The Wild Boys (song)

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"The Wild Boys"
Single by Duran Duran
from the album Arena
  • "(I'm Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement" (1984)
Released 26 October 1984 (UK)
3 November 1984 (US)
Recorded July 1984, Maison Rouge Studios, London
  • 4:14 (Single Version)
  • 8:00 (Extended Mix)
Writer(s) Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, James Bates
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Duran Duran singles chronology
"The Reflex"
"The Wild Boys"
"A View to a Kill"
Arena track listing
"Save a Prayer"
"The Wild Boys"
"The Seventh Stranger"
Greatest track listing
"New Moon on Monday"
"The Wild Boys"

"The Wild Boys" is the twelfth single by Duran Duran, released in October 1984.

The song was the only studio track on the live album Arena, and was produced by Nile Rodgers, who had previously remixed the single "The Reflex". It was recorded at the end of July 1984 at Maison Rouge studios in London.

"The Wild Boys" became one of the band's biggest hits, reaching #2 on the American Billboard Hot 100 and hitting #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart. It peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart, and also reached the top position in Germany and on the Canadian CHUM Chart.

It became the band's biggest charting single in Australia, reaching #5. The band's parent album, "Arena", was certified Double Platinum in the United States.[1]

About the song[edit]

The idea for the song came from longtime Duran Duran video director Russell Mulcahy, who wanted to make a full-length feature film based on the surreal and sexual 1971 novel The Wild Boys: A Book Of The Dead by William S. Burroughs. He suggested that the band might create a modern soundtrack for the film in the same way that Queen would later provide a rock soundtrack for Mulcahy's 1986 movie Highlander. Singer Simon Le Bon began writing some lyrics based on Mulcahy's quick synopsis of the book, and the band created a harsh-sounding instrumental backdrop for them.[2]

The single was issued with six separate collectible covers – one featuring each individual band member and one of the band collectively.

On 3 November, the same day the song was released in America, it entered the charts at #38, there it would peak at #2

Music video[edit]

The video for "The Wild Boys" was directed by Russell Mulcahy. The cost totalled over one million British Pounds, a staggering sum for music videos at the time, as his design filled one entire end of the "007 Stage" at Pinewood Studios with a metal pyramid and a windmill over a deep enclosed pool, and called for a lifelike robotic face, dozens of elaborate costumes, prosthetics, and makeup effects, and then-cutting-edge computer graphics. The choreography of dance routines was undertaken by Arlene Phillips, including intricate stunts and fire effects added to the cost. Mulcahy meant the video to be a teaser for his full-length Burroughs film, demonstrating his vision to the movie studios he was wooing, but that project was never made.

The video featured all of the band members imprisoned and in peril, wearing uncharacteristically rough and ragged outfits similar to the pieced-together clothing of the film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. John Taylor was strapped to the roof of a car suffering a psycho-torture with pictures of his childhood and early past, Nick Rhodes was caged with a pile of computer equipment, Roger Taylor was put in a hot-air balloon that was dangling from the ceiling, leaving him high off the ground, and Andy Taylor was bound (guitar and all) to a ship's figurehead. Singer Simon Le Bon, strapped to the spinning windmill which dunked his head beneath the water with each revolution, supposedly found himself in real difficulty when the windmill stopped with his head underwater. He was given a tube to breathe through and the issue was promptly fixed, but the British tabloids had a field day exaggerating Le Bon's "near death experience". Le Bon himself has dismissed this story in more than one interview as an "urban myth", claiming nothing of the sort happened.

"The Wild Boys" was named Best British Video at the 1985 BRIT Awards.

Remixes and B-sides[edit]

The 8:00 12" "Wilder Than Wild Boys" extended mix, the only official contemporaneous remix, is actually the full length version. It continues after the album/single version's fade out with another instrumental section, then repeats the chorus to fade. This mix was also used for the full length promo video.

To promote the release of the compilation album Greatest in 1998, EMI commissioned a number of remixes, including two mixes of "The Wild Boys" that were released only on promo discs:

  • "The Wild Boys [ASAP & PM Project Remix]" 3:42 appeared on a one-track promo CD in Spain
  • "Wild Boys 98 [4 On Da Floor Remix]" 3:10 appeared on a one-track promo CD in Belgium

In 2004, noted remixer Paul Dakeyne produced the 7:30 "Wicked 'n Wild Dub" for DMC, the UK-based remix service.

The original single B-side, "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement (Live)", was recorded at the 5 March 1984 show at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. This is the same concert where the video for "The Reflex" was filmed.

Formats and track listing[edit]

7": Parlophone. / Duran 3 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "The Wild Boys (45)" – 4:14
  2. "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement" (1984) – 4:00
  • Track 2 recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 5 March 1984.
  • Also released in sleeves featuring individual band members (DURANC 3)

12": Parlophone. / 12 Duran 3 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "The Wild Boys" (Wilder Than The Wild Boys) (Extended Mix) – 8:00
  2. "The Wild Boys (45)" – 4:16
  3. "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement" (1984) – 4:08
  • Track 3 recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 5 March 1984.

7": Capitol Records. / B-5417 United States[edit]

  1. "The Wild Boys (45)" – 4:14
  2. "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement" (1984) – 4:00
  • Track 2 recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 5 March 1984.

12": Capitol Records. / V-6817 United States[edit]

  1. "The Wild Boys" (Wilder Than The Wild Boys) (Extended Mix) – 8:00
  2. "The Wild Boys (45)" – 4:16
  3. "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement" (1984) – 4:08
  • Track 3 recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 5 March 1984.

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

  1. "The Wild Boys (45)" – 4:16
  2. "(I'm Looking For) Cracks In The Pavement" (1984) – 4:08
  3. "The Wild Boys" (Wilder Than The Wild Boys) (Extended Mix) – 8:00
  • Track 2 recorded live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, 5 March 1984.

Covers, samples, and media references[edit]

  • Cover versions of "The Wild Boys" have been recorded by Robyn Loau/Ronin System, British boyband Phixx, the German bands Atrocity and Touch Down, the Danish metal band Mnemic and covered live by Austrian Doomsters Jack Frost.
  • A sample of the phrase "Boys" (along with the "Girls" from "Girls on Film") was used as part of the "Girls! Boys!" chorus on the band's 1989 megamix single "Burning the Ground".
  • The song has long been the entrance music used by mixed martial arts fighter Mirko Filipović.
  • This song also appeared in the video "1986 Mets: A Year To Remember," during the segment of the Mets' "Wild Boys" (Wally Backman and Lenny Dykstra).
  • Singer Eva Simons has covered an electro-pop/dance remix of the song for her album.
  • The British musical comedy film Walking on Sunshine covered the song.
  • The song was parodied on the Ricky Gervais comedy TV series "Derek", series 1, Episode 5
  • Comedian Greg Proops uses the song to introduce news stories about wild boars on his podcast "The Smartest Man In The World." (Playing on the misheard lyrics in the chorus.)

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

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



Duran Duran are:

Also credited:


  1. ^ Haden-Guest, Anthony (24 February 1986). New York Magazine: "Jewel of a Nile", p. 46. New York Magazine. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  2. ^ VH1 interview with John Taylor
  3. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  4. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Duran Duran – The Wild Boys". Music Canada. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Duran Duran; 'Wild Boys')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "British single certifications – Duran Duran – Wild Boys". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 December 2013.  Enter Wild Boys in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  7. ^ "American single certifications – Duran Duran – The Wild Boys". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 3 December 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]