On this day in music history: June 15, 1981 - “Duran Duran”, the debut album by Duran Duran is released. Produced by Colin Thurston, it is recorded at Red Bus Studios, Abbey Road Studios, Utopia Studio in London, and Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, UK from October - December 1980. The Birmingham, UK band are at the forefront of the New Romantic movement sweeping England at the time of its release. Boasting a wide variety of musical influences including David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and American R&B/dance music innovators Chic, Duran Duran marry these musical genres together, creating a unique hybrid and develop their own distinctive sound. The album is a huge success in their native country spinning off three singles including “Planet Earth” (#12 UK) and “Girls On Film” (#5 UK). It goes largely unnoticed in the US on its initial release, until it is reissued in April 1983 following their breakthrough success with their second album “Rio”. The original US release removes the original single version of “Planet Earth”, replacing it with the extended “Night Version” of the song. The track “To The Shore” included on the UK LP is not featured on either version of the US LP. Also, initial US pressings are issued with Harvest labels, with a subsequent re-pressing using maroon Capitol labels in 1982. The 1983 US reissue (w/ black rainbow colorband Capitol labels) is repackaged with redesigned cover art (cover photo taken by photographer Brian Aris), restoring the short version of “Planet Earth”, and adding the then new single “Is There Something I Should Know?” (#1 UK, #4 US Pop). The album is first remastered and reissued on CD in 2003, featuring the original UK LP track listing. It is remastered and reissued again in 2010 as a double CD + DVD special edition, with the first disc including the non-LP B-sides “Late Bar”, “Khanada”, “Fame” and “Faster Than Light”. The second disc includes fourteen bonus tracks including demo recordings, live BBC 1 radio performances, and the night versions and night mixes of “Planet Earth” and “Girls On Film”. The DVD includes the music videos for all of the singles, and television performances. “Duran Duran” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, number ten on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
“As society has changed, what had formerly been unacceptable has become colorful.” —Iggy Pop
From Iggy Pop and Siouxsie and the Banshees to Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, music photographer Brian Griffin has captured a singular slice of the post-punk, New Wave, and New Romantic movements of the 1970s and ‘80s. A new, comprehensive collection of his work will gather album covers, posters, and press photos alongside essays and interviews to offer a rarely-seen window into the music industry at that time.