Notorious (Duran Duran album)

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Duran Duran Notorious.jpg
Studio album by Duran Duran
Released 18 November 1986 (1986-11-18)
27 September 2010 (2010-09-27) (Boxset)
Recorded June–September 1986
Length 46:56
Label Capitol/EMI
Duran Duran chronology
Big Thing
(1988)Big Thing1988
Singles from Notorious
  1. "Notorious"
    Released: 20 October 1986
  2. "Skin Trade"
    Released: 31 January 1987
  3. "Meet El Presidente"
    Released: April, 1987

Notorious is the fourth studio album by the English new wave/synthpop band Duran Duran. Released in November 1986, it peaked at #16 in the UK and #12 in the US. Produced by the band with Nile Rodgers, the album showcased a new musical direction for the band, emphasizing bass and brass as exemplified by the singles "Notorious" and "Skin Trade".

In 2010, EMI released a raft of material surrounding the Notorious reissue consisting of a three disc boxset, a digital only EP, and a digital only live album. The boxset also includes remixes, live tracks and the Working for the Skin Trade live video (for the first time on DVD).

Personnel difficulties[edit]

The making of Notorious during 1986 was a difficult time for Duran Duran. The band had planned on taking a much-needed break after the success of their 1984 world tour, but all of the band members had ended up working on one of two side projects (Power Station and Arcadia). When it came time to record the new Duran Duran album, they found that drummer Roger Taylor was too exhausted to continue in the music business, while guitarist Andy Taylor had developed a taste for the spotlight, as well as for a harder, more guitar-heavy sound than the rest of Duran Duran was prepared to pursue.

The band gradually coaxed Andy Taylor back from Los Angeles to the UK in order to begin playing on the album, but personal and creative disputes continued and much of the communication was carried on by lawyers, until Taylor finally withdrew from the band. It is rumoured that Andy went so far as to try and stop the band from continuing with using the Duran Duran name; since that time the band ensured that the name is wholly owned by co-founding member Nick Rhodes.

In addition to now becoming a three-piece, the band also began to act as their own management during this time, having dismissed brothers Paul and Michael Berrow who had shepherded them through their first five years. Arrangements for the forthcoming "Strange Behaviour" tour which kicked off in March 1987, as well as the tensions with Taylor, are recounted in the documentary Three To Get Ready.

During this time, Andy Taylor began jamming with members of the Los Angeles pop band Missing Persons who were in the midst of breaking up. Missing Persons guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, noting that Taylor didn't intend to return to Duran Duran, offered his services to them instead. They hired him as a session and tour guitarist; he would later become a full member of the band in 1989.

The remaining three original band members, Rhodes, Le Bon and John Taylor continued working on the new album with Cuccurullo and producer Nile Rodgers (himself a guitarist from his days in Chic) providing the remaining guitar work. Incidentally, with material from three guitarists, the band has since found it difficult to tell what guitarist ended up playing on what finished track. Session drummer Steve Ferrone took Roger Taylor's place behind the drum kit.

In years to come, the band would refer to Notorious as their Alfred Hitchcock-inspired album. This is due to having a number of tracks titled after Hitchcock movies. In addition to the album and lead single named for the movie Notorious, there was also Vertigo and Rope, the original title for "Hold Me".

Andy Taylor's participation[edit]

According to some reports, the relationship between Andy Taylor and the rest of the band had deteriorated to the point where he had to be threatened with legal action in order to get him back into the studio, but that the resulting sessions were so unpleasant for all involved that the band finally released him from any obligations to record.

According to interviews, Andy Taylor was involved in various sessions for the album, and because of this, the guitar work on a few tracks was performed by him. There is a track on his official website in which he plays guitar and sings vocals for "A Matter of Feeling". According to an interview with Warren Cuccurullo in 2004,[citation needed] Andy Taylor also played on "American Science" the first guitar solo being Taylor's, the second Cuccurullo's.


The album's first single "Notorious" did very well in the US peaking at #2 and #7 in the UK. It was the first Duran Duran single to be released with a second remix 12" single, led off by a remix by The Latin Rascals.

"Skin Trade" was a Bowie-flavoured track notable for Le Bon singing in a Prince-like falsetto, as well as featuring The Borneo Horns quite heavily. John Taylor has since been quoted as saying that his disillusion with the charts began when "Skin Trade" failed to reach the UK Top 20.

The sleeve to the "Skin Trade" single was banned in several countries, as it featured an airbrushed naked female buttock. In the UK and US, the single was released in a plain pink/red sleeve, though the original sleeve was released in Canada and France.

To commemorate the band's 1987 Strange Behaviour tour, several promo-only remixes were commissioned for "Skin Trade", including the "Parisian Mix" and the "S.O.S. Dub". These were initially released on a US-only promo 12" single with mixes of "Meet El Presidente" on the flip-side.

"Meet El Presidente", released to coincide with the tour in April 1987, reached #24 in the UK. It was their first single to be released on CD (catalogue number CD TOUR 1), which featured all the tracks from the 12" vinyl single. In the US, the single was released under the title "The Presidential Suite".

"A Matter Of Feeling" was released as a promo-single in Brazil only, in January, 1988. Prior to this it was included on the original soundtrack of the 1987 Brazilian Telenovela Mandala, produced by Rede Globo.[2]

To drum up further interest in the album, a collection of otherwise unavailable remixes was released on a double promo 12" pack called Master Mixes in the US and Hong Kong.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon (Copyright Control/Tritec Music, Ltd.)

Original track listing
No. Title Length
1. "Notorious" 4:18
2. "American Science" 4:43
3. "Skin Trade" 5:57
4. "A Matter of Feeling" 5:56
5. "Hold Me" 4:31
6. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" 4:44
7. "So Misled" 4:04
8. "Meet El Presidente" 4:19
9. "Winter Marches On" 3:25
10. "Proposition" 4:57
Single versions and B-side
No. Title Length
11. "We Need You" 2:54
12. "Notorious" (45 mix) 4:01
13. "Skin Trade" (radio cut) 4:28
14. "Meet El Presidente" (7″ remix) 3:38
CD2: Mixes
No. Title Length
1. "Notorious" (extended mix) 5:18
2. "Meet El Presidente" (Presidential Suite mix) 7:15
3. "Skin Trade" (Parisian mix) 8:08
4. "American Science" (Chemical reaction mix) 7:45
5. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" (Mantronix mix) 6:34
6. "Skin Trade" (Stretch mix) 7:44
7. "Notoriousaurus Rex" 8:19
Duran Goes Dutch E.P.
No. Title Length
8. "Notorious" (live) 4:15
9. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" (live) 5:28
10. "New Religion" (live) 5:50
11. "American Science" (live) 5:00
12. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (live) 5:07
DVD: Working for the Skin Trade
No. Title Length
1. "Intro"  
2. "A View to a Kill"  
3. "Notorious"  
4. "New Religion"  
5. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)"  
6. "The Chauffeur"  
7. "Save a Prayer"  
8. "Skin Trade"  
9. "Hungry Like the Wolf"  
10. "Wild Boys"  
11. "Credits"  
The Videos
No. Title Length
12. "Notorious"  
13. "Skin Trade"  
14. "Meet El Presidente"  
Top of the Pops
No. Title Length
5. Untitled (6/11/86)  
15. "Notorious"  

2010 digital only releases[edit]

Remix EP
No. Title Length
1. "Skin Trade" (S.O.S Dub) 7:19
2. "Meet El Presidente" (Meet El Beat) 5:33
3. "American Science" (Meltdown Dub) 7:29
4. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" (B-Boy Mix) 6:04
5. "Notorious" (Latin Rascals Mix) 6:24

2010 download only live album: Live at The Beacon Theater, New York City, 31 August 1987[edit]

  1. "Introduction/A View to a Kill"
  2. "Notorious"
  3. "American Science"
  4. "Union of the Snake"
  5. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)"
  6. "New Religion"
  7. "Meet El Presidente"
  8. "Election Day"
  9. "Some Like It Hot"
  10. "The Chauffeur"
  11. "Skin Trade"
  12. "Hold Me (incorporating Dance to the Music)"
  13. "Is There Something I Should Know?"
  14. "Hungry Like the Wolf"


  1. "Notorious" (October 1986) #7 UK, #2 US
  2. "Skin Trade" (February 1987) #22 UK, #39 US
  3. "Meet El Presidente" (April 1987) #24 UK, #70 US


Professional ratings
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Allmusic 2/5 stars link
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  1. ^ "Notorious" on All Music Guide. Retrieved on 13 August 2009
  2. ^ "Essas novelas maravilhosas e suas trilhas sonoras matadoras – Mandala (1987/1988)" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-12-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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