“The personal scale; the intimacy of the spectacle; the surprise of steps that are always intricate, varied, musical; the lovely dynamics of pressure, speed, texture, and motion; the mutual tact in partnering; the reposeful confidence at a flying tempo; the thrilling devotion to what is beautiful in all that is seen and heard – that is the greatest love story.” – Arlene Croce’s essay on Fred and Ginger’s partnership, published in Ballet Review, Summer 1965
“In an age in which the Hays Code restricted romantic activity, Astaire’s dancing signifies his sexual potency while Rogers’ ability to keep up with him during long, complicated sequences suggests that she is capable of satisfying his romantic desires and is a perfect match as his wife. Their films thus manage to be very romantic (if not sexy) without ever showing their two stars engaged in explicitly sexual activity.”– Excerpt from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: The Story of Hollywood’s most Famous Dancers, 2013. (Sending love to whomever made each of these gifs. They are all over the internet with no creator-credit. I salute you.)
On this day in music history: May 10, 1982 - “Rio”, the second studio album by Duran Duran is released. Produced by Colin Thurston, it is recorded at Townhouse Studios and AIR Studios in London from in October 1981, and January - February 1982. Achieving success in the UK and other parts of the world with their self-titled debut album, Duran Duran begin the process of writing and recording their follow up release toward the end of 1981. Once again, the band work with producer and engineer Colin Thurston (David Bowie, The Human League), moving into AIR Studios in October of 1981. The first track completed is “My Own Way” (#14 UK), and is released as a stand alone single in November of 1981. The rest of the album is completed in two months when the sessions resume in January of 1982, following a brief tour of Germany, Sweden and the UK. Released in the Spring of 1982, is the breakthrough album for the Birmingham, UK based pop/rock quintet on a worldwide basis. It continues Duran Duran’s success at home (quickly spinning off four hit singles), but initially gets off to a slow start in the US. Producer David Kershenbaum (Joe Jackson, Tracy Chapman), is brought in to remix five tracks on the album with the aim of promoting them at dance clubs. Four of those tracks (“Rio” (#9 UK, #14 US Pop), “Hungry Like The Wolf”, “Hold Back The Rain”, and “My Own Way”) are released as a 12" EP titled “Carnival” in September of 1982. Its success motivates Capitol Records in the US to reissue the album in November with the remixed tracks replacing the original mixes, and re-releasing the first single “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#5 UK, #3 US Pop), which is one of the last songs completed for the project. To help promote the album, the band film several music videos, mostly with Australian director Russell Mulcahy, including a clip for the title track filmed on location on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Three more clips, made for “Hungry Like The Wolf”, Save A Prayer" and “Lonely In Your Nightmare” are filmed in Sri Lanka shortly after “Rio” is completed. By this time, MTV have begun playing the bands videos in heavy rotation which give them major exposure, leading to radio adding the single. The albums iconic cover art, painted by artist Patrick Nagel (graphics by Malcolm Garrett of Assorted Images) also become synonymous with the bands image. In 2001, a remastered CD of the album is released in a mini gatefold jacket, with the disc featuring enhanced CD content including the music videos for “Hungry Like The Wolf” and the title track. It is reissued again in 2009 as a two CD expanded edition that also contains the Kershenbaum remixes and other bonus tracks. The making of the album is documented in an episode of the “Classic Albums” series in 2008. “Rio” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.