Just that lately I’ve been so damn lonely when I think of you…
At long last! More Duranalysis! My original plan was to start tackling the Notorious-era videos—“Skin Trade” and “Meet El Presidente” along with the title track—but… well, look, nothing really happens in any of those videos, which makes them highly resistant to any attempt at in-depth quality Duranalyzing (“And then Christy Turlington wanders around while looking really pretty some more…”). So I’m speeding ahead to “Do You Believe In Shame?” off of the Big Thing album.
The video to “Do You Believe in Shame?” was directed in 1989 by celebrated auteur Chen Kaige, who, four years later, would receive the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Farewell My Concubine. It’s a gorgeous, evocative, melancholy video—a suitable accompaniment to a gorgeous, melancholy song.
It’s also a familiar song: The official writing credits on “Do You Believe in Shame?” were adjusted after Duran Duran lost a legal challenge that claimed it was too musically similar to the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit “Susie Q”. Which… yes, that legal decision makes sense, because the basic melody of “Do You Believe in Shame?” is pretty much identical to the melody of “Susie Q”. Not that anybody thinks Duran Duran set out to commit a random burst of plagiarism, but still, it would’ve been nice if a light bulb had gone off over somebody’s head at some point in the recording process: “Oi, mates, I think we just wrote ‘Susie Q’!”