November 2, 2009
Arcadia: Maximum big surprise
Twenty four years on, I still love Arcadia's So Red The Rose. Only 8 vocal tracks, nearly flawless, and each simultaneously lush and angular. It was produced in 1985 by the late Alex Sadkin, who also produced Duran's Seven And The Ragged Tiger, and albums by Grace Jones and Thompson Twins.
Rumor has it the album will be re-released in 2010. I hope it contains the extended versions, which are sublime. Almost everything Arcadia did was solid, but everyone mocked it at the time. It's far more ambitious than anything Duran ever attempted and begs the question of why Duran never worked with someone like Trevor Horn. His Grace Jones classic Slave To The Rhythm seems like a template for much of this album mixed with the boys next move, Notorious.
Arcadia Election Day
I remember loving how they went from blond /tan to pale with black hair. Simon looks great and Nick looks like.. a frail British woman man with dyed hair. Only FAIL in the video: the lack of a cameo by Grace. If you're curious about her lines, here they are:
By roads and backways, a lover's chance down wind
Cut open murmurs and sounds. Be calm hands on skin
Carry further ... entangled strands all sing
Saving some time to slip away. We could dance!
Arcadia Goodbye Is Forever
What is it with all the smiling in this video? Nick looks terrible in this and Simon looks like... Rufus Wainwright! I love this song still - it reminds me so much of Christmas time during my junior year. Maybe it's sentimentality that drives it for me? It should be noted that Pink Floyd's David Gilmour plays guitar here.
Arcadia The Promise
The album version, 7:30 long, features Sting on backing vocals. The quasi-political song was a huge musical step for them. It's much more sophisticated than anything Duran had attempted and the song holds up well so many years on. The album also featured Grace Jones, Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd David Gilmour, and Mark Egan from Pat Metheny's jazz group.
Arcadia The Flame
This absurd thing was directed by Russell Mulcahy, who did the Simon-dunking Wild Boys.
Fans of Arcadia should be sure to look at Celluloid Dreams: An Arcadia Fan Site. And it wasn't me that told you about this.