I love "Duke". And yet, I still have burning unresolved curiosities about it, both ultimately arising from the liner notes.
The first one: if you read the liner notes, you will see that both Tony and Phil are credited as having the requisite musical skill to play something called a "duck" (Mike, apparently, lacked the qualifications to play it, or simply chose not to). Since I am reasonably sure that those two didn't bring a couple of real bird ducks to the recording sessions, what the f*ck is a "duck"? Is it the device that makes the electronic "quacky" sound that occurs during the quiet sections of "Duchess" (although I always thought those came from the drum machine)? In short, what is it?
The second one: if you read the liner notes, you will see that Dave Hentschel is credited with "backing vocals" (and has a little star-looking symbol next to it to draw attention to it). I have listened to this album more times than I care to attempt to count, and I don't hear any non-Phil/Mike/Tony vocals, except possibly in one song.
When someone's voice is electronically altered, it still sounds like the vocalist. It's altered, of course, but the unique sound and timbre of the vocalist is still there. When Brian Eno treated Peter's vocals in "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging", it still sounds like Peter, just multiple bizarre versions of Peter. The "Peter-ness" of the voice was still there despite the alteration. If you sing out of your normal range, you still sound like you - you just sound like you are singing bizarrely. The "you-ness" of your voice will still be there.
So, something has always made me ponder about the vocals in "Man Of Our Times" every time I listen to it. There is one section that simply does not sound like Phil, Mike, or Tony singing at all, even electronically altered. The section "All at once I can see what we do / Me into me and you into you / Me into me and you into you" sounds like a wholly different voice. The same voice is in the background during "No more me into me and you into you" a few lines later. So, is it possible that this is actually Dave's voice? I have thought about this a long time, over very many listens, and I simply can't arrive at a different conclusion. If anyone has definitive proof otherwise, please offer it. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Has anyone else ever thought about this during this song?
The floor is yours.