DURAN DURAN - THE ALBUMS 1981 -1982


"DURAN DURAN"

1981


GIRLS ON FILM - This debut album by the band opens with this brilliant New Wave track.  Their breakthrough single in the UK chart reaching number 5.  Its cheeky and somewhat sarcastic lyrics about the glamour and glitz of the modelling industry are backed by an irresistible pumping rhythm and keyboard and guitar accompanient.  Its just a classic Duran Duran song and a classic 80s song as well.  Top opener.

 

PLANET EARTH - The debut single only reached number 12 in the UK chart.  This is more Synth Pop Disco than the previous track.  Again with the pumping rhythm but more experimental than "Girls On Film" and the chorus is not as catchy but still engaging to be a great song.

 

ANYONE OUT THERE - This is one of my favourite Duran Duran tracks, it has a more rockier guitar backing.  Also a funky bass appears with echoed vocals in one segment.  This is more Pop Rock and as the band proved with their album tracks in the future, this was more than just a New Romantic Pop band.

TO THE SHORE - A moody, erotic sounding track with its almost sleazy melody, it is nice enough as singer Simon Le Bon does his best male chanteuse.  Not a favourite of mine, it fails to lift off as a ballad unlike the later classic "Save A Prayer"

CARELESS MEMORIES - This second single failed to recapture the Top 20 success of "Planet Earth" and was considered to be the record company's idea for release a 7".  The band took charge with the obvious hit "Girls On Film".  I quite like this track, it is not as catchy as other Duran Duran songs but it has a simple chorus and good moments.  Synth Pop with a little Rock.  Maybe it was too experimental for the radio fans.

NIGHT BOAT - Haunting and mysterious almost Punk Synth Pop with a little Bond theme styled pizzazz.  Could have easily preceded "A View To A Kill" as the band's movie soundtrack.  Great track.

SOUND OF THUNDER - This track passes me by a little.  It reminds me of an attempt to match Ultravox's anthemic Synth style but this fails to stack up next to Midge Ure's band.  Another dap squib for me.

FRIENDS OF MINE - I always loved this track, its dark and has a good Electro Rock vibe with a New Wave Punk element.  It did annoy me at times as I liked the band, along with A-ha later on, that they were described always as the "little girls" band.  The fact is these guys could play and were genuine artists as proved that they are still going today.  The singles apart, the albums always contained surprises and more darker tones.

TEL AVIV - A 5 and a half minute ending to the album where Le Bon takes a breather and the band play an almost orchestrated sombre, moody Middle Eastern jam.  I always like an album to finish on a high but this is a disappointing low note, albeit a nice piece of music.   A good debut but there were bigger and brighter albums to come.



"RIO"

1982


RIO - A classy Pop song which whisks you away into a bright, sunny climate and has you happily singing the chorus as though you were in Summer.  With elements of New Wave and Synth Pop this was archetypal of the early 80s era.
 
 

MY OWN WAY - This track was similar in style to the debut album's Electro Pop style, a catchy chorus yet again and an ideal follow-on single after "Girls On Film".

LONELY IN YOUR NIGHTMARE - An unusual one, it reminds me a little of a Gary Numan track in his prime, with its mix of haunting guitars and electronics.  However, the chorus is quite catchy and its a nice song.

HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF - Has elements similar to "My Own Way" and "Rio", a perfect crossover from the debut album to this second one.  A more polished sound with lesser Electronic effects than previous tracks by the band.
 
HOLD BACK THE RAIN - A slightly more rockier sound on this track, upbeat and a powerful chorus.

NEW RELIGION - One of my favourite Duran Duran tracks, Simon Le Bon's vocals really suit this mix of singing and speaking and a great chorus.  Love this track on the live Arena album, would have been a great single.

LAST CHANCE ON STAIRWAY - A perfect fit for the whole style of this album, similar to "Rio" and "Hungry Like The Wolf" but without the catchy choruses.  A great uptempo song nonetheless.

SAVE A PRAYER - Superb, a big favourite of mine and lots of fans I think.  Just a really heartwarming song, great lyrics and an accomplished song all round.  The ultimate Duran Duran ballad.
 
 

THE CHAUFFEUR - Classy, its mysterious, dark and and minimal but has a medieval feel and its a big favourite of mine, I think its probably not chart material which shows the band's experimental side which came through in later albums.  This is the kind of track I like, the "fans favourites" not the public popularity chart buffs.


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