Featuring brand-new songs and covers of Billie Eilish, Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, Siouxsie and the Banshees
√ With very special guests Nile Rodgers, Mr. Hudson, Andy Taylor & Warren Cuccurullo
Duran Duran have released their highly anticipated 16th full-length, “Danse Macabre,” out today via Tape Modern/BMG. Listen here.
Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin appears on the album’s focus track, a cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer,” unleashing a collision of neon keys, sweaty grooves, slick drums and snappy vocal harmonies.
“The first time I met Vic, I asked her who her bass inspirations were,” bassist John Taylor remembers. “Right away, she said, ‘Tina Weymouth!’ I said, ‘Me too.’ When the idea of covering ‘Psycho Killer’ came up, I thought, ‘I’m going to call Vic’. She loved the idea, naturally!”
De Angelis adds, “I got a call from John … saying he was working on a cover of ‘Psycho Killer,’ and he wanted to ask me first about playing on it. It was insane being asked by one of the greatest bass players ever to play one of my favorite songs with Duran Duran. Absolutely insane. I’m so grateful and honored; it was so much fun recording together with John and he was so sweet to me and encouraged me to express myself and play it my own way. I’ll always remember that day.”
Listen to “Psycho Killer” featuring Victoria De Angelis here.
Always ones to revel in the shadows, playing with artistic, aesthetic and emotional extremes, the iconic U.K. quartet unearth bright melodies from darkness as they thread together new songs, themed covers, and newly reimagined versions of their own “spooky” classics. Catalyzed by one special live performance that Duran Duran filmed in Las Vegas on Oct. 31 of last year, “Danse Macabre” is the soundtrack to their ultimate Halloween party. Included across the album’s 13 tracks are Halloween covers of Billie Eilish’s “Bury A Friend,” Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer,” The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black,” the Rick James-inspired “Super Lonely Freak,” Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Spellbound,” Cerrone’s “Supernature” and The Specials’ “Ghost Town.”
The album also includes special collaborations with former Duran Duran band members Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo, Nile Rodgers, and producers Josh Blair and Mr. Hudson.
Andy 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. Sixteen 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, and Andy 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.
But “Danse Macabre” is not just an album for Halloween. … Elsewhere, “Black Moonlight” sees the band’s timeless song writing break into dance-rock glamour with the addition of Rodgers and Andy Taylor on guitar, where epic coda “Confession In The Afterlife” finds Duran Duran reunited with producer Mr. Hudson anew. Title track “Danse Macabre,” which Billboard proclaimed, “is like no Duran Duran song that came before it,” with Vulture hailing it “a gothic delight of synthesized riches,” and USA Today adding “the song is powered by a vibe of impending dread, a mesmerizing cadence” arrived with a stunning official music video, brought to life with creative director Linc Gasking, showcasing cutting-edge, AI-driven techniques in a 3-D animated masterpiece that, in previous times, would have demanded an entire team, over a year and a substantial budget to produce. Rolling Stone magazine described the video as a “graveyard smash.”
Watch the official music video for “Danse Macabre” here.
Duran Duran photo credit: Stephanie Pistel // courtesy of HIGH RISE PR
As well as a second collaboration with Cuccurullo on “Love Voudou,” “Danse Macabre” features newly recorded versions of “Nightboat” and fan favorite “Secret Oktober 31st” (both featuring Andy Taylor on guitar). The song made its first appearance as a B-side to the 7-inch single “Union of The Snake” and is now, 40 years later, seeing its first ever physical release on a Duran Duran studio album.
Speaking about “Danse Macabre,” keyboardist Nick Rhodes says, “The song ‘Danse Macabre’ celebrates the joy and madness of Halloween. It is the title track of our album, which gathers together an unusual mix of cover versions, reworked Duran Duran songs and several new compositions. The idea was born out of a show we played in Las Vegas on Oct. 31, 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 elaborates: “It’s about a crazy Halloween party. It’s supposed to be fun!”
John Taylor says, “After all these years, ‘Danse Macabre’ offers an interesting insight into the personality of the band. The music packs a real punch.”
Roger Taylor adds, “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.”
“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. The performances were rapturously received, described as “royalty status” by The Times, “decadent and bombastic” by The Telegraph, “a first class and commanding performance” by CLASH, “joyous” by The Sun, "national treasures" by The Spectator, whilst the Mail On Sunday confirmed, “their charms haven’t changed.” The band concluded their sold-out “Future Past” headline arena tour across North America last month to rave reviews across the board, with Dallas Voice praising the band for sounding “just as fresh as they were decades ago," observing the band having “the audience in their grip." Mercury News noted by the end of their set they “left the thousands of passionate fans clamoring for more." Boca Raton Tribune noted “Duran Duran delivered, sounding better than ever.” While Tampa Bay Times exclaimed "Their live performance still feels like a music video you want to watch over and over again!"
“Danse Macabre” follows a wave of landmark achievements for Duran Duran. Their 2022 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame marked yet another career peak with the year already having seen the band headline London’s Hyde Park, perform at 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 across North America that included sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and three nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
“Danse Macabre” is out now via Tape Modern for BMG with artwork featuring images adapted from a collection of authentic vintage séance photos sourced by Nick Rhodes at auction. It is available on black two-LP and CD, with a limited-edition “Translucent Galaxy” two-LP. The album is also available on high-res Blu-ray audio.
“Danse Macabre” is out everywhere now.