Strange Behaviour

by: Duran Duran

The 12" has come a long way from its early incarnation as single version with bits tacked on beginning, middle, and end. This two-disc set spans Duran's club output from Planet Earth, right up to 1993's mega selling Wedding Album with some key omissions, no "Ordinary World" for example. Disc one concentrates on their career from Brummie new romantics who were at best watercolor Japan. They did however stamp their own brand of hip with Malcolm Garrett sleeves and by calling the normally commonplace extended version "Night version," playing right into those romantics also inclined for a bit of dancing. Tracks from Rio, Ragged Tiger, and even the shock horror of Wild Boys are included. Due to the ripple of time and the fact that Duran Duran were always fashionable in the mainstream market, most songs have by now dated, although some sound better than the 1986 trend for stutter vocal treatment on "American Science" and on '88s "I Don't Want Your Love." "Skin Trade" and "Notorious" are pretty faithful to the originals. The set goes a bit AWOL toward the end with five tracks from Wedding; all are awful, except a semi-decent "Drowning Man." Best of the pack are "Violence of Summer," always an underestimated single, with lyrics narrated over pounding beat and repeat motif, complimented by a bridge adding what sounds like a drugged up gospel choir, female whimpering, and samples of the Barbarella flick making it a spellbinding listen; and Mark S Berry's take on "Meet El Presidenté" with manic percussion (the dub would have been a better choice though). ~ Kelvin Hayes

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