Where Does Future Past End Up?

courtesy of Duran Duran/photo by Stephanie Pistel

I had meant to revisit my Duran Duran album rankings leading up to the Future Past release but time slipped away and all of a sudden, a box of records, CDs, and even a cassette showed up on my doorstep. A few weeks into Future Past, I stand by my original review. This album will age extremely well within the Duran Duran canon. It doesn’t sound of any particular time in popular music (maybe that’s what the title means!) and I think that is a credit to the band’s attitude. The balance between their legacy and their creativity seems to have finally reached a place of harmony. After looking back at the last time I ranked the albums in 2019, I thought all week about where Future Past belongs in the wake of experiencing it for the first time. Here we go….

1. Rio

Somehow, I love this album even more now. I think Annie Zaleski’s book did that.

2. Duran Duran

The second half of this album set the template for the best of future Duran Duran. Balancing the club hits with the more artsy ambitions, the debut remains a masterpiece.

3. Notorious

I struggle to find a single song on this that I don’t enjoy. The playing on this album is superb.

4. Big Thing

Apart from “Drug”, it’s a gem and captures the moody aesthetic of Duran Duran that I love best.

(If we count the side-projects, John & Andy would bang their gong in-between 4 and 5)

5. Seven & the Ragged Tiger

I’ve had this up and down my list for years but it has finally won me over completely. The production might hamper it but the songs hold up.

6. Future Past

If All You Need Is Now was the nostalgia pill and Red Carpet Massacre was the future pill, Future Past is the perfect blend of both.

7.  All You Need Is Now

Speaking of nostalgia, I like nostalgia.

8. Medazzaland

Experimental and bold. I might move this up a few notches depending on the cocktail I’m drinking.

(counting side projects, the so red rose would blossom here)

9.  Liberty

Strangely, this one has sounded better as I get older. I’d say half of these songs are really quite excellent.

10. Astronaut

Another album that I didn’t appreciate fully at the time. It’s a really great listen front to back.

11. Red Carpet Massacre

I dig this project, a lot. I think “Falling Down” was the mistake as a single and video. The rest of the album sounds amazing on good speakers.

12. Duran Duran (Wedding Album)

Down it goes. Apart from “Come Undone” and “Too Much Information” there isn’t much here that I truly need to enjoy Duran Duran. I will say, the video for “Femme Fatale” finally made me appreciate the cover a bit more.

13. Pop Trash

I like this more and more with time. Maybe the whole sleazy-Vegas vibe of it sounds better with Warren not actually around to give me the creeps.

14. Thank You

No, thank you.

15. Paper Gods

A protest placement because the b-sides were better than the album tracks? Perhaps. “Sunset Garage” is effervescent and fun but a lot of the songs are mid-tempo filler that I couldn’t name even though I saw this tour a lot.

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