Duran Duran ended up being much more new wave than rock and roll, and much more cerebral in their song development than their contemporaries.
They were from a technical perspective solid music artists with a lead vocalist songwriter possessed of a flair for the dramatic and they dominated the MTV roost for many years.
The mid 1980’s saw the band splinter into two distinct groups, Arcadia and Power Station, but neither of them experienced the outrageous success the original five-some did.
By 1983, Duran Duran was well-established as an international success and among the top rated acts from the era. Their 3rd album spawned a number of hit singles and sold in fantastic numbers. More than a quarter century later, EMI has remastered and expanded the albums.
In the year 2003, Duran Duran marked their twenty fifth anniversary with a fantastic attempt at a comeback. The band, with all 5 original members for the first time since 1985, set out on a hugely successful live concert tour in the fall that set the stage for even bigger things to come. They played small venues that mostly sold-out easily.
Even those who dislike New Wave music must give these pretty boys credit for perseverance. While other 80s music icons like A Flock of Seagulls and Missing Persons have reformed for their own money grabs by cycling through their modest collection of well-known tunes, Duran Duran avoided that living death by going into the studio and surfacing with new album’s of convincing new stuff that neither succumbs to nostalgia nor mindlessly duplicates present-day styles.
Probably the most glamorous of the new romantic artists, Birmingham’s Duran Duran (named after the evil scientist from the 1960s film Barbarella), looked excellent in the ambitious music videos that supported their numerous Top Ten hits. These 80s hits included ‘Girls On Film’ (1981), ‘Hungry Like A Wolf’ and ‘Rio’ (1982), ‘The Reflex’ and ‘Wild Boys’ (1984).
The tracks were a combination of sexually charged, up-tempo pop and beguiling ballads, which played beautifully to the hedonism of the decade. The albums merged these techniques to varying impact, with 1982’s album Rio, which broke the band in the The USA in 1983, and which is among the best from the earlier Duran Duran albums.
In 1985, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor worked on the side project Arcadia, while Andy Taylor and John Taylor indulged in the group Power Station. Right after these excursions a lot of the magic appeared to have vanished, with the exception of 1993’s The Wedding Album, which yielded the smash hit ‘Ordinary World’.
Not until 2003, ten years later, did the boys seem to making a genuine comeback. With the original lineup intact once again, Duran Duran introduced the Astronaut album to critical acclaim, several hit singles and a successful tour.
Now they are back again with the All You Need Is Now album. Welcome back Duran Duran and good luck.