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

“The Reflex” (1984)

Album: Seven And The Ragged Tiger

John Taylor: “It was a difficult album. The third album was difficult because we stressed having to pace ourselves. We had a lot of hits. The vultures were circling. They are expecting you to lose it. We changed our producer for the third album. We started that album in France and we couldn’t get our groove on. From there, we went to the West Indies to a studio. I lived in Montserrat. Actually, that track—it was my birthday. It was June. That’s when we came up with the groove. It was that song. I mean typically we write from sort of the tempo up. We liked to jam. We sort of came up with a groove that we liked. Simon, he’s just in there man. He’s just wailing away just like everybody else is. Just trying to find a few words that he likes. That he likes the melody. That he likes the phrasing. And you know, he had a very distinct style as a lyricist in the early 80s. He was quite unusual.

“We were talking about ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’—what was ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ about? Well, I really don’t know. I just assume that it was about meeting girls. And ‘The Reflex,’ that’s even darker, really, as a subject. It immediately asks the question to the listener I think in a way that is interesting. When you hear that song you think, ‘What’s that about?’ It sort of draws you in. It doesn’t give away much of itself. Maybe that’s a sort of early ‘80s kind of style. Lyrics were quite oblique in that day. I think Simon was a real pioneer of that kind. It’s quite a paranoid song, actually.”

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