Looking At Them recently did a post on Arcadia, my fave Duran Duran spinoff group. Their CD So Red The Rose, released for Christmas 1985, was better than many Duran albums; I actually play that album more than any "D2" disc. I love Election Day, the wintry Goodbye Is Forever, and The Promise in particular.
Nick and Simon originally intended to do an album of cover songs while John and Andy tinkered with the meh Power Station, but it grew into something more and Roger joined them for the recording. I'm not entirely sure what musically separates So Red from a Duran album, bar the lack of John Taylor and the extreme amount black hair dye doused on Simon and Nick's 20-something heads. The sound is lush, but ultimately cut from the same cloth as 1984's clangy Wild Boys. Some of it sounds a bit dated now, but there were some risks, like the serious and arty The Promise, which featured Sting on backing vocals.
So Red The Rose is available on CD for a good price at Amazon Marketplace - and it has gorge cover art - but it's also at iTunes US and UK.
The group did a lot of videos for the project, three of which are at Looking At Them. I think Simon looks very Rufus Wainwright-y in the completely wrong video for Goodbye Is Forever. Below is a special Making Of they did for that one...
After recording, Roger Taylor dropped away (to the loony bin?) and Nick and Simon were left to promote the album alone, as they did below, performing Goodbye Is Forever on Terry Wogan:
You can watch numerous Arcadia videos at marcmassive's youtube space, like this interview with Paula Yates. in which Nick seems to be paying homage to Simon's Hungry Like The Wolf look.
Meanwhile, back to the future, Duran Duran ...
First, they have a new song out - a version of Instant Karma (at iTunes US) on the new John Lennon charity record. More importantly, their album is due out in Fall and has a good title: Red Carpet Massacre. Clever boys.
They played potentially meh new single Nite Runner (click that to hear it) at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York a few weeks ago, but not (as rumoured) at Live Earth. By now most trolls know that Justine Timberrod and Timbaland worked on the CD - oh dear - as did Nate 'Danja' Hills. Sounds like an R'n'b Massacre to me. Whatevah, cuz Simon looked good in the studio (at almost 50 years old!):
Their frequently updated website lists some of the other new songs: Skin Divers (with, barf, Timbaland), Red Carpet Massacre, Box Full o' Honey (ewww!), Last Man Standing, The Valley and Falling Down. I'm nervous, but I'll give it a fair shake as their last one Astronaut had some fine moments.
Finally, a bit of D2 trivia: Think we're all getting old? Catch this... the Duran children:
Queeny old (45) Nick has a 21 year old daughter named Tatjana. Simon, unexpectedly the oldest Duranie at 48, has 3 daughters, ages 14-18 (damn, Yasmin looks good!). 47 yo Roger has 3 kids. 47 yo John has no kids, though creepy Andy - who no one cares about anymore - has 4 spawn.