Skin Divers

Album: Red Carpet Massacre (2007)

Songfacts®:

  • This was one of three tracks that Duran Duran recorded with famed Hip-Hop producer Timbaland and his protégé Nate "Danja" Hills for their Red Carpet Massacre album. This song was planned to be released as the second single as the follow-up to "Falling Down." It is not known why it was shelved.
  • According to a 2011 Duran Duran interview with The Quietus, the recording process with Timbaland was like a bad dream. Said bassist John Taylor: "That whole project was a f---ing nightmare. We delivered an album to Sony that was a natural-sounding, almost rock album, and they were like: 'We need something a bit pop, do you fancy doing a couple of tracks with Timbaland?'"

    Keyboardist Nick Rhodes continued: "The thing was, we got an opportunity to work with Timbaland, so we thought: 'Great, let's go for it.' We knew it was a risk in terms of what the fans would like, if you're working with someone who is ostensibly an electro/hip hop producer. When Timbaland saw the guitar and the bass and the drums come in to the studio, I think he was mortified, because everything's in a box for those guys. But I'm really glad we made that album, because in time I think it will stand up."

Comments: 1

  • Cks from New Haven , CtActually the entire Red Carpet Massacre album was recorded with Nate Hills; Timbaland worked on only three tracks: "Tempted," "Nite Runner" and "Skin Divers."
    As noted, this became a very divisive album within the Duran fan community. Many felt the band sold out by trying to work with the popular Timbaland as well as Justin Timberlake (who co-wrote "Falling Down" and can be heard on "Nite Runner.") The band had generated some momentum after their 2001 reunion and the
    subsequent release of 2004's "Astronaut" which featured the original lineup for the first time since 1985...the follow-up album, which is alluded to above, was called Reportage and shelved as noted above...this seems to have been a factor in guitarist Andy Taylor leaving the band yet again...

    Comments from the band on the RCM project fall along predictable lines: Roger and John, shut out of much of the songwriting (drums/bass), don't like it at all.
    Simon and Nick, however, both have commented that they feel it will stand the test of time and don't seem to hate it as much.

    If you want to start a firestorm on a Duran forum or message board, bring this album up...personally, I think it's okay--for a hip-hop album, it still
    seems to contain songs that have that classic Duran sound ("Box Full of Honey" and "Falling Down" come to mind). "Skin Divers" grew on me
    but I think everyone can agree that Duran went in a better direction when they hooked up with Mark Ronson for the next album...
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