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Posts from the ‘Duran Duran’ Category

26
Dec

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.

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Artist:  Duran Duran
Title:  Notorious
Year:  1986
Format:  LP
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.

 

Side one
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)

Side two
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)

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6
Nov

Duran Duran – Arena (1984) – 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 changes and lost popularity pushed the band to near obscurity before a resurgence in the early 1990s as a soft rock act.

duran-duran-arena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Duran Duran
Title:  Arena
Year:  1984
Format:  LP
Label:  EMI Records
Catalog#  1A 064-260308

To cap off the band’s highly successful 1983/1984 “Sing Blue Silver” World Tour, EMI released a live album, which according to the sleeve was “Recorded Around The World 1984”.
The album featured most of the band’s big hits in a live environment, as well as some album tracks from Rio (1982) and Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), and a new studio track “The Wild Boys“, which was produced by Nile Rodgers, who had previously remixed the single “The Reflex”, and had been a member of the disco/funk group Chic.
At the time of release, critics were suspicious that the mix was too polished for a live album, as most of the audience was muted. Other criticism arose from the omission of some of the band’s biggest songs like “The Reflex”, “Girls on Film” and “Rio”.
Seeing Duran Duran in concert in 1984 was like seeing a video come to life. The group put on a spectacular show filled with impressive light shows and videos. Since the concerts featured so many visuals, the band could not vary the tempos greatly, resulting in music that nearly replicated the studio versions of the songs. Arena accurately reproduces the sound and feeling of these concerts. Duran Duran sound tight and professional, yet Simon Lebon sounds a little winded, possibly because of all the dancing he had to do during the course of the show.

 

Side one
1.  Is There Something I Should Know?   (4:34)
2.  Hungry Like the Wolf   (4:01)
3.  New Religion   (5:37)
4.  Save a Prayer   (6:12)
5.  The Wild Boys   (4:18)

Side two
1.  The Seventh Stranger   (5:05)
2.  The Chauffeur   (5:23)
3.  Union of the Snake   (4:09)
4.  Planet Earth   (4:31)
5.  Careless Memories   (4:07)

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