Tag Archives: David Kershenbaum

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

Today in Duran History – Hammersmith & Rio Revisited

On today’s date in 2009,  the remastered versions of Live at Hammersmith ’82 and Rio were released.  Do you have them?

What is really great about the remastered Rio is that the Carnival mixes stand next to the originals (and even the night versions and some demos) here – so if you ever had a question about their sounds, here was your chance to really hear the subtle, yet significant differences. While I think that for most people, the CD set was probably overkill, for the Duranies I’m probably writing for out there loved it. I know I still play these in my car, which yes – means I love them. Which do you prefer – the UK originals, Kershenbaum mixes or the night versions?

Hammersmith, on the other hand, is a fascinating show to have and hold.  If you think about this show, it was recorded in November, just before the band took over the US charts by storm. Yes, they were already famous, but in 1983 they were about to take over the entire world. Go ahead, take another listen. When you experience the show with that frame of mind, it puts an entirely different emotion into your listening, not to mention that the set itself is really kind of kick-ass. Thirty-one years later and they can still put on a show that will knock you out flat if you’re not expecting it. Not that I really need it, but the CD reminds me why I’m still a fan.

Happy Monday!

-R

Today in Duran History – Carnival

On today’s date in 1982, Carnival broke the Top 100 (#98) in the US, being the first Duran album to do so. Once I was older and realized that the Kershenbaum mixes on Carnival were slightly different than the original, I sat down and really listened to both. I was surprised at how subtle the changes were, and yet that somehow made all the difference when it came to radio play in the US.  Anyone else??

Just recently, duranduran.com featured a Collectors Corner regarding Carnival. You can check that out here.

-R