Hungry Like The Wolf

Album: Rio (1982)
Charted: 5 3


  • This was the band's breakthrough hit in the US. It's success originated from MTV, which had only just come on air, showing their video of the band in the Sri Lanka jungle (they also shot the clips for "Lonely in Your Nightmare" and "Save a Prayer" on this trip). It was an early sensation particularly in the Deep South where the channel was being trialled. In a pre-MTV world where Duran Duran could be heard but not seen, it is unlikely that they would have broken through in America.

    Duran Duran were asked in an interview with Q magazine (February 2008) for their memories of the video. Drummer Roger Taylor recalled: "We'd go to Alabama or Texas and the girls would be screaming and the guys in cowboy hats would be looking at us with clenched fists. I don't suppose they'd seen so many guys in make-up pouting before." Singer Simon Le Bon added: "It worked for us though. Video made it possible to create a cult of personality across the globe. You arrive on a tour bus and they'd already seen us on a yacht in a video."
  • In 1982, new synthesizers and sequencers were coming on the market that changed the landscape of Pop music, as groups like The Eurythmics and The Human League coaxed new sounds out of them. Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor was able to take advantage of the technology on this song, creating the distinctive track by linking a Roland 808 drum machine with a sequencer and a Roland Jupiter 8 keyboard. In an interview with Blender magazine, guitarist Taylor explained that the track "came from fiddling with the new technology that was starting to come in."
  • According to the band's Blender interview, lead singer Simon Le Bon's lyrics were inspired by the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, which features the Big Bad Wolf.
  • The first Grammy Award for Best Short Form Video was given at the 1984 ceremony, and it was given to Duran Duran as a joint award for "Hungry Like The Wolf" together with "Girls On Film."
  • The video was loosely based on the movie Apocalypse Now, with the rest of the band searching for Simon Le Bon in an exotic locale. It was shot in the Sri Lanka city of Galle, with scenes of Simon running through a market. The night before the shoot, Le Bon went to a stylist to get blond highlights in his hair, but she botched the job and his hair turned orange. That's why he's wearing a hat in the video.
  • Russell Mulcahy, who was Duran Duran's go-to director, did the video. If you were watching MTV in the early '80s, there's a good chance you would see his work - he even did the very first video the network aired: "Video Killed The Radio Star" by The Buggles.
  • The band's girlfriends contributed makeup that helped shape their look, and keyboard player Nick Rhodes' girlfriend appeared on this song, providing the laugh at the beginning and the moaning at the end, possibly the sounds of the wolf sating his hunger.
  • Speaking with the A.V.Club in a 2012 interview, John Taylor said the song was "written very quickly." He recalled: "It was a Saturday afternoon, we were in EMI's demo studio, a studio they had up in Manchester Square HQ, and I think Nick [Rhodes] and Andy [Taylor] were kind of messing around. Andy had the riff, Nick developed this sequence, Simon had a thing, Roger [Taylor] came in and played 'cause he'd just bought some Simmons drums, so that was where he got those big fills from. I came in, and they'd been working for maybe two hours, and I just knew exactly what to play. The song was probably written by cocktail hour. [Laughs.]"
  • The outfit bassist John Taylor wore in the video was used as the basis for styling the character Sonny Crockett, played by Don Johnson on 1980s TV show Miami Vice.
  • Also in 1982, the punk band X released a song called "The Hungry Wolf." That one was produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors, who also directed a video for the song.

Comments: 9

  • Greg From Colorado from Grand JunctionMy first exposure to this song was in Miami in the 80's. It resonated with the late night lifestyle of the gigging drummer I was. The lyrics are pure genius. The melody, driving guitar riffs and drums behind the vocals just put it over the top for me. I salute these guys for a great job done.
  • George from Tampa, FlThe U.S. 7" vinyl version of the song is about 20 seconds longer than the LP version. It has additional (much louder) moaning during the fade out than the LP version.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InFunny how urban legends back when this song came out were so easily believed and rarely disproven due to the Internet not yet being in existence, at least not for civilians.
    The myth I heard back in the day was that the woman moaning in pleasure at the end was actually Marie Osmond from a tape taken from a tape deck hidden under her bed on her wedding night.
    Funny urban legend, but just ridiculous.
  • J.r. from Wellington, New ZealandThis song would be perfect for a good old fashioned ultra gory werewolf flick. Something along the lines of the Ginger Snaps series rather than the Howling.
  • Adrian from Houston, United KingdomThis song is in the movie Big Fat Liar in 2002.
  • Sara from Greenville, AlMark, this has a woman laughing and panting. I read that this song was based on "Little Red Riding hood."
  • Jessica from Bloomfield , NjMy favortite song of the 80's.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkThere's a crime book by Ann Rule called "Small Sacrifices" where this song is included in the prosecution's case against a woman who shot her children to get rid of them then blamed it on a "bushy haired stranger." She played this song to prepare herself for the deed then while shooting them. Two survived; one was old enough to testify against her. It was long before Susan Smith succeeded with the same heinous act. I used to like this song before I read that book.
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhIs this the one where the woman is wailing? Who _is_ she?
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