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Classic Pop Special Edition Part 2: Rare Photos and Rio

I am finishing up my weekend by taking some precious time to go through and read more of the Classic Pop:  Special Edition for Duran Duran’s 40th anniversary.  Today, I will cover the Rare Photos and Rio album articles.

Rare Photos:

Apparently, this photos that are deemed “rare” came from Kings of the Dark Moon, by Justin Thomas, which is described as a candid photo book that focuses on the rise to fame.  I’m unfamiliar with this book.  Anyone know anything about it?  In looking at these 6 pages of photos, I notice that many of them have a familiar flavor to them.  It feels like I have seen other photos from the same time or place but not these specific ones.  No matter, I love seeing new (to me) photos of the band.  I suspect that this is a carry over from my childhood when I, like so many others, could not get enough pictures of Duran.  I remember trying to one up my friend by having a new picture that I could share with her.  It was like some sort of weird competition except that I don’t recall ever getting angry or annoyed by the results.  After all, we both benefitted by having new pictures to look at!

Classic Album – Rio:

This article obviously dived deep into the band’s second and arguably their most popular album, Rio.  It includes sections on the songs, the band members, the videos and more.  This is one album that I feel like I know a lot about so I wondered if I was going to learn anything new.  I cannot say that the article did have a lot of new information but it did a nice job of combining different sources to tell the story including interviews, John’s autobiography, and more.  I appreciated that they covered the context of recording (the band had just returned from the US), to the album cover, to the remixes, and to the videos.  It was nicely done and would be a great introduction to the album’s history.

The column about the songs on the Rio album was also nicely done.  Again, I’m not sure how much new information I learned but the author summarized what is known about the songs well.  It seems to me that each song has a fun fact included in the article.  For example, it mentions about how the beginning sound in Rio came from Nick throwing iron rods into a grand piano, played backwards.  I love those cool little bits of info!

The little blurbs on the band members were interesting and unlike what I was expecting.  I figured that they would be like how band members’ bios were written in the teen magazines I had read as a kid.  The bios would include family information, birthdates, how they got into music, etc.  These only really included information on influences, when they joined the band and their history within.  For example, Roger’s talked about when he left and when he returned.  What was interesting was Andy’s.  It mentioned that he left in 1986 but did not include any statement about how he returned for awhile during the reunion.  Weird.

The videos section highlighted some of the videos from the Rio album, including Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer, Rio and the Chauffeur.  I have to say that this section disappointed me the most.  Perhaps, I feel this way because I didn’t learn a whole lot new.  Plus, I disagreed with how the Rio video was interpreted, “Rio encapsulated everything that they were about…a glorious depiction of Eighties excesses:  girls, glamour, yachts, sunshine and fashion, all set to a high-octane soundtrack.”  I think that is what everyone thinks Rio is about.  Yet, I view that video completely differently.  I see a bunch of guys who should have no problem winning over a woman with their money, fashion, location, etc. but they end up falling on their faces as the woman is unimpressed no matter what they do.

Overall, though, this next section of the magazine was well-done.  I look forward to reading more (and reviewing more!).

-A