Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran is a compilation album of remixes by Duran Duran. From the very beginning of their career, the band had dubbed the extended dance remixes of their songs "night versions", as they were intended for play in nightclubs.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, Duran Duran didn't just extend the intro or loop the bridge section of a song to pad out a dance track for a 12-inch single. As Allmusic explained, "According to Nick Rhodes' liner notes, they recorded extended versions of their singles to be used in night clubs. Rather than have the master tapes cut and taped into remixes, Duran Duran went back into the studio and recorded longer versions of the songs with more instrumental breaks."
The collection had been in the works for some time, but it was released by Capitol/EMI in April 1998, about the same time that Duran Duran was dismissed from the record label after an eighteen-year history. EMI was quick to start mining the band's back catalogue; Night Versions was followed seven months later by the greatest hits collection Greatest, and by another remix collection Strange Behaviour four months after that.
Similar to other releases in Capitol's "Essential" range, this disc was commercially available for only six months from the time of release. This may account for the inflated aftermarket value of the disc, considering all the material and more was released on the latter Strange Behaviour collection. It has given influence not only in title but also to its concept to the album Nite Versions by Soulwax.