Sing, Blue Silver

Thirty-one years ago, a one of many musical masterpieces was released.

Duran Duran’s Rio.

No, this is not turning into some Duran Duran worship blog, but it is one of the best albums of popular music ever.

In my opinion.

(Even though Seven & the Ragged Tiger probably edges out this one as my favorite of their releases from the 1980’s).

Duran Duran's Rio (1982)

Duran Duran’s “Rio” (1982) Yes, I actually own this record, even though I was born two years, three months, and 19 days following its actual release.

I wasn’t blogging last year, so I’m making up for the 30th anniversary by celebrating the 31st. When I took a listen to it recently, on vinyl, it sounded as fresh as the first time I heard the title track, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Lonely In Your Nightmare” and “Save A Prayer” as a child. I remember when my other big sis brought home their first greatest hits album Decade while on holiday from school (I pronounced it as Decayed — because I secretly thought I was kidnapped as a baby from London the cover kind of looked like it was actually decaying. The album art always reminded me of New York, — yes, I’ve been there, as it’s practically my second home — which was, at the time, often referred to as a city that was in decay — due to the crime, the drug epidemic, and the cultural mid-life crisis that that beautiful city was experiencing. The graffiti like graphics are also responsible for formulating that notion in my head. I didn’t associate it as them having been around for ten years. Shut up, I was only 8. And that realization came only last year when I was over 20 something).

Anyway, thanks Big Sis.

I now realize that both of my sisters are responsible for my New Wave appreciation (as well as Hip-Hop and trashy 90’s European club music. Okay, it’s not trashy. I love it. Therefore, it’s not trashy). It was really because they never let me choose the music I wanted to listen to (I was supposedly a “bad child”).

Apparently, that was a punishment.

It didn’t work.

Now they always hate when I listen to it!

You, alright! I learned it by watching you!

Whose being punished now? MUAHAHAHAHAAH (that’s supposed to be an evil laugh, just fyi).

Back to DD, recently, I took a listen to “The Chauffer” — and I never honestly much cared about the song before. However, there is just something about listening to a record, holding the lyric sleeve, and collectively taking in the music that forces you to appreciate it differently. And I personally believe that the audio quality of records are far more intimate, crisp, and extraordinary than that of a compact disc. Discs cleaned up the sound, but records captured the vibration of the instruments to the very core of the successful composition of a song. And that’s what made me appreciate “The Chauffer” more than I did before. I finally understood it and fell in love with its charming enigma, as it felt like I was hearing it for the very first time.

Everyone knows the aforementioned cuts from the album, but my favorite from it is “My Own Way.”

The Night Version. 

Nope. That’s not on the original pressing.

Remember I told you how I’ve become  a fan (though I prefer connoisseur in training) of the remix?

The Night Version is what DD would refer to the alternate versions of their songs. And they are just as amazing as the original cuts. I often like those more than the final release.

This is one of them.

Six and a half minutes of British funk, with a little bit of punk.

Happy FunkyFriday!



The Idle Mind is a Playground for the Devil

So, I promised a two-fer last week, and I failed miserably.

I apologize.

It was only because I got caught up in the Chic groove. How can you not love them?

Admittedly, I’ve been thinking about this Friday Night Strobe Lights post all week. I love all things disco, so it was hard for me to choose up until this moment. Peter Brown, anyone?

Peter Brown “Stargazer”

When I was in Los Angeles last year, I got caught up at Amoeba Music and I almost purchased that  record. No, an actual record, kids. Not a cd. Something that looks like this:

Vinyl Records. My weakness.

But I settled for classics such as as Oscar Brown’s “Sin & Soul”, Marlena Shaw’s “The Spice of Life”, Carly Simon’s “Playing Possum”, Robert Palmer’s “Riptide” (which was poorly scratched! It looked great in-store, but when I played it –my heart sank and drifted into an unspecified amount of pieces as it skipped mercilessly over my favorite track, “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On“) and “Clues”, Gene McDaniels “Hit After Hit”, and Drupatee’s “Mr. Bissessar”.

I’m sure you don’t know the latter, unless you are Trinidadian, of other West Indian heritage, or into classic soca. Anyway, as we proceed — and by we, I mean me — here’s Peter Brown “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me?”

This song wasn’t on Stargazer, but I heard it today and grooved for a mighty long time.