Tag Archives: Carnival

35 Years and Counting: RIO!

Can you believe it? Thirty-five wild and crazy years ago today, Rio came into our world.

I bought Rio when it came out, and for a brief time thought it was Duran Duran’s first album. I was very confused, apparently. The thing is – I’d heard Planet Earth, and I had a K-Tel record with Girls on Film, but I hadn’t heard those songs on the radio much. But Rio? Please.

Truth be told, Rio was released a full year before I believe it really took off here in America. It’s first release here fell flat, not doing particularly well. Capitol Records hired David Kershenbaum to do a dance-remix of several songs off the album (released as Carnival).  Those remixes are a little more guitar-heavy, a little less synth, a little more bass in sound. Eventually, Capitol had Kershenbaum go back and remix most of the rest of the album and then re-released it in America, promoting it as a dance album. That’s when sales started to pick up steam and the band began to climb the charts.

Suddenly Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf were everywhere, and Is There Something I Should Know wasn’t far behind…which is why I thought it was the next album, rather than being the first.  But then again, my UK friends will remind me that it was NOT the first, because on their version of the first album – ITSISK is nowhere to be found, and they are correct.  It’s just on our altered US versions that there’s no To The Shore, with ITSISK instead. (my head is spinning even as I recall this from memory)

Honestly, if you want my most vivid memories from Rio, they would be my realizing that I had the order of their albums wrong….and that champagne stuff Simon drank while in the ocean.  To this very day, every single time I think of Rio, that vision comes to mind. Not the fake crab on Roger, not pallid-looking Nick in the galley, definitely not a daydreamy John Taylor on the sand or even Andy being thrown overboard…but Simon, drinking out of a champagne glass in the ocean.

I just don’t know.

Despite testing the waters with Planet Earth and even Girls on Film before the Rio album – it was truly this album that set my world on fire. I think that the band continues to be judged for Rio, without a lot of regard for anything else they’ve done (perhaps with a few exceptions), and many believe it to be the pinnacle of their career.

I love Rio. I also appreciate and love everything Duran Duran has done (yes, even RCM. Ok?!?), because at this point, nearly forty years into our journey – it really IS about the whole journey. It has been a crazy, wicked, wild, ride, and I’m ready for more.

I am writing this and I haven’t had any time yet this morning to actually listen to the oral history. I’m hoping to get a chance later today….but I might just have to let Amanda be the one to comment on it due to a lack of time on my part. Or else, I’ll comment later. I am really looking forward to hearing it though, because it’s not that often we get the opportunity to look back at something with the band and get their point of view.

It’s a special day in Duranland, and I’m thankful to be able to be here and experience it with everyone else. Happy 35th Birthday, Rio!

-R

My Own Way/Like An Angel 1981

On this date in 1981, the single for My Own Way/Like an Angel was released.

First of all, let me marvel just a bit over the fact that I’m writing about a song that has now been around for winces thirty-five years. I think that must be impossible because I’m only thirty myself, right??

My Own Way was released to kind of “mind the gap” between “Girls on Film” and their next album, Rio.  As you might notice by the date, My Own Way was released before Rio.  My Own Way did fairly well, hitting #14 on the UK charts, and paving the way for Rio.

The single has a much faster tempo along with some very disco-strings. The album version is slower, less frenetic sounding, and the lyrics are very slightly different. The album version is a little more on the new wave end of things, and it was also remixed by Kershenbaum for Carnival. The band has said that this My Own Way is one of their least favorite singles, and with so many different versions out there, it would seem to me that perhaps the song has a bit of an identity problem. Or maybe it just has multiple personalities!

Then there’s the video, which didn’t arrive until 1982.  I’ve always felt the video had a bit of a latin theme going for it, along with the striking red and black staging….and that parrot…which still amuses me.

This leads me to Like An Angel, the B-side. I’ve always felt this was the more interesting song of the two. That seems to happen a lot for me – I end up liking the B-sides more so than the single.  Anyone else?? I like the tonal quality of Simon’s voice in Like an Angel When you hear this song, I think one can really tell it is earlier Duran Duran. One thing I know for sure, they weren’t afraid to use different keys instead of the “golden” rock chords like D-A-G, etc.  I wish I could put my finger on all of the qualities of their earlier songs that just seem to change when the band gets to Rio – maybe it’s just a raw-ness that disappears. I’m not sure, but I love giving myself the opportunity to go back and listen on occasion!

-R

 

 

This Past Week in Duranland (September 15 – September 21)

It is that time of the week when I sit down and actually make sure I know what all happened over the past week.  I do this to ensure that I am caught up but to help any of you reading this who might be in a similar boat.  So, what happened this week?  No more Unstaged screenings.  No more performances–aired or streamed.  Was it a completely quiet one, then, in Duranland?  Let’s take a look!

September’s Collector’s Corner was published!
This month’s corner focused on the three different versions of the Carnival EP, which was released in 1982.  I do own the US version and appreciated finding out the differences between the versions.  It made me want to get all three now!  If you, too, would like to learn about the EP and the different versions, check it out on duranduran.com here.

Vanity Fair UK October edition!
The October issue of Vanity Fair UK contains a supplement called, Vanity Fair On Time, which features those pictures of Simon on the Rio boat that Simon fans have been dying for!  It also contains an essay written by Simon himself!  See a couple of pictures on the official press release!

Fashion Rock photos!
If you are a paying member of DuranDuranMusic, there are some photos from Fashion Rocks that can be seen in the photos section.

John Warwicker Interview
DuranDuranMusic is featuring an exclusive interview with John Warwicker, a graphic designer who worked on Astronaut and the singles from that album.  While he didn’t work on anything official until 2004, I found the interview to be fascinating as he met and did some posters for the band before they signed with EMI.  He has also been recently involved with Denis O’Regan’s Careless Memories project.  What really caught my attention, though, were his comments about John and Nick and their ambitious nature.

Rio’s Bass Line:
Bestbassgear.com mentioned John Taylor’s bass line in Rio as being one of the toughest bass lines around.  They also featured an isolated clip of the bass here.  While I always appreciate recognition of John’s work, I hate that it is wrapped up with a line that reads, “In fact, some of you might think, ‘Duran Duran counts as a band?'”  Really?!  They wrote and played their own music for decades.  I cannot believe that people are still saying crap like that.

Mark Ronson Article:
On a better note, Mark Ronson discussed Duran Duran on cue point.    As a fan who LOVED All You Need Is Now, I adore Mark Ronson both as the producer on that album but also as a fellow fan.  I love the comments he made in this article about how he was a great producer and a super fan when working on that album.  I will always say that part of the reason that album turned out SO WELL is because Mark is a fan.  He gets it.

Rolling Stone Magazine on 1984:
This week, Rolling Stone magazine published the list of the Best 100 Singles of 1984.  As someone who loved music that year, I couldn’t wait to see who and what made the list.  The Reflex made it.  Any guesses at what position it landed at?

Crave Online:
Crave Online also featured a little article on Duran Duran, which is available on duranduran.com.  In this article, there is a brief review at the Madza party and the lack of recognition by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Twitter Activity:
Simon hasn’t tweeted much this past week but he did come on to comment about the Scotland vote and to mention one of U2’s new songs.  Did anyone listen to that one?  Simon said that he wished Duran would do something like it.  John didn’t tweet much but did post a few pictures.

Is that it?  Did I get it all?  For a “quiet” week, there was still quite a bit of activity!  On to the next week…

-A