Deep Album Cuts Vol. 45: Duran Duran

Duran Duran's 14th studio album, Paper Gods, is out today. So I thought I'd do a survey of their career. Or rather, as I often do for this series, I surveyed the part of their career in which they made hit singles, the first 7 of those 14 albums. A lot of times I've had at least some degree of familiarity with an act's catalog beyond their hits before working on these mixes, but in this case I really just jumped into the deep end. They have a handful of singles I love but are not a band I'd ever given a ton of thought, so it was interesting to just listen and try to figure out what I think of them.

Duran Duran Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Anyone Out There
2. To The Shore
3. Tel Aviv
4. New Religion
5. Lonely In Your Nightmare
6. Hold Back The Rain
7. Last Chance On The Stairway
8. I Take The Dice
9. The Seventh Stranger
10. Tiger Tiger
11. American Science
12. Hold Me
13. So Misled
14. Interlude One
15. Palomino
16. My Antarctica
17. First Impressions
18. Shotgun
19. None Of The Above

Tracks 1, 2 and 3 from Duran Duran (1981)
Tracks 4, 5, 6 and 7 from Rio (1982)
Tracks 8, 9 and 10 from Seven And The Ragged Tiger (1983)
Tracks 11, 12 and 13 from Notorious (1986)
Tracks 14 and 15 from Big Thing (1988)
Tracks 16 and 17 from Liberty (1990)
Tracks 18 and 19 from Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) (1993)

Duran Duran occupy a unique little niche, kind of between worlds -- they were a pop band who wrote their own songs, they looked like models and inspired mass adulation and got respect for their musicianship, but never really got to the point where they were taken especially seriously by anyone. Their first couple albums made them a phenomenon, and then Seven And The Ragged Tiger was a weird coked up mess that didn't derail their career but certainly slowed it down, sort of the Be Here Now of its time. Since then they've had a pretty interesting career.

The collaborations with members of Chic in the Power Station side project and on Notorious may not have been totally unprecedented in the wake of Bowie's Let's Dance, but Duran Duran proved themselves to be at an intersection of punk, disco, and pop that nobody else quite occupied. Notorious might be their most consistently enjoyable album for my money, it's just full of great sounds and ideas. The hardest rocking song, "Hold Me," has this funky clavinet riff in the bridge.

It was fun to find surprising tangents in their catalog, like the dreamy instrumental "Tel Aviv" or the 54-second "Shotgun." One of the best songs on the band's self-titled debut, "To The Shore," was left off of U.S. pressings of the album to make room for the non-album single "Is There Something I Should Know?" in the wake of Rio's success. "First Impressions," a deep cut from the 1990 flop Liberty, was reinterpreted as the basis of one of the band's biggest hits, 1993's "Come Undone."

Simon Le Bon kind of reminds me of Derek Zoolander -- any attempt to be deep or worldly just makes him seem more vapid. Duran Duran is one of those bands, like Motley Crue or Kiss or The Killers, where the undeniable limitations of the frontman make you wonder what the band might've been like with someone smarter and/or more skilled at the mic, but at the same time that goofball is essential to the band's character as it is.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment