Written Work by Graham T. Baden
Here’s a song that has been covered a dozen times, but just can’t seem to have a bad version made of it. Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur,” off their second album Rio (1982), was recorded in late 1980 after Simon Le Bon became the lead singer of the band. Legend has it, while the band was working for Paul and Michael Berrow, the managers of the Rum Runner bar in Birmingham, England, one of the bartenders recommended Le Bon, though he was her ex-boyfriend. He came to the audition with a book of poetry containing the lyrics to this song.
The Deftones then did a great cover that was used in the soundtrack for Resident Evil: Apocalypse. It can be found on their 2005 B Sides and Rarities. Though it wasn’t used in the soundtrack for the movie Drive (2011), this user-made music video found on Youtube fits the part quite nicely. Gotta love the Flat Earth…
In 2009, Sleeptheif made an sweet little cover found on their album Dawnseeker. It echoes the original in both tone and video.
My all-time favorite version of this song, though, (including the original) is Sneaker Pimp’s 2003 version taken from a compilation album featuring Le Bon released in Japan by SYN Productions.
Warpaint has taken up the torch, and though I can’t find an available video recording online, it is available streaming on Spotify and Soundcloud and will be released on a forthcoming LP “Making Patterns Rhyme: a Tribute to Duran Duran”. It will be produced by Manimal and proceeds will benefit Amnesty International.
I’m looking forward to that.
Keep tuning in, and keep tapping those shoes.