Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Rio (song)

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7" 12"

New wave synthpop

"The Chauffeur" (Sing Blue Silver) "Hold Back the Rain" "Rio Part 1" "My Own Way"

August 1982 (Australia) 1 November 1982 (UK) 2 April 1983 (US)

January–February 1982 at AIR Studios, London

4:40 (Single version) 5:11 (Part 1) 5:29 (Part 2) 4:34 (US Single version) 3:57 (US Single remix)

"Rio" is the seventh single by Duran Duran. It was first released as a single in Australia, in August 1982, followed by a UK release on 1 November 1982.


The song was the fourth, final, and title single lifted from the band's album of the same name, and was edited for its release. It was issued worldwide in January 1983 and became an immediate Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #9 on 11 December 1982.

"Rio" was released as the third single from the album in Australia, and debuted on the Kent Music Report top 100 singles chart dated 6 September 1982.

The song did not attract much notice in the United States upon its initial global release, but received very early airplay at highly influential KROQ in Los Angeles as early as 2 August 1982. After the band's breakthrough hit "Hungry Like the Wolf" stormed MTV and scaled the American charts in December 1982, radio programmers paid closer attention to the catchy melody and insistent, intricate bass line of "Rio", and Capitol Records reissued the single in March 1983 to great success as the band's 2nd US top 20 hit.(peaking at #14)

It is one of the band's most recognisable songs, mostly due to its famous music video, which is widely regarded as symbolic of 1980s glamour and excess.

About the song

The keyboard pattern for "Rio", well-known among Duran Duran fans and synthesizer enthusiasts, was produced by an arpeggiator—a software tool which can play the individual notes in a chord in a chosen pattern. It was once rumoured that the synthesiser used to achieve this was a Roland Jupiter-8. However, it has been said by Nick Rhodes to actually be a Roland Jupiter-4 using the random mode on the arpeggiator with a Cmaj7 chord.

Rhodes created the unusual sound at the beginning of the song by throwing several small metal rods onto the strings of a grand piano in the studio. The recorded sound was then reversed to create the intro. The laughter on the track was that of Rhodes' girlfriend at the time.

The song's verse was musically inspired by their earlier song "See Me, Repeat Me" and the chorus was taken from "Stevie's Radio Station", a song written by TV Eye which featured singer Andy Wickett who went on to be one of Duran Duran's early singers. The song was a favourite of Nick and John and was incorporated into Duran Duran live sets during Wickett's tenure.

The tenor saxophone solo was performed by Andy Hamilton, who has also worked with Wham! and Elton John amongst others.

Music video

Director Russell Mulcahy filmed the vivid music video for "Rio", which featured iconic images of the band in Antony Price suits, singing and playing around on a yacht speeding over the crystal blue Caribbean Sea. Short segments show band members trying to live out their assorted daydreams, only to be teased, tormented, and made fools of by a body-painted vixen Reema Ruspoli.

The music video was shot over the course of three days in May 1982 on the island of Antigua. The yacht scenes were filmed on the bay at English Harbour, the beach scenes at Miller's Beach, and the segment featuring the raft at Shirley Heights. Some close ups were filmed later on the Solent due to a film processing error. Director Mulcahy originally planned a scene where the band members got chased off the island by people wielding guns, but didn't have enough film stock left to shoot this. He had to borrow a tourist's camera to shoot the part of Nick Rhodes playing a saxophone on a raft. When the video was featured on VH1's Pop-up Video, it mentions that after the video was completed, Mulcahy, Simon LeBon, and John Taylor went for a swim and were inches away from sharks when the yacht captain yelled for them to get out of the water. Nick Rhodes was reportedly seasick during the filming, and has often said "I hate boats unless they're tied up and you're having cocktails on them."

While in Antigua, the band also filmed a video for the album track "Night Boat", which appeared with "Rio" and nine other videos on the Duran Duran video album released in 1983.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes

There are 13 different official mixes of "Rio", many of which are edits of the album version or Kershenbaum remix with fades in various places.

The B-side of the November 1982 original United Kingdom single was "The Chauffeur (Blue Silver)", an acoustic version of the moody album track. The B-side of the April 1983 reissue in the United States was an upbeat remix of "Hold Back The Rain". The B-side of the 12" single included a remix of "My Own Way".

In 1998 Recall 22 (Dan Bewick and Matt Frost) released three new promo mixes of "Rio" in France.

Complete list of versions

  1. "Rio" (Album Version) – 5:33
  2. "Rio" (Single Version) – 4:40
  3. "Rio" (Night Version) – 6:39
  4. "Rio" (Part 1) – 5:11
  5. "Rio" (Part 2) – 5:29
  6. "Rio" (Part 2) (Full 7'' Mix) – 5:02
  7. "Rio" (US Album Remix) – 5:24
  8. "Rio" (US Edit) – 4:44
  9. "Rio" (US Single Version) – 4:34
  10. "Rio" (US Single Remix) – 3:57
  11. "Rio" (UK promo Single Version) – 4:57
  12. "Rio" (Brazilian Edit) – 3:36
  13. "Rio" (Video Version) – 5:03

Additional information "Rio" versions

  • Rio "Single Version" was made available on CD, being part of a Japanese promo compilation released in 1988: I Don't Want Your...Special DJ Copy.
  • Rio "Night Version" is also known as "12 Inch Dance Version" or "Carnival Version".
  • Rio "Part 2 (Full 7'' Mix)" was originally released on the Japanese EP of "Carnival" in 1982. This version is also available on "a Japanese-only 2CD compilation of four previously released EP's: "Nite Romantics", "Carnival", "Tiger Tiger" & "Strange Behavior".
  • Rio "US Album Remix" appears on the promotional American 12" single for "Rio" and is also labelled as "Night Version" on an American split promo 12", being part of "Special Extended Selections".
  • Rio "US Edit" appears on the "Greatest" CD.
  • Rio "US Single Remix" was released on the US 7" reissue of Rio in 1983 and was remixed by David Kershenbaum.
  • Rio "UK Promo Single Version" was released as a "one-sided promo only" in 1982.
  • "Brazilian Edit" can be found on a Brazilian 4 track 7" EP.
  • 7": EMI. / EMI 5346 United Kingdom

    1. "Rio" (Single Version) – 4:40
    2. "The Chauffeur (Blue Silver)" – 3:48
  • Track 1 is an edit of the "U.S. Album Remix".
  • Track 2 is the "Early Version" and is a shorter acoustic version of the moody album track.
  • 7": EMI. / EMI 5346 United Kingdom

    1. "Rio" – 5:11
    2. "The Chauffeur (Blue Silver)" – 3:48
  • Track 1 is "Rio" (Part 1).
  • Track 2 is the "Early Version" of The Chauffeur and is a shorter acoustic version of the moody album track.
  •  Note:

    Two different versions of this single were available in the UK, both with identical sleeves & labels.

    12": EMI. / 12 EMI 5346 United Kingdom

    1. "Rio" (Part 2) – 5:29
    2. "Rio" (Part 1) – 5:11
    3. "My Own Way" – 4:34 (a.k.a. "Carnival remix")

    7": Harvest. / B-5175 United States (1982)

    1. "Rio" (US Single version) – 4:34
    2. "Hold Back the Rain" (Album version) – 3:59

    7": Capitol. / B-5215 United States (Reissue 1983)

    1. "Rio" (US Single remix) – 3:57
    2. "Hold Back the Rain" (US Album remix) – 6:32

    CD: Part of "Singles Box Set 1981-1985" boxset

    1. "Rio" (Part 1) – 5:11
    2. "The Chauffeur" (Blue Silver) – 3:48
    3. "Rio" (Part 2) – 5:29
    4. "My Own Way" (Carnival remix) – 4:34
  • Track 2 is the "Early Version" of The Chauffeur and is a shorter acoustic version of the moody album track.
  • Other appearances

    Apart from the single, "Rio" has also appeared on:


  • Carnival (1982)
  • Arena (2004 reissue only)
  • Decade (1989)
  • Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran (1998)
  • Greatest (1998)
  • Strange Behaviour (1999)
  • Singles Box Set 1981-1985 (2003)
  • Goldfinger version

    In 1997 Goldfinger brought their version of Rio out, which first appeared on a tribute album of Duran Duran, then later on the albums Spokesman and The Best of Goldfinger.

    Nicole Scherzinger version

    Nicole Scherzinger (lead vocalist for the Pussycat Dolls) recorded a remixed cover of "Rio" as a promotion for Caress Brazilian body wash from Unilever. The song was released to radio on 28 July 2008 and as a CD single in August 2008. The music video shows Scherzinger performing in a pink dress in front of a crowd, with flowers appearing all around her as she sings on stage.

    Of the cover, Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon said "When we were first approached about Nicole doing a version of 'Rio' for this campaign, we thought it was the perfect fit. She's exotic and beautiful and embodies everything that inspired the original version. Because it's one of our signature songs very few people have covered it over the years, so it has been great for us to hear a new interpretation."

    2-track CD single

    1. "Rio (Caress Brazilian Mix)"
    2. "Rio (Caress Brazilian Mix)" (Instrumental)

    CD single maxi jewelcase

    1. "Rio" (Caress Brazilian Mix)
    2. "Rio" (Caress Brazilian Mix) (Instrumental)
    3. "Rio" (dance Remix)
    4. "Rio" (Video)
    5. The making of the "Rio" (Caress Brazilian Mix)" video

    Moby version

    "Rio" is a single by Moby. The song is recreated by him for one compilation album: Making Patterns Rhyme.


    Rio (song) Wikipedia

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