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Duran Duran´s second album “Rio”, originally released in 1982 carries both an album cover and 9 songs to be fascinated by. “Rio”, “My Own Way”, “Lonely In Your Nightmare”, “Hungry Like A Wolf”, “Hold Back The Rain”, “New Religion”, “Last Chance On The Stairway”, “Save A Prayer” and finally “The Chauffeur” (the weakest song) are all single material. This is just an excellent album. I reckon this was and is Duran Duran´s high point in their career. The band had their own plans and ambitions for promotion as well back then. They reunited with director Russell Mulcahy (who had directed the music video for their first single, “Planet Earth”), and planned the release of a full length video album—eleven videos for the best songs off of the Duran Duran and Rio albums. The band travelled to Sri Lanka and Antigua between tour dates to film the memorable videos for the singles “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Save a Prayer”, as well as the lesser-known “Lonely in Your Nightmare”.

Patrick Nagel (November 25, 1945 – February 4, 1984) an american artist, was the one who painted the cover of the best selling album Rio. He created popular illustrations on board, paper, and canvas, most of which emphasize the simple grace of and beauty of the female form, in a distinctive style descended from Art Deco. Nagel would start with a photograph and work down, always simplifying and removing elements which he felt were unnecessary. The resulting image would look flat, but emphasized those elements which he felt were most important. Nagel’s figures generally have black hair, bright white skin, full-lipped mouths, and the distinctive Nagel eyes, which are often squared off in the later works. Because of the intense stylization and reduction of facial features into clean lines, generally the figures resemble each other, though Nagel worked with many models, including Playboy Playmates Cathy St. George, Tracy Vaccaro and Shannon Tweed. Nagel also painted several celebrity portraits including those of Joan Collins (whose portrait was subsequently released as a limited edition print) and Joanna Cassidy. Nagel also painted men, though only one was ever released as a fine art print while Nagel was alive. He had and continues to have a devoted following of collectors. Nagel’s artwork strongly influenced the illustration and clip art of the late 1980s. (via Wikipedia)

The design of the cover itself was created by the british graphic designer Malcolm Garrett (born 1956). The sleeves that Garrett designed for Duran Duran (from 1981 until 1986) include their first four albums (Duran Duran, Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger (together with Keith Breeden) and Arena) and their associated singles such as Planet Earth, Is There Something I Should Know? and The Reflex. (via Wikipedia)

“Rio” is an album that shows how the merge between an interesting cover and great music can add several other layers to the final product.

Bloody brilliant.