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Arcadia recorded just one LP, So Red the Rose, which went platinum. It reached no.30 in the UK and no.23 in the USA, and included the UK/USA top 10 single "Election Day," as well as "The Flame," "The Promise," and "Goodbye Is Forever". Simon Le Bon described So Red the Rose as "the most pretentious album ever made", while Allmusic referred to it as "the best album Duran Duran never made". Musicians who contributed to the record included guitarists David Gilmour of the legendary Pink Floyd and Carlos Alomar, pianist Herbie Hancock, Sting sang backing vocals on "The Promise"), Grace Jones (who provided brief but dramatic spoken-word interludes on "The Flame" and "Election Day"), bass guitar player Mark Egan of the Pat Metheny Group (whose very distinctive fretless sound can be clearly recognised in "The Promise", "El Diablo" and "Lady Ice") and David Van Tieghem, a percussionist from New York.

Arcadia also recorded the track "Say the Word" for the Playing for Keeps movie soundtrack.

Arcadia continued the Duran Duran theme of a slick image, tasteful fashions and hair-styles. For the Arcadia incarnation of their ever-changing band aesthetic, Rhodes, Le Bon, and Roger Taylor donned an upmarket 'gothic' look of black tuxes, vintage formal wear, and bowties. They also dyed their hair jet black, as seen when they performed (as Duran Duran, with Andy Taylor and John Taylor) at the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, USA.

Arcadia did a variety of promotional appearances on TV, but they never went on tour, and ended the project after a year in 1986 when Duranduran re-formed with Le Bon, Rhodes, and bassist John Taylor to record their next record Notorious. During the tour to support the Notorious LP, Duran Duran played Arcadia's single "Election Day" and also "Some Like it Hot" from the Power Station album. Drummer Roger Taylor retired from DD and the business in general for 15 years after the release of the Arcadia record, but returned for the reunion of the original Duran Duran five in 2001.

Arcadia were the band formed in 1985 by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor of DD, during a break from their schedule. However, Roger Taylor appeared in very few of Arcadia's promotional photographs and did not appear in the music videos, and stated he only wanted to be involved in the recording side of Arcadia's work (he also had small involvement in The Power Station, the other Duran project supergroup). The name Arcadia was said to be inspired by the Nicolas Poussin painting Et in Arcadia ego (which is also known as "The Arcadian Shepherds").