The Love’s Taking Over Tour 1990

Written and recorded shortly after Duran Duran’s Big Live Thing tour, the general consensus has always been that Liberty is the most uneven of the Duran Duran albums. The good songs are very good but the not-so-wonderful songs smell a little too much like hash oil and steroid sweat. However, what makes for an uneven album can make for a great tour. Looking at the previous tour, a typical setlist had six Big Thing songs in the show. There were two legitimate singles that charted so six songs is not unreasonable for any band promoting a new record. Plus, they were playing a healthy twenty songs or so most nights! Using that as a baseline, I started to imagine what the Love’s Taking Over Tour might have looked like in 1990.

The Big Live Thing setlists still give me chills looking at them. The album has aged quite gracefully and the addition of both an Arcadia and Powerstation song to the shows only makes it that much more unique. Since the side-projects have not been setlist regulars since that tour, I am assuming they would not have made in the 1990 tour. I’m also projecting smaller venues for the tour given the chart performance of Liberty at the time. This would not have filled arenas and the setlist would probably be closer to what we saw on the Dilate Your Mind tour with around 16 songs. Taking that into consideration, this is how I imagine the setlist might have looked on the 1990 tour that never was….

  1. Violence of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)

2. Hungry Like the Wolf

3. Planet Earth

4. Liberty

5. I Don’t Want Your Love

6. Notorious

7. Serious

8. My Antartica

9. A View To A Kill

10. New Moon On Monday

11. The Wild Boys

12. Save A Prayer

13. The Reflex

14. Rio


15. First Impression

16. Girls On Film

The band has a habit of resting the previous album on a tour so I only included one Big Thing track. Given the commercial fortunes of the band at the time, I think they would have been flexing the hits and making their case as a band that helped shape the previous decade. Personally, I would love hearing the five Liberty tracks in the setlist above. I think they would all work extremely well live even if Liberty, the album, didn’t deliver a complete experience. Would you have gone to see this tour in 1990 or would you have been checked out on the band between Big Thing and the wedding album? Let me know!

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