At Home with Literati: Annie Zaleski & Kevin Smokler

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 7:00pm

We're pleased to welcome Annie Zaleski to our At Home with Literati Series in support of Duran Duran's Rio (33 1/3 #156). She'll be joined in conversation by Kevin Smokler.

Click here to join the webinar event on 8/4. No pre-registration required!

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About the book: In the '80s, the Birmingham, England, band Duran Duran became closely associated with new wave, an idiosyncratic genre that dominated the decade's music and culture. No album represented this rip-it-up-and-start-again movement better than the act's breakthrough 1982 LP, Rio. A cohesive album with a retro-futuristic sound-influences include danceable disco, tangy funk, swaggering glam, and Roxy Music's art-rock-the full-length sold millions and spawned smashes such as Hungry Like the Wolf and the title track.

However, Rio wasn't a success everywhere at first; in fact, the LP had to be buffed-up with remixes and reissued before it found an audience in America. The album was further buoyed by colorful music videos, which established Duran Duran as leaders of an MTV-driven second British Invasion, and the group's cutting-edge visual aesthetic. Via extensive new interviews with band members and other figures who helped Rio succeed, this book explores how and why Rio became a landmark pop-rock album, and examines how the LP was both a musical inspiration-and a reflection of a musical, cultural, and technology zeitgeist.


Annie Zaleski is an award-winning freelance journalist, editor, and critic based in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, she was on staff at the Riverfront Times and Alternative Press. Her profiles, interviews, and criticism have appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, NPR Music, The Guardian, Salon, Time, Billboard, The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Los Angeles Times, Stereogum, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Las Vegas Weekly. She also writes liner notes, including for the 2016 reissue of R.E.M.'s Out of Time.

Ann Arbor native Kevin Smokler is a writer, documentary filmmaker and host with a focus on popular culture.  He’s the author of the books Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies, the essay collection Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books you Haven’t Touched Since High School, and the editor of “Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times. His essays and criticism have appeared in the LA TimesSalonFast Company,  and on National Public Radio. In 2020, he directed the documentary film Vinyl Nation about the comeback of vinyl records in America. 

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Duran Duran's Rio (33 1/3 #156) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501355189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - May 6th, 2021