At 14th January of 1984, Duran Duran released their hit single "New Moon on Monday". The second single to be lifted from the band's 1983 album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger", the song was another success, reaching the Top 10 on both the British and American music charts.
During the late '70s and early '80s, New Wave was a catch-all term for the music that directly followed punk rock; often, the term encompassed punk itself, as well. In retrospect, it became clear that the music following punk could be divided, more or less, into two categories: post-punk and new wave. Where post-punk was arty, difficult, and challenging, new wave was pop music, pure and simple.
By the early '80s, new wave described nearly every new pop/rock artist, especially those that used synthesizers like the Human League and Spandau Ballet. New wave received a boost in the early '80s by MTV, who broadcast endless hours of new wave videos in order to keep themselves on the air.
Therefore, new wave got a second life in 1982, when it probably would have died out. Instead, 1982 and 1983 were boom years for polished, MTV-radio new wave outfits like Culture Club, Adam Ant, Haircut 100, A Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran.
Despite the fact that Seven and the Ragged Tiger couldn't match the unrestrained pop/rock ebullience of 1982's Rio, Duran Duran put three of the album's singles in the Top Ten, taking it to number one in the U.K. Even though "The Reflex" gave the band their first number one hit, there's an overabundance of fancy glitz and dancefloor flamboyancy running through it, unlike "New Moon on Monday"'s straight-ahead appeal or "Union of the Snake"'s mysterious, almost taboo flair.
It's apparent that Seven and the Ragged Tiger's content has the band moving ever so slightly into a danceclub arena, with the songs leaning more toward their ability to produce a sexier sound through electronics and instrumentation than through a firm lyrical and musical partnership.
Even the unreleased tracks trade Duran Duran's handsome edginess for a shinier sound, heard mainly on "I Take the Dice" and "Cracks in the Pavement." It's here that Lebon and Taylor's personalities begins to get overshadowed by the demand to produce a more synth-snazzy and fashionable style of music.
Although they may have turned their songwriting down a notch in order to succumb to the pabulum of synthesized pop, they didn't relinquish every aspect of their genius, and when they do deliver, it's bright, energetic, and effectual. Duran Duran's new direction eventually gave Seven and the Ragged Tiger double platinum status.
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