When it comes to 80s pop music groups, there’s four I personally identify as my core favorites: Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & the News, Men at Work and Duran Duran. Of them, I probably like Duran Duran the least, but my penchant for wearing out any cassette mix tape I owned containing ‘Hungry Like The Wolf” was second to none.
In the early 80s MTV was often single-handedly responsible for making a song transform from obscure bin filler to monster hit. That was unquestionably the case with “Hungry Like the Wolf”— my most preferred Duran Duran song. Originally released in 1982, it received absolutely no love from American radio while having moderate success in the UK. That changed in a big way when MTV put their elaborate (for that time) video into heavy rotation on their station, playing if four or five times daily. Suddenly the song blew up and ultimately reached the top of the American Billboard rock charts.
It was one of, if not the first song to become a mainstream hit almost exclusively because of MTV.
The fame Duran Duran found with “Hungry Like the Wolf” was merited. In my opinion it was the best song they ever wrote—an unpretentiously magnificent pop music single. Simon Lebon was one of the best lead singers of this era. He sang lyrics that often made zero sense, including this song at times, but it mattered not as Lebon sung everything so freegin convincingly.
I loved everything about this song—from the irrefutably appealing chorus to the sexually charged lady noises near its conclusion.
Chart Success: Reached number-three on the Billboard Top 100, where it remained on the chart for charts for 23 weeks. As stated earlier the song did reach number-one on the U.S. Top Rock tracks and also reached the top spot in Canada. It finished 1983 ranked 17th on the year-end Billboard Top 100.
Great Lyrics: Lebon’s lyrics were reportedly inspired by the legendary Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale….. Alrighty then.
“In touch with the ground
I’m on the hunt down I’m after you
Smell like I sound I’m lost in a crowd
And I’m hungry like the wolf
Straddle the line in discord and rhyme
I’m on the hunt down I’m after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I’m hungry like the wolf”
Fun Fact: While this is my favorite Duran Duran song it wasn’t their biggest hit. The group had two number-one hits in the mid 80’s: “View To A Kill” and “The Reflex” and also had a pair of songs reach as high as number-two: “The Wild Boys” and “Notorious”. “Ordinary World” and “Union of the Snake” also reached as high as three, giving the group a staggering eight top three hits and 11 top ten hits in the 1980s.
100. Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can D0)
99. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgetting
97. The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Does Is Magic
96. Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach
94. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
93. Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone
92. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
91. Night Ranger – Sister Christian
89. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
87. Debbie Gibson – Foolish Beat
86. Glen Mederios – Nothing’s Going To Change My Love For You
85. John Cougar – Jack and Diane
81. Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You
80. Debbie Gibson – Only In My Dreams
79. Shelia E. – The Glamorous Life
77. Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All
76. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – Say Say Say
75. Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)
74. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
73. Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie
72. The Police – Every Breathe You Take
71. Survivor – The Search Is Over
70. REO Speedwagon – Keep On Loving You
69. Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams
68. Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel
67. Kenny Loggins – Meet Me Halfway
66. Irene Cara – Flashdance…What A Feeling
65. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
64. Phil Collins – One More Night
63. Europe – The Final Countdown
62. Patrick Swazye – She’s Like The Wind
61. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride