Duran Duran: Rio (Collector’s Edition)

RIYL: The Killers, Roxy Music, Spandau Ballet

Finally. Ask an American Duran Duran collector, and they will tell you that every CD pressing of the band’s seminal 1982 album Rio up to now has been horribly flawed, because Capitol had the nerve to use the original mixes of the songs on “Side I,” instead of the David Kershenbaum remixes of those songs that we Yanks grew up with. Some of the Kershenbaum mixes popped up on later CD singles and compilations, but two of them, namely “Rio” and “Lonely in Your Nightmare,” remained in the vaults…until now. This two-disc set features a remastered Rio plus the Kershenbaum remixes on Disc One, and a veritable treasure trove of demos, B-sides, Night Versions and remixes from the various Carnival EPs on Disc Two. If a specific mix or B-side has eluded you up to this point, odds are it is included here.


As for the difference between the 2009 remaster of Rio and the 2001 remaster, well, if you can spot a difference, let us know. We’ve played several tracks back to back, and they sound identical. (The version of “Hold Back the Rain,” though, is a different mix entirely.) And why shouldn’t they? Colin Thurston’s original production was so crisp and well balanced – not to mention recorded in the pre-digital, compress-the-shit-out-of-everything era – that there is little point in tweaking Rio for the sake of tweaking it. Those long-dormant Kershenbaum mixes, however, could have used a tune-up, specifically in the upper frequencies, so if you had designs of assembling a playlist equivalent of your original Rio cassette, prepare for a few shifts in audio quality. Still, the ability to finally make that playlist, with enough remixes left over to make your own personal Carnival, makes this set a no-brainer. They even tagged a Christmas greeting from Simon LeBon onto the final track on Disc Two. Awwww. (Capitol 2009)

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