â€œSecret Oktoberâ€, the flip side of Duranâ€™s â€œUnion of the Snakeâ€ is truly a buried gem, a song that would have considerably brightened the overblown and overly bloated â€œSeven and the Ragged Tigerâ€ (perhaps replacing the unnecessary instrumental â€œTiger, Tigerâ€?). â€œSecret Oktoberâ€ is basically Simon and Nick, vocals and synths, very much in the vein of â€œThe Chaufferâ€ off â€œRioâ€, a nice melody over a comparatively understated synth riff. It continues to be a big fan favorite to this day â€“ I even saw them do it live in 1994 during the Cucurillo years, so it must be close to the boys. Luckily for Durannies, each and every b-side and remix is available on two different box sets. The first one (â€™81-â€™85) is essential, the second, not so much.
And by request, hereâ€™s a pretty rare Kissing the Pink b-side â€“ â€œGarden Partyâ€ is not the Ricky Nelson hit, but rather an extension of its a-side, â€œMaybe This Dayâ€ (which we’ve talked about here). Iâ€™d like to think it was meant to describe the party sung about in â€œMaybe This Dayâ€ (over the garden wall she said / letâ€™s go to the party). Perhaps, or maybe it has nothing to do with it. In any case, itâ€™s an arty, moody little number, worth a couple of listens, but hardly their best.