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Two remastered albums from Duran Duran Review by Jack Alberson
Duran Duran (EMI/Capitol, 1981)
Pardon me while I geek the hell out on you for a minute. From the moment I saw the video for "Hungry Like the Wolf" on Solid Gold way back when I was a little guy, I was obsessed with Duran Duran. They've remained one of my favorite bands through thick and thin, and in a remaster-happy musical climate it's wonderful to see their work get cleaned up and re-released.
Like the 2002 remaster of Rio, these two releases sound phenomenal. Seven and the Ragged Tiger sounds better than it ever has. I appreciate the long version of "The Reflex" a lot more than I ever did, as in hindsight the single version tends to cram too much into a short amount of time. Also (and I might get killed for saying this), some of the Ragged Tiger material sounds a lot like what Wire were doing in their "beat combo" days a couple of years later, especially "Shadows On Your Side". On a side note, if you like this one you should really hunt down the Arcadia album, So Red the Rose as it actually brings closure to this era of Duran Duran (before their mixed results with funk on Notorious and a couple of less potent discs in the late Eighties).
While their eponymous debut suffers a little bit from a cheaper budget its remaster breathes new life into its moody rock songs. Also EMI took the liberty of righting a wrong — later issues of their debut found the track listing changed, switching "Girls On Film" and "Planet Earth" in the running order and dropping "To the Shore" and adding the rather out-of-place-but-still-good "Is There Something I Should Know?". Thankfully they have restored the track listing to that of its original release. Duran Duran doesn't get near enough credit for being a truly fantastic document of the post-punk movement, and it's time it gets the credit it deserves.
Would I have liked a little bonus material? Of course. Their live material (unfortunately only existing on bootlegs for the moment) from the time of their debut and Rio is awesome and I'd love to see some of it get an official release. Demos would have been cool too. Am I happy just to get a proper sounding disc of two of my favorite Duran Duran records? Yes. I am still a Duranie, after all these years.
1. Girls On Film
seven and the ragged tiger cd
1. The Reflex