on 27 October 2009
So, Duran Duran's classic Rio gets the executive make-over treatment in this deluxe 2CD release, and most pleasing it is too. The Album is presented similar to some other deluxe titles i've recently purchased, i.e hard back book style. The artwork is faithful to the original album sleeve, and its even textured like the original LP cover. The book is 52 pages long, with colour photos from the Rio era, lyrics, track info, and an an essay about the album's conception, with some quotes from the band members. Physically, my only dislike with the release is the CD sleeves, open ended and rather tricky to get the CD's out, the kind of thing that will wear over time, and the CD's will probably end up falling out the bottom !
Tracklisting - CD1
Tracks 1-9 - Original album release
Track 10 - Rio (US Album Remix) - 5:24
Track 11 - My Own Way (Carnival Remix) - 4:29
Track 12 - Lonely In Your Nightmare (US Album Remix) - 4:52
Track 13 - Hungry Like The Wolf (US Album Remix) - 4:02
Track 14 - Hold Back The Rain (US Album Remix) - 6:20
Tracklisting - CD2
Track 1 - Last Chance On The Stairway - 5:04
Track 2 - My Own Way - 4:38
Track 3 - New Religion - 5:32
Track 4 - Like An Angel - 4:59
(Tracks 1-4 - Manchester Square Demos)
Track 5 - My Own Way (Orignal 7" Mix) - 3:39
Track 6 - Like An Angel - 4:41
Track 7 - Careless Memories (Live) - 4:11
Track 8 - The Chauffeur (Blue Silver) 3:53
(Tracks 5-8 - Non Album Singles & B Sides)
Track 9 - My Own Way (Night Version) - 6:31
Track 10 - Hungry Like The Wolf (Night Version) - 5:11
Track 11 - Rio (Night Version) - 6:39
Track 12 - New Religion (Carnival Remix) - 5:13
Track 13 - Hold Back The Rain (Carnival Remix) - 7:00
As you can see, the album has quite a lot of alternate versions and oddities; the Manchester Square Demos were of particular interest for me. Some of the other tracks have appeared on CD before; in the Singles Box Set 81-85 and the Strange Behaviour 12" Mixes album, but there are a few here for the first time i think. My only disappointment was i was hoping for them to do an audio release of the video version of Save A Prayer which is over 6 mins, and this seemed like a good release for it, but never mind, its still a pretty awesome package. Sound quality is excellent. Well recommended.
on 2 August 2015
I was really looking forward to this, as arguably it was one of Duran Duran's best albums and to have it released with a bonus disc and remastered....what a deal! I have a top end stereo, Musical Fidelity Amp and Cambridge Audio CD player and can't say how disappointed I am with the sound quality. I am really not sure what type of digital remastering has happened here, if any? As with a lot of the early 80's music that was directly transferred to CD, it sounds hollow and lacking in bass. Simon's vocals sound weak and underplayed. This is a real shame as this was a great opportunity for someone to have come in and really done a good job on reproducing this, instead it sounds as if minimum or no effort has gone into this what so ever. Great original album, really poor production and sound quality.
on 6 July 2014
As a teenager in the early-mid 80s I abhorred Duran Duran, seeing them as the archetypal boy band (my older sister naturally had all their cassettes) and therefore something that all teenage boys ought to despise. As the years rolled on and the band re-appeared in the mid 90s with the affecting 'The Wedding Album', I was prompted to reassess their back catalogue, and soon realised how good their music actually was! In recent years the band has taken on a mantle of influential older statesmen (our generation's Rolling Stones I guess), and the technical excellence and sheer joie de vivre of well-worn tracks such as Hungry Like the Wolf and the title track, the haunting Save a Prayer, and underrated (even by the band apparently) spiky new wave of forgotten single My Own Way, are realised in all their glory here.
However, it's the album tracks that really impress - final song 'The Chauffeur', with its metronomic bassline and atmospheric lyrics is the great Duran single that never was, whilst New Religion and Hold Back the Rain are both outstanding pop songs in their own right. Superb album that proves the much maligned and supposedly throwaway 1980s pop scene actually deserves to be viewed as the most influential and artistically diverse decade of them all.
on 2 June 2005
For those familiar with the big hits on Rio (and if you aren't familiar, where you been?!) it should come as no surprise that this album is a pop masterpiece. However, what should come as a surprise is the outstanding level of musical and artistic complexity contained herein. To quote Nick Rhodes 'we thought we were creating an art-house album'. And they were. It is testament to the plethora of hummable tunes and the boys' pop-nous that the album became the huge international smash it was. It is therefore an album that can be enjoyed on a number of levels: slap it on at parties and get them dancing but put it on your headphones and marvel at the depth and originality.
Let's start with the big picture: this is the best produced album of the best produced era in pop music. Trevor Horn eat your heart out (OK, the Lexicon of Love was a good effort), Colin Thurston was THE producer of the early 80s - witness Kajagoogoo and Thompson Twins. Rio has that oh-so-rare quality of allowing great depth and breadth whilst also allowing each instrument and part to be picked out and listened to individually. ie, you can hear the parts, the sum of the parts or even both together if you so wish! It is complex without being crowded. This makes for a really cultured listening experience which really rewards - particularly on a good hi-fi: this is what CDs were invented for.
So what does it sound like? OK, so you'll know the tunes so I won't dwell. Instead let's deal with the music. All the tracks are held together by the outstanding rhythm section of Roger and John. The complexity of the work by both of them must be acknowledged - just witness the cymbal work on Last Chance and the bassline on Rio. John uses subtle use of slap mixed with complex finger play and the bass tone is excellent, providing depth yet maintaining a treble sound to mark out each line. Roger clearly appreciates the need to dance and underpins his play with driving rhythms. On top of this we have Nick adding synths on a number of levels. In particular, his sweeping string-based chords add texture to many tracks, building to a climax (witness Last Chance in particular - the best track Duran ever wrote which, in my humble opinion, says all you need to know about this album) yet never dominating. On many tracks Nick also takes synths to a new level for 1980s pop - the staccato popping that opens Hungry Like the Wolf or the build-up at the start of Rio are highly original. The real strength here is using synths for doing what only they can do - sound like synths and all the better for it. Andy uses guitar on a number of levels too - in particular matching choppy chords, carrying on from the debut album, with a number of catchy riffs (New Religion, Last Chance...). For a rock man his subtlety is noteworthy and a mark of the music on this album: nothing dominates, everything compliments. Simon's singing is great throughout and, again, very well produced. His lyrics sound as all good pop lyrics should - like they mean everything yet in themselves are meaningless.
The ingredients create an album of rare depth and complexity. It was clear that the boys took their art very seriously and the result was a very serious piece of music. If it hadn't sold so well (what a crime) it would surely be held above the Lexicon of Love as the true pop masterpiece of the 80s. Buy it and you'll be rewarded on many levels.
on 3 August 2001
I loved Duran Duran in the eighties and Rio is their very best albumn. The songs just bring summer right to you - even when it is raining. This newly released version of the classic Rio is enhanced with three videos which take you right back to when white linen suits were so trendy. The videos also have little comments at the side during the showing giving you insights into the filming. As well as three videos, the enhanced version also has a complete discography, lyrics and a great photo gallery which takes me right back to being a teenager again ... A brilliant CD, buy it and buy it now !
on 23 January 2006
For those of us who were there, Rio is THE album of the 80's - from it's distinctive album cover to it's ground-breaking videos. Although most of us 'got' the tongue-in-cheekness of the Rio video and that iconic yacht shot, the critics never forgave them for it - and it has unfairly dogged them ever since. But look a bit closer, underneath all of that there is a very original, diverse and ageless body of work that stands the test of time where others from that era do not. Like other albums that were made in the vinyl era there is a distinction between what was 'Side 1' and 'Side 2'. Side 1 is the one to dance to with full-on guitar riffs alongside the creatively used synths. And perhaps that is why this album has aged so well. Synths give the music colour and form and interest - but do not dominate. This is pop music but it's not 'bubble-gum' pop it's big, brash, colourful, at once extrovert and introspective and always individual. Hold Back The Rain should have been a single; Hungry Like The Wolf, one of their most well-known hits, has a menace and energy to it that still comes across. But it is Side B that brings the revelations. One of my favourite ever Duran tracks is 'New Religion'. It blew me away when I first heard it, it's sombre, cathedral-like opening gives way to a clean, soaring guitar, a pumping bass-line and a dual chorus (pick the easy one or the hard one to sing along to) containing some of Le Bon's most interesting and original lyrics. It still gets my toe-tapping after 20 years. But there's more: the lush and beautiful 'Save A Prayer' with the distinctive synth hook and one of my favourite lyrics 'so you wanted to dance, so I asked you to dance but fear is in your soul, some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise'. It's just great. The album rounds off with a critical and fan favourite: The Chauffeur. It's spare and slow and again the lyrics are almost incomprehensible, but it has an atmosphere of melancholy and a sexy strangeness that is compelling. This track more than any other is the 'link' between the Duran of 'Rio' and the Duran of their eponymous debut - but also a taste of this band's creative strength which is often overlooked. You should buy this album because it represents an era by being outside of that era: no CD collection should be without it if you want to have the best of the best.
on 10 September 2015
The quintessential Duran Duran album featuring three of their very best singles - Hungry Like The Wolf, Save A Prayer & Rio. My Own Way is re-recorded & drastically re-arranged version of their single from the previous year (1981). There are no filler tracks here. The Chauffeur is one of Duran Duran's finest moments with New Religion not too far behind. Hold Back The Rain is instantly appealing and Lonely In Your Nightmare & Last Chance On The Stairway add more reflective textures to this album. A coherent album of varying styles brimming with energy.
This is the album that all subsequent Duran Duran albums have been compared to.
There are several version to chose from -
1. The 2001 remaster of the original UK 9 track album on an enhanced CD featuring HLTW, SAP & Rio videos
2. The 2009 Double disc Limited Edition
3. The 2015 reissue of the above
4. The 2015 single disc with the original UK 9 tracks plus the 5 US album remix of the first five tracks.
Which version to buy? The sound quality/ re-mastering is good on all the different CD versions. I would suggest casual fans opt for option 4 but for those with a greater interest the double disc is tops with B-side, demo versions & extended versions.
on 31 March 2005
Ive previously reviewed "Rio", well before this release.
As has been said, it is probably Duran's finest work, on a par (In my opinion) with the sometimes maligned "Big Thing".
The album, BTW, is NO different from the original release - NO tracks are changed or shortened.
Th "Extra" features, while welcome, to me matter less than the music, since my PC is not a HiFi...
The sound quality, compared with no less than THREE previous releases on CD, the first Purchased in 1987, is NOT improved at all in my opinion. In fact, I would say the earliest CD sounds better. That is not to say the CD sounds bad, it doesn't, merely that because the original mix is so good, it cannot really be improved on. All in all, unless you want the "Additional" features, you are as well to buy any release of this CD, as you will not benefit in sound quality.
As another reviewer said, although this may be classed as a "Pop" record, the quality of the prodiction shows in using Quality playback equipment. In other words, Bros sounds the same on a 59 quid Alba System as on seperates. This doesn't.
The mix can sound harsh unless you have very good equipment which is able to resolve the resolution and instrumentation. The strings flow magically loose, and also combine with the music at the same time, and EVERY instrument is crystal clear.
The "Chauffeur" is one of the all-time great Bass demos for HiFi.
In a nutshell: It's the same CD it always was, with the added extras. For the same money, buy it. If you aren't wanting the enhancements for the PC, and you can save a few pence, buy the "normal" CD. It's the same - Brilliant....
on 3 January 2001
Out of 500+ cd's in my collection 'Rio' has to be one of my favourites. Being their second body of work, you would had thought that it would fall under the term 'difficult' but Duran proved otherwise. Every track here could have been a hit single. 'Rio', 'hungry like the wolf' and 'Save a prayer' did just that, but there are other tracks like 'New religion', 'Hold back the rain' and 'The chauffeur' which are equally as impressive if not superior. 'The chauffeur' itself is an eclectic electro masterpiece which if were released as a single would have been up there with songs like 'tainted love' or 'Vienna'. 'New religion' is a dark song which demonstrates the perfect marriage between bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor; they maintain a steady rhythm that explodes when introducing the chorus. The ballads 'Save a prayer' and 'Lonely in your nightmare' are both moving yet different, one being your classic love song the other cinematic. The whole album itself is wonderful, even the vastly improved version of 'My own way' which is the weakest track here. If EMI/Parlophone had cared more about their artist than their bank account and had released some of the darker tracks here, credibility would have come Duran Duran's way(It wasn't all lip gloss you know!). As soon as the re-enhanced reissue is released I'll be there to buy it. I suggest you do the same.
on 6 November 2008
By 1982, fresh from the breakthrough success of "Girls On Film" from their self titled debut, Duran Duran unleashed "Rio," an album and song that would propel them to international stardom.
And quite rightly so, "Rio" is a brilliant album, fantastically written and musically perfect.
Songs like "Hungry Like The Wolf" and "Save A Prayer," both hugely sucessful singles and videos, along with "Rio" (I think everyone knows the video for this one)Duran Duran just kept the hits coming.
It's the hidden gems though within this album that make it so special, live favourite "Hold Back The Rain" and the simply sublime "The Chauffeur" make this album easily up there with the very best of the 80's.
It a height that Duran Duran have never scaled since, but this was some effort, Duran Duran could perhaps be forgiven for that.