Is There Something I Should Know?

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"Is There Something I Should Know?"
Single by Duran Duran
B-side "Faith in this Colour"
"Careless Memories" (US)
Released 19 March 1983
4 June 1983 (US)
Format 7", 12"
Recorded London, December 1982
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 4:11
Label EMI, Capitol Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Producer(s) Duran Duran, Colin Thurston, Ian Little
Duran Duran singles chronology
"Rio"
(1982)
"Is There Something I Should Know?"
(1983)
"Union of the Snake"
(1983)
Alternate sleeve
12" Monster Mix sleeve

"Is There Something I Should Know?" is the eighth single by British rock band Duran Duran, released on 19 March 1983.

The song was released as a stand-alone single and became the band's first UK number one record. It debuted in the number one position on the UK Singles Chart on 26 March 1983.[1] The single also had great success in America, where it was released in late May: The song debuted on the charts on 4 June at #57, and it reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 August 1983 and sold more than a million copies.

About the song[edit]

"Is There Something I Should Know?" was recorded in London, with producer Ian Little in December 1982. Although generally regarded as a stand-alone single, it was added to the 1983 US re-issue of the band's 1981 debut album, Duran Duran. The first album on which the song featured in the UK was the inaugural Now That's What I Call Music compilation at the end of the year.

The singles from the Duran Duran album did not receive much airplay in the United States on the album's first release; both the band and the New Romantic fashion style were unknown, and very few British bands were able to break into American radio at that time. However, by the end of 1982, the band's Rio album was rapidly climbing the American charts, fueled by saturation airplay of various Duran Duran videos on MTV. The band and their label, Capitol/EMI, decided to re-release the debut album in the United States with the inclusion of this newly recorded single.

Because of the time limitations of vinyl records, the inclusion of "Is There Something I Should Know?" required the omission of the album track "To The Shore" on the reissue. "To The Shore" was reinstated on later compact disc pressings.

"Is There Something I Should Know?" was the song Duran Duran used to open their 1983/84 Seven and the Ragged Tiger album tour shows with and also Duran Duran's charity concert at Aston Villa football ground 1983.

In a retrospective review of the song, Allmusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco wrote that the lyrics "deal with a difficult romantic relationship in rather obtuse terms." Guarisco highlighted what he described as "odd turns of phrase" in the lyrics, such as: "and fiery demons all dance when you walk through that door/Don't say your easy on me 'cause you're about as easy as a nuclear war."

Although Guarisco questioned the lyrics, he praised the melody in the song. He wrote: "The melody of 'Is There Something I Should Know?' is one of Duran Duran's catchiest, matching twisty verse melodies full of ear-catching hooks with a harmonized chorus."[2]

Music video[edit]

The memorable and much-played video for "Is There Something I Should Know?" featured colour clips of the band members, in blue shirts with tucked-in white ties, interspersed with surreal images in black-and-white. The video also included clips from several earlier Duran Duran videos, including some filmed for album tracks which were never released to MTV, specially "My Own Way". (See the Duran Duran video album for details.)

The video was directed by Russell Mulcahy, and was one of the most popular videos of 1983 on MTV.

Asked if there was anything about their videos they'd like to change, drummer Roger Taylor commented, "The only part of a video I would change is the end of "Is There Something I Should Know?" where I am singing to the camera. I look very uncomfortable doing this and cringe every time I see it to this day."[3]

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[edit]

The B-side to "Is There Something I Should Know?" in the UK is the instrumental "Faith in this Colour". An "Alternate Slow Mix" of "Faith in this Colour" was used on the 7" single, some pressings of which included brief unauthorized sound samples from the movie Star Wars -- these were promptly withdrawn when copyright concerns were raised, although on the "Alternate Slow Mix" from the singles box set, the scene, in which Obi-Wan leaves to disable the tractor beam, can clearly be heard in the last minute. Duran Duran has not confirmed this, though.

The mainly instrumental "Monster Mix" of "Is There Something I Should Know?" was completed by producers Ian Little and Alex Sadkin.

In the US, the song "Careless Memories" is the B-side of "Is There Something I Should Know?".

Covers, samples and media references[edit]

The band Sugar Ray took elements from the video and featured them in a segment of the music video for their single "When It's Over".

Cover versions of the song have been recorded by The Mr. T Experience, Harvey Danger and allSTARS*

The line "you're about as easy as a nuclear war" was the inspiration for the Duran Duran song "Yo Bad Azizi", included as a b-side to the "Serious" single released seven years later.

The song was parodied by The Fringemunks to recap Fringe episode 2.12, "What Lies Below".[4]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[1] 1
Australian Singles Chart 4
Canadian Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart 2
Norwegian Singles Chart 10
Swedish Singles Chart 16
Swiss Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Hot 100 4

Track listing[edit]

Release information pertains to UK release only.

7": EMI 5371[edit]

  1. "Is There Something I Should Know?" – 4:11
  2. "Faith in This Colour (Alternate Slow Mix)" – 4:05

12": 12 EMI 5371[edit]

  1. "Is There Something I Should Know? (Monster Mix)" – 6:40
  2. "Faith in This Colour" – 4:05

CD: Part of "Singles Box Set 1981-1985" boxset[edit]

  1. "Is There Something I Should Know?" – 4:11
  2. "Faith in This Colour" – 4:05
  3. "Is There Something I Should Know? (Monster Mix)" – 6:40
  4. "Faith in This Colour (Alternate Slow Mix)" – 4:05
  • "Monster Mix" remixed by Alex Sadkin and Ian Little

UK: 7243 5 51736 2 1

Other appearances[edit]

Apart from the single, "Is There Something I Should Know?" has also appeared on:

Albums:

Singles:

Personnel[edit]

Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 421. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Is There Something I Should Know? - Duran Duran : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "The Fringemunks". DavidWuMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
UK number-one single
20–27 March 1983
Succeeded by
"Let's Dance" by David Bowie