Notorious

Album: Notorious (1986)
Charted: 7 2

Songfacts®:

  • Nile Rodgers, who first worked with Duran Duran on their 1983 album Seven and the Ragged Tiger, produced the Notorious album with the band and came up with the guitar sound for the title track. Simon LeBon explained to Entertainment Weekly in 2011: "I remember him playing some notes up the neck of his guitar and it was the riff from 'Notorious.' That was the first time that any of us had ever heard it. We just said, 'Man, we've got to have that.'"
  • After the 1997 death of The Notorious B.I.G., Sean Combs (known then as Puff Daddy), reworked the Duran Duran track "Notorious" into the song "Notorious B.I.G." for the 2000 Born Again album, which was made up of unreleased B.I.G. tracks and contributions from several other rappers, including Mobb Deep, Lil' Kim, Redman and Method Man. On "Notorious B.I.G.," Puff Daddy rapped with Lil' Kim.
  • The Notorious album marked a turning point for Duran Duran. After dominating MTV and the pop charts in the early '80s, they fell apart as their success wore them down. Simon LeBon explained in 1988 to Company magazine: "We had been forced by our own desire for success into a stereotype of a teen-idol group. We were spending far more time worrying about clothes, make-up and photo sessions than we were about writing songs."

    For Notorious, they lost two of their three Taylors: drummer John Taylor became a farmer and guitarist Andy Taylor left for other musical endeavors, including The Power Station. The remaining three members cut back on hedonism and photo sessions, concentrating on the music.

Comments: 5

  • AnonymousThe drummer was Roger Taylor...John played bass & did the Powerstation thing...just saying!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1987 {January 4th} Duran Duran's "Notorious" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Top 100 chart, the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Walk Like An Egyptian" the Bangles, and "Notorious" spent seventeen weeks on the Top 100...
    "Notorious" reached #1 in Italy...
    Between 1982 and 2004 the Birmingham, England group had twenty one records on the Top 100, eleven made the Top 10 with two* reaching #1, "The Reflex" for 2 weeks in 1984 and "A View To A Kill" for 2 weeks in 1985...
    Lead singer Simon Le Bon celebrated his 61st birthday three months ago on October 27th, 2019...
    * Duran Duran just missed having two more #1 records when both their "The Wild Boys" {1984} and the above "Notorious" peaked at #2 on the Hot Top 100 chart...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department; the rest of the Top 10 on January 4th, 1987:
    At #3. "Shake You Down" by Gregory Abbott
    #4. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung
    #5. "C'Est La Vie" by Robbie Nevil
    #6. "Control" by Janet Jackson
    #7. "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
    #8. "War" by Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band
    #9. "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & The Beaters
    #10. "This Is Love" by Survivor
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesMy second most favorite song of DD in the only 2 songs I love from them (the other is Ordinary World). This song's tune is catchy!
  • Cks from New Haven , CtFinally, it is on this album that Duran Duran first employs Warren Cuccurullo on guitar (to expand on the comment above, three guitarists are actually credited on Notorious (the album): Andy Taylor, Warren, and Nile Rodgers, who was also the producer as someone else noted). Cuccurullo would play a major role in Duran's history: after touring and studio work on this and the next album, Big Thing, he would be admitted as a full time member of Duran Duran in 1990.
    Eventually, the band would record their huge 90s comeback album in Warren's home studio (the self-titled but commonly known as "The Wedding Album" due to the cover art). Cuccurullo also wrote the music to Duran Duran's last major radio hit, 1993's Come Undone, from the same album.
    which featured band members' parents' wedding pictures)
  • Cks from New Haven , CtCorrection to the last item above: Duran Duran did indeed lose two Taylors, but it was drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor who left the band. (Roger was the one who essentially left the music business to raise his family until reunited with the band in 2001). Andy Taylor does actually play on the Notorious album--he is credited as an additional musician--but overall, Notorious marked the first lineup change for Duran Duran since their mainstream success in the early 80s (the band's lineup had changed numerous times the late 70s before they were big). This particular song also seems to be a critique of the criminal justice system
    ("You own the money/you control the witness/...you pay the prophets to justify your reasons") and the songwriting on this album marked a turning point for the bnad. Gone were the more ambiguous lyrics of the earlier albums...also evident on tracks like "Skin Trade" from Notorious. The funky nature of Notorious was a decision reached after John and Andy Taylor explored a similar music direction on their Power Station project a year earlier. Ironically, with the band reduced to a trio with a supporting cast of travleing/studio musicians, many fans would jump off the bandwagon...although now, 25 years later, "Notorious" is a staple of their live shows and considered a "classic" Duran hit alongside the Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger era singles.
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