forefront of the Second British Invasion. The first, in the 1960s, was driven by rock’s early superstars like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. This time, however, synthesizer-oriented New Wave groups led the pack with a “unique combination of tough rock-guitar licks and frenetic beats, worthy of post-disco dancefloors.” TB
Amusingly, the song was “reportedly inspired by the innocent childhood fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood.” TB There was, however, nothing innocent about the moaning at the end of the song. That, and the laugh that kicks off the song, were provided by keyboardist Nick Rhodes’ girlfriend. The group’s girlfriends also contributed the makeup which helped shape the group’s look. SF
Hungry Like the Wolf
Resources and Related Links:
- DMDB page for “Hungry Like the Wolf”
- Duran Duran’s DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry
- SF Songfacts.com
- TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 201.
- WK Wikipedia.org