Living in Doubt
It’s safe to say that 1990’s Liberty bore the hallmarks of Duran Duran at their lowest ebb, on a downward spiral to irreverence, a decline to obscurity. The band’s sixth studio album barely entered the charts before disappearing into oblivion. Its failure could be blamed on any number of factors. Was it the inconsistency of song quality? Was the choice of first single Violence of Summer the reason why radio stations declined to spin the vinyl? Or is the label to blame for not putting enough money into the PR?
Whatever the reason for Duran Duran’s demise, it was inconceivable that big songs such as First Impression, My Antartica and the title track Liberty would never get heard by the wider music lover. I love Liberty. It was the first album with Duran Duran back to five members.
I enjoyed Chris Kimsey’s production as I did the co-engineering by John Jones. It didn’t help matters when Radio 1 DJ Simon Bates got it spectacularly wrong when he played The Violence of Summer (The Story Mix) instead of the original 7” radio edit on its first listen, world premiere on his morning show. I was aghast as I waited and listened intently. From memory the single reached No. 20 in the UK, during a hot, sticky July in 1990 and then disappeared without trace over the following couple of weeks. Oh, the irony of the song title. Surprisingly, it reached a comparatively higher position in the USA at No. 13. Unlucky for some?