Interview: Duran Duran Bassist John Taylor Talks About The Band's Biggest Hits

“Hungry Like the Wolf” (1982)

Album: Rio

John Taylor: “‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ was a very easy song to write. That whole album—we didn’t have to try too hard. We didn’t have to try at all, actually. There’s a time, when you are lucky enough, when your talent will sort of intersect perfectly with what’s going on. You are just perfectly poised to sort of express the moment. We were definitely in that place on Rio. We were there for the first couple of albums. And everything we did was right. That was an expression of who we all were. You had five kids that were all grown up and incredibly passionate about music. We came together with a great focus and that album was a perfect expression of what we all wanted Duran Duran to be. It was very much a group expression but everybody else was expressing themselves quite individually as well.There’s a lot of energy on that record.”

“[That song came about] on a Saturday afternoon. We were demoing some songs in EMI’s demo studio. We had some time in there. I think Nick [Rhodes] kind of had a [keyboard] sequence in line and Andy [Taylor] had a [guitar] riff and [lead singer] Simon [Le Bon] had a phrase. And I came in and I started playing bass. [Drummer] Roger [Taylor] came in. The song was written in an afternoon. And what’s the song lyrically about? I don’t really know. What do you think its about? Simon likes animal metaphors. I think it was kind of like… To me, it was like wanting to have sex with someone.

“There’s an originality. There’s a expression to the expression. Having spent so many years subsequently trying to achieve that level of inspiration, all I can say is that when you have it, it’s just like the universe being aligned. You can’t really explain it. It’s just about energies being in harmony and everybody being inspired. So everybody is playing the best that they can play and everybody’s drawing on what they know to do—something that is the best that they can do. And Simon was drawing on his interests in poetry or the singers and lyricists that he liked and that was the phrase that came out. I don’t think he plotted it out. I don’t think it’s considered an intellectual thing. We were looking to write hooks, but you know, hooks need some kind of substance.

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