Album review of Duran Duran’s ‘A Diamond In The Mind’

By Patrick Prince

DURAN DURAN
A DIAMOND IN THE MIND
Eagle Records
****

Some would assume that members of the ’80s pop phenom Duran Duran have lost their sex appeal by now. Yet, if this live CD of the band’s recent concert performance at Manchester England’s MEN Arena is any indication, the mojo is hardly gone.
Duran Duran A Diamond in The Rough

Duran Duran and the band’s fans embrace the nostalgia on its first live release in nearly a decade, “A Diamond in the Mind.” The ecstatic crowd can be heard throughout, singing — almost line-for-line — hits like “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “View To A Kill,” “The Reflex,” “Wild Boys” and, of course, “Rio.” And with the energy this live disc provides, it’s hard not to sing along with them. It’s easy enough for the listener to skip over newer tracks, which are, in all honesty, pretty good.

Anthony Kiedis once barked out “Nevermind Duran Duran!” on the The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1985 “Freaky Styley” album, which captured a certain sentiment at the time — that bands like Duran Duran had oversaturated the pop landscape. But out of all those pop bands, how could any child of the ’80s not find Duran Duran the more appealing? Even if the songs are already ingrained in the brain by mass rotation on MTV, the songs are stay-in-your-head catchy because they are, simply put, masterful pop.

But the real shining star amongst the slick production and overall excitement of “A Diamond in the Mind” is the lead singer Simon Le Bon. Le Bon’s vocals have not withered with age — they are about as spot-on as they were during the band’s heyday. And — no offense to newer material — that’s the Duran Duran most people are interested in. “A Diamond in the Mind” has been released on DVD/Blu-ray format, too, with 11 more songs than the audio version. There is also a triple-pack Deluxe Edition, containing all three formats in an eight-panel digipak with bonus features, and an expanded 20 page booklet, all inside a foil-blocked slipcase.

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