Duran Duran: Rio
by H.notes Staff Writer mmm_marica@hanson.net

Duran Duran's Rio, one of their most recognizable songs and music videos; musically and visually is the best representative of the eighties in music. You know - the ones where a lot of rich, beautiful people are having a good time, wearing lots of makeup and expensive suits... the antonym of the grungy nineties.

The video was shot on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Duran Duran traveled there in May 1982 and shot the most colourful and fashionable video known to man under the direction of their signature director Russell Mulcahy. Rio was released worldwide in November 1982, then was reissued in the United States in March of 1983, and was a Top 20 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. And... as the band's keyboard player Nick Rhodes put it, "Ever since, people think we spend all our time riding around in silk suits, on yachts, getting wet..." A little known fact is that that same Nick Rhodes was horribly seasick during the filming, and said, "I hate boats unless they're tied up and you're having cocktails on them."

The video shows Duran Duran, dressed to the nines in pastel (and not so pastel) suits designed by Antony Price, singing and having fun on a yacht flying over the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. The little vignettes show all band members living their fantasies, romantic and other ones - only to be teased and made fun of by a gorgeous girl... Each band member has their own "encounter" with the woman. John Taylor storms the beach as a soldier in fatigues, only to land near her having a cocktail while sunbathing. The girl emerges like a siren from the sea with a knife tied to her thigh - a dream for Roger Taylor and as he approaches her to seduce her - he is bitten by a crab and falls into the water. Simon LeBon is trying to catch the ball that the girl has playfully thrown him - he misses the banana peel on the pier but not the end of it and falls ungracefully into the water. He also drinks fluorescent champagne underwater and tries to chat up the girl on the phone. She is obviously not interested and pulls the phone chord and... Simon is thrown off the boat. Same fate for Andy Taylor who tries to play it cool pouring a drink but the yacht rocks too much and he keeps spilling it and the girl throws him off the boat while it's moving.

There are beautiful scenes of a sax solo, where you get both Nick and John playing, one on a raft and the other on the top of the hill overlooking a beautiful bay. The colours are unreal. The whole video screams with them - but it's never vulgar, it's never loud, it's just... colourful.

To quote the music critic Ned Raggett, "Rio is the original Duran Duran's high point, and just as likely the band's as a whole, its fusion of style and substance ensures that even two decades after its release it remains as listenable and danceable as ever."