Red Carpet Massacre
|Red Carpet Massacre|
|Studio album by|
|Released||13 November 2007|
|Duran Duran chronology|
Deluxe edition cover
|Singles from Red Carpet Massacre|
Red Carpet Massacre is the 12th studio album by English new wave band Duran Duran. It was released on 13 November 2007 by Epic Records. Most of the music on the final incarnation of the album was completed in late 2006 following the departure of band member Andy Taylor with new guitarist Dominic Brown replacing him, when record producer Timbaland began working with the band. "Falling Down" was the only single released from the album.
Red Carpet Massacre debuted at number 44 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the band's second lowest-debuting album on the chart, after Pop Trash (2000). The album debuted at number 36 on the US Billboard 200, selling 29,000 copies in its first week. The following week, it fell to number 116. As of February 2011, the album had sold 102,000 copies in the United States.
It was Duran Duran's second and final album released with Epic Records, before the band parted ways with the label in 2009.
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", adding that they had brought 15 tracks to near completion.
The record was provisionally titled Reportage and expected to be released in late May 2006 with a summer tour to follow, but as reported by Billboard, the album was delayed as guitarist Andy Taylor had a falling-out with the rest of the band for unknown reasons, and the material was eventually shelved altogether in favour of recording Red Carpet Massacre.
In early October 2006, vocalist Simon Le Bon announced that the band had recorded three songs with Timbaland, his protégé Nate 'Danja' Hills and engineer Jimmy Douglass at Manhattan Center Studios during September.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", which were not used on the album.
Andy Taylor's departure
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 2006, 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 Le Bon wanted to go in a different direction involving people such as Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. In addition, Taylor wrote in his autobiography that in the renewed bickering between himself, Nick Rhodes and Le Bon 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 email, 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. 14 songs had been completed for Reportage, but according to 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 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. Ultimately, however, a female vocal on the album never materialised.
In June 2007, Duran Duran announced on their official website that they were recording yet another track with 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 Le Bon, 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 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 Music for turning the work on 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."
Release and reception
Red Carpet Massacre received mixed reviews from music critics.
All lyrics written by Simon Le Bon; all music composed by Duran Duran and Nate Hills, except where noted. All tracks produced by Nate 'Danja' Hills, Jimmy Douglass and Duran Duran, except where noted.
|2.||"Red Carpet Massacre"||3:17|
|3.||"Nite-Runner" (additional lyrics: Tim Mosley, Justin Timberlake; music: Duran Duran, Mosley, Timberlake, Hills; producers: Timbaland, Timberlake, Hills, Duran Duran)||3:58|
|4.||"Falling Down" (music: Duran Duran, Timberlake; producer: Timberlake)||5:41|
|5.||"Box Full O' Honey"||3:10|
|6.||"Skin Divers" (additional lyrics: Mosley; music: Duran Duran, Mosley, Hills; producers: Timbaland, Hills, Duran Duran)||4:24|
|9.||"Zoom In" (music: Duran Duran, Mosley, Hills; producers: Timbaland, Hills, Duran Duran)||3:27|
|10.||"She's Too Much"||5:14|
|11.||"Dirty Great Monster"||3:36|
|12.||"Last Man Standing"||4:00|
|Japanese edition and iTunes Store bonus track|
|13.||"Cry Baby Cry"||3:55|
|iTunes Store bonus tracks (select countries)|
|13.||"Cry Baby Cry"||3:55|
|15.||"Red Carpet Massacre" (live)||3:09|
|Limited edition US vinyl|
|11.||"Cry Baby Cry"||3:56|
|12.||"Dirty Great Monster"||3:36|
|13.||"Last Man Standing"||4:00|
|Deluxe edition bonus DVD|
- "Nite-Runner" features additional vocals by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Jim Beanz
- "Falling Down" features additional vocals by Justin Timberlake
- "Skin Divers" features additional vocals by Timbaland and Terri Walker
- "She's Too Much" features additional vocals by Jim Beanz
- Duran Duran – production
- Danja – production
- Timbaland – production (tracks 3, 6, 9)
- Justin Timberlake – production (tracks 3, 4)
- Jim Beanz – vocal production (tracks 5, 9–12)
- Jimmy Douglass – production, engineering, mixing
- Matthew Hager – engineering (track 4); mixing (on "Cry Baby Cry")
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||69|
|Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)||47|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||73|
|French Albums (SNEP)||145|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||85|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||75|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||10|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||73|
|Scottish Albums (OCC)||47|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||39|
|UK Albums (OCC)||44|
|US Billboard 200||36|
|US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)||5|
|US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)||8|
|United States||13 November 2007|
|Europe||19 November 2007|
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