Bought by Stan for Dave
I noticed that the majority of the albums being reviewed for 1p Album Club were from a certain period in time and there was a massive lack of representation of the 80s - a decade of excess, hair spray and shoulder pads. I am a child of the 80s and anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest champion the decade that some people claim taste forget. So my mission is to educate people that the 80s truly were a decade that produced brilliant artists and albums.
Some people snigger at the mention of Duran Duran but these guys for a period of time were the biggest thing on the planet. They were the big hitters of the British new wave revolution of the 80s and one of the pioneers of the MTV music video. The Birmingham band released Rio in 1982 and just take a look at the album cover; it’s iconic with that beautiful pop art lady that blazed over our friend Mike’s t-shirt for a number of years. I have picked to send this to Dave as he more than anyone will give a fair review and honest review to what I consider one of the great time capsule albums that boasts three hits singles and, in Hungry like The Wolf, one of my favourite singles of all time. It’s one of those albums you can almost hear the women screaming over it like a live concert.
I have no doubt that Dave will enjoy it. To everyone reading this - give this album a chance and embrace one of the best party albums you could buy for 1 English Pence. So sit back enjoy a little taste of the album that made hair spray sales for men go up 1,000% and without a doubt realise you know more lyrics from Rio than you previously though you ever did.
Despite having a penchant for 80s pop, I’ve never been a huge fan of Duran Duran. I’ve got a soft spot for A View To A Kill, and think Ordinary World is a bit special, but the likes of The Reflex, Girls On Film and Rio have always left me a little cold. As for their cover of 911 Is A Joke… Shudder! However, it’s important to enter these things with an open mind, so I decided to give Duran Duran another chance to impress me.
Getting past the title track, which is still a bit too smug and chintzy for my liking, I was pleased to discover that I really enjoyed a lot of this. I’d never realised how good a pure pop song Hungry Like The Wolf is before, and was pleased to be able to re-evaluate it, but I was even more surprised at how atmospheric this album is in places. The Chauffeur, which ends the album, is positively creepy, and the fact that Simon Le Bon’s vocals seem emotionally disconnected really add to this effect. This was a different side to the Duran Duran I thought I knew, and it’s a side I liked a lot more.
Lonely In Your Nightmare is another haunting song, with a coldness to the synths that is very effective, whilst Save A Prayer is pretty beguiling, with a really good chorus. The difference between some of these album tracks and their better known pop hits reminded me of hearing Simple Minds’ excellent, yet austere, Empires & Dance when I previously knew them solely for Don’t You Forget About Me.
I’m genuinely grateful to Stan for buying Rio for me, and it’s nice to have my original opinion on a band challenged. I’d probably still use The Reflex as a song to pop to the bar to if I was dancing at a wedding reception, but at least now I know they’re capable of much more. A pleasant surprise.