“Something Special”: Duran Duran’s classic second album, ‘Rio,’ was released 40 years ago today


Last week, Duran Duran celebrated being chosen for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, and today the British New Wave band marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the album that helped put them on the path to worldwide fame, Rio.

Rio was Duran Duran’s second studio effort, following their 1981 self-titled debut. The album featured the band’s first two hit U.S. singles, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and the title track, which peaked at #3 and #14, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. It also included “Save a Prayer,” which reached #2 on the U.K. singles chart, bu wasn’t initially issued as a single in the States.

Helping to propel the popularity of “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Rio” and “Save a Prayer” were the songs’ music videos, all directed by Russell Mulcahy, which featured the band members mingling with models in exotic settings like the jungles of Sri Lanka and on a sailing yacht off the coast of the Caribbean isle of Antigua.

Musically, Rio found the band mixing synth-driven pop and R&B-flavored dance music with world music influences.

Rio peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200, and remains Duran Duran’s highest-charting album in the U.S. The record has been certified two-times Platinum for sales of over 2 million in the States.

In a new interview, Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes tells Yahoo! Entertainment, “[W]hen we finished the Rio album, I looked around and I knew we’d done something special. I didn’t know…whether it would be a hit or a flop or whatever, but I knew when I was listening to it: ‘Yep, this has got really strong songs on it, and this one just feels right."”

Here’s the full Rio track list:

“My Own Way”
“Lonely in Your Nightmare”
“Hungry Like the Wolf”
“Hold Back the Rain”
“New Religion”
“Last Chance on the Stairway”
“Save a Prayer”
“The Chauffeur”

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