DURAN DURAN - Songs and Albums from the 80s
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
80s Singles Discography
1981 Careless Memories #37
1981 Girls On Film #5
1981 My Own Way #14
1982 Hungry Like The Wolf #5
1982 Save A Prayer #2
1982 Rio #9
1983 Is There Something I Should Know? #1
1983 Union Of The Snake #3
1984 New Moon On Monday #9
1984 The Reflex #1
1984 The Wild Boys #2
1985 A View To A Kill (James Bond Theme) #2
1986 Notorious #7
1987 Skin Trade #22
1987 Meet El Presidente #24
1988 I Don't Want Your Love #14
1988 All She Wants Is #9
1989 Do You Believe In Shame #30
1989 Burning The Ground #31
Highest UK chart positions shown.
It goes without saying that Duran Duran were one of the most successful bands of the 80s. They released no less than five albums between 1981 and 1988, and enjoyed success with 21 Top 40 hit singles in the UK (8 of these being Top 5) during this period alone. Their first three albums all acheived 3x multi-platinum sales.
Photo of Duran Duran in 1981: Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor
The band's debut single "Planet Earth" was released in 1981 and was taken from their self-titled album. Many critics thought their career was over when the second single "Careless Memories" only managed to reach No.37 in the UK charts. However, the critics were proved wrong when the third single "Girls On Film" hit No.5.
We often here the phrase "the difficult second album", and many pop band's face an almost impossible and unenviable task to come up with something can match or surpass their first album. Duran Duran did it with ease, and their second album "Rio" (released in 1982) was extremely successful with four more hit singles being released from it.
"Rio" came at a time when MTV was revolutionising the way we listen to new songs. Coupled with the band's lavish videos and polished sound, pop fans were eating out of the palms of their hands.
Studio Album Discography
- Duran Duran (1981)
- Rio (1982)
- Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
- Notorious (1986)
- Big Thing (1988)
- Liberty (1990)
- Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) (1993)
- Thank You (1995)
- Medazzaland (1997)
- Pop Trash (2000)
- Astronaut (2004)
- Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
- All You Need Is Now (2011)
- Paper Gods (2015)
"My Own Way" was released before the album in late 1981, and reached No.14, followed by "Hungry Like the Wolf" (No.5), "Save A Prayer" (No.2) and the title track which reached No.9. The glamour and excess in the video for Rio has to be one of the most memorable moments from the eighties.
The third album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" also went multi-platinum during 1983. From this, they released three more singles "Union Of The Snake" (No.3), "New Moon On Monday" (No.9) and "The Reflex" which reached No.1 in 1984.
Also in '84 Duran Duran released a live album "Arena" and the single "The Wild Boys" which reached No.2. In 1985 they released the theme for the new James Bond movie (starring Timothy Dalton) "A View To A Kill".
In 1985, Duran Duran were put on hold as John and Andy Taylor went on to form the supergroup "The Power Station" with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson. Meanwhile, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes formed "Arcadia" who released just one album "So Red The Rose". The single "Election Day" hit the top ten UK singles charts.
In 1986 Duran Duran reformed without the drummer Roger Taylor, who retired from exhaustion. Andy Taylor was also involved in a legal dispute with the band and went on to start a solo career. However, he reluctantly played on a few of the tracks of the new album "Notorious".
Although still moderately successful, Duran Duran never quite reached the same levels of success as they did during the first half of the 80s.
PLANET EARTH (1981)
Planet Earth was Duran Duran's debut single that was taken from their self-titled album. It was released on 2 February 1981 and peaked at No.12 on the UK singles chart, but did better in Australia where it reached No.8. Three other singles were also released on the Duran Duran album; Careless Memories, Girls On Film and My Own Way.
"The Reflex" (1984)
Remembered by many for the stuttering vocal effects and strange, fart-like sound effect, The Reflex reached No.1 in the UK singles chart and was taken from their third 80s album Seven And The Ragged Tiger, which went platinum.
The Wild Boys (1984)
The video cost a whopping $1 million to make which was a pretty hefty sum back in the 80's. The B-side featured the track "(I'm Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement" which was recorded live at the Maple Leaf Gardens show in Toronto.
The Arena album went Platinum in the UK, reaching No.6 in the album charts. It reached No.4 in the U.S. (2 x Platinum) and No.8 in Australia.
BURNING THE GROUND (1989)
The final single to be released by Duran Duran in the 80s didn't include a new song. Instead, it featured a megamix of songs featuring snippets of hits from the 1980s. Released on December 4th 1989, the single was released to promote the compilation album Decade:Greatest Hits and peaked at #31 in the UK singles chart.
The album sleeve of Duran Duran, the band's self-titled 80s debut album.
Rio LP Sleeve (1982)
The band's third 80s studio album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger was released in 1983. It featured the hit singles "Union of the Snake", "New Moon on Monday" and "The Reflex".
The front cover of Duran Duran's fourth 80s album, Notorious, which was released in 1986.
The band's fifth and last studio album release in the 1980s was Big Thing. By 1988, rock music was well and truly out of fashion, with house music being very en vogue. Duran Duran followed this trend with this album, which featured heavy and funky basslines and a dance-orientated sound on some of the tracks, although there were still lush and ambient sounding tracks which harked back to the sound of previous albums such as Do You Believe in Shame? and Land.
Duran poster magazine No.21 from the 80s
The Duran Duran VHS video album (March 1983) featured the first 11 video singles by the band and won a Grammy award for the "Best Long Form Music Video".