Hear it when you listen: the best of Duran Duran

First off, Interpol weren’t fun. Even in 1981 Simon Le Bon sounded like he used a roll of pound notes as tobacco paper; the extravagant bass lines were the giveaway. In and out of fashion because they’re absurd, Duran Duran was a boy band with a solid record collection and an interest in contemporary chic: Herb Riits, Steve Meisel, Sri Lanka. Six years ago I explained how to me Double D existed as a singles band; end to end these songs shimmer like comparable work by Joan Jett, the Buzzcocks, Human League, and Reagan-era Rod Stewart. During their Clinton-era comeback I heard more than listener grumble that perhaps the central trio (Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist/ageless hunk-a-saurus John Taylor) had songwriting chops after all. I suppose Duran Duran‘s Velvets cover persuaded these guys that Taylor Dayne understood A/C production.

Well, no — their peak was in 1984, when in Robert Christgau’s memorable phase U.K. new pop conquered the world and went phfft. He wrote bullshit about Duran being fascists too, as if copy editors confused his Consumer Guide with a column about Ed Meese. But 1986’s Notorious, released as the mousse began to soften, uses Nile Rodgers to better effect than Power Station did Bernard Edwards. Their best album after Rio, it plays as a Britfunk apotheosis, with the drums held at gunpoint by the coke dealer. But the lurid, purploid confidence off the 1982 album remains their cornerstone — the only album to name check Voltaire and the superego over slap bass. Although they’ve deigned to work with Justin Timberlake and Mark Ronson, don’t count them out — ever.

1. Hold Back the Rain
2. Hungry Like the Wolf
3. Planet Earth
4. My Own Way
5. Last Chance on the Stairway
6. The Reflex
7. Vertigo (Do the Demolition)
8. Is There Something I Should Know
9. Anyone Out There
10. Lonely in Your Nightmare
11. New Moon on Monday
12. Hold Me
13. Come Undone
14. Notorious
15. All She Wants Is
16. The Flame (Single Mix)
17. New Religion
18. Ordinary World
19. First Impressions
20. Friend of Mine
21. The Seventh Stranger
22. Union of the Snake
23. A Matter of Feeling
24. The Promise
25. Meet “El Presidente” (7″ remix”)
26. Election Day (Arcadia)
27. Communication (Power Station)
28. Careless Memories
29. Too Much Information
30. Serious

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One Response to Hear it when you listen: the best of Duran Duran

  1. They suck. Hired writers. Producer leads their way. Not artistry in any way shape or form. Part of the illuminati’s steady drug Fed destruction of rock.

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