The Reflex

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"The Reflex"
Single by Duran Duran
from the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger
B-side "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" (Live)
"New Religion" (Live)
Released 16 April 1984 (Worldwide)
21 April 1984 (US)
Format 7", 12", CD Single
Recorded 1983
Genre New wave, dance-rock
Length 5:29 (album version)
4:25 (single version)
Label EMI, Capitol
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Producer(s) Duran Duran, Alex Sadkin, Ian Little
Duran Duran singles chronology
"New Moon on Monday"
"The Reflex"
"The Wild Boys"
Alternate Sleeve
US 7" sleeve

"The Reflex" is the eleventh single by Duran Duran, released worldwide on 16 April 1984.

The song was heavily remixed for single release and was the third and last to be taken from their third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

Song history[edit]

"The Reflex" became the band's most successful single. It was their second single to top the UK singles chart, after "Is There Something I Should Know?" in 1983, topping the chart on 5 May, and would prove to be their last UK #1. The single entered the charts in America on 21 April 1984 at #46, became Duran Duran's first of two singles to hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (for 2 weeks) on 23 June 1984 (see 1984 in music), and was a huge hit internationally. (Their only other single to hit #1 in the US was the title song to the James Bond film "A View to a Kill".) It was also the first of two songs that kept "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen out of the top spot, (The other one being Prince's "When Doves Cry"). The band wanted it to be the lead single from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, but their label didn't like the warbling singing during the "why don't you use it" segments, thinking this would hinder its success as a stand-alone single track.

The remixes for both the 7" and 12" singles were created by Nile Rodgers, of Chic fame. It was his first work with the band, and he would later go on to produce "The Wild Boys" single as well as the album Notorious (1986) and several tracks on Astronaut (2004).

Producer Ian Little recalled the sound Nick Rhodes came up with on his Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard: "...whenever I hear that steel-drum part it always brings a smile to my face because it's so out of tune. Steel drums always are, but it was exactly right in terms of rhythm and tone. So a wood-block sound was mixed in to make it even more percussive and, successfully, it did the job."[1]

Music video[edit]

The video for "The Reflex" was shot during the Sing Blue Silver tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario on 5 March 1984. Director Russell Mulcahy filmed some of the closeup footage in the indoor arena that afternoon, and the rest was filmed live during that evening's concert.[2]

"The Reflex" is primarily a concert video, accurately portraying Duran Duran's Sing Blue Silver tour performance style. However, in keeping with the band's insistence that their videos "never be ordinary", the video screen above the stage displayed bits of naked models wearing collars and chains illuminated with black light, occasionally interrupted by computerized video white noise. At one point, a waterfall appears to pour out of the video screen above the stage to soak the audience. The computer graphics used to achieve this were typical at the time, but rapid advancement in the field quickly made the effect look dated.

Keyboard enthusiasts have taken special note of the Fairlight CMI (the first digital sampling synthesiser) that Nick Rhodes operated with a light pen in this video, and throughout the tour.

Some symbolic scenes from the official video were taken and later mixed with the alternate version shown in the band's concert film Arena (An Absurd Notion); in the final segment when the band, the crowd and even the fans undertake the final and crucial battle against the evil Dr. Durand Durand.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[edit]

In addition to the 4:26 single remix, the 12" also included an extended remix of "The Reflex". The live b-side "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" is a cover of a Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel song, recorded 16 November 1982 at Hammersmith Odeon in London, with lead Rebel Steve Harley joining the band onstage.

A second live b-side released on the US single, "New Religion", was recorded 7 February 1984 at The Forum in Los Angeles. This is not the same live version that appears on the Arena album.

Covers, samples, and media references[edit]

Cover versions have been recorded by Less than Jake[3] and the duo of Kylie Minogue and Ben Lee.[4]

The song is part of the "Hooked on Polkas" medley on the 1985 Dare To Be Stupid album by "Weird Al" Yankovic.

The song has also been featured in the soundtracks for the movies American Wedding (2003) and Corky Romano (2001), as well as an episode of the short-lived 2002 television series That '80s Show in which bassist John Taylor made a guest appearance.

The song is also featured in the video game Saints Row 2 as part of its 1980s radio station.

A chain of 1980s-themed nightclubs in the UK is named after the song.[5] The Birmingham branch is located directly opposite the former site of the Rum Runner, Duran Duran's early home base.[6]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[10] 1
Canada (RPM 50 Singles)[11] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[12] 1
France (SNEP)[13] 15
Germany (Media Control AG)[14] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 1
Italy (FIMI)[16] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[18] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19] 6
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[20] 7
Spain (AFYVE)[21] 14
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 1

Track listing[edit]

"The Reflex" was the second Duran Duran single to feature a personalised group catalogue number in the UK, DURAN 2.

  • 7" Single (UK)
  1. "The Reflex" — 4:20
  2. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] — 4:54
  • 12" Single (UK)
  1. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" — 6:35
  2. "The Reflex" [7" version] — 4:20
  3. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] — 4:54
  • 7" Single (U.S.)
  1. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" [edit] — 4:25
  2. "New Religion (Live in L.A.)" — 4:52
  1. "The Reflex" — 4:20
  2. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" [live] — 4:54
  3. "The Reflex (Dance Mix)" — 6:35


  • The edited Dance Mix is the same as the regular 7" version.

Other appearances[edit]

Apart from the single, "The Reflex" has also appeared on:



  • Capitol Gold Cuts (1990)


Video games:


Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

  • Michelle Cobbs — backing vocals
  • B J Nelson — backing vocals
  • Raphael Dejesus — percussion
  • Mark Kennedy — percussion
  • Andy Hamilton — Sax solo (album version)
  • Alex Sadkin — producer
  • Ian Little — producer
  • Nile Rodgers — remixer
  • Jason Corsaro — remix engineer


  1. ^ Richard Buskin (July 2004). "CLASSIC TRACKS: 'The Reflex'". SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Duran Duran Timeline: 1984". Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Duran Duran Tribute Album review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "UnDone: The Songs of Duran Duran review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Reflex, the 80s Bar for Uptown Girls... and Boys". Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Reflex, the 80s Bar". Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  7. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ "Duran Duran – The Reflex –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  9. ^ " – Duran Duran – The Reflex" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  10. ^ "The Reflex - DURAN DURAN". VRT (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 July 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  11. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 40, No. 15, June 16 1984". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Steve Hawtin et al. "Song artist 102 - Duran Duran". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  13. ^ " – Duran Duran – The Reflex" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Duran Duran - The Reflex". Media Control. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 28 July 2013.  Only one result when searching "The Reflex"
  16. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1984". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
    60. The Reflex - Duran Duran [#11]
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Duran Duran - The Reflex search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  18. ^ " – Duran Duran – The Reflex" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  19. ^ " – Duran Duran – The Reflex". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  20. ^ "REFLEKS - Duran Duran". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  21. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  22. ^ "Duran Duran – The Reflex –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Seven and the Ragged Tiger awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Hello" by Lionel Richie
UK number-one single
5 May 1984 – 26 May 1984
Succeeded by
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins
"Automatic" by The Pointer Sisters
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
12 May 1984 – 19 May 1984
2 June 1984
Succeeded by
"Automatic" by The Pointer Sisters
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"I Want to Break Free" by Queen
Dutch number-one sngle
9 June – 14 July 1984
Succeeded by
"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
23 June 1984 – 6 July 1984
Succeeded by
"When Doves Cry" by Prince