Tuesday, October 15, 2019

"Notorious" by Duran Duran

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2922
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  56
Peak:  2
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After a whirlwind few years touring and making hits, Duran Duran decided to take a break. They were supposed to lay low and recover, but instead the members got itchy to do other things and off-shoot bands like Arcadia and Power Station popped up. By the time their side projects were wrapping up, the band had to get back into the studio to record their fourth album. However, time away had an effect on certain members and as the sessions commenced with producer Nile Rodgers, the band was whittled down to a trio - Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, and John Taylor. They finished up the LP they called Notorious and this title track was issued out as the first single. They hadn't had a song on the charts for about a year and a half and in the fickle 80s that was quite a stretch. It was unknown if their audience would still embrace the band. Luckily, this was the right song to release at the time and after a fairly high debut, the song made its way up to #2. It also made an appearance on the Dance chart at #26. The hit would help the album get to #12 and go platinum. It was a good return for the band, but it was also a turning point. Their Beatle-esque popularity of the early 80s was certainly over, so they had to figure out how to navigate the business and stay relevant in the years to come.

ReduxReview:  This song was a bit of a departure for the band. It was a bit funky with a punctuating horn section. Nile Rodgers did a solid job of updating the band's sound. He helped them move away from their new wave synthpop into something more mature. The album wasn't perfect, but it was a good first step on their way to something better. I wasn't all that enamored with this song when it first came out, but it grew on me in later years. It still sounds pretty good these days.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Since the band was down two musicians, a guitarist and a drummer, they had to find replacements for recording the album. For a drummer, they hired in Steve Ferrone who had been a member of Average White Band. Producer Nile Rodgers was a guitarist and contributed a bit to the album, but they needed someone to come in and really take over on guitar. They ended up with Warren Cuccurullo whose previous band, Missing Persons, was just breaking up. He helped on the album and then also went out on tour with the band. Cuccurullo would also contribute heavily to Duran Duran's next LP and by the time the supporting tour was over, Cuccurullo was made an official member of the band. He would stay with them until 2001.


No comments:

Post a Comment