|photography by Norman Parkinson|
|Labels||Capitol Records, Parlophone, Atlantic|
|Associated acts||Duran Duran|
|Simon Le Bon|
Arcadia was a pop group formed in 1985 by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran, during a break in that band's schedule. However, Roger Taylor appeared in only a few band photographs and in none of the music videos, and stated he was only to be involved in the recording side of the project (he also had minor involvement in Power Station, the other Duran Duran splinter group). The name of the band was reportedly inspired by the Nicolas Poussin painting Et in Arcadia ego (also known as "The Arcadian Shepherds").
The group recorded just one album, the platinum-selling So Red the Rose. It peaked at number 23 on the US album chart, and featured the Top 40 singles "Election Day," "The Flame," "The Promise," and "Goodbye Is Forever". One famous review described So Red the Rose as "the most pretentious album ever made", while All Music Guide called it "the best album Duran Duran never made".
Musicians who contributed to the album included guitarists David Gilmour and Carlos Alomar, pianist Herbie Hancock, Sting (who provided backing vocals on "The Promise"), Grace Jones (who provided brief but dramatic spoken-word interludes on "The Flame" and "Election Day"), bass player Mark Egan of The Pat Metheny Group ("El Diablo" and "Lady Ice") and percussionist David Van Tieghem.The band also recorded the single "Say The Word" for the Playing For Keeps movie soundtrack.
Arcadia continued the Duran Duran tradition of a slick image, tasteful fashions and hair-dos. For the Arcadia incarnation of their ever-changing band aesthetic, Rhodes, Le Bon, and Roger Taylor donned an upmarket gothic look of black tuxedos, vintage formal wear, and bow ties. The three also dyed their hair black, as seen when they performed (as Duran Duran, with Andy and John Taylor) at the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.
The group did a variety of promotional appearances on television, but never toured, and dissolved a year later in 1986 when Duran Duran re-formed with Le Bon, Rhodes, and bassist John Taylor to record their next album Notorious. Drummer Roger Taylor retired from the music business for 15 years after the release of the Arcadia album, but returned to rejoin the original Duran Duran line-up in 2001.
- So Red The Rose (November 1985) - UK Number 30
- "Election Day" (with Grace Jones) (October 1985) U.S. #6; UK No.7
- "Goodbye Is Forever" (January 1986) US #33
- "The Promise" (January 1986) UK No.37
- "The Flame" (July 1986) UK No.58
- "Say The Word" (September 1986)