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Duran Duran - Rio (1982)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.51
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Rio” is the seventh single by Duran Duran. It was first released as a single in Australia, in August 1982, ...

“Rio” is the seventh single by Duran Duran. It was first released as a single in Australia, in August 1982, followed by a UK release on 1 November 1982.

The song was the fourth, final, and title single lifted from the band’s album of the same name, and was edited for its release. It was issued worldwide in October 1982 and became a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #9 on 11 December 1982.

“Rio” was released as the third single from the album in Australia, and debuted on the Kent Music Report top 100 singles chart dated 6 September 1982.

The song did not attract much notice in the United States upon its initial global release, but received very early airplay at highly influential KROQ in Los Angeles as early as 2 August 1982. After the band’s breakthrough hit “Hungry Like the Wolf” stormed MTV and scaled the American charts in December 1982, radio programmers paid closer attention to the catchy melody and insistent, intricate bass line of “Rio”, and Capitol Records reissued the single in March 1983 to great success as the band’s 2nd US top 20 hit (peaking at #14).

Music video

Director Russell Mulcahy filmed the vivid music video for “Rio”, which featured iconic images of the band in Antony Price suits, singing and playing around on a yacht speeding over the crystal blue Caribbean Sea. The yacht in the music video was the Eilean. Short segments show band members trying to live out their assorted daydreams, only to be teased, tormented, and made fools of by body-painted vixen Reema Medawar (who married Costantino Ruspoli in 1990).

The music video was shot over the course of three days in May 1982 on the island of Antigua. The yacht scenes were filmed on the bay at English Harbour, the beach scenes at Miller’s Beach, and the segment featuring the raft at Shirley Heights. Some close ups were filmed later on the Solent due to a film processing error.

Director Mulcahy originally planned a scene where the band members got chased off the island by people wielding guns, but didn’t have enough film stock left to shoot this. He had to borrow a tourist’s camera to shoot the part of John Taylor playing a saxophone on a mountaintop. When the video was featured on VH1’s Pop-Up Video, it mentions that after the video was completed, Mulcahy, Simon Le Bon, and John Taylor went for a swim and were inches away from sharks when the yacht captain yelled for them to get out of the water. Nick Rhodes was reportedly seasick during the filming, and has often said “I hate boats unless they’re tied up and you’re having cocktails on them.”

While in Antigua, the band also filmed a video for the album track “Night Boat”, which appeared with “Rio” and nine other videos on the Duran Duran video album released in 1983.

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