Duran Duran - song-by-song rate & discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Blame The Machines, May 5, 2019.

  1. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Westerville, Ohio
    Tel Aviv

    Bought the debut album on cassette in August 1985 (I know, I know...late to the game). My very first listen was the whole cassette playing on repeat as I walked around my best friend's neighborhood at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, waiting for the sun to rise and the day to start. Unbeknownst to me at the time, his neighborhood dead-ended to a small beach and Lake Erie (Ohio). So as I walked around this foreign area for over 3 hours, and the whole album, but especially "Tel Aviv", became this moody dawn's light soundtrack, with Lake Erie's waves always in the background. A great atmospheric track and a great memory.

  2. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    Faster Than Light:

    A fantastic b-side and a great addition to the debut album. Love this early DD style:

  3. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    A great album, highlights for me are Sound Of Thunder & Friends Of Mine, followed by Planet Earth & Careless Memories. I like the rest of the tracks nice enough, except for Tel Aviv and Nightboat.
    Blame The Machines likes this.
  4. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Murfreesboro, TN
    I'll have to play a bit of catch up here. I ADORE the early period material and think they were on fire for this run. Everyone is up in the mix, brilliant dynamics on original issues and largely everything is great.

    I still think DD are one of if not the most underrated band out there simply because so many never took them seriously. The early stuff shows just how well they played and shows off the odd fusion of styles that made up the band's identity. I'm definitely in the "Andy's harder edge is a critical element" camp, but they still can put out a good single and had a remarkable run of great material in the criminally underrated Warren years.

    Planet Earth-a great first single, a band classic. 5/5
    Night Version-The best of all the Night versions and arguably even better than the famous single. The 12" is a demo disc for turntables.-5/5

    Late Bar-An interesting B side that seems a bit light in substance but could have fit on the album. Sounds phenomenal on the UK 12". 4/5

    Careless Memories-I've always liked this one and it's a nice example of the band's sound at this time. Ultimately it's not my favorite from the S/T but works as a single. 4.5/5

    Khanada-Not my favorite early DD track but a nice B side. 3/5

    Fame-I thought this would be great until I finally heard it. It's an okay Bowie cover I suppose but it's merely okay. 2/5

    The original S/T album is a damn classic and remarkable for a band's first album. The original tracklisting works perfectly and as a whole arguably works better than individually. The UK original vinyl is essential and a demo disc for any system. It's a crime that their US releases were botched. I first got the original 1981 US Harvest with the Planet Earth Night Version as track 1, Girls on Film standard version as track 2. This version dropped "To the Shore" for the longer PE night version thus beginning the missing of To the Shore for US audiences. Then I got the 1983 reissue that shoves ITSISK hamfisted at the end of side one and again drops To the Shore. This version is really the worst as the SQ is slightly lesser than the original Harvest US copy and the new song simply does not fit with the original material at all. Plus the original cover has been changed to the then current 1983 photo along with the art color. I understand some may have nostalgia for this one but for me it's a step backwards. Then I got the original UK or so I thought...it was a misgraded 1st edition Holland copy with UK stampers which was noisy but much better. Then the original UK issue was my fourth and final copy. Sublime sound, "To the Shore" in its proper place and a beautifully printed jacket and inner with the custom art and slight foil for some of the logo.

    Girls on Film-5/5. It is what it is and a classic not only for the band but for the decade. It showcases the party vibes the band honed during their club days while still being actually about something and having a certain degree of sensuality to it that of course got maximized in the iconic video.
    Night version-Once you get used to the slightly higher pitch of the performance and vocal, this like PE becomes perhaps the definitive version. again the 12" UK single of this is a system showoff piece and this along with PE are the best of all the extended night versions. 5/5 This version is used in the game Sleeping Dogs to amazing effect on one of the radio stations in game.

    Also if you ever needed any evidence of how fricking great of a drummer Roger is, the night versions were all done live in studio at this time in single takes.

    Anyone Out There-one of the great songs from the S/T. Hugely underrated with a phenomenal guitar riff and band groove. 5/5

    To the Shore-Despite my years of trying to hear this properly in sequence as intended; it's not exactly an essential song but its place on the S/T as more of an arty piece is important for the album's flow and the song itself is good. 4/5

    Night Boat-5/5. Atmospheric, dark and a fantastic build up. Yes Simon may go a tad into the squeaky vocal as on a few other tracks but the overall song is another classic from the S/T.

    Sound of Thunder-Another great surprise for me when first listening to the S/T. 5/5. I love practically every song that made the album, but in particular these nice driving second side tracks are great favorites of mine.

    Friends of Mine-5/5. I love the groove, the sounds-everything. 5/5

    Tel Aviv-A great little album closer. Atmospheric in all the right ways. It works perfectly at the end of side 2. 5/5

    Faster than Light-easily my favorite of the B sides and has a remarkably strong opening. Brilliant sound on the UK 12". And of course Simon goes a bit into lightheaded territory on the chorus "Liiigheeeeeeeet". 5/5

    This thread has reminded me of how much I need to finish off my UK 12" singles collection and finally get the UK Rio which has always eluded me.

    I wanted to get the big deluxe CD/DVD editions but stayed away due to the atrocious mastering present on them for the album tracks that even the band hated. (Andy most of all. IIRC he said it sounded like someone did them down in the pub.) Are the bonus tracks mastered okay enough?
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  5. negative1

    negative1 80s retro fan

    You echo my sentiments mostly for the tracks.
    I would opt for the Singles Boxset over getting the deluxe remasters, as it might be easier
    to find, and cheaper.
  6. c-eling

    c-eling I never dreamed another way.

    Solo, the singles box mastering pretty much sucks as well.
    Nick Webb destroyed it.
    The Japan 4 EP cd set is nice. A tad bright in some spots but carry good sounding mastering's for Fame and Khanada.
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  7. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    I fell behind over the last few days:

    Friends Of Mine: Above average album track. Solid 4.5/5 rating.

    Tel Aviv: Love instrumentals from this period and this one would anchor a compilation of such material. Another solid 4.5/5.

    Faster Than Light: Hands down the best b-side of this period. Another 4.5/5 in my book.

    I'm sure to have plenty of 1/5's to hand out as time goes by.
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I liked the unedited video of GOF...ever see it?
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  9. Starquest

    Starquest Forum Resident

    Twin Cities, MN
    Careless Memories absolutely rocks. I've seen them in concert three times. The best show was at a smaller club maybe 6-7 years ago, and when they played that, they had these extremely bright white flashing lights behind them. It was just an awesome experience.
    longdist01 likes this.
  10. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    "Faster Than Light" ****1/2

    Always loved this one and should have been included on the album - perhaps ditching "Sound Of Thunder"

    Duran Duran (album) ****1/2

    Brilliant debut and overall their second best album. Four and a half stars as Rio is slightly better
  11. mr_spenalzo

    mr_spenalzo Forum Resident

    Faster Than Light ★★★★
    The best of the early b-sides. As with the rest, I first heard this (having downloaded it on Audiogalaxy) around 2002, but I got a real version around the same time after picking up the Japanese 7" that negative1 posted earlier at a Hilversum flea market. I don't know if it will work in the context of the album, because I agree with captainsolo's observation that "the original tracklisting works perfectly and as a whole arguably works better than individually", but I like it a lot better than "Sound of Thunder" and would've included it instead.

    Not really, but I'd get it for the demo's, BBC session and the DVD. They're enjoyable enough (plus the Air Studios version of "Girls On Film" is essential in my book)
  12. maywitch

    maywitch Forum Resident

    Planet Earth - 5/5
    Careless Memories 4/5
    I think I have most of these, it looks like someone took a picture of my own collection. :)
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  13. maywitch

    maywitch Forum Resident

    This song is based off a short story by Ray Bradbury, it's available online. And the short story is about being able to go back in time(I seem to recall hunting dinosaurs plays a role) but there is a path that must be followed. If you step off the path, well, it'll screw up history, butterfly effect(in fact I believe it's where the term for "butterfly effect" originated, as the whole problem is caused by the main character having stepped off the path and killed a butterfly in the past), that sort of stuff. So basic inspiration of the song is based around being a guy who steps off the path and basically destroys the world. The sound of thunder is the sound of a gun. That said obviously the song doesn't actually follow the story, it's just a sort of inspiration for some of the imagery.
  14. Chris Bernhardt

    Chris Bernhardt Forum Resident

    Chicago IL
    That was really great . I've seen them at least six times , and I've never heard them play any deep cuts like that ( okay Tiger, Tiger).
  15. negative1

    negative1 80s retro fan

    Just to reiterate what i said earlier about the album, before moving on.
    in case people missed out on voting for it.

    As a debut album, it would be hard pressed for Duran Duran to come up with something better than
    this, although some of the b-sides might have been better choices, but it is what is.

    The original UK debut, even with 'to the shore', is a powerful statement, blending rock, pop,
    funk, and synth, and cementing the 'new romantic' tag, which they even mention in a song.

    I came to the party late, and heard it on the re-release in America, when they issued it with
    'is there something i should know', but it was just as powerful then, as it is now.

    i gave it a solid 4/5, just because there's room for improvement, and some of the
    tracks could have been replaced. i don't think they wanted to change too much up for
    the re-release, and i give it a higher rating of 4.5/5 .


    if other people want to rate the album, please do, as it might be a different rating overall,
    compared to just taking the averages of the album tracks individually. although in a lot
    of cases, its pretty close.

  16. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Faster Than Light - The problem I have with this B-side recording is I felt is sounded like they had not done justice to the composition. Either that or it was recorded quickly to be released as an exclusive B-side. I think the verse is great, but then the chorus lacks substance for me. Furthermore, I think they went on to do it more justice live when it was briefly part of their sets 3.0/5:

    Live at the Chichester Festival Theatre, UK on 30 November 1981
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  17. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    For me the debut self titled album by Duran Duran I have to rate as a 4.0/5 (8 out of 10) effort. I think it has aged incredibly well. Not least due to the clean production by Colin Thurston, and sound engineering which brings all 5 of the band's key components: Simon's vocals; Nick's synths; John's bass; Andy's guitar playing; & Roger's drums up into the mix, so it is not hidden in a wall of sound (which I'm not a fan of in general (i.e. Phil Spector's productions), and which I think one Duran Duran album much later on falls victim to its detriment).

    A further question to those of you posting in the thread (which a number of you have indirectly answered earlier): When did you purchase a copy of Duran Duran's debut album? Was it the original UK version; the North American 1983 version with Is There Something I Should Know; or something else.

    Also was it the first Duran Duran album you bought; and if not how many Duran Duran album's had you bought previously?

    I bought the original UK version of the debut album on vinyl early in 1983 when I was 11 years old; it was the second Duran Duran album I owned after the first album I bought with my own money, Rio.
  18. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    My Duran Duran intro was the USA Carnival ep followed by Rio and then the 1983 version of the debut, all seemingly in the name of a long-forgotten girl but it was part of a seismic change in my music trajectory.

    I'd give the debut a 4.5 out of 5 and I suspect if I took an average of ratings for the individual album tracks (though I don't believe I rated each one in this thread), it'd be in that ballpark.
  19. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Before I move on (today & tomorrow) to the two sides of their November 1981 single:

    So far from the song by song rates averages (ratings) I have the following scores (out of 5.00) for the debut album era:

    001 Planet Earth 4.54 (12)
    002 Late Bar 3.57 (7)
    003 Careless Memories 4.54 (14)
    004 Khanada 3.07 (7)
    005 Fame 1.94 (8)
    006 Girls On Film 4.50 (14)
    007 Anyone Out There 4.30 (10)
    008 To The Shore 3.72 (9)
    009 Night Boat 4.00 (10)
    010 Sound Of Thunder 3.73 (11)
    011 Friends Of Mine 4.36 (11)
    012 Tel Aviv 4.13 (8)
    013 Faster Than Light 4.38 (8)
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  20. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter

    014 My Own Way

    "My Own Way" is the fourth single by Duran Duran, released by Capitol-EMI on 16 November 1981.

    The single was designed as a stop-gap release to capitalise on the Top 5 success of the band's previous single, "Girls on Film", but prior to the recording and release of the band's second album Rio which was recorded in the early months of 1982.

    "My Own Way" peaked at #14 on the UK Singles Chart. It was more successful in Australia, becoming Duran Duran's second Top 10 hit at #10.

    The 7" single and 12" single versions of the song were recorded in October 1981, well before the rest of the album was recorded in the early months of 1982. The single had a fast tempo and real "disco strings" arranged by Richard Myhill and Duran Duran.

    Even though it was a released as a single, and a gateway to the Rio album, "My Own Way" has yet to appear on any of Duran Duran's compilation albums. Neither 1989's Decade or 1998's Greatest included the track, although it came close. A promo for Greatest included both "My Own Way" and "Careless Memories", but the commercial release replaced them with 1990's "Serious" and 1997's "Electric Barbarella".

    The video for "My Own Way" was set to the fast-paced single version of the song. It was rarely played on MTV or VH-1, and was quickly overshadowed by the other more famous videos for the Rio album. Like those videos, "My Own Way" was directed by Russell Mulcahy.

    "My Own Way" was filmed in a studio decorated entirely in red, black and white. The band performs the song while flamenco dancers twirl in the background, and a colorful parrot sits on the keyboards.

    Small snippets of this video was seen on the projection screen in the video for "Is There Something I Should Know?" released in 1983, and it was part of the band's 1983 video album Duran Duran.

    As I've decided to change my mind re: separate recording/radical remixes of the same songs as separate entries then ...
  21. Blame The Machines

    Blame The Machines Forum Resident Thread Starter


    My Own Way (Rio album 1982 version)

    A much slower version of "My Own Way" was later recorded for the album during the first two months of 1982, again produced by Colin Thurston, with slightly different lyrics. This version of song was later remixed by David Kershenbaum for the Carnival EP, and this altered track appeared on the American re-issue of the Rio album on vinyl and cassette late in 1982. All CD pressings of Rio have used the original UK album mix, rather than the Kershenbaum mix.

    You can review either your favourite version of My Own Way or both; and score your favourite or both versions. It is up to you. But I will take the higher for my ratings/averages.
  22. Paul Rymer

    Paul Rymer Forum Resident

    My Own Way (single) - loved this at the time of release - fantastic video too, very vibrant and with a new set of matching outfits. Over time though I grew to prefer the album version which is a 5/5 and one of my all-time Duran faves. I prefer it for so many reasons - the band are on fire - listen to Andy's ferocious ad-libs, Roger's impressive drumming and Simon's vocal fits just right. I like the extra lyrics which give the whole thing a New York feel. It was also a highlight of the live shows.

    Other versions - not so keen on the Night Version or the Carnival remix, which has the vocals too high in the mix.

    Overall this song gets 5/5 from me - and they nailed it for the Rio album.
  23. RobRoyF

    RobRoyF Forum Resident

    My Own Way

    Great dance tune - solid percussion

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  24. statcat

    statcat Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    way better quality here

  25. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    I actually bought "Duran Duran" quite late, must have been around 2002, the US reissue with "wrong" cover and "Is There Something etc". Got the UK version pretty soon after when I noticed that this wasn't the true 1981 version. These were actually my first two DD vinyl purchases, quickly followed by "Rio" - on CD - and "Seven And The Ragged Tiger" - on vinyl.

    As I said - somewhere above - back in the mid-80s I wouldn't have touched a DD record. I actually developed a brief interest between "Notorious" and "Big Thing" which I both bought together with "Decade" around 1989. From then on I started reading all interviews and reviews I could get - so I was aware of what they were up to - but wasn't getting the albums.

    I started checking out the newer albums after a girlfriend constantly played "Red Carpet Massacre" and "All You Need Is Now". Since then I listen to the band quite a lot even though I find myself being ridiculed by my "serious music fan" friends. Fok 'em!

    "My Own Way", great song, great single. Even though I wasn't even aware that it actually was one! :biglaugh:


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