Duran Duran (1981 album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Duran Duran
Duran Duran (1981 album).png
Studio album by
Released15 June 1981 (1981-06-15)
RecordedDecember 1980 – January 1981
StudioRed Bus and Utopia, London; Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
ProducerColin Thurston
Duran Duran chronology
Duran Duran
1983 US reissue
Duran Duran debut 1983 US cover.jpg
Singles from Duran Duran
  1. "Planet Earth"
    Released: 2 February 1981
  2. "Careless Memories"
    Released: 20 April 1981
  3. "Girls on Film"
    Released: 13 July 1981

Duran Duran is the debut studio album by English new wave band Duran Duran, originally released on 15 June 1981 through EMI. Formed in 1978, the band spent several years developing their sound amidst lineup changes, with the classic lineup of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor making their live debut in July 1980. They were the resident band at the Birmingham nightclub the Rum Runner and by late 1980, established themselves amongst the then-rising New Romantic movement. After securing a contract with EMI, the band recorded their debut album at multiple London studios between December 1980 and January 1981, with production by Colin Thurston. Although the instrumental tracks were recorded quickly, Le Bon initially struggled to sing in the studio environment, leading to discussions of replacing him before EMI employee Dave Ambrose intervened.

The band were influenced at this time by a wide variety of artists, including David Bowie, the Human League, Ultravox, Roxy Music, Japan and Chic. As such, Duran Duran contains a mixture of both synthesiser-led pop tunes and more atmospheric experimental tracks. Some tracks also feature elements of disco, punk and dance. Meanwhile, Le Bon's cryptic lyrics concern a variety of topics, from youthful torment and confusion, to the band's goals and ambitions. The cover artworks for the album and singles were designed by Malcolm Garrett, who would fill the same role for the next five years.

Duran Duran was initially greeted with mixed reviews. Critics felt the band did not stand out amongst their contemporaries, although some praised the singles. EMI released three singles from Duran Duran, "Planet Earth", "Careless Memories" and "Girls on Film", each of which was promoted with music videos that helped the album reach number three on the UK Albums Chart and remain in the UK top 100 for 118 weeks. The sexually provocative video for "Girls on Film", in particular, was controversial and generated publicity for the then-new MTV channel in the United States. Despite its commercial success in the UK, the initial US release through Capitol-subsidiary Harvest Records was also unsuccessful, though a reissue there during the height of the band's fame in 1983 reached the top ten on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart.

Retrospective reviews for Duran Duran have been more positive, with critics complimenting the band for creating a modern sound that spearheaded the New Romantic movement. Rolling Stone called the album a classic in 2021. In 2010, the album was remastered and re-released as a special edition, featuring various bonus tracks such as demos and live tracks. The remaster was criticised by fans for being a victim of the loudness war.


John Taylor in 2015
Nick Rhodes in 2012
John Taylor (left, in 2015) and Nick Rhodes (right, in 2012) founded Duran Duran in 1978.

Childhood friends John Taylor and Nick Rhodes formed Duran Duran in Birmingham, England in 1978 with Taylor's art school friend Stephen Duffy. The trio began with Taylor on guitar and vocals, Rhodes on synthesisers and Duffy on vocals and bass and took influences from artists such as David Bowie, the Human League, Ultravox, Lou Reed and Kraftwerk.[2] On 21 October 1978 they named the band after "Dr. Durand Durand", Milo O'Shea's character from the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, the day after the film had been broadcast by BBC 1. The trio made their first recordings above Rhodes' mothers toy shop in Birmingham and subsequently played their first gig on 5 April 1979 at Birmingham Polytechnic.[3] Throughout 1979, the band performed several gigs and went through lineup changes, from the departure of Duffy to the additions of singer Andy Wickett and live drummer Roger Taylor. With this lineup, Duran Duran recorded demo tapes at Bob Lamb's studio in Birmingham, one of which included an early version of "Girls on Film", which was written mostly by Wickett. John Taylor and Rhodes showed the demos to various record companies and were declined by everyone. The year ended with the departure of Wickett and arrival of guitarist Alan Curtis.[a][3]

With Scent Organs' singer Jeff Thomas replacing Wickett, Duran Duran continued recording demos and playing live in early 1980. John Taylor and Rhodes, looking for a venue to perform at, submitted tapes to the Birmingham nightclub the Rum Runner. Having turned the club into one of the most popular in town for upcoming artists, the owners, brothers Paul and Michael Berrow, were interested in managing a local band. Paul recalled, "I'm not saying what they played me was great, but what it had, was an aesthetic."[4] With the Berrows' support, Duran Duran became the resident band at the Rum Runner and would use the venue to further develop their sound; Rhodes also became the venue's primary DJ. Curtis and Thomas soon departed and guitarist Andy Taylor was hired after answering an advertisement in Melody Maker. Regarding Andy, Rhodes stated, "We wanted someone who could play atmospheric stuff like Pink Floyd's [David] Gilmour, who had the power of Mick Ronson and was funky like Carlos Alomar."[b][4]

Duran Duran continued rehearsing without a lead singer until then-drama student Simon Le Bon was hired through an ex-girlfriend who worked at the Rum Runner in May 1980. Le Bon struggled to sing at first, later admitting himself that he was a "god-awful singer" initially, and did not fit the band's description of wanting a singer who, according to Rhodes, "was a cross between Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and David Bowie mashed into one".[4] Nevertheless, the band were impressed with Le Bon's skill for melodies, having written several poems and stories throughout his childhood; he composed the lyrics and vocal line for the track "Sound of Thunder" during his first audition. Andy Taylor told a journalist: "Simon came in with this book of poetry and kept coming up with these ideas and melodies. We were like, 'This guy doesn't even know what his potential is.' There was an innocence to it all."[4] The first performance Duran Duran made with the lineup of Le Bon, Rhodes and the three Taylors was on 16 July 1980 at the Rum Runner.[5][6]


The thing which makes us all work well together was that we are five very different individuals. We all have strong personalities. Sometimes this fact means that there's a lot of tension between us, because we all have conflicting ideas. But that only seems to make us work better.[6]

—Nick Rhodes, 1981

Shortly after their live debut, Duran Duran spent two months writing songs and further developing their sound, with the occasional live performance. According to biographer Steve Malins, John Taylor distinguished himself as an integral part of the group during this period, describing him as "the sensitive, charming, ad-libbing pop star to Rhodes's more controlled Pop Art alter ego."[6] Rhodes also found creativity working with Andy Taylor, who gave Rhodes the opportunity to be the "ideas man" and would thereafter play around Rhodes's patterns, further solidifying the melodies. Regarding Andy, Malins states that his skill as an arranger assisted in forming the band's "rough, undisciplined mixture[s]" of punk, disco and electronic styles into tight, cohesive structures. Additionally, Roger Taylor's "compact, unshakable drumming" provided a backbone for the group.[6][7]

In his memoir In the Pleasure Groove, John Taylor states that grooves, chord progressions and melodies primarily derived from jam sessions.[8] The band had already debuted tracks such as "Night Boat", "Late Bar", "Girls on Film", "Sound of Thunder" and an early version of "Tel Aviv" during their first live show, but further developed them through the writing period. Andy later stated, "In the beginning that worked because as we wrote the songs we'd all be pitching in and experimenting."[6] John recalls that "Night Boat", in particular, arose from a "drifting keyboard sample" from Rhodes and Andy Taylor's Roland guitar synthesiser.[8] Le Bon was also a fast-paced writer, penning the lyrics to "Girls on Film" after being given the first version.[8] Discussing Le Bon, Andy commented that "there are very few people on this planet ever who have written so many beautiful melodies as that man has."[6] During the writing period, Duran Duran agreed to credit all songs to the entire band and split all earnings evenly, which John credits as the reason for the band's longevity.[9]

By the end of summer 1980, Duran Duran had written all of what would become their debut studio album. They continued recording demos at Lamb's studio before going to London's 24-track AIR Studios in late summer to tape demos of "Girls on Film", with Michael Berrow on saxophone, and "Tel Aviv"; these differed from the final released versions. Throughout September and October, the band continued performing live while Paul Berrow worked on attracting them label attention. Their new London agent, Rob Hallett, got them performances at well-known venues in the city, including the Marquee club and the Lyceum Theatre opening for Pauline Murray.[6][9][10] Berrow eventually secured Duran Duran an article with Sounds magazine's Betty Page, who aligned them with the rising New Romantic movement and drew comparisons with London-based new wave band Spandau Ballet, and as the supporting act for Hazel O'Connor on a tour from 18 November to 6 December 1980; the band's provocative clothing sparked backlash from audiences.[6][11][12] With the performances finally drawing label attention, the Berrows arranged for label executives to meet with the band. After a bidding war between EMI and Phonogram Records, Duran Duran signed with EMI due to the label's stature in the industry, although Phonogram offered more money.[12][13]


Duran Duran recorded their debut album over six weeks, beginning in December 1980.[14] EMI's new A&R director, Dave Ambrose,[c] recommended Colin Thurston to produce. Having co-engineered Bowie and Iggy Pop's 1977 Berlin-era albums (Low, "Heroes", The Idiot and Lust for Life), and more recently produced works for Bow Wow Wow, the Human League (Reproduction) and Magazine (Secondhand Daylight), the band knew Thurston was the right choice. Thurston was also excited to work with Duran Duran after hearing the demo of "Girls on Film".[10][5] John later stated, "Colin was absolutely the right producer for us. He knew how to take what was best about us and magnify it, and boy, did he take out sound to another level."[15] Thurston initially booked a month at London's Abbey Road Studios, but initial work proved insufficient, so recording moved to West London's Red Bus Studios,[10] a favourite of the producer's. "Planet Earth" was chosen as the debut single, with "Late Bar" as the B-side, so the single was tracked first and sent to pressing plants, followed by the remaining tracks.[15]

Simon Le Bon in 2012
Lead singer Simon Le Bon initially struggled to sing in the studio, leading to discussions about replacing him before EMI A&R director Dave Ambrose intervened.

Recording commenced at a brisk pace, with all the rhythm tracks completed within two weeks.[10] In his memoir, John Taylor identifies "Careless Memories", "Night Boat", "Anyone Out There", "To the Shore", "Faster than Light", "Tel Aviv" and what would become "Khanada" as tracks recorded at Red Bus.[16] Thurston gave each member individual attention with, in John's words, "no preferential treatment".[15] Andy Taylor later called Thurston the band's best producer, playing a crucial role in establishing the band's early sound: "This is where Duran Duran came to life. Colin was the filter that allowed us to come together as a whole."[10] Rhodes also became infatuated with music production, observing Thurston behind the mixing desk frequently while the producer gave the musician insight to his methods.[10] The band briefly returned to Birmingham for a show at the Cedar Club on Christmas Eve,[15] after which Andy Taylor and Rhodes travelled back to London to mix "Planet Earth" with Thurston on Boxing Day at Utopia Studio.[13] On top of the album version, the band also recorded an extended version of "Planet Earth" for use in nightclubs. Labelled the "night version", it contained a lengthened middle section and an additional four-on-the-floor bass drum-driven intro, with additional percussion from Roger and slap bass from John. Additionally, a horn section, the "Gosport Horns": Andy Hamilton on sax and Spike Edney on trombone, added, in John's words, "bluster and funk".[16]

The sessions continued in January 1981 at Chipping Norton Recording Studios in Oxfordshire to record the guitar parts, keyboard overdubs and the vocal tracks.[13][16] Although the music tracks were tracked quickly, the vocal tracks proved difficult, primarily due to Le Bon's inexperience as a singer;[10] he initially struggled to sing in the studio due to differences between singing live and into a microphone with headphones on.[13] Andy later said, "Colin...was a nice man, but he could be a bit pedantic. He was very rough on Simon and kept asking him to redo things."[10] With the label adamant about recording at a frantic pace, Le Bon felt immense pressure, particularly when EMI executives arrived at the studio to check on progress. The Berrows were initially concerned they would have to replace Le Bon before Ambrose intervened, reassuring the singer: "You know it's your first album and everyone has got to find their feet. If you've never done it before you just have to take your time – and don't forget, it's all about the songs."[13] During a band meeting at the Rum Runner, Paul Berrow told Le Bon to stop drinking and smoking or he would be kicked out, to which the singer obliged.[10] Recording completed after the band's first national tour.[17]

Music and lyrics[edit]

It's one of the most honest albums ever, in my opinion. [...] There wasn't a thing on that album that was contrived. We worked so hard and wished and prayed and put everything we had into that record ... All our musical ideas from when we were fifteen or sixteen years old.[14]

—Nick Rhodes, 1982

The songs on Duran Duran present the band's wide range of influences up to that point, including Bowie, Ultravox, Roxy Music, Japan, Giorgio Moroder and Chic, creating an album with a mixture of both synthesiser-led pop tunes and more atmospheric experimental tracks.[14][5][1] Andy Taylor later explained: "We wrote the first album to kind of make up what we were going to be, what this futuristic sound was."[11] Writer Annie Zaleski describes this sound as "space-age keyboards, post-punk guitars, disco-inspired bass lines and Le Bon's vocal croon."[1] Malins finds the album "full of melodic, dance-floor synthesizer pop delivered with youthful flair and the odd arty twist", which at times is similar to the "disco-rock" of Blondie's "Call Me" and Japan's Quiet Life (1979).[14] On release, Billboard magazine highlighted dance rhythms against a pervading "rock disco mix".[18] Punk elements are also present on "Planet Earth" and "Careless Memories".[5][15]

Zaleski also highlights the cohesive, yet contrasting musical styles between Andy's guitars and Rhodes's synthesisers throughout. Having performed in numerous covers bands before joining Duran Duran, Andy's primary influences were heavy blues rock bands, including AC/DC and Van Halen. He later said, "[Nick] would do Eno and I would do Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page."[11] John Taylor believes Andy's influences were responsible for moving their sound forward and allowing them to break in America.[8] Malins also notes that the album contains zero guitar solos; Andy solely contributes "melodic and punchy" work throughout, particularly on tracks like "Girls on Film" and "Friends of Mine".[14] On top of their normal instruments, the band utilised additional sounds for some tracks, from the sound of Paul Berrow's Nikon camera opening "Girls on Film", foghorns, humming motors and buoy bells on "Night Boat" and a string section conducted by Richard Myhill at AIR Studios on the instrumental "Tel Aviv".[19][20]

Le Bon's cryptic lyrics throughout the album concern a variety of topics, from youthful torment and confusion, to the band's goals and ambitions. The sexually exploitative "Girls on Film" represents a critique of modeling culture, while "Sound of Thunder" tells the story of a man who initiates World War III. "Friends of Mine" offers social commentary, including a line celebrating the release of Georgie Davis, a notorious robber who was wrongfully convicted in a well-known case at the time.[14][5][19] "Planet Earth" briefly acknowledges the band's association with the New Romantic movement, which Rhodes later described as a form of irony.[6] According to music journalist Stephen Davis, some fans believed the song concerned the arrival of aliens with lines such as "there's no sign of life", while Le Bon later stated its possible topic as being about the moment a child's born.[19] In his memoir, John Taylor stated that "Planet Earth" is "a celebration of youth, of the possibility of youth, about feeling good to be alive".[15] Discussions of lost love and angst appear on "Anyone Out There" and "Night Boat", respectively, while "To the Shore" is a power ballad filled with, in Davis's words, lyrical neologisms, such as "gorging your sanhedralites".[19] Le Bon shouts at one point during "Careless Memories". In his book Please Please Tell Me Now, Davis examines that "the fear of whispers and unwanted thoughts gives depth to the anxious lyrics, and Simon Le Bon sounds harsh and bitter notes that wouldn't be heard from this band again for a long time."[19]

Release and promotion[edit]

"Planet Earth" was released as the group's debut single on 2 February 1981, backed by "Late Bar".[14][17] The single's artwork was designed by Malcolm Garrett, who would design the band's album covers, singles and memorabilia over the next five years.[14] The single was greeted with mixed reviews overall and, much to the band's dismay, missed the top ten on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 12. Nevertheless, the placement earned them an appearance on BBC's Top of the Pops. According to Malins, their "dandified [and] overdressed" appearance secured their place in the minds of adolescents in the New Romantic movement.[14][21] The band also promoted "Planet Earth" with a promotional video directed by Russell Mulcahy. Showcasing the band's unique fashion choices, the video helped "Planet Earth" top the charts in Australia and Portugal; it also performed well in Sweden.[14] John Taylor was initially hesitant about the music video format, stating "I didn't really get it, it was certainly at odds with the whole punk ethic".[14] The band's American label Capitol Records issued "Planet Earth" there on its Harvest Records subsidiary, with "To the Shore" as the B-side, and failed to chart due to a lack of promotion.[22]

As "Planet Earth" charted, Duran Duran launched a media campaign of endless interviews and photoshoots with magazine such as Smash Hits, Mates and Patches, while articles on the band were ran in The Face, i-D and New Sounds, New Styles.[14] On 20 April 1981, EMI release the band's second single, "Careless Memories" backed by "Khanada", on 7" vinyl; a 12" vinyl edition included a cover of Bowie's "Fame". It stalled at number 37 after three weeks.[23] Ambrose later commented that it was a mistake: "I think in a way it was the marketing people's fear that the band was getting too commercial too fast. [...] 'Careless Memories' didn't get any airplay, which was a bit scary. It didn't lock in."[14] To promote the single, the band appeared on the cover of Smash Hits for the first time, although the magazine's reviewer Mark Ellen was unimpressed. Its accompanying music video, directed by Perry Haines and Terry Jones, was later derided by Rhodes as "the worst video we've ever made". Malins similarly calls it "a folly of New Romantic pretension".[14]

EMI issued Duran Duran on 15 June 1981.[14][21][24] The cover photograph was taken by Fin Costello. John Taylor states the band disliked the chosen photo but approved of Garrett's design.[25] Later that month on 29 June, the band underwent the short 11-date Faster than Light tour at the Brighton Dome. According to John Taylor, the band were greeted by "screaming, screeching kids stretching out for a touch of us", which greatly surprised them. The venues did not sell out, but Le Bon stated their wearing of headbands create a short-lived "national fashion".[14] Two days after the tour ended on 13 July, "Girls on Film" was released as the third single, backed by "Faster than Light".[26] Reaching the UK top five and receiving heavy airplay on Radio 1, Malins states that the single cemented Duran Duran as one of the biggest new bands of 1981.[14] According to Andy Taylor, the band knew "Girls on Film" would be a bigger hit than "Planet Earth", but wanted to wait until they were established to release the former.[13]

Duo Godley & Creme directed the music video for "Girls on Film".

The single helped Duran Duran peak at number three in the UK and spent 118 weeks on the chart, achieving platinum status by December 1982 and eventually selling 1.6 million copies worldwide.[14][27] Outside of the UK, the album topped the chart in Portugal,[28] reached number two in New Zealand, number three in Sweden and number nine in Australia.[29][30][31] Its release in the US came later as Capitol wanted to witness its performance in Europe and Australia first.[21] Issued in late June through Harvest,[18] the release replaced "To the Shore" with the "night version" of "Planet Earth" and was unsuccessful.[14][5] In Japan, EMI issued a four track, 12" EP titled Nite Romantics, which featured the "night versions" of "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film".[21]

The music video for "Girls on Film", directed by Godley & Creme and filmed in August 1981, featured several semi-naked women performing sexually suggestive acts in a way author Roy Shuker describes as "soft porn".[32] According to Paul Berrow, the video was made "strategically" for the American audience, who believed Duran Duran were a "gay band". Ambrose further commented: "It was very provocative, the first semi-pornographic long-form video which really shook everyone up in the clubs. And that's what started to break [the band] in America."[14] The American channel MTV, which had launched two weeks before filming, was initially only broadcast in three states and screened the uncensored video repeatedly. Co-founder John Sykes found the video was a great way to generate publicity for the rising channel: "[It] was something that could never be played on broadcast networks, but we could play it on MTV. So it brought a lot of people over to cable and MTV, to not only discover the cool new bands but also this art form that was not yet ready for prime-time television."[14] Nevertheless, it was banned by the BBC in England, a heavily edited "day version" was subsequently made for airing on MTV and the band enjoyed and capitalised on the controversy.[14][32]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[33]
Record Mirror[34]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[35]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[36]

Duran Duran was initially greeted with mixed reviews.[14] After enjoying the band's first two singles, the NME's Chris Bohn was unimpressed with what he considered "a sensibly-packaged, respectively safe and self-consciously worthy record that belies the promised glamour of their two earlier singles."[37] In his review, Bohn believed the group lacked the skills needed to separate themselves from other New Romantic artists, such as Depeche Mode, and instead mimic Ultravox in composing disco rock songs embellished by synthesisers and guitars. Although he gave praise to "Friends of Mine", he concluded that Duran Duran "collapse through their weighty lifelessness", which he partly attributed to Thurston's "lacklustre" production that "reduces stridently colourful highlights to fit the densely homogeneous whole."[37] Steve Sutherland was also negative in Melody Maker, finding the album worked better as background music and is "actively better not to listen to". He ultimately derided the band as "painlessly pointless, bouncy, bright and brilliant".[38] More modestly, Simon Tebbutt of Record Mirror was interested in the "stylish and sophisticated dance beats" paired with the "youthful edge" of the lyrics, stating that "these new sound waves are light and poppy without being superficial and worthy of serious consideration without overblown pretension."[34] More positively, Sounds magazine hailed Duran Duran as an "incredible, mature debut bristling with prospective hit singles".[14]

In America, Billboard magazine noted the dance rhythms that propel throughout the album, further stating that the rock disco mix complimented by the production and "explosive hooks". The reviewer grouped Duran Duran with the likes of Spandau Ballet and "similar acts in that genre".[18] Like British writers, Ira Robbins was mixed in Trouser Press, finding that the album itself "contains more creative and diverse noises and thoughts than all the real and would-be Spandau Ballets put together", but as a band, are stylistically inferior to other bands in the same genre.[39] The band were also viewed in both positive and negative lights by their musical peers. While Gary Numan voiced his support, Ultavox's Midge Ure was an outspoken critic and Martyn Ware, founder of both of the Human League and Heaven 17, saw Duran Duran as a "glamour puss band" who had "no sense of originality or art about them".[14]

Retrospective reviews for Duran Duran have been more positive. Twenty years after its release, Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols summarised: "If you go back to the first record, they smoked everybody. It's incredible! Disco bass-lines, Japan textures and mixed by the guy who did the Iggy Pop records."[14] Writing for AllMusic, Eduardo Rivadavia wrote that the album "artfully coalesced the sonic and stylistic elements of the burgeoning new romantic movement they were soon to spearhead". He commended the band's choice of singles as "ultra-smart" and, combined with their "groundbreaking" music videos, Duran Duran secured the band as frontrunners of the MTV generation and furthermore, "cementing their status as one of the decade's most successful pop music icons".[20] In a 40th anniversary retrospective, Zaleski described the record as "art-school unorthodoxy meets pop futurism" that still feels modern to this day.[1] Furthermore, she called the album the work of a "glamourous and modern young band".[11] In a 2021 article discussing the band's concurrent album Future Past, Rolling Stone referred to their debut album as a "classic" that introduced "a radical new style of art-glam punk-disco swagger".[40]


US 1983 Capitol reissue[edit]

During the height of the band's fame after the release of their second album Rio, Capitol Records reissued Duran Duran in the US in late April 1983,[41] adding the band's current single "Is There Something I Should Know?" to the track listing.[42][43] This release reached the top ten of Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart in August 1983,[44] a few weeks after "Is There Something I Should Know?" reached number four.[43] This release also reached number 24 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart.[45] The band maintained chart domination throughout the year; by the time Duran Duran released their third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger in late 1983, both Duran Duran and Rio were still high in the charts.[43]

The album also featured updated cover art designed by Garrett,[43] using the newer "double D" band logo featured on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger cover and "Is There Something I Should Know?" single. In contrast to the original artwork, the new image positioned each band member equally close to the camera, and demonstrated the variety of looks within the band, from tanned adventurers to rouged androgynes. This reflected the band's teen-focused marketing which promoted the image and personality of individual band members, recognizing that "everyone is someone's favourite".[46]

Special edition[edit]

Duran Duran was reissued as a special edition on 29 March 2010,[47] featuring remastered audio engineered by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road Studios. It boasted the original album and a variety of bonus tracks, including the band's AIR Studio and Manchester Square studio demos recorded on 29 July 1980 and 8 December 1980, respectively. The release also included a BBC radio session recorded on 19 June 1981 and a DVD containing BBC footage and the band's music videos from the era.[48] The remastering sparked negative reactions from fans for being a victim of the loudness war. Listeners particularly cited "Girls on Film" as containing a defect that is not present in any other mastering of the song.[49] Andy Taylor, who had departed the band by this point,[50] also reacted unfavorably to the remaster, saying that it "sounds like it was done down the pub", and condemned EMI for putting the demos as bonus tracks, feeling that "they should be gifting them to fans after 30 years of support". EMI acknowledged the defect at the beginning of "Girls on Film", claiming it was a result of master tape deterioration, yet refused to recall the reissue due to complaints regarding its sound quality being "by far in the minority".[49]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Simon Le Bon, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes.

Original UK release[edit]

Side one

  1. "Girls on Film" – 3:32
  2. "Planet Earth" – 3:57
  3. "Anyone Out There" – 4:03
  4. "To the Shore" – 3:50
  5. "Careless Memories" – 3:56

Side two

  1. "Night Boat" – 5:26
  2. "Sound of Thunder" – 4:07
  3. "Friends of Mine" – 5:46
  4. "Tel Aviv" – 5:22

1981 US release[edit]

Side one

  1. "Planet Earth" (Night Version) – 6:20
  2. "Girls on Film" – 3:32
  3. "Is There Anyone Out There" – 4:02
  4. "Careless Memories" – 3:55

Side two

  1. "(Waiting for the) Night Boat" – 5:24
  2. "Sound of Thunder" – 4:07
  3. "Friends of Mine" – 5:43
  4. "Tel Aviv" – 5:20

1983 US re-release[edit]

Side one

  1. "Girls on Film" – 3:32
  2. "Planet Earth" – 4:03
  3. "Is There Anyone Out There?" – 4:02
  4. "Careless Memories" – 3:55
  5. "Is There Something I Should Know?" – 4:07

Side two

  1. "(Waiting for the) Night Boat" – 5:24
  2. "Sound of Thunder" – 4:07
  3. "Friends of Mine" – 5:43
  4. "Tel Aviv" – 5:20


Album credits adapted from AllMusic:[51]

Duran Duran


  • Colin Thurston – production, engineering
  • Ian Little – production ("Is There Something I Should Know?")



Sales certifications for Duran Duran
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[61] Platinum 50,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[62] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[63] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[64] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Despite having written most of "Girls on Film", Wickett signed off ownership of the track to Duran Duran in July 1981 for a lump sum of £600.[4]
  2. ^ Ronson and Alomar were both guitarists for David Bowie.[4]
  3. ^ Ambrose had previously signed the Sex Pistols.


  1. ^ a b c d Zaleski, Annie (15 June 2016). "The Story of Duran Duran's Self-titled Debut Album". diffuser.fm. Archived from the original on 16 March 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  2. ^ Malins 2013, chap. 1.
  3. ^ a b Malins 2013, chaps. 1–2.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Malins 2013, chap. 2.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Zaleski, Annie (15 June 2021a). "40 Years Ago: Duran Duran Take First Steps to Fame on Debut LP". Ultimate Classic Rock. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Malins 2013, chap. 3.
  7. ^ Taylor 2008, chap. 2.
  8. ^ a b c d Taylor 2012, chap. 21.
  9. ^ a b Taylor 2012, chap. 22.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Davis 2021, pp. 94–99.
  11. ^ a b c d Zaleski 2021b, chap. 1.
  12. ^ a b Taylor 2012, chap. 23.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Taylor 2008, chap. 3.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Malins 2013, chap. 4.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Taylor 2012, chap. 24.
  16. ^ a b c Taylor 2012, chap. 26.
  17. ^ a b Taylor 2012, chap. 27.
  18. ^ a b c "Top Album Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 27 June 1981. pp. 37, 70. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 February 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2022 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  19. ^ a b c d e Davis 2021, pp. 103–105.
  20. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Duran Duran – Duran Duran". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d Davis 2021, pp. 109–112.
  22. ^ Davis 2021, pp. 106–107.
  23. ^ Davis 2021, pp. 104, 111.
  24. ^ Evans, Jim (13 June 1981). "Duran Duran debut on EMI" (PDF). Music Week. p. 2. ISSN 0265-1548. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  25. ^ Taylor 2012, chap. 28.
  26. ^ Davis 2021, p. 117.
  27. ^ a b "British album certifications – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". British Phonographic Industry. 8 December 1982. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. 19 January 1982. p. 71. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  29. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  30. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  31. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  32. ^ a b Shuker 2001, p. 170.
  33. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Duran Duran". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  34. ^ a b Tebbutt, Simon (20 June 1981). "I've gotta leave ole Duran town" (PDF). Record Mirror. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2022 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  35. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Duran Duran". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 261–262. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  36. ^ Sheffield, Rob (1995). "Duran Duran". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York City: Vintage Books. pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  37. ^ a b Bohn, Chris (4 July 1981). "Duran Duran: Duran Duran (EMI)". NME. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2022 – via Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
  38. ^ Sutherland, Steve (20 June 1981). "Conceptualist paradise". Melody Maker. p. 22.
  39. ^ Robbins, Ira (September 1981). "Duran Duran: Duran Duran (Harvest ST12158)". Trouser Press. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2022 – via Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
  40. ^ "Duran Duran on Their Hedonistic Eighties Days and Whether They Were as Hot as Journey". Rolling Stone. 23 October 2021. Archived from the original on 17 March 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  41. ^ "Rock Albums & Top Tracks" (PDF). Billboard. 30 April 1983. p. 22. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 June 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022 – via worldradiohistory.com.
  42. ^ Malins 2013, chap. 6.
  43. ^ a b c d Zaleski 2021b, chap. 6.
  44. ^ a b "Duran Duran Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  45. ^ a b "Rock Albums" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 95, no. 20. 14 May 1983. p. 24. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 May 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022 – via World Radio History.
  46. ^ De Graaf & Garret 1982, p. 15.
  47. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Duran Duran [2-CD/DVD] – Duran Duran". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 23 June 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  48. ^ Anon. (2010). Duran Duran (reissue) (Deluxe liner notes). Duran Duran. Europe: EMI. EMCX 3372.
  49. ^ a b Michaels, Sean (15 July 2010). "EMI defends Duran Duran remasters". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  50. ^ Malins 2013, chap. 13.
  51. ^ "Duran Duran Album Credits – Duran Duran". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  52. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6289a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  53. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  54. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1982). "The Top 200 LPs: January–December 1981". BPI Year Book 1982 (5th ed.). London: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 50–53. ISBN 0-906154-03-0.
  55. ^ Jones, Alan; Lazell, Barry; Rees, Dafydd (1982). "The Top 200 Albums (UK)". Chart File 1982. London: Virgin Books. pp. 78–81. ISBN 0-907080-49-9.
  56. ^ Kent 1993, p. 434.
  57. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1982". Recorded Music NZ. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  58. ^ Rees, Dafydd; Lazell, Barry; Jones, Alan (1983). "The Top 100 UK Albums". Chart File Volume 2. London: Virgin Books. pp. 82–83. ISBN 0-907080-73-1.
  59. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1984). "Top 100 LPs: 1983". BPI Year Book 1984. British Phonographic Industry. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-906154-04-9.
  60. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1983". Billboard. 31 December 1983. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  61. ^ "Platinum and Gold Singles 1982". Kent Music Report. 28 February 1983. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021 – via Imgur.
  62. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". Music Canada. 13 March 1995. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  63. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". Recorded Music NZ. 24 July 1983. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  64. ^ "American album certifications – Duran Duran – Duran Duran". Recording Industry Association of America. 4 January 1985. Retrieved 18 January 2019.


External links[edit]