Twenty years since their pop music debut, Duran Duran issued another greatest-hits collection. As if 1989's Decade weren't stellar enough, this select package was much more solid. Greatest showcased the band's early days of glam rock décor and new romanticism to the alluring sophistication Duran Duran exuded throughout the '90s. The typical synth-powered pop hits are included – "Girls on Film," "Rio," "A View to a Kill" – as well as the signature ballads – "Save a Prayer" – but it might also receive criticism due to its chronological disarray. Still, that gives no reason to fret, for other goodies can be found throughout. The much-neglected "New Moon on Monday" is featured, as well as the band's mature eclecticism of such songs from the self-titled Wedding Album – "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone." The band's experimentation with new millennium electronica found on "Electric Barbarella" again refocuses on Simon LeBon as the center of the band.
With the cover art for Paper Gods, Duran Duran cheekily revisit icons of their past: the smile of Rio, the cap of the "Chauffeur," girls on film, and a prowling tiger. Thirty years in, Duran Duran are comfortable enough to play with their past, comfortable enough to draw an explicit connection to their back pages by hiring Nile Rodgers – who helmed Notorious back in the day – to do a bit of production alongside Mark Ronson, the hitmaker who gave the group a refurbishment on 2010's All You Need Is Now…
With the cover art for Paper Gods, Duran Duran cheekily revisit icons of their past: the smile of Rio, the cap of the "Chauffeur," girls on film, and a prowling tiger. Thirty years in, Duran Duran are comfortable enough to play with their past, comfortable enough to draw an explicit connection to their back pages by hiring Nile Rodgers – who helmed Notorious back in the day – to do a bit of production alongside Mark Ronson, the hitmaker who gave the group a refurbishment on 2010's All You Need Is Now. Most of the record, however, bears credits either by Mr. Hudson or Josh Blair, two younger musicians who help give Paper Gods a bit of a contemporary glint.
This behind the scenes look at the making of British band Duran Duran's seminal album Rio features commentary from the band, their producers, and music journalists like Beverley Glick, breaking down the writing and recording process song-by-song. The program also includes footage from a live performance by the band in Boston.
Duran Duran personified new wave for much of the mainstream audience. And for good reason, too. Duran Duran's reputation was built through music videos, which accentuated their fashion-model looks and glamorous sense of style.
Greatest is a Duran Duran fan's biggest wish come true (next to a live concert, of course)–all their groundbreaking videos together in one place. More than radio, MTV made mega-stars out of the photogenic group, and few took better advantage of the medium, particularly in the 1980s. Just as their music combined the sophisticated pop of Roxy Music with the electro-funk of Chic, each video is as immaculately styled and conceived as the band itself. Like 1998's Greatest CD collection, this two-DVD set features all their big hits, including uncensored versions of "Girls on Film" and "Come Undone." Directors include Godley and Creme, Julien Temple, and Vogue photographer Ellen Von Unwerth and years covered range from 1981's self-titled debut to 1997's Medazzaland. All told: more models, more hair spray, and more mascara than a Paris fashion show–but it's got a better beat (and you can dance to it).
From its Nagel cover to the haircuts and overall design – and first and foremost the music – Rio is as representative of the '80s at its best as it gets. The original Duran Duran's high point, and just as likely the band's as a whole, its fusion of style and substance ensures that even two decades after its release it remains as listenable and danceable as ever. The quintet integrates its sound near-perfectly throughout, the John and Roger Taylor rhythm section providing both driving propulsion and subtle pacing.
Greatest was an update of the 1989 tenth anniversary compilation album, Decade: Greatest Hits. The new release included songs from their eponymous debut album through 1997's Medazzaland. The album includes all 14 songs featured in Decade: Greatest Hits, plus "New Moon on Monday" and four singles from the 90's, however both "Save a Prayer" and "Rio" are presented in their shorter US versions in order to fit on a single CD whereas they appeared in their full versions on the former compilation. The album was released by EMI after parting ways with the band after the disastrous Medazzaland album release in 1997, and marked the first of many releases designed to capitalize on the band's extensive EMI-controlled back catalog. To coincide with the release of the Greatest album in the United Kingdom, the song "Electric Barbarella" was released as a single. This track was originally released as a single in North America in 1997 to promote the Medazzaland album (which was never released in the UK). As of 2009, the collection has sold over a million copies in the United States. To date, a full collection of Duran Duran's singles on one album still hasn't been released. The album release was followed in 1999 by the release of a videotape compilation of the band's groundbreaking music videos, also entitled Greatest. It was not released on DVD at the time, probably due to the band's disintegrating relationship with Capitol Records.