Red Carpet Massacre
|Red Carpet Massacre|
|Studio album by Duran Duran|
|Released||13 November 2007|
|Genre||New wave, rock, synthpop, hip hop|
|Producer||Duran Duran, Danja, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake|
|Duran Duran chronology|
Deluxe Edition cover
|Singles from Red Carpet Massacre|
For the week of 19 November, Red Carpet Massacre debuted at #36 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 29,000 copies in its first week. However, the following week the album fell to #116. For the week of 26 November, the album debuted at #44 in the UK, becoming the 2nd poorest UK Chart entry in the band's career, after Pop Trash from 2000. The album entered the Italian chart at #10. As of 2 May 2008, the album has moved 88,000 copies in the U.S. The album spent only three consecutive weeks in the Billboard 200 chart.
The band did its initial recording for its follow-up to Astronaut with producer Michael Patterson between September 2005 and April 2006. Roger Taylor said in March 2006, "The record will be in some ways a homage to our roots as a band, more direct and a return to our dance and 'new wave' origins", and that they had brought fifteen tracks to near completion.
The record was provisionally titled Reportage and expected in late May 2006 with a summer tour to follow, but as reported in Billboard, the new album was delayed as guitarist Andy Taylor had a falling-out with the rest of the band for unknown reasons, and eventually the material was shelved altogether in favour of recording Red Carpet Massacre.
In early October, vocalist Simon Le Bon announced that the band had recorded three songs with famed hip hop producer Timbaland, his protégé Nate "Danja" Hills and engineer Jimmy Douglass at Manhattan Center Studios during September. Trade magazine Billboard reported that one of those tracks was "Nite-Runner", featuring Justin Timberlake, which at the time was expected to be the first single from the album. Two additional songs on which the band worked with Timbaland were titled "Skin Divers" and "Zooming In". Also mentioned were two other tracks: "48 Hours Later" and "Transcendental Mental", that were not used on the album.
Andy Taylor leaves the band
Andy Taylor did not perform at any of Duran Duran's October shows and had not participated during the New York sessions with Timbaland, and on 25 October, a message posted on the band's site announced: "As of last weekend [...] the four of us have dissolved our partnership and will be continuing as Duran Duran without Andy, as we have reached a point in our relationship with him where there is an unworkable gulf between us and we can no longer effectively function together."
Dominic Brown, who had taken Taylor's place at several previous missed concerts in the past, was hired as Duran Duran's guitarist, taking part in the recording sessions. Brown has since performed with the band as their full-time touring guitarist.
Taylor told Rolling Stone magazine that he was in favour of a more electric sound, whereas Simon Le Bon wanted to go in a different direction involving people like Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland. In addition, Taylor wrote in his autobiography that in the renewed bickering between himself, Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon grew worse, and it was not helped by Taylor's emotional state following the death of his father, later diagnosed as clinical depression.
According to Taylor's autobiography, the final straw came when he discovered that the band's management had not been able to secure a working visa for him to record in the United States. The other band members maintained that they fully expected him to show up for the recording session with Timbaland, but that he became incommunicado and was unreachable by phone or e-mail, leaving them no choice but to continue on without him.
Remaking the album
The band decided to rewrite the whole album following Taylor's departure. Fourteen songs had been completed for Reportage but according to Simon Le Bon: "When we sat down and listened to what we had done on our own, we didn’t feel we had a lead track, so we got in touch with Timbaland, who was the only producer out there that we knew we all liked."
Following the New York sessions in September, Duran Duran moved to Metropolis Studios in London with Danja and Douglass for the next sessions. According to tabloid newspaper The Sun, in March 2007 Duran Duran had one track left that needed a female vocal, and they were trying to arrange to work with Nelly Furtado, Lily Allen and/or Britney Spears. Ultimately, a female vocal on the album never came to be, however.
In June, Duran Duran announced on their official website that they were recording yet another track with Justin Timberlake, titled "Falling Down". However, it was "Nite-Runner" that the band decided to debut live at the much-anticipated fan-club only Hammerstein Ballroom concert in New York City on 17 June, and Le Bon was still touting it as the probable first single in a post to the band's official website. Several other album tracks ("The Valley", "Red Carpet Massacre", "Skin Divers" and "Box Full O' Honey") were played over the sound system at the concert, but were not performed live.
Following the New York concert and a listening party for the media at which the album title was announced, band members Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor went back to England to work on some mixes for the album and perform at the Concert for Diana and the Live Earth concerts in London. They completed one more recording session in New York and then returned to London to put the finishing touches on the album before its release.
Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor slammed Sony for turning the work on their 2007's album Red Carpet Massacre into "a nightmare". According to him, the record label wanted to make their record "a bit pop" and forced them to collaborate with Timbaland, which turned out to be a painful experience.
"We delivered an album to Sony that was a natural-sounding, almost rock album, and they were like: "We need something a bit pop, do you fancy doing a couple of tracks with Timbaland?" That whole project was a nightmare", he claimed.
Roger Taylor added: "The thing was, we got an opportunity to work with Timbaland, so we thought: "Great, let's go for it". When Timbaland saw the guitar and the bass and the drums come in to the studio, I think he was mortified, because everything's in a box for those guys".
This is slightly at odds with the interviews with the band on the DVD which came with the Deluxe Edition of the album. In it they praise Timberlake, Timbaland as well as producer Danja.
"Falling Down" was the first, and ultimately only single released from the album. "Skin Divers" was planned to be released as the second single. "Nite-Runner" was also planned to be the possible lead single from the album. It is unknown why it was shelved.
Release and reception
The album received mixed reviews from critics, and is second lowest-selling Duran Duran album in the band's history. Only Pop Trash has sold fewer copies.
|1.||"The Valley"||Duran Duran & Danja||4:57|
|2.||"Red Carpet Massacre"||Duran Duran & Danja||3:17|
|3.||"Nite-Runner" (feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)||Duran Duran, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake & Danja||3:58|
|4.||"Falling Down" (feat. Justin Timberlake)||Duran Duran & Justin Timberlake||5:41|
|5.||"Box Full O' Honey"||Duran Duran & Danja||3:10|
|6.||"Skin Divers" (feat. Timbaland)||Duran Duran, Timbaland & Danja||4:24|
|7.||"Tempted"||Duran Duran & Danja||4:22|
|8.||"Tricked Out" (instrumental)||Duran Duran & Danja||2:45|
|9.||"Zoom In" (feat. Timbaland & Danjahandz)||Duran Duran, Timbaland & Danja||3:25|
|10.||"She's Too Much"||Duran Duran & Danja||5:30|
|11.||"Dirty Great Monster"||Duran Duran & Danja||3:40|
|12.||"Last Man Standing"||Duran Duran & Danja||4:05|
|iTunes and Japanese release bonus track|
|13.||"Cry Baby Cry"||Duran Duran||3:57|
|iTunes UK and Italian release bonus tracks|
|14.||"Nite-Runner (Live)"||Duran Duran, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake & Danja||4:05|
|15.||"Red Carpet Massacre (Live)"||Duran Duran & Danja||3:09|
Deluxe edition DVD
Consists of videos showing the making of the album.
- "The Album"
- "The Artwork"
- "The Video" - the making of the "Falling Down" music video
- "The Campaign"
- "The Out-Takes"
- "The Valley" – 4:57
- "Red Carpet Massacre" – 3:17
- "Nite-Runner" (co-written, produced and featuring Timbaland & Justin Timberlake) – 3:58
- "Falling Down" (co-written, produced and featuring Justin Timberlake) – 5:41
- "Box Full O' Honey" – 3:10
- "Skin Divers" (co-written, produced and featuring Timbaland) – 4:24
- "Tempted" – 4:22
- "Tricked Out" – 2:45
- "Zoom In" (co-written and produced with Timbaland & Danjahandz) – 3:25
- "She's Too Much" – 5:30
- "Cry Baby Cry" – 3:57
- "Dirty Great Monster" – 3:40
- "Last Man Standing" – 4:05
The Vinyl edition is limited to 2000 numbered copies and is pressed on red vinyl.
- Duran Duran
- Simon Le Bon - lead vocals
- John Taylor - bass, background vocals
- Roger Taylor - drums
- Nick Rhodes - keyboards, background vocals
- Additional musicians
- Dominic Brown - guitar, background vocals
- Simon Willescroft - saxophone on track 11
- Marcella Araica - additional programming on track 1
- Terri Walker - additional vocals on track 6
- Jim Beanz - additional vocals on tracks 3 & 10
- Justin Timberlake - additional vocals on tracks 3 & 4
- Timbaland - additional vocals on tracks 3 & 6
- Duran Duran - producer
- Danja - producer
- Timbaland - producer on tracks 3, 6 & 9
- Justin Timberlake - producer on tracks 3 & 4
- Jim Beanz - vocal production on tracks 5, 9, 10, 11 & 12
- Jimmy Douglass - producer, engineer, mixer
- Matthew Hager - engineer on "Falling Down" and mixer on "Cry Baby Cry"
|United States||13 November 2007|
|Europe||19 November 2007|
|UK Albums Chart||44|
- Jonathan Cohen, "Keys Storms Chart With Mega-Selling 'As I Am'", Billboard.com, 21 November 2007.
- "Ask Billboard, 'TRASH' FOR SALE", Billboard.com, 2 May 2008.
- "A postcard from the studio", Roger Taylor, 22 March 2006.
- Duran Duran Grooves With Timbaland, Timberlake - Billboard.com, 20 Dec. 2006
- Newton, Victoria. "Back to the Duran board, lads", The Sun Online. 15 March 2007.
- "Duran Duran and Timbaland", HHNLive, 3 October 2006.
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- "A Postcard from Gotham", Simon Le Bon, 21 June 2007.
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- [dead link]
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- Duran Duran official website