Duran Duran – “Thanksgiving Live – The Ultra Chrome, Latex and Steel Tour” (2018)

This was a Record Store Day impulse buy. My buddy Travis and I got down to Easy Street Records to queue up about 45 minutes before they opened, both of us with our want lists for the day. As the initial surge of people funneled through we attempted to go through the RSD bins in alphabetical order, but it quickly devolved into a moderate clusterfuck. However, as the taller of us I was able to quickly reach over to the B section to grab us both copies of the Baby Huey re-release, and as I was stuck in front of the Ds while trying to make my way down to the Ks to see if The Kills was still available, this Duran Duran double live album caught my eye. And since Holly is a big Duran Duran fan, I figured why not?

As I perused the track list while waiting in line to pay for my records I was surprised at how few of these 18 songs I knew, at least by title. I’m no Duran Duran superfan or anything, but they have a pretty big catalog of hits, and at first glance I only recognized three tracks – “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “A View to a Kill,” and “Rio”. You could make a greatest hits comp out of what’s missing, songs like “Girls on Film,” “The Reflex,” “New Moon on Monday,” “The Wild Boys,” “Is There Something I Should Know”… I mean, they have a metric ton of hits. Of course, upon playing Thanksgiving Live there were some things I recognized but simply didn’t know by their title, like “Bib Bang Generation.” But still.

This show was originally recorded back in 1997 (♠), and I have to give credit where credit is due – it sounds great. Duran Duran doesn’t try to blow your eardrums out with volume, nor is their range particularly extreme on either the high or low ends, both of which help. You get a bit of the crowd noise, though at times that almost sounds like it was added afterwards – I can’t be sure, but the audience seems a bit too loud and noticeable at just the right times. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable listening experience.

(♠) It was originally released on CD in 2017 under the title Thanksgiving Live At Pleasure Island. It appears that the CD version is missing the track “Buried in the Sand,” which opens Side C of the vinyl.

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