Duran Duran's 'Rio' LP Turns Almost Forty in 2021, as GenX Swoons

(AP Photo/MTV)

Consider this an “Essential Listening” supplemental, if you will

Eighties’ new wave band Duran Duran. Trust me, reader: I am aware this marks a crucial, burning issue right now for Americans all across the country.

And as with anything this divisive, it split us into two, cultural camps, as we struggle to co-exist in peace — you either hold such strong admiration for their music that your heart might explode… or you hate it with every fiber of your being. If you’re of the latter persuasion, this article is not for you and I bid you Godspeed.

Okay, now that it’s just us Durannies… yay!

If you’re familiar with my “Higher Culture” column for RedState VIP and Townhall Media Gold members, then you know it’s where I sometimes write on music that I consider “essential listening.” This article is much like that, but in a form any reader can browse through. My hope is that you love it and want more (much like the band we girls and guys loved in the ’80s — and some still love).

Anyway, the official Twitters account for Duran Duran made an announcement a few days ago:

I’ll let you decide whether or not to explore this new book they’re touting in connection with “Rio” turning 39. Your call. But, you can see in the tweet below (and hundreds of others like it), I’m not the only fan excited about celebrating the classic album. Well, I owned it on cassette.

This was the album that wheted fans’ appetites for the overwhelmingly-massive, radio success that their next album “Seven And the Ragged Tiger” would herald. No one could escape “The Reflex” — the song Duran Duran will always be most known for. But, though it apparently took time for “Rio” to “break through” to the American audience, it was where the momentum truly started. And for good reason.

Consider this track listing (which I pulled, quite appropriately from a fan wiki site called Duranduran.fandom.com):

“My Own Way”
“Lonely In Your Nightmare”
“Hungry Like the Wolf”
“Hold Back the Rain”
“New Religion”
“Last Chance on the Stairway”
“Save A Prayer”
“The Chauffeur”

As most U.S. GenXers (like me) are aware, the band first pinged our radar, not through the traditional route of FM radio, but on the airwaves of a then-new cable network, MTV.

In fact, it was on New Year’s Eve 1983 that lead singer Simon LeBon introduced to the audience at NYC’s famed Palladium nightclub, in a showcase concert broadcast on TV exclusively by MTV, the band’s newly-re-released single from the “Rio” LP. You might have heard of it — it was called “Hungry Like The Wolf.” Immediately, Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor, and Roger Taylor stormed into it.

Soon afterwards, as the fan website notes, everything seemed to explode at once for them — in part because of the band’s keen grasp of the importance of the flashy, movie-quality music videos:

Part of the continued success of the album was due to the very popular videos, in heavy rotation on MTV. The video album Duran Duran was released (on VHS, Betamax, and [[LaserDiscs|LaserDisc) to coincide with the North American re-issue of the “Rio” single on 11 March, four months after its original release. This single included the Kershenbaum 7″ remix of “Rio” and peaked at #14 in US on 2 April.

And the rest is history.

There are more opportunities than ever to get your “lifestyle” fix around here, as I mentioned earlier and on the latest episode of my new podcast, “Lower Culture With Becca Lower.” That’s where I talk with people you may know on the Right about cultural subjects you might not. Also, you could always check out “Higher Culture,” my weekly RedState VIP column, on all things culture.

Of course, there is a raft of content my colleagues bring you in the VIP area — and trust me, it’s worth your time to check out.