THE LATE LATE REVIEW: DURAN DURAN – RIO

With one of the most iconic pieces of cover art in music history (painted by Nagel, fact fans), Duran Duran’s Rio is an album synonymous with ‘80s pop culture. Tom’s given it his first spin, was he *ahem* Hungry Like The Wolf for more..?

Release Date: May 1982

Achievements: This album went platinum in the UK and New Zealand, and 2x Platinum in the USA and Canada. It also hit number 2 in the UK album charts and number 1 in Australia and Canada.

Rating: Another highly rated album, gaining 41/2 out of 5 stars on average.

This album came hot on the heels of the band’s first self-titled album from 1981. Duran Duran (the album) was so popular that the band wrote the first track which would feature on the album (My Own Way) at the end of 1981 to keep the buzz going, and it clearly worked based on the chart positions the record gained. My Own Way was re-recorded for the album and is noticeably different from the single version. The album itself was remixed a number of times, and a large range of versions exist.

This album features hits like Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf and New Religion – a song described as being “a dialogue between the ego and the alter-ego” which is most evident in the refrain, where two voices almost compete.

The fact that the album was entirely written by the band means that they had a great deal of creative control, and travelled as far as Sri Lanka and Antigua to film videos for various tracks.

The album was titled Rio as the bass guitarist, John Taylor, was interested in the idea of Brazil and thought it was a way of alluding to the exotic and “a party that would never stop”. The album is certainly upbeat enough to live up to the never ending party idea. The album is undeniably the sound of its decade. With a heavy synth and Glam Rock feel, it is the definition of the New Romantic style of the Eighties.

Duran Duran have won artists like Elton John, Kylie Minogue, P!nk, Gwen Stefani and Paul Young as fans, and artists like Goldfrapp, Franz Ferdinand and even Brandon Flowers of The Killers referring to the band as an influence for their act. Flowers even went as far as to call Nick Rhodes (Keyboard/Synths for Duran Duran) as “an absolute hero” of his.

To me, this album can be quite easily placed as being from the eighties, lacking the timeless quality of the other albums I’ve reviewed. That’s not to say it’s not a great album – it’s certainly a classic – but if it were released today, it could feel very out of place. It’s more of a “getting ready to go out” record than a “chuck it on in the background” one, but this is something I will definitely appreciate next time I hear it!

Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview

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