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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'So Red the Rose' (2 CD/DVD)
Artist - Arcadia

When Arcadia released 'So Red the Rose,' Duran Duran had just come off of ruling the world with Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Powerstation had hit it big with meaty, muscular guitars and sexy vocals from Robert Palmer. Simon , Nick, and Roger answered that gauntlet with an album that seemed to capture the most elegant aspects of Duran Duran. Shimmering yet funky at the same time, Simon's voice slithered in and out of a set of the best tunes he had ever had to work with.

Where Seven and the Ragged Tiger seemed almost thrown together at times (although still a great album), everything on So Red the Rose seems careful, imbued with secret meanings. Replacing John's disco tinged meaty baselines was an exotic fretless bass that brings Dali's Car to mind. Nick's keyboard playing was playful, quixotic, and the most assured thing that he had yet done.

People make much of Duran Duran's art school roots, and this is the album that brought all that promise to the floor. When you round out the package with fantastic guest guitar from David Gilmore and backing vocals from Sting and Grace Jones, this is about as perfect a Classic New Romantic album as you can get. If you don't own this and you enjoy Duran Duran, this is a simple decision - buy it today!

This remastered deluxe edition features: CD 1 Original album released December 1985 plus 7 bonus tracks; CD 2: Bonus disc with rare tracks; DVD:The programme follows the filming of five clips from the album 'So Red The Rose' and the interesting combination of directors, locations, behind the scene footage & photographic montages come together to give a fascinating insight into the world of video production.

Plus, there is a collection of videos including Arcadia's first single 'Election Day' which are shown in full, including Dean Chamberlain's rarely seen interpretation of the song 'Missing'. [SL]