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Album by Duran Duran
Released 10 May 1982
Recorded January-February 1981 at AIR Studios in London
Genre Dance-New Wave
Length 42:38
Label Capitol/EMI
Producer(s) Colin Thurston
Professional reviews
  • All Music Guide (4/5)
  • Rolling Stone (link)
Duran Duran chronology
Duran Duran
Seven and the Ragged Tiger

Rio is an album by Duran Duran, originally released worldwide on May 10, 1982, but re-released in November in the United States. It reached #2 on the UK charts.

The album went gold in the US on March 1, 1983, and platinum on April 26, eventually reaching double platinum status. It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US (on June 5, 1983), and remained on the charts there for 129 weeks -- almost two and a half years.

In 2000, Rio was ranked #98 in Q magazine's "100 Greatest British Albums". In 2003, it was listed at #65 in the NME "100 Greatest Albums Of All Time". In 2004, CMJ ranked it as #1 in their "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982".[1] It has been voted Best Duran Duran Album On Earth by fans of the band.

Recording and release dates Edit

The first song to be recorded for Rio was "My Own Way", written and recorded in October of 1981, and released as a single in November. The rest of the album was recorded in spring of 1982 at Air Studios in London, with producer and engineer Colin Thurston. "My Own Way" was re-recorded as well; the album version is significantly different from the single version.

The second single, "Hungry Like the Wolf" was released in the UK on May 4. It peaked at #5 in the charts on May 15.

The Rio album was first released worldwide on May 10, and quickly shot to #2 in the UK on May 22. The album's distinctive purple cover was painted by artist Patrick Nagel.

Struggling in America Edit

The North American version was released on Capitol's Harvest Records label, with rather poor sound quality, and didn't do well at first. EMI in Britain had promoted Duran Duran as a New Romantic band, but that genre was barely known in the United States, and Capitol was at a loss about how to sell the band.

The band, however, had their own plans and ambitions for promotion. 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" and "Waiting for the Nightboat" -- the latter a creepy zombiefest set on a deserted island.

While filming the tropical videos, guitarist Andy Taylor contracted malaria and was hospitalized on his return to England. This forced the delay of Duran Duran's European tour, and the record company decided to hold the release of the third single until the band was ready to promote it again.

"Save A Prayer" was finally released on August 9, and peaked at #2 in the UK charts on August 22.

Remixes and reissues Edit

Meanwhile, the band had worked with producer David Kershenbaum to create some new dance mixes for their twelve-inch club singles. In September, Capitol collected the remixes and released them on an EP called Carnival. It included "Rio", "Hold Back The Rain", "My Own Way", "Hungry Like The Wolf", and "New Religion", and was released in North America, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan and Taiwan. Deejays who heard the new mixes could not get enough, and started to put the dance mixes on the air. On October 2, Carnival became the first EP by any band to make an appearance on the US charts, although it only sat at #98 for one week.

Following the success of the Kershenbaum remixes, Capitol changed its marketing strategy on Duran Duran from New Romantic to dance band. Frustrated with their lack of success in the U.S., the band capitalized on the moment and pressed Capitol to allow them to issue a remixed and remastered version of the Rio album in North America. The company agreed, and brought Kershenbaum back to remix the rest of the album.

Rio video capture

"Ever since, people think we spend all our time riding around in silk suits, on yachts, getting wet." -- Nick Rhodes

On November 1, the "Rio" single was released worldwide. It peaked at #9 in UK on November 13.

Also in November, Capitol re-released the Rio album in the U.S., with Kershenbaum's new remixes. All tracks benefited from some minor reworking, but the significant structural differences in the songs on this second pressing (matrix #ST-1-12211-Z13-REI #1) include:

  • Kershenbaum "album version" of "Hungry Like the Wolf" (later used on the American 7" single re-release)
  • Kershenbaum "nite version" of "Hold Back the Rain"
  • Kershenbaum "My Own Way" - drastically different from the original
  • Kershenbaum "Lonely In Your Nightmare"

As the album began to take off, Capitol rushed a third pressing of the Rio album into stores, identical to the second, except that the "album version" of "Hungry Like The Wolf" was replaced with longer Kershenbaum "nite version". The third pressing (matrix #ST-1-12211-Z16 #2) is much more common than the second.

These remixed versions of "Hungry" and "Hold Back the Rain" were later released on CD on the Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran compilation in 1998, and "My Own Way" was released in the 2003 Singles Box Set 1981-1985. However, the Kershenbaum version of "Lonely In Your Nightmare" is only available on the second and third pressings of this vinyl album; it has not yet been officially issued on CD.


Alternate Rio cover used on 2001 remastered edition

On December 3, the Kershenbaum remix of the "Hungry" single was released in US, some six months after its initial UK release. The single included both the album version and the Carnival remix. It peaked at #3 in the US on Christmas Day.

Part of the continued success of the album was due to the very popular videos, in heavy rotation on MTV. The video album Duran Duran (1983 video) was released (on VHS, Betamax, and laserdisc) to coincide with the North American re-issue of the "Rio" single on March 11, four months after its original release. This single included the Kershenbaum 7" remix of "Rio" and peaked at #14 in US on April 2.

Versions on CD Edit

All official versions of the Rio album released on CD have been made from the original UK master tapes, and do not include any of the Kershenbaum remixes. This includes the release, in 2001, of a 20-year anniversary reissue, completely remastered from the original. The packaging on this release includes an alternate version of the famous Nagel cover painting, submitted by the artist along with the first when he completed the commission. (This image was first used for the Japanese 7" single of "My Own Way".)

Track listingEdit

  1. "Rio" – 5:33
  2. "My Own Way" – 4:51
  3. "Lonely In Your Nightmare" – 3:50
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" – 3:41
  5. "Hold Back the Rain" – 3:57
  6. "New Religion" – 5:33
  7. "Last Chance on the Stairway" – 4:21
  8. "Save a Prayer" – 5:33
  9. "The Chauffeur" – 5:13

CD re-issueEdit

  1. "Rio" – 5:33
  2. "My Own Way" – 4:51
  3. "Lonely In Your Nightmare" – 3:50
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" – 3:41
  5. "Hold Back the Rain" [CD album version] – 3:47
  6. "New Religion" – 5:31
  7. "Last Chance on the Stairway" – 4:18
  8. "Save a Prayer" [single edit] – 5:25
  9. "The Chauffeur" – 5:12

US version 1Edit

  1. "Rio" [US album remix] – 5:24
  2. "My Own Way" [Carnival remix] – 4:31
  3. "Lonely in Your Nightmare" [US album remix] – 4:52
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" [US album remix] – 4:02
  5. "Hold Back the Rain" [Carnival remix] – 6:24
  6. "New Religion" – 5:31
  7. "Last Chance on the Stairway" – 4:18
  8. "Save a Prayer" – 5:33
  9. "The Chauffeur" – 5:12

US version 2Edit

  1. "Rio" [US album remix] – 5:24
  2. "My Own Way" [Carnival remix] – 4:31
  3. "Lonely in Your Nightmare" [US album remix] – 4:52
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" ["Night Version"] – 5:14
  5. "Hold Back the Rain" [Carnival remix] – 6:24
  6. "New Religion" – 5:31
  7. "Last Chance on the Stairway" – 4:18
  8. "Save a Prayer" – 5:33
  9. "The Chauffeur" – 5:12
  • Identical to the previous US release, except the US album remix of "Hungry Like the Wolf" was replaced with the Night Version.
  • The various mixes are not labelled as such on any release of the album.


  1. "My Own Way" (1981)
  2. "Hungry Like The Wolf" (1982)
  3. "Save A Prayer" (1982)
  4. "Rio" (1982)

Covers and tributesEdit

The Duran Duran Tribute Album, a 1997 collection of cover versions, included the following tracks from Rio:

Other covers include:

  • "The Chauffeur", by Tre Lux
  • German happy hardcore band Dune recorded "Save a Prayer" with the London Session Orchestra for their 1998 cover album Forever and Ever
  • American electronic pop musical project Sleepthief covered "The Chauffeur", sung by Kirsty Hawksha], on its 2006 debut album The Dawnseeker.

Nirvana performed the song "Rio" during a show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 16, 1993.

Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies played "Rio" live during the Calgary show of their Everywhere for Everyone tour on April 1, 2004.

English band Arctic Monkeys makes a tribute to this song on the lyrics of their debut single "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", saying Your name isn't Rio and I don't care for sand as opposed to Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand.


Duran Duran are:

Also credited:


  1. College Music Journal, January 5, 2004, p.10

Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
Andy TaylorWarren CuccurulloSterling Campbell

Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged TigerArenaNotoriousBig ThingLibertyDuran Duran (The Wedding Album)Thank YouMedazzalandPop TrashAstronautRed Carpet Massacre


CarnivalDecade: Greatest HitsGreatestNight Versions: The Essential Duran DuranStrange BehaviourSingles Box Set 1981-1985Singles Box Set 1986-1995


"Planet Earth" • "Careless Memories" • "Girls on Film" • "My Own Way" • "Hungry Like the Wolf" • "Save a Prayer" • "Rio"• "Is There Something I Should Know?" • "Union of the Snake" • "New Moon on Monday" • "The Reflex" • "The Wild Boys" • "A View to a Kill" • "Notorious" • "Skin Trade" • "Meet El Presidente" • "I Don't Want Your Love" • "All She Wants Is" • "Do You Believe in Shame?" • "Burning the Ground" • "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" • "Serious" • "Ordinary World" • "Come Undone" • "Too Much Information" • "Perfect Day" • "White Lines" • "Out of My Mind" • "Electric Barbarella" • "Someone Else Not Me" • "(Reach Up for The) Sunrise" • "What Happens Tomorrow" • "Nice" • "Falling Down"

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