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Duran Duran

Classic Albums Rio DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I remember about the time that Rio came out seeing Duran Duran (virtual unknowns – and certainly unknown to me) as the opening act for Blondie. No insult to Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and company, but Duran Duran blew them off the stage. I was hooked and picked up both their first album and Rio the next day. Now, we get a look inside the making of Rio and some real insights into the music involved and the creative process that brought the disc that broke Duran Duran to the world.

Every DVD in this series is strong, but this is one of the best. The main reason I say that is that with many of these things we get the critical deconstruction of the music, but it’s done by people who were only involved in the periphery. Well, in this case we have the band dissecting the creative process that gave us Rio.

If all they gave us here was this documentary it would be worth having – both for hardcore Duran Duran fans and the more casual listeners, too. They didn’t stop there, though. We get some interesting bonus materials. These include bonuses interviews and full performances of five tracks. While these are quite cool – the new recordings of the tracks being the most impressive of the bunch, they are just icing on the cake.

It’s so easy to think of Duran Duran as the fashion plates of the early era of MTV. Pop this DVD in, though, and let it take you back to the creation of the phenomenon and pull you into the band that was and is Duran Duran. First and foremost these guys were (and are) a talented group of musicians with a knack for writing solid pop rock songs.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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