06 June 2010 // Written by Joe Sparrow ~ 12 Comments

Duran Duran – 911 Is A Joke

Picture the scene. It’s 1990. You are Public Enemy – young, gifted and the “black CNN”.

You’ve released your angriest, funkiest, most brazenly controversial record yet – Fear Of A Black Planet. The key track is 911 Is A Joke, a fiercely critical song highlighting the longer response times of US emergency services visiting black neighbourhoods.

A million albums are sold in the first week – and America is running scared of its own problems. All is well.

Now imagine it’s 1995, and you have the deep misfortune to be in Duran Duran. For reasons unfathomable, you are still a million-selling act. A voracious, excited fanbase awaits your new album… of cover versions. What could go wrong?

This is what could go wrong:

The immediate question, as with all ill-thought-out cover versions, is ‘….but… why?…”. You must learn to immediately reject such notions. The key to truly appreciating excruciatingly bad cover songs is to disregard rational thought.

Rational thought, after all, would never have led to a soppy 1980′s quasi-boyband to cover the angriest song ever written by the angriest hip hop group there has ever been.

The secret is to revel in the detail:

  • Luxuriate! in the blunderingly stupid faux-bad-attitude styling of Simon Le Bon, as he hops around, busting middle-class stupid-fresh stylings and attempting to look menacing, in skin-tight pink spandex trousers.
  • Gasp! at the excruciating use of the mouth-organ – a pre-emptive Yeah-I-Feel-The-Black-Pain-Too sop to the critics, the sound of whom’s jaws collectively slamming against the floor was heard by even the most addled Duran Duran member.
  • Shudder! at the dawning realisation that Simon Le Bon looks like a drunken escaped mental patient enjoying a night of freedom in a Karaoke bar.
  • Laugh yourself silly! at the bewildered faces of the audience, who are wondering if the whole enterprise is for some sort of hidden-camera prank.
  • Prepare To Sue! for the emotional pain caused by the ‘impromptu’ segue into a verse of Shaft. (Seriously, this happens.)

Watch the video right to the end, and then go and scrub yourself clean with bleach. A cover version so monumentally stupid, it has become the low-tide mark by which all others are tearfully measured.

It might be worth remembering at this point that when Public Enemy performed this song live, they had 10 Security Of The First World guards, wielding Uzis, marching on stage with them. Just to put it all in context.

No related posts.


12 Responses to “Duran Duran – 911 Is A Joke”

  1. David J J 29 June 2010 at 2:37 pm Permalink

    So excrutiatingly bad I can’t find the words.

  2. Doubleclick 7 July 2010 at 1:47 pm Permalink

    The extra piece of stupidity here is that, on top of all this, Duran Duran were clearly attempting to be the Red Hot Chili Peppers

  3. Dutchman 13 January 2011 at 10:48 pm Permalink

    You forgot ‘walk this way’ from by Aerosmith and RUN-DMC.
    Sugarbabes and Girl Aloud did there version…..

  4. Inversion table 18 February 2011 at 11:48 am Permalink

    I agree with David it’s too bad I think many of peoples didn’t like it!

  5. EScaf 2 February 2012 at 11:04 am Permalink


  6. chris 13 February 2012 at 12:11 am Permalink

    Excuse me, but “a soppy 1980′s quasi-boyband”? you don’t know what you are talking about, boy.

  7. chy 11 June 2012 at 6:22 am Permalink

    Louis Vuitton

    Handbags Outlet:

    Gather tag lines from other companies and brands. Look in other

    categories besides your own and try to find tag lines from both

    large and small companies.

    As you find tag lines, write them on index cards or individual

    slips of paper. You will be mixing and matching them and pairing

    them with unrelated items as you brainstorm.

    Pay attention to the words used, how they are put together, and

    which of the above questions they address. By doing this, you are

    more likely to come up with a unique angle for your own tag line.

    NOTE: You are looking at others’ tag lines only to spark ideas. Do

    not plagiarize. You must come up with your own, original tag line.

    To find tag lines, look around. You may find them anywhere there

    are advertisements, packaging, or logos. Look in cupboards, around

    desks, in magazines, on TV/radio commercials, in print

    advertisements, and on Web sites.

  8. Sports 22 July 2012 at 1:45 am Permalink

    Nowadays to find a similar Efficient and Effective SEO Automation software at one Time payment of US 99-00 is a rarity\

  9. Public Enemy Suck 29 December 2012 at 3:32 am Permalink

    Gifted? Err,they’re rappers.It’s speaking crap poetry over a sampled/stolen beat.

  10. I used to be suggested this website by means of my cousin. I’m now not sure whether this put up is written by way of him as no one else understand such precise approximately my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thank you!

  11. Cecil 20 September 2014 at 1:48 am Permalink

    I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a
    lot of work, there is an online tool that creates
    high quality, SEO friendly articles in seconds, just search in google –
    laranitas free content source

Leave a Reply