Category: duran duran

Voices in your body coming through on the radi…

Voices in your body coming through on the radio.

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand.

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand.

Duran Duran “Duran Duran Video Album” aka “Dur…

Duran Duran “Duran Duran Video Album” aka “Duran Duran: The First 11 Videos” 1983. VHS. I’m treating myself to a vintage tape of Duran videos ‘cos it’s my birthday! Released in March 1983 to promote the single “Is There Something I Should Know?” and the US reissue of their debut LP Duran Duran, the video comp was a huge success and earned them a Grammy. I remember watching it on Betamax at my friend Allyson’s house, along with a small gaggle of other teenage Duranies. 

The videos on the tape are still amazing, over 35 years later. Their hits are included, of course: “Rio,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Girls on Film,” “Save a Prayer,” “Planet Earth” and the aforementioned “Is There Something I Should Know?” but also the less well-known videos like “Lonely In Your Nightmare,” “Careless Memories,” “My Own Way,” “Nightboat” and the finally available “The Chauffeur.” 

And in case you need reminding of how amazing Simon LeBon looked in “Hungry Like the Wolf,” here are some stills I shot while watching it today. 

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Wild boys always shine.

Wild boys always shine.

Duran Duran “Duran Duran” 1981/2010 limited ed…

Duran Duran “Duran Duran” 1981/2010 limited edition double vinyl reissue. Today, June 20th, is DD2 bassist John Taylor’s birthday (b. Nigel John Taylor, 1960) so I’m spinning my 20th copy of their debut album – that might be an exaggeration but I do have several different versions of Duran Duran. And for good reason: it’s an amazing new wave, new romantic synth pop debut that still sounds amazing almost 40 years on. It hit #3 on the UK charts and while reception was initially lackluster in the US, its re-release (with a slightly altered track listing and different cover) in ‘83 sent it to #10 on the Billboard album chart. This 2010 edition has the original UK release with the original single version of “Planet Earth” and the dreamy “To the Shore” track (the original US version on Harvest Records had the “Night Version” remix of “Planet Earth” and dropped “To the Shore;” the ‘83 reissue went back to the original “Planet Earth” and added “Is There Something I Should Know?”). 

The record sleeve insert for Disc Two has this amazing photo of the band – it also makes me laugh because my dear friend Carrie keeps a file on her computer titled “Awkward Photos of Duran Duran” that include several that either highlight or try (in vain) to obscure the massive height difference between Simon and John vs Nick, Roger and Andy. This is one that highlights it, obviously. Plus OMG Nick’s hair!!!

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The second record in this double LP set is a bonus 12″ single with the aforementioned “Planet Earth (Night Version)” plus the Extended Night Version of “Girls on Film” that has previously been unreleased,  another variant of “Planet Earth” – the Night Mix – and “Girls on Film (Night Mix)” – also previously unreleased.” Overkill? Nope, I cannot ever get enough of those songs. 

Duran Duran “Rio” – It’s a #Duraniversary! Rio…

Duran Duran “Rio” – It’s a #Duraniversary! Rio, Duran’s second LP, was released on this date, May 10th, 1982, though this version is a 2014 reissue, limited edition double vinyl. Of course I have an original US version (I think purchased in ‘83 or so), which is one of my top 10 records of all-time. This copy has the original UK album on disc one and the select tracks that were remixed for the US version (released November ‘82): Side A – “Rio (US album remix),” “My Own Way (Carnival remix)” and “Lonely in Your Nightmare (US album remix)” and Side B – “Hungry Like the Wolf (US album remix)” and “Hold Back the Rain (US album remix)” (all remixes by David Kershenbaum). Because the US version was the one I primarily listened to (over and over and over) in the 80′s, these mixes are the ones I’m most familiar with, though recently I’ve listened to the UK version with more frequency. Most of the remixes are fairly subtle (“My Own Way” is simplified on the US version) though “Hold Back the Rain” is probably the most obviously different of the two variations: Nick’s synth on the US version is missing a lot of the bright top-note chords that are present on the UK variation and John’s bass is far funkier on the UK original. I love that song so much – my favorite recollection of listening to that song was when my parents and I went to England in the summer of ‘83, I blasted “Hold Back the Rain” into my off-brand Walkman headphones while driving down some English highway en route to Wales late in the evening – it’s a fantastic fast-driving tune.  

My DD2 obsession is long-lasting and never-ending (I recently renewed my Duran Duran fan club membership…aaaanndd I’m not that far away from 50 years old. Sigh). I’ve written about this a couple of times previously, but back at age 13 or 14 my Duranie pal and I went a little nuts and wrote an entire story based on the lyrics from Rio (and a few tracks from Seven and the Ragged Tiger). If you want a laugh and a glimpse into the psyches of two teenage girls in the mid-80′s, you can read the entire transcript here

Duran Duran – “Is There Something I Should Kno…

Duran Duran – “Is There Something I Should Know” from AS THE LIGHTS GO DOWN:

My new favorite version of “Is There Something I Should Know” from the RSD 2019 release As The Lights Go Down (which I wrote about here). 

Simon’s dancing and harmonica totally on point. Biggest shocker – Andy’s cheekbones. Not enough Nick or Roger though.

Duran Duran “As the Lights Go Down” 2019 exclu…

Duran Duran “As the Lights Go Down” 2019 exclusive Record Store Day release, pink and blue vinyl. Gatefold cover.

As the Lights Go Down is a live recording from the Oakland Coliseum’s 3-night concert series, April 12th, 13th and 15th, in 1984. The edited concerts were originally released as the video Arena (An Absurd Notion) in 1985 (aired on Cinemax and MTV), a loose story interwoven with concert footage from the Oakland performances; it also included the notoriously expensive video for the single “The Wild Boys” (also on the album Arena, 1985). The first official release of the music-only album came out in 2010 as a bonus disc as part of the reissue for Seven and the Ragged Tiger (there are bootleg copies floating around as well). 

The three-sided album is gorgeous, a collection of some of Duran Duran’s best tracks from their first three albums: Duran Duran, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger (weirdly “The Reflex,” one of their best-selling and most popular songs from that era is not on As the Lights Go Down). Side A starts off with the deep-cut instrumental “Tiger Tiger” and from there segues directly into one of the best live versions of “Is There Something I Should Know?” I’ve ever heard, with some extra bright keyboard work by Nick Rhodes. “Hungry Like the Wolf” comes next, complete with an amazing howl by Simon LeBon at the song’s end. Simon introduces the next track by saying “Hello! Good evening! Nice to see you here! This is a sexual fantasy of mine, it’s called “Union of the Snake” and Side A then concludes with the dark and rollicking “New Religion.” Side B begins with one of the most beautiful songs ever written, “Save a Prayer” and it’s just as mysteriously lush live as on the original Rio recording. “Rio,” the perennial Duran party song, is next (lots of extra by Nick on this one, too, and John Taylor’s bass is intricate, deep and funky; Andy Taylor gets down, whipping out the power chords and Simon whoops and hollers), followed by another Seven and the Ragged Tiger deep-cut, “The Seventh Stranger” which I’ve always loved. Side B ends with another beauty from Rio: “The Chauffeur” (it’s really a tie with “Save a Prayer” for most beautiful song ever).  Side 3 has three tracks from Duran Duran: “Planet Earth,” “Careless Memories” (Andy is in really fine guitar form and Roger’s drumming is relentless on both those songs), and encore with “Girls on Film” – Simon invites the audience to sing along on its chorus, resulting in a stadium full of teenage girls ecstatically shrieking “GIRLS ON FILM!” (Had I been there, I would have shrieked too) Side 4 is blank but etched with the album’s cover design.

I have soooooo much Duran Duran and so did I really need another album in my collection??? I absolutely did – As the Lights Go Down is pure perfection: 80′s pastel, big 80′s sound and production and my boys performing at the height of their popularity. This album makes me so happy ☺️

Duran Duran “As the Lights Go Down” 2019 exclu…

Duran Duran “As the Lights Go Down” 2019 exclusive Record Store Day release, pink and blue vinyl. Gatefold cover.

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As the Lights Go Down is a live recording from the Oakland Coliseum’s 3-night concert series, April 12th, 13th and 15th, in 1984. The edited concerts were originally released as the video Arena (An Absurd Notion) in 1985 (aired on Cinemax and MTV), a loose story interwoven with concert footage from the Oakland performances; included, too, was the notoriously expensive video for the single “The Wild Boys” (also on the album Arena, 1985). The first official release of the music-only album came out in 2010 as a bonus disc as part of the reissue for Seven and the Ragged Tiger (there are bootleg copies floating around as well). 

The three-sided album is gorgeous, a collection of some of Duran Duran’s best tracks from their first three albums: Duran Duran, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger (weirdly “The Reflex,” one of their best-selling and most popular songs from that era is not on As the Lights Go Down). Side A starts off with the deep-cut instrumental “Tiger Tiger” and from there segues directly into one of the best live versions of “Is There Something I Should Know?” I’ve ever heard, with some extra bright keyboard work by Nick Rhodes. “Hungry Like the Wolf” comes next, complete with an amazing howl by Simon LeBon at the song’s end. Simon introduces the next track by saying “Hello! Good evening! Nice to see you here! This is a sexual fantasy of mine, it’s called “Union of the Snake” and Side A then concludes with the dark and rollicking “New Religion.” Side B begins with one of the most beautiful songs ever written, “Save a Prayer” and it’s just as mysteriously lush live as on the original Rio recording. “Rio,” the perennial Duran party song, is next (lots of extra by Nick on this one, too, and John Taylor’s bass is intricate, deep and funky; Andy Taylor gets down, whipping out the power chords and Simon whoops and hollers), followed by another Seven and the Ragged Tiger deep-cut, “The Seventh Stranger” which I’ve always loved. Side B ends with another beauty from Rio: “The Chauffeur” (it’s really a tie with “Save a Prayer” for most beautiful song ever).  Side 3 has three tracks from Duran Duran: “Planet Earth,” “Careless Memories” (Andy is in really fine guitar form and Roger’s drumming is relentless on both those songs), and encore with “Girls on Film” – Simon invites the audience to sing along on its chorus, resulting in a stadium full of teenage girls ecstatically shrieking “GIRLS ON FILM!” (Had I been there, I would have shrieked too) Side 4 is blank but etched with the album’s cover design.

I have soooooo much Duran Duran and so did I really need another album in my collection??? I absolutely did – As the Lights Go Down is pure perfection: 80′s pastel, big 80′s sound and production and my boys performing at the height of their popularity. This album makes me so happy ☺️

Duran Duran “Skin Trade” b/w “We Need You” 198…

Duran Duran “Skin Trade” b/w “We Need You” 1987. I’m spinning Duran Duran’s fifteenth single today, Valentine’s Day, mainly for the b-side’s cover and for the 7″ torn heart artwork (but any day is a good day to play D2). “Skin Trade” was the band’s second single from Notorious, the group’s first full-length LP after Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor left the band. Andy did a bit of guitar recording for the album but his relationship with the rest of the group was so bad (legal threats, etc) he eventually was released from his recording obligations. The b-side “We Need You” was written specifically about this turmoil during the album’s recording in 1986 (it was the first song that John, Nick and Simon recorded with just the three of them). The A-side “Skin Trade” went to #22 in the UK and #39 in the US – a disappointment because up until then most of Duran’s singles had made the top 20. I’ll admit it’s not my favorite Duran song (the Borneo Horns, the falsetto singing, etc.). The cover sleeve for the single was also controversial: in many countries it featured an airbrushed naked female buttock but in the US and UK you get the plain sleeve pictured here.