Number 3: Rio, Duran Duran
How good was Duran Duran in the early 1980s? So good that while many of their albums since have basically existed simply to produce a random single or two they are a band still worthy of getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (inducted in 2022). And that last part isn't meant to be a diss towards Duran Duran. My intent is to show light on just how good their first three albums are.
This was a band that did not lack in confidence. Six of the nine songs on the album are 4 minutes and 21 seconds long or longer. This means the band did not going into the recording studio thinking they need to get songs out quickly in fear no one would like them. Remember, in the early 1980s a person could not just skip through songs as easily as they can now. It was safer for a band to go with shorter songs that weren't good but wouldn't completely tune out the listener.
The great thing about Rio is that there isn't one song that needs to be skipped. "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" were radio staples and easy to sing along with, but "New Religion" might just be the best song on the album. While Duran Duran did use synths, they were basically a guitar-driven band and "New Religion" could have done completely without any synth. It was aggressive but had verses that slowly built to the chorus of near-orgasmic release.
Rio was followed by Seven and the Ragged Tiger which was also an excellent album. But Seven also seemed like the songs that were not good enough to make the tracklist on Rio. You can enjoy both, but Rio is better.