LetÁ¢€™s just ask the obvious question: how the hell did this song become a hit?
This is not to say that the song is awful so much as itÁ¢€™s really, really lucky. In the spring of 1986, with America still in the throes of Duranmania, bassist John Taylor Á¢€” who had admitted that he had not so much as burped on a record before Á¢€” teamed up with Jonathan Elias (he would go on to co-produce the bandÁ¢€™s 1988 album Big Thing) to deliver the sexy for Adrian LyneÁ¢€™s 9 Á‚½ Weeks. The song, Á¢€Å“I Do What I Do,Á¢€ is an odd little tune Á¢€” sounding nothing like Duran or the side projects Arcadia and the Power Station Á¢€” but it had two huge things working in its favor: it was the work of a member of Duran Duran, and it was the work of a member of Duran Duran. Simply put, if Á¢€Å“I Do What I DoÁ¢€ had been recorded by any other singer, and released at that or any other time, it would have sunk like a stone.
Again, this is not to say that the song itself is awful (the writer doth protest too much, methinks), but letÁ¢€™s be frank Á¢€” there ainÁ¢€™t much to it. The vocal covers about six notes, the lyricsÁ¢€™ attempts to be steamy are unintentionally funny (Á¢€Å“Is my body heat the right intensity,Á¢€ gawd), and while it possesses the components of a song Á¢€” verse, chorus, bridge, solo, etc. Á¢€” itÁ¢€™s not much of a song. But itÁ¢€™s from a member of Duran Duran! The cute one that plays the bass thingy! Eeeeeeeeeee!
And there you have it. The song becomes a Top 25 single, and an obligatory 12Á¢€ single is issued to relieve teenage girls around the world of the last of their babysitting money. The direction for the extended mix appears to have been: make the song even less danceable than it already is. John doesnÁ¢€™t get to the first verse until after the four-and-a-half minute mark. What happens up until that point? A whole lot of stop-starting with a sax riff, some vocal snippets Á¢€” and I do mean snippets Á¢€” and a wall of electronic percussion. You might, might, be able to dance dirty (or have sex) to the album version. Try to seduce a girl with this mix, and sheÁ¢€™ll suffer a grand mal seizure.
The publicÁ¢€™s love for all things Duran Duran would last for another six to eight months after the release of Á¢€Å“I Do What I Do,Á¢€ which, as it turned out, was long enough for another Taylor Á¢€” guitarist Andy Á¢€” to score a solo hit of his own, the T. Rex-cribbing Á¢€Å“Take It Easy.Á¢€ Duran would reform that fall Á¢€” minus Taylors Andy and Roger Á¢€” and release their fourth album Notorious, but after the title track climbed to #2, the little girls had clearly moved on. After all, how else do you explain Á¢€Å“I Do What I DoÁ¢€ and Á¢€Å“Take It EasyÁ¢€ coming within armÁ¢€™s reach of the Top 20, while Á¢€Å“Skin TradeÁ¢€ Á¢€” one of the bandÁ¢€™s best singles ever Á¢€” spent one lonely week in the Top 40, peaking at #39? Here, you be the judge. For your listening pleasure, we give you both the Á¢€Å“Final CutÁ¢€ mix of Á¢€Å“I Do What I DoÁ¢€ (are you absolutely, positively sure this is the final cut?), and the Á¢€Å“StretchÁ¢€ mix of Á¢€Å“Skin Trade,Á¢€ mixed by the late, legendary New York disco DJ Larry Levan. But first, revel in the glory that is John Taylor in a dark movie theater, singing. Funny, whenever I do that, people throw things at me. Must be because IÁ¢€™m not as cute as John is. But really, who is?
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John Taylor Á¢€” I Do What I Do (The Final Cut)
Duran Duran Á¢€” Skin Trade (Stretch Mix)