Duran Duran – Notorious (1986) – Lp
Duran Duran are an English new wave/synthpop band formed in Birmingham in 1978. The band grew from alternative sensations in 1982 to mainstream pop stars by 1984. By the end of the decade, membership and music style changes challenged the band before a resurgence in the early 1990s.
Artist: Duran Duran
Label: EMI Records
Catalog# 062-240659 1
Notorious is the fourth studio album by the English new wave/synthpop band Duran Duran. Released in November 1986. Produced by the band with Nile Rodgers, the album showcased a new musical direction for the band, emphasizing bass and brass as exemplified by the singles “Notorious” and “Skin Trade“.
The remaining three original band members, Rhodes, Le Bon and John Taylor continued working on the new album with Cuccurullo and producer Nile Rodgers (himself a guitarist from his days in Chic) providing the remaining guitar work. Incidentally, with material from three guitarists, the band has since found it difficult to tell what guitarist ended up playing on what finished track. Session drummer Steve Ferrone took Roger Taylor’s place behind the drum kit.
1986’s Notorious has Andy Taylor contributing on only four songs before leaving to start his solo career, but on the strength of the title track’s number two placing and “Skin Trade”‘. On the whole, only “Notorious” showed any real livelihood, thanks to its modern gleam and the catchy stutter of its chorus. “Skin Trade” is almost as worthy, thanks to its sultry, seductive air and enchanting but complex rhythmic allure. While the writing is somewhat stable on Notorious, Duran Duran’s efforts at sounding enigmatic and covert end up being hot and cold. Tracks like “American Science” and “Vertigo” try too hard, while only “Meet el Presidente,” a number 24 hit in Britain, sports a rather appealing flow. Beneath Duran Duran’s attempts at trying to sound musically devious, mysterious, and slightly seductive, the tracks fail to bear enough weight in order to be effective all the way through. It’s easy to see why the band would choose such a route at this point in their career, but moderate doses of pop enthusiasm would have made Notorious a fuller and more enjoyable package. The provocative, nightclub brand of martini-sipping pop that does surface is meritorious to a certain extent, felt mostly in the album’s two biggest tracks.
1. Notorious (4:18)
2. American Science (4:43)
3. Skin Trade (5:57)
4. A Matter of Feeling (5:56)
5. Hold Me (4:31)
1. Vertigo (Do the Demolition) (4:44)
2. So Misled (4:04)
3. Meet El Presidente (4:19)
4. Winter Marches On (3:25)
5. Proposition (4:57)