Home Read Albums Of The Week: Duran Duran | Danse Macabre

Albums Of The Week: Duran Duran | Danse Macabre

The British synth-pop veterans dish out a sackful of sweet treats — along with a few interesting costume changes along the way — on this lighthearted Halloween LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Catalyzed by a special live performance that Duran Duran filmed in Las Vegas on Oct. 31 of 2022, the band’s 16th album Danse Macabre is the soundtrack to their ultimate Halloween party. Across 13 tracks (naturally), the band unearth bright melodies from the darkness, threading together new songs, themed covers, and newly reimagined versions of their own ‘spooky’ classics.

Keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “Danse Macabre celebrates the joy and madness of Halloween … The idea was born out of a show we played in Las Vegas on October 31st, 2022. We had decided to seize the moment to create a unique, special event. The temptation of using glorious gothic visuals set to a dark soundtrack of horror and humor was simply irresistible.

“That evening inspired us to explore further and to make an album, using Halloween as the key theme. The record metamorphosed through a pure, organic process, and not only was it made faster than anything since our debut album, it has also resulted in something none of us could have ever predicted. Emotion, mood, style and attitude have always been at the heart of Duran Duran’s DNA, we search for light in the darkness and darkness in the light, and I feel we have somehow managed to capture the essence of all of that in this project.”

Simon Le Bon puts it simpler: “It’s about a crazy Halloween party. It’s supposed to be fun!”

John Taylor adds: “After all these years, Danse Macabre offers an interesting insight into the personality of the band. The music packs a real punch.”

Roger Taylor says: “I hope you take a journey with us through the darker side of our inspirations into where we’re at in 2023. Maybe, you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of how Duran Duran got to this moment in time.”

On that fateful night, the bandmembers donned full fancy dress, and cast a horde of ghouls on a stage, complete with 20-foot-high skeletons, tombstones, cobwebs and coffins. The set included a parade of rarities and special covers, including Duran Duran’s first live performance of Secret Oktober since 2011, their first of Love Voodoo since 2017, and first of Nightboat since 2005. The band and their audience had so much fun that they decided to put the set to tape, creating a worldwide Halloween event. Fans can enjoy Duran Duran’s Halloween-themd covers of Billie Eilish’s Bury A Friend, Talking HeadsPsycho Killer (ft. Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin), The Rolling StonesPaint It Black, the Rick James-inspired Super Lonely Freak, Siouxsie and the BansheesSpellbound, Cerrone’s Supernature and The SpecialsGhost Town.

Along with De Angelis and guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, the album includes more special collaborations with former Duran Duran band member Andy Taylor, producer, guitarist and composer Nile Rodgers and producers Josh Blair and Mr Hudson. Andy Taylor originally joined Duran Duran in 1980, co-writing and playing guitar on their first three studio albums: Duran Duran (1981), Rio (1982), and Seven And The Ragged Tiger (1983), before leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Some 16 years later, he returned for 2004’s Astronaut (2004), before parting company once again with the other four original members in 2006.

With Andy’s departure, Cuccurullo joined the band full time in 1989, contributing both song writing and guitars to the albums Big Thing (1988), Liberty (1990), The Wedding Album (1993), Thank You (1995), Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000). Fast-forward to 2023, when Taylor and Cuccurullo’s presence on Danse Macabre captures the true spirit of the album — a celebration of the raw energy and sense of fun that comes when friends make music together in a room.

Danse Macabre arrives amidst a busy year of live activity that has already seen Duran Duran perform sold-out arena shows across the U.K. and Ireland. Their 2022 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame marked yet another career peak, coming after shows at London’s Hyde Park, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, close the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in their home town of Birmingham, and a headline tour of North America which included Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl.”