Duran Duran

Planet Earth

Song Review by

Duran Duran's debut single is a good example of their early sound, a sort of new wave/disco hybrid that crossbred the icy cool of groups like Roxy Music with the propulsive rhythms of groups like Chic. The lyrics of "Planet Earth" name-check the new romantic movement that spawned the group ("like some new romantic looking for the TV sound") and present the kind of bleak futuristic scenario popular with these groups as the song's narrator looks at the night sky and tells any aliens who may be watching that "there's no sign of life." The music supports the spacy quality of the narrative with dreamy verse melodies that constantly ascend into the ether but also adds a pop element with a chorus that utilizes a singalong hook built around the scat-style nonsense phrase "bop-bop-ba." Duran Duran's recording of "Planet Earth" cements its combination of atmosphere and hooks by layering ethereal synthesizer lines over an insistent rhythm section groove that highlights the thumb-popping bass lines of John Taylor. This blend of new wave cool and disco grooves quickly caught on in the U.K. and helped "Planet Earth" to become a Top 20 hit. Duran Duran wouldn't catch on stateside until Rio, but "Planet Earth" made frequent appearances on MTV in its first few years, thanks to a stylish video featuring the band performing against a futuristic, glacier-styled backdrop. Duran Duran also recorded a "Night Version" remake of "Planet Earth" for a 12" single release that added a horn section to the song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Duran Duran 1981 Capitol / EMI Records 4:03
Seven and the Ragged Tiger 1983 Toshiba EMI 0:00
No Image 1983 Pioneer
Sing Blue Silver [Video/DVD] 1984 Capitol
Decade: Greatest Hits 1989 Capitol 4:07
No Image 1989 EMI Music Distribution / Capitol 4:02
It's Electric 1994
Various Artists
Double Power / Sony Music Entertainment 4:03
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Telstar
Eighties Mix [Import] 1998
Various Artists
Import 3:38
Dance Club Retro, Vol. 1: New Wave 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 6:21
Greatest 1998 Capitol / EMI Records / EMI 3:57
Strange Behaviour 1999 EMI Music Distribution 6:58
Girls on Film 1999 Capitol 0:00
Free Enterprise: Love Long and Profit 1999
Original Soundtrack
Nettwerk 3:55
Pop Complete 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Totally Awesome 80's: 1980-1982 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:55
Relax!: The Ultimate 80's Mix, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:39
The Essential Collection [EMI] 2000 EMI Music Distribution 3:56
Pop at Planet Earth 2000
Various Artists
Planet Earth Recordings 3:56
Best of the Eighties 2000
Various Artists
EMI
Electric Dreams: '80s Synth Pop Classics 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
1981: Where Were You? 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Hits of the 80's [EMI 3 CD] 2002
Various Artists
EMI 4:33
Totally New Romantic 2002
Various Artists
EMI
Absolute Synth Classics 2002
Various Artists
Eva 3:53
The Singles 81-85 2003 EMI / Parlophone / Warner Music 6:18
Temptation: 18 New Romantic Classics 2004
Various Artists
EMI 3:56
Duran Duran/Rio/Seven and the Ragged Tiger 2004 EMI Music Distribution 4:03
Real 80's: Hits and Extended Mixes 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:54
It's Electric: The Sound of the 80's 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:01
Let's Get Loud [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky 3:59
Reunited Again 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:01
I Love Music 1980-1984: It's Electric 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:01
The Business: Music from the Motion Picture 2005
Original Soundtrack
EMI Music Distribution 4:03
British Legends 2006
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 4:03
Summer Sunshine Party 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:56
The Original Electro-Pop Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:56
Legendary Eighties 2008
Various Artists
MP Records 3:59
Original Hits: Eighties 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:56
Ashes to Ashes, Series 2 2009
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music 3:55
Anthems: Electronic '80s 2009
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:54
Sing Blue Silver [2009] 2009 EMI Music Distribution
100 Hits: The New Romantics 2011
Various Artists
Demon 3:56
Sight & Sound 2012 EMI Gold 3:58
The Biggest and the Best 2012 Music Club Deluxe 4:04
Electrospective 2012
Various Artists
Capitol 4:02
100 Hits: 80s Classics Karaoke 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits
Top of the Pops: New Romantics 2017
Various Artists
Universal
100% Rolling Stone
Various Artists
Frequency Records
Best of British
Various Artists
Rhino
Duran Duran [Mail on Sunday] Mail on Sunday 4:25
Duran Duran/Rio/Seven & the Ragged Tiger/Big Thing EMI 3:57
No Image
Various Artists
Capitol 3:57
Fade to Grey: 1980-1984
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:02
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 3:55
Molly: Do Yourself a Favor [Original TV Soundtrack]
Original TV Soundtrack
Liberation 4:02
Original Hits: Drivetime
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 3:54
Smash Hits 80s Mixtape
Various Artists
Rhino
The Hottest BBQ Album!
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire
The New Romantics [EMI 2009]
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Top of the Pops 1981 [Spectrum]
Various Artists
Spectrum Music