The Seven & the Ragged Tiger anniversary popped up this week and I’m at a loss on what I could write about it. Arriving at the peak of the band’s fame, the media covered it all. It was an exciting time for Duran fans and music fans in general. In a way, 1983 was the beginning of a three year peak for a decade that forever changed popular culture. The songs from Seven & the Ragged Tiger represent this both in their longevity as well as the tension holding them together. By 1985, it was was clear that the rest of the decade would not be able to maintain its pace and, ultimately, neither would Duran Duran.
Out of curiosity, I hit Google Maps tonight to see if I could find the steps of the library in New South Wales where they band shot the cover. It was surprisingly easy to find! Check it out:
Of course, Australia was the last stop for the band on the arduous road to album completion. Wrapping up at the historic Studios 301, the band was mentally fried as the lifestyle and fame caught up with them. As much as I love (and prefer) Notorious and Big Thing to Seven, there is no denying that this was the band’s commercial zenith. The videos were everywhere and the excitement of Rio carried this album further than, perhaps, the songs deserved.
I’ve often considered Notorious the first “grown-up” Duran Duran album but reflecting back on this anniversary, I think Seven & the Ragged Tiger might actually be the moment when it all became serious. The pressure comes through in the songwriting and this album ultimately broke them up as a five-piece. So, yeah, I guess the Ragged Tiger won the battle in 1983. However, three of the seven came back stronger than ever with Notorious and the band has won the war in the end. With that said, I’m raising a glass to my youth tonight and once again dancing with the union of the snake…..