80s Music

Duran Duran – An Iconic 80s Pop Group

Formed in Birmingham in 1978, Duran Duran is a new wave synthpop band that quickly grew from being alternative sensations to mainstream pop from 1982 to 1984. The band was considered to be a part of the New Romantics scene along with other bands such as Spandau Ballet, but Duran Duran decided to shed the image and started to redefine themselves by using fashion and intelligent marketing and started building a more refined appearance. The band was one of the leading artists in the  “Second British Invasion” in the US thanks to MTV. Duran Duran has had 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK singles chart and 21 songs in the Billboard hot 100. They have also reportedly sold almost 100 million records worldwide.

Albums and Hit Singles

Over the course of their musical career, Duran Duran was able to release several studio albums that was able to produce numerous hit singles such as

Albums

  • Duran Duran (1981)
  • Rio (1982)
  • Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
  • Notorious (1986)
  • Big Thing (1988)
  • Liberty (1990)
  • Duran Duran (1993) also known as The Wedding Album
  • Thank You (1995)
  • Medazzaland (1997)
  • Pop Trash (2000)
  • Astronaut (2004)
  • Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
  • All You Need Is Now (2010)
  • Paper Gods (2015)

Hit Singles

  • Ordinary World
  • Come Undone
  • Hungry Like The Wolf
  • Save a Prayer
  • Girls on Film
  • The Wild Boys
  • The Reflex
  • Is There Something I Should Know?
  • New Moon on Monday
  • The Chauffeur
  • Rio
  • Planet Earth
  • Serious
  • Union of the Snake
  • Sunrise
  • Skin Trade
  • Notorious
  • A Matter of Feeling
  • My Own Way
  • I Don’t Want Your Love
  • New Religion
  • White Lines
  • Pressure Off
  • Do You Believe in Shame
  • Hold Back The Rain

Formation and Early Years

Duran Duran

Duran Duran was started by John Taylor and Nick Rhodes in 1978 in Birmingham, England. They work at the city’s Rum Runner nightclub where they were doing jobs such as John working at the door and Nick being the DJ in the club. They also began rehearsing and regularly playing at the club. They got the name Duran Duran from a science fiction film character named “Dr. Durand Durand”.

Their first singer was Stephen Duffy. Shortly after Simon Colley joined Taylor, Duffy and Rhodes as the band’s bass player. This was Duran Duran’s first complete line up when they started playing live shows. Colley eventually left the band when Andy Taylor was added. The band then held auditions for new guitarists and vocalist because Stephen Duffy also left the band in 1973.

The band eventually recruited Andy Wickett as the band’s vocalist. Wickett also had a big part in the band’s song writing process. He was featured in the band’s demo album that was presented to EMI. But just like Colley and Duffy, Wickett also left the band and was replaced by Simon Le Bon in the 1980’s. Prior to that, they added Roger Taylor in 1979 as their drummer.

With this line up, they started recording demos and when they finally made it in the music scene, and because of their style and dance band genre, they were considered to be a part of the New Romantics scene together with Spandau Ballet and Visage.

Duran Duran was one of the first bands who was known to work on their own remixes of songs. They created multi-layered arrangements of their songs and sometimes they recorded entirely different and extended versions of their songs.

One thing that is was a key part of Duran Duran’s success is all the five members are photogenic. People, especially teenagers, quickly latched onto their good looks. Teen magazines back in the 80’s often had at least one picture of a sDuran Duran’s member on it.

Duran Duran’s Music Evolution

The band’s first ever album is a self-titled album that was released in 1981 under EMI Records. Their first single entitled “Planet Earth” reached number 12 in the UK Top 20. Their follow up single “Careless Memories” reached number 37 on the UK top 40. Their third single “Girls on Film” was their ultimate shot to stardom, it reached number 5 in the UK and their music video featuring girls who were mud wrestling, and pillow fighting made quite a noise but it was heavily edited for MTV.

In May 1982, Duran Duran released their second album entitled “Rio”. Four songs on this album scored a place in the UK Top Singles and those were “My Own Way”, “Save a Prayer”, “Hungry Like The Wolf”, and “Rio”. This was when Duran Duran set off to start touring in Australia, Japan and the US. They had become so popular that Diana Princess of Wales even publicly declared that Duran Duran was her favorite band. They were then called the “Fab Five” by the British press as a comparison to the Beatles who were known as the “Fab Four”.

Duran Duran continued to have success overseas particularly across America. Their single “Is There Something I Should Know” reached the top then and it became Duran Duran’s first number 1 single. And their first album quickly climbed to the number ten spot. During the holidays of 1983, they released “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”. That song hit number one in the UK charts and number eight in the U.S.

But by 1985, the fame of Duran Duran began to fade. After they competing “A View To Kill”, a song for a James Bond film, they went on a hiatus. Andy and John Taylor both formed a group named The Power Station and had successful singles like “Some Like it Hot” and “ Get It On”. While Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor went on to play on their side project entitled “Arcadia” and released an album entitled “So Red The Rose”.

Present Projects

In March of 2001, Andy, John, and Roger Taylor worked with each other to arrange a reunion. Rhodes and Le Bon then confirmed the reunion. They recorded on and off for the next three years while touring. In 2004, Duran Duran released their album entitled “ Astronaut”. And in 2007, with producer Timbaland, they released their album “Red Carpet Massacre.” without Andy Taylor.

Duran Duran recorded their 14th album in 2013 and was finished in September 2015 this is their “Paper Gods” album that was produced by Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers. It also features different artists like Janelle Monae, Mew, Kiesza, and Jonas Bjerre.

 

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