Earlier this week, diffuser.fm posted a little article entitled: Duran Duran Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness, which you can read here. The article ranked Duran’s 14 studio albums along with Arena. Here’s how they were ranked (obviously I would read the original article to read all of the explanations for why they placed the albums where they did).
- Red Carpet Massacre
- Thank You
- Pop Trash
- Seven and the Ragged Tiger
- Big Thing
- Paper Gods
- The Wedding Album
- All You Need Is Now
Before I dive into what I think about the list, I am surprised that the author included the live album of Arena. Why list one live album but not the others? After all, Duran has released three live albums (Arena, Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind). Plus, those live albums do not include any new material with the one exception of Arena with the song, Wild Boys. Still, does one new song mean that it should be included? I would have not have included it.
What They Got Right:
I think many/most Duran fans and critics would list Rio high on the list. I’m no exception. Clearly, that album features a tremendous number of gems on it. It set the stage for Duran-mania and the commercial success that went along with it. While the album included a number of actual singles, many more could have been. That said, if I were to rank the albums, I don’t know that I would have personally listed Rio at top but it would definitely be on the list.
Speaking of an album that was high on the list, I totally agree that All You Need Is Now deserves to be near the top. At the time it was released, I knew that it was something special and time has not diminished that thought. It feels like essential Duran to me and one that I still go back to often.
On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised that Red Carpet Massacre was placed at the bottom of the list. While I’m not sure I would personally rank it at the bottom, it definitely needs to be closer to the bottom. The reasoning given on the article is how the collaborations with producer, Danja, didn’t gel. I might say the opposite. To me, the collaborations with Timbaland didn’t gel. Nonetheless, one of the reasons that album will always leave a bad taste in my mouth is how much it divided the fan community. Life wasn’t fun in Duranland, then.
What They Got Wrong:
Probably the most shocking pick was placing Medazzaland in the number five position. It was ranked higher than Big Thing, Notorious and Paper Gods. Seriously??? The reason it was ranked that high? It featured “electro-experimentation” as well as “subtle hidden gems”. While I don’t hate the album and agree that there are some good songs on it, I wouldn’t rank it above Big Thing or Paper Gods. That experimentation was interesting, for sure, but did not and does not feel like essential Duran to many fans, including myself. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many Duran fans don’t even own it and some might not have even heard all of it.
The next paragraph will probably result in hate mail but I’m going to say it anyway. Why is the Wedding Album third??? Above the self-titled debut? Really?? Again, there are some good songs on that album, but I feel like the album is a bit over-rated. People always claim the brilliance of Ordinary World and Come Undone for the reason for believing this album to be so great, but what if those songs weren’t included? Would they still think that? Then, imagine people like me who don’t like Come Undone and is tired of Ordinary World. The album doesn’t have as much to offer then.
I appreciate article like this. They make me think. It has been awhile since I have taken the time to really look at the albums and rank them. I haven’t done it since Paper Gods came out. Perhaps, it is time to revisit this idea through some daily polls or other activities. What do the rest of you think?