Monday, June 13, 2016

Album of the Week: 35th Anniversary of "Duran Duran"

Thirty five years ago this week marks the debut of the English band Duran Duran. Released on June 15, 1981, the self-titled debut album was a smash hit in their native UK, but would take a couple years and a re-release to later achieve platinum success in the US. The album was recorded in December 1980 and after hearing of John Lennon's murder on December 8, the band struggled to continue. However, they would push on and completed the album along with two music videos by the end of 1980.

Duran Duran was an instant success in the UK, reaching #3 on the album chart and remaining in the Top 100 for an incredible 117 weeks. The first single "Planet Earth" was released in Feb 1981 and peaked at #13 on the UK chart and #1 in France. It's follow up was somewhat of a disappointment leading into the release of the album. "Careless Memories" only managed to reach #37 on the UK chart, but the third and final single "Girls on Film" turned out to be the most successful, reaching #5 in the UK and even #19 on the US rock chart. Eventually, it's controversial music video was too steamy for MTV and was censored while the original version aired only on the Playboy channel. This helped the band get noticed, especially for the re-release of the album in 1983 for the US. It featured a bonus track "Is There Something I Should Know" which was a #1 hit in the UK and #3 on the US pop chart following the singles released from the Rio album.

I will admit I've never listened to this entire album to my knowledge. My favorite album has always been Rio, but it's never prompted me to really listen to Duran Duran's full discography. "Is There Something I Should Know" is probably my favorite single from the album.

Rediscover Duran Duran this week for its 35th anniversary via YouTube below or subscribers can listen to the full album for free on Amazon Prime music. You can also join me by posting your favorite tracks or memories in the comments.