DD Tribute Album (Making Patterns Rhyme) Taster – Rio (Moby)

I have been sitting back and waiting patiently for the first single from Making Patterns Rhyme to emerge, and today we received a taster of Moby’s cover of “Rio”. It’s not the entire song, but it’s a minute and a half of something that is incredibly different from what fans know to be Rio, and for that, I need to applaud Moby.

Personally, I think the first clue that this cover was not going to be a rehash of “Rio” came from the fact that this is a COVER album. When I first heard of this tribute being created, I knew this would go one of two ways: either the songs would sound very similar to the originals  and fans would hate them…or they’d sound very different from the originals, and fans would hate them.  Why?

Well, that’s really the easy question to answer. The fans of which I am speaking (and they’re not difficult to find – just look at Duran Duran’s Facebook page today and find the post of Moby’s Rio cover.  Check out the comments. They’re scathing.) are diehard fans. To them, Rio is the Holy Grail. I knew this was going to be a hard sell for many a Duran fan out there, and while I can understand why – I think you have to go into each song (and no, you absolutely might not like them all, and that’s OK!) with a pretty clear head and heart. Listen to each song on it’s own merits – not those of Duran Duran. It isn’t easy to listen to a song that you have adored for thirty years be completely redone into something that isn’t automatically recognizable, and I understand how fans feel in that regard. The knee jerk reaction is to automatically say you can’t stand it, shut it off, and then listen to the original as some sort of “cleanse”. I’ve had those moments myself. Not necessarily for this particular cover…but for others, absolutely.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t want to hear Moby be Duran Duran, because that’s just some sort of twisted karaoke. I want to hear Moby’s interpretation of Rio.

Moby’s version is nothing like the original, except in spirit, and I’m honestly a little surprised that fans can’t at least hear that. I would say that one need not look further for artistic inspiration than to the graphic design for the cover. (Beautifully created by none other than Patty Palazzo – and I mean it from the heart when I say it’s brilliant. That one image is exactly how I hear the song.) When I listen to the song, rather than the song actually reminding me of the way Duran Duran recorded the song, it reminds me of the ocean itself. I like that the cover is softer, dreamy…lazy like a summer day. Do I love it as much as the original? I have to be honest – for me it’s a completely different song altogether. It’s not really something I can compare. I can say though that I have played it more than once, and with each listen I like it more. I would have been very disappointed if it had sounded like the original, because that just isn’t the point of a cover at all.  (This reminds me of the discussion I saw among Tears for Fears fans when Lorde did a cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.  Fans were ready to start burning effigies of her because she dared to try something new and made the song dark and haunting.)

I suspect that the intention with this tribute album was to have the artists completely reinterpret the originals, and I’m betting that Manimal Records doesn’t really care what the diehard Duranies really think of the finished product(s), nor should they. We’re not necessarily the audience they’re going after, and that’s OK. The trouble for fans is that it’s really not 1983 or 1984, and times have changed. If Moby came out with Rio, Karaoke style – who’d play it today? No one. So this is his 2014 interpretation. You don’t have to love it, hell…you don’t even have to like it, but you should at least respect the space from which it’s been done.

I did go through and read the comments on Facebook. As I said before, they’re scathing, and I have to wonder what people may have thought they were going to hear. I think some were aghast that someone would dare to cover a Duran Duran song to begin with, and plenty of others said that while they’re fans of Moby – they think this is terrible.

Wanna hear it for yourself?  Here ya go…the full version!



12 thoughts on “DD Tribute Album (Making Patterns Rhyme) Taster – Rio (Moby)”

  1. I agree with you, this version is fantastic because it’s worlds apart from the original but it retains the essence. Having a woman sing it is a stroke of genius by Moby. I imagine that on this version the woman singing is no other than Rio herself, just revisiting memories from long gone dear 1982.

    1. I’ve never seen/heard that cover before – it’s really very interesting! Thanks for sharing that one – I can’t imagine that a lot of fans have seen it before. -R

  2. i can’t get the song to load because we’re having issues with our ISP today so i have no opinion – yet.

    but i remember when i bought the punk/ska Duran tribute CD back in the 90’s. i HATED it. HAAAAAAATED. but then i separated myself from my obsessive protection of the band (as if i had some sort of duty) and realized that the album is pretty bad ass. i love it.

    i’m not one bit surprised that some are again showing their lack of objectivity when it comes to this band. it’s Simon or nothing. right or wrong.

    1. I think that’s the way it goes with most of that stuff…you have to separate yourself from the band before you can really appreciate what has been done. Most fans have no ability to do that, as you know. I enjoy shaking their trees every now and then. 🙂


  3. I’m one of the dissenters…as In I don’t like the song. At all. I gave it some thought, and I concluded, its not my style. Change the lyrics, but keep the vocalist and the arrangement, and I still won’t like it. I really hate the vocalist. (I tend to prefer male vocals anyway). Actually… if you changed the SINGER, kept the arrangement and the song, and I might like it. So it was she who was the deciding factor for me. and from where my strong reaction arose.

    And I am not against very different interpretations of the song. For instance, I adore Korn’s version of the Chauffeur… and that song ranks in the top 3, of my most beloved Duran songs.

    However, even though I don’t like it, I don’t feel this need to tell the band, Moby, Manimal — its just my humble opinion, and the song is not going to ruin my day in any way.

    1. It’s one version of a song. A cover. A reinterpreted cover at that. I think there is a very big difference between hating a song simply because it’s not the original band (which tended to be the case as I perused the comments on FB yesterday) and disliking a song because you didn’t care for the overall sound and are able to articulate those thoughts beyond “YUCK” or “UM, This isn’t Simon so NO.”, as you so eloquently did yourself, @EasternViolet. Yes, I do judge that kind of thing. I’m not emotionally or otherwise vested in the album, but it would be nice to see that our fan base has grown up a bit to realize that what worked for us back in the 80s is probably NOT going to work for a younger audience today – and that this album is an attempt to allow current artists freedom to do their own thing with the original. No, I would imagine that a lot of fans, if not most fans, are not going to love everything on the album. I haven’t heard anything beyond Rio myself – but I know how attached fans are to the originals. I’m not expecting much other than for people to just give it a try. You never know. 😉 -R

  4. I love Moby version, but to me the vocal arrangement is a bit not right one to honor the original song. The vocals are just … out of place, not the “ideal” vibe on that.
    I am aware it’s a cover: any musician when doing covers he uses his imagination, then his own techniques to realize it. I can give him a point because Moby is also an amazing DJ and I know how much DJs love manipulating sounds.
    Let’s say on 100, I’d rate it 75.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.