|video by Duran Duran|
|Format||Beta video, CED videodisc, LaserDisc, VHD disc, VHS video|
|Genre||New wave, synthpop|
|Director(s)||Russell Mulcahy, Perry Haines, Ian Emes, Godley & Creme|
About the video
The video compilation is officially entitled Duran Duran just like their 1981 debut album and their 1993 comeback album. It is sometimes referred to as the Duran Duran Video Album or Duran Duran: The First 11 Videos.
The planning for this video album had begun early in the band's career, as Duran Duran and their management realized the power of video as an artistic marketing tool. In a move that is rarely seen today, they filmed videos during this period (1981-1983) for songs that were never released as singles - videos for the album tracks "Lonely In Your Nightmare", "Night Boat and "The Chauffeur" were shot especially for this collection.
Future filmmaker Russell Mulcahy directed the majority of this travelogue-style collection of videos, featuring exotic locations and cinematic style that made Duran Duran's name as a video band. Videos for tracks like "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Save A Prayer" were showpieces of this style.
Of the eleven videos, "Careless Memories", "My Own Way", "Lonely In Your Nightmare" and "Night Boat" have yet to be released on DVD. The other seven videos were featured on the Greatest video collection, released on DVD in 2004.
Prior to the video album's release, a "Video EP" entitled Duran Duran Video 45 came out in two versions. The first one had the "clean" or "day version" of "Girls on Film" alongside "Hungry Like the Wolf", while the other had the uncensored "night version" of "Girls on Film" as well as "Hungry Like the Wolf".
This collection was originally released with stereophonic sound on LaserDisc, as well as in the Beta-HiFi and VHS-HiFi videotape formats. It has yet to be released on DVD, although Sing Blue Silver, Duran Duran's 1984 tour documentary, and Arena, a 1984 longform music video/concert film, were both remastered and released to DVD in 2004.
"Rio" (Russell Mulcahy)
Duran Duran travelled to the island of Antigua in May 1982 to film the vivid music video for "Rio", which featured iconic images of the band in colorful Antony Price silk suits, singing and playing around on a yacht speeding over the crystal blue Caribbean Sea. Short segments show band members trying to live out their assorted daydreams, only to be teased and tormented by a body-painted vixen.
"Planet Earth" (Russell Mulcahy)
Fairly primitive by the band's later standards, this video was shot on a sound stage at St John's Wood. It features the band (dressed in frilly, floppy New Romantic fashions) playing the song on a white stage tricked out with special effects to look like a platform made of ice or crystal. Interspersed with the performance are shots of the band members alongside the four elements. The video focused closely on the band's faces, highlighting their varied good looks. The instrumental middle section features friends of the band from the Rum Runner nightclub dancing in their outlandish outfits. At the end of the video, singer Simon Le Bon leaps from the stage, caught in a freeze frame shot above an apparently bottomless abyss.
The video for this melancholy album track contains a series of colour images, in which a beautiful woman in a flowing dress wanders about the tropical settings of Sri Lanka, drawing the attention of various band members. The elusive woman appears again in black and white scenes filmed in London, disappearing whenever the band members turn to look for her.
This video was filmed in a decorated flat and on the streets around Soho. The band members talk and laugh while Le Bon sings savagely to the camera.
"My Own Way" (Russell Mulcahy)
The video for "My Own Way" was filmed in a St. Johns Wood studio that was decorated entirely in red, black and white. The band performs the fast-paced song in close-up, while flamenco dancers twirl in the background, and a colorful parrot sits on the synthesizers, pecking at the keyboardist's fingers.
This lush and cinematic video filmed in Sri Lanka was filled with shots of jungles, rivers, elephants, cafes and marketplaces evoking the atmosphere of films like Gunga Din and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The storyline reflected the lyrics "I'm on the hunt, I'm after you," with Le Bon pursuing a tiger-like woman from parties in the city through obstacles in the jungle, culminating in a final chase and struggle in a jungle clearing. In the meantime, other band members hunted for Le Bon. One shot of Le Bon's head rising out of the water in portentous slow motion (it was actually filmed backwards) is an homage to an identical shot in Apocalypse Now.
"Night Boat" (Russell Mulcahy)
The album track "Night Boat" was a spooky, atmospheric piece to begin with, and the video became a mini-horror film shot on the Caribbean island of Antigua. A brief bit of dialogue before the music starts includes Le Bon's recitation of one of Mercutio's speeches from Romeo and Juliet. Band members gather in a small beach village as the sun is setting, only to be separated and set upon by zombies one by one, until the ragged Nightboat arrives to carry Le Bon away. It is possible that this video is a homage to the Italian horror film Zombi 2, with settings and zombies which look very much like those in the film. This video was filmed in May 1982, several months before Michael Jackson began working on the video "Thriller", which also features zombies.
"Girls on Film" (Godley & Creme)
This hit single was accompanied by an audacious video filmed at Shepperton Studios in July 1981. The band performs on a stage behind a model's catwalk, as various scantily clad women act out sexy vignettes (a rescued swimmer seducing her lifeguard, a massage therapist attending her client in garter belt and stockings, nearly naked women mud wrestling). This video album contains the uncensored full-length video.
"Save A Prayer" (Russell Mulcahy)
"Save A Prayer" is another exotic video filmed among the jungles, beaches, and temples of Sri Lanka. Band members sing the song while interacting with the Sri Lankan people around their tents and fishing boats on the beach. Le Bon slow dances with, and attempts to woo, a beautiful woman who eventually leaves him. Scenes of band members atop the rock fortress of Sigiriya, and among the ruins of a Buddhist temple at Polonnaruwa, are intercut with images of the island and its people.
"The Chauffeur" (Ian Emes)
This video is the only one on the album in which the band do not appear at all. It is a moody black-and-white piece inspired in part by the film The Night Porter and the photography of Helmut Newton. Two women dress themselves carefully in lingerie and drive through the streets of London towards a rendezvous with each other in an abandoned multi-storey car park. The instrumental end piece of the song was accompanied by a topless Perri Lister performing a sensuous dance, clearly an homage to Charlotte Rampling's "Dance of the Seven Veils" in The Night Porter.
The memorable and much-played video for "Is There Something I Should Know?" featured colour clips of the band members, in blue shirts with tucked-in white ties, interspersed with surreal images in black-and-white. This video also included brief clips from several of the other videos in this collection. It is also longer than the studio track.
- "Rio" (Antigua) - 5:02
- "Planet Earth" (St John's Wood) - 3:49
- "Lonely In Your Nightmare" (US Album Remix) (London and Sri Lanka) - 4:49
- "Careless Memories" (Soho) - 3:40
- "My Own Way" (Day Version) (St. Johns Wood) - 3:33
- "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Sri Lanka) - 3:37
- "Night Boat" (Antigua) - 5:11
- "Girls on Film" (Night Version) (Shepperton Studios) - 6:11
- "Save A Prayer" (Sri Lanka) - 6:03
- "The Chauffeur" (London) - 4:57
- "Is There Something I Should Know?" (London) - 4:25
Duran Duran are:
- Simon Le Bon - vocals
- John Taylor - bass guitar
- Andy Taylor - guitar
- Nick Rhodes - keyboards
- Roger Taylor - drums
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