Duran Albums Re-Imagined
Way back in 2017, Cherry Lipstick started a series whereby your team of writers wrote a fans-eye re-evaluation of every Duran Duran album. They are all available here.
There were rules to these retrospective appreciations of these albums (when it comes to Cherry Lipstick, there are always rules).
The reviews had to be about the ‘official’ album only. No b-sides or bonus tracks. No remixes, demos, or live versions of these songs. You couldn’t wish for Valentine Stones to be on Paper Gods instead of Danceaphobia. The Wedding Album had to be considered as a whole, which included To Whom It May Concern. Secret Oktober has never been on Seven and the Ragged Tiger.
Now Cherry Lipstick starts a new series of Duran Albums Reimagined. This asks questions like, What if they could be different? How might they be improved with some of the, er, duffers, removed? Or some additions from the time? A shake-up of the running order?
Now, this might unleash the shackles of bashing various songs. And that is inherent in the principle of ‘Why Duran Got It Wrong And I Know More Than Them’. You may not like that.
But remember this.
The debut album was altered to include Is There Something I Should Know for the US market. Rio was remixed from the UK release for the US audience. Arena has been re-released with two extra tracks. Big Thing was re-released with a new version of Drug. All You Need Is Now was originally only 9 tracks long. If you’ve only got Future Past on vinyl, you’ll think it is a 10-track album (I’ve only got it on deluxe CD and consider it is 15-track album).
It is at this point that I feel the need to impose rules on how this series might go, such as limiting any re-imagined album to a maximum running time of 55 minutes. However, Duran’s albums are not equal. ‘Paper Gods’ as an era spanned four years, and has a collective of 21 songs. Big Thing was under 9 months in the making, and has one b-side to show as an addition to those on the album. It seems better to let ‘rules’ slide (he says through gritted teeth) and see what happens.
It’s all done with the usual lashings of love on these tracks of lives. So, let’s give it a go and see what happens.
NOTORIOUS By Adam Wilson, 9th June 2023
"On a recent play of the vinyl, I flipped the LP over and caught myself wincing. Side 2, while is has some great tracks on it, has never been a favourite of mine. But I wasn’t sure quite why."
FUTURE PAST By C.K. Shortell, 24th June 2023
"I think Future Past’s strength lies in its weakest songs, which are still better than the worst tracks on other recent Duran LPs."
SEVEN AND THE RAGGED TIGER By Ben Vokes, 30th July 2023
"Had the band kept their commercial momentum alive differently by touring in 1983, supported by single releases, or a live album (Live at Hammersmith ’82 was recorded and available), Duran would have had more creative recording time in the studio. Scheduling the album for October 1984, alongside their biggest music video in The Wild Boys, would see a reimagining of Seven and The Ragged Tiger as follows..."
LIBERTY By Ben Rawson Jones, 16th September 2023
"In 2020, Nick stated that he would love to do a ‘Director’s Cut’ of Liberty one day and try to unleash that potential. But would it be a case of taking a turkey and surrounding it in chrome? Or could something more artistically fibrous and rewarding emerge from the bowels of the Duran archive?"
DANSE MACABRE By Ben Vokes, 24th October 2023
"Let’s reimagine here a slightly different approach, for the discerning Duran fan of course, a dark side of Duran album..."
(as written three days before the album was released!)