Friday, May 16, 2008

FDF Vol 1 Issue 94: Duran Duran - Rio

Album - Rio
Artist - Duran Duran
Key Players - Andy Taylor - guitars, Roger Taylor - drums, John Taylor - Bass, Nick Rhodes - Keyboards, Simon LeBon - vocals. (note that none of the Taylors are related)
Produced By - Colin Thurston

Release Date - May 10, 1982

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I had this on tape and had been meaning for ages to upgrade to cd, just "because". I stumbled upon the disc used a few months back and was glad to finally get a cleaned up, easier version to listen to. Its just one that I have been meaning to do.

Overview - Considered by many to be the watershed release "Rip" was the bands second full length album. It would reach #1 on the charts and remain on the charts for close to 2 years. Four tracks would be released as singles from the record. This album would catapult the band into international superstars with the help of MTV and wildly exotic videos.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Opening with the keyboard laden title track "Rio" to this day will flash the images of the exotic local of the video. It has a sound very identified with the 80's for better or worse. Keyboards are an important part of the band and the guitars, although up in the mix often seem a little out of place. John Taylor has a strong bass line, something I had never really noticed before, but he is working hard on this track. With the popularity of the song, its amazing to realize it was the fourth and final single off the album. Fuzz guitars and a slapping bass bring up "My Own Way". The song as very catchy chorus and the electric drums (new for the time) are pushed up in the mix giving the track a techno dance feel. The chorus repeats what feels like 10 times in the song though. On a album with so many "singles/hits" "Lonely in Your Nightmare" is a welcome change to what you usually get with Duran Duran. The guitar and bass are the showcases instruments on the track. The guitars chime over the top as the bass line swoops under the verse. The keyboard and drums appear, only lightly, at the chorus. "Hungry Like the Wolf" follows. Is there really much I need to say about this track? Probably one of, if not the most recognized Duran Duran song for the video alone. The track reeks of 80s' pop sensibilities. There is not a lot of light I can shed on this track. "Hold back the Rain" is a track that deals with bassist John Taylor's emerging drug problem. Considering the heavy intention of the song its a catchy up tempo affair. The electric drums get a work out and the bass and keyboards fill vital roles in the track. "New Religion" has more guitar work at the outset than any other track on the record. For the first minute there is a solid work out of the guitar and bass with the drums holding it down. Keyboards only fade up as the verse progresses. "Last Chance on the Stairway" has another strong bass line under the keyboards. LeBon has, if nothing else, a consistent vocal delivery on this and all tracks. The verses have a quicker tempo and the song seems to flow along nicely. "Save a Prayer" opens (and closes) with a haunting keyboard line. The track is a dark and melodic track that many a high schooler at the time probably slow danced to. The album closes with "The Chauffeur". Another track with keyboards slowly bringing things up and the track will be mostly void of anything but keyboards/piano for the first few verses, but will remain as such for the entire track. Sort of an odd track to end the album with, but its not a "bad" song either.

Where are they now? Duran Duran are still active today. There has been a few departures, and reunions, but Duran Duran as a band has continued to release new music. In 1985 John and Andy formed "Powerstation" with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson. About the same time LeBon and Rhodes formed "Arcadia". At Live Aid in 1985 the band would perform for the last time as the "five" for close to 20 years. Roger Taylor would "retire" from exhaustion and Andy would keep busy elsewhere. The band would "reform" with all original members in 2000. Andy would leave again in 2006.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have never seen any version of Duran Duran live.

FDF Overall Take - The band has left an impression on a legion of fans and other bands. They have a tribute album and bands as diverse as Nirvana to Jimmy Eat World to Korn have done covers of their songs. The band has sold more than 80 million albums world wide, defined a whole new wave of "boy bands" and kept many a toe tapping since 1978. They may have had some lean years, but the latest release faired well with critics, but one can only see how the fans react. My gut tells me seats will still be sold their live shows...heck the band even did the Theme Song to a James Bond film (A View to a Kill)

Official Site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

****mp3's have been removed***

Hold Back the Rain
My Own Way

Tracks taken from "Rio" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 12:00 PM, Blogger Ello said...

I've been waiting for you to do some of my old favorites! I loved the 80s music and this was one of my favorites! As always a great review. And you reminded me how much I love that song "Save a Prayer"! I think I need to pull out my copy all thanks to you!

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the memories.


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