Duran Duran – A Look Back Featuring The Fab Five

You’ve never heard of Duran Duran?  Well, then…

Duran Duran is a rock group from England, originally from Birmingham. They are part of the New Romantic movement associated with the new wave music of the 1980’s. They are also known for their cinematic, groundbreaking videos on MTV which helped launch the channel to new heights.

This band was formed in 1978 by Nick Rhodes (keyboards) and John Taylor (bass). They were joined by Roger Taylor (drums), Andy Taylor (guitar) and Simon Le Bon (vocals). The three Taylors cited are unrelated to one another, and Roger Taylor shares his name with another famed Roger Taylor, of Queen. 

Here is a picture of the classic line-up of Duran Duran, with (left to right) Andy, Simon, John, Nick, and Roger.

duran duran 1981

Band members changed over the years, and, at various points, included guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (1986 to 2001) who replaced Andy Taylor, who left in 1986, and drummer Steve Ferrone (1986-1989, 1993) as well as Sterling Campbell (1989 to 1991), replacing Roger Taylor, who left in 1985.  Following the departure of Warren Cuccurullo in 2001, the group eventually returned to its initial formation.  Andy Taylor left the “Fab Five” again in the summer of 2006.

In 2007, while Duran Duran was receiving a Brit Award honour for lifetime achievement, Billboard said that group sales exceed eighty million albums worldwide, a stunning achievement for any group or artist. Other sources indicate sales amounting to 100 million discs.  Not bad!

duran duran

Band Beginnings (1978-1980)

The classic lineup is as follows:

  • Bassist John Taylor , founding member of the band.
  • Keyboardist Nick Rhodes , founding member of the group
  • Drummer Roger Taylor joined the band in 1979.
  • Singer Simon Le Bon joined the band in 1980.

Nigel John Taylor and Nick Rhodes (his real name Nicholas James Bates) formed Duran Duran in Birmingham in the United Kingdom in 1978 when they are not yet 18 years old. The group’s name came from the mad scientist Dr. Durand Durand of the Franco-Italian film of 1968 Barbarella by Roger Vadim. They had, for a time, thought to call themselves RAF (for Royal Air Force), but that was not to be.

Steven Dufait, whom John Taylor met at the University of Central England in Birmingham, then joined the group. They started doing rehearsals: Nick was on the keyboard and drum machine, John Taylor on guitar, while Steven sang while playing the bass.

Then, in April 1978, they performed on the stage of the university’s amphitheater, to an audience of just ten people. A few days later, Simon Colley, a friend and restaurant employee to Nick and Nigel, also joined. While they were on stage at the nightclub Barbarella’s, they met one Roger Taylor.

In 1979, Simon Colley and Steven Dufait left the group to found The Subterranean Hawks with other artists Birmingham. Nick Rhodes and John Taylor then were desperately seeking a singer. They found him in the person of Andy Wickett, who until then was a member of the group TV Eye. Ironically, the Subterranean Hawks often made fun of the Duran Duran members who were less “rock” and too disco . One day, they will even find the inscription “Le Disco ça pue” (Disco Stinks) written in blood red on their door. Taking these remarks in stride, Duran Duran continued to practice and began to develop songs that would become their future hits, like “Girls on Film”.

The group then looked for a drummer. One evening, when he was drunk, Andy Wickett accosted Roger Taylor, the drummer at the time for two punk groups: the Crucified Toad and Scent Organs. Roger saw at once that he had the same influences as Nick Rhodes and John Taylor: including The Cure, Siouxie and the Banshees, etc.

First Demo

In September 1979, the group managed to finance a demo of four songs, produced by Bob Lamb, producer of the group UB40, also originally from Birmingham. John Taylor, who then took drawing classes at the University of Central England in Birmingham, made the artwork for this record to send to record labels.

While John Taylor was performing multiple duties during these concerts, he convinced the rest of the group of the need to recruit a guitarist. They then made an announcement, drawing Londoner Alan Curtis in to join the group. But everything became more complicated for the group at a concert in Birmingham where the public launched ketchup at them.  Humiliated, Andy Wickett decided to leave the group. He is then replaced by Jeff Thomas, singer of the former group of John Taylor, Scent Organs.

While no label at the time responded positively to their first demo, the group continues to perform their first songs in Birmingham nightclubs, such as the Rum Runner, where they will work side jobs as a doorman, glass collector, handyman and man cook, and DJ . However, all of this is not really to the liking of Jeff Thomas and Alan Curtis, who do not get along with the brothers Berrow, owners of the Rum Runner.  Alan Curtis will not even attend the group’s first concert, dated 12th of March 1980.

Search for a Leader Singer

Nick Rhodes, John and Roger Taylor then become three. They placed an ad in Melody Maker to find a guitarist and a singer. Andy Taylor, though originally from Tynemouth, which is 300 km from Birmingham, went to the audition for Duran Duran at Rum Runner 17. When he arrived on the scene, he heard Duran Duran rehearsing and was immediately attracted by their sound: “I thought, good God, that’s excellent!”.

Andy later joined the group, welcomed by John and Roger, while Nick Rhodes was quite distant with him: “Nick did not appreciate me because I was wearing jeans, but Roger and Nick did not care.” This distance between Andy and Nick foreshadowed some future conflict in the history of the group.

Through a barmaid of the Rum Runner, the group met singer Simon Le Bon in May 1980. He then joined the band, which soon set up concerts in the night club for July 1980. The band signed an official management contract with the brothers Berrow, owners of the Rum Runner, via Tritec Music.

The 9th of July 1980, the group then played for the first time in its historical formation: Simon Le Bon on vocals , Nick Rhodes on keyboard, John Taylor on bass, Roger Taylor on drums and Andy Taylor on guitar.

Early Gigs and Label Love

In July 1980, the group refined some of its future songs, including Tel Aviv and a new version of Girls on Film, which would feature prominently on Duran Duran’s first studio album of 1981 . They also performed in the prestigious London nightclub, the Marquee Club. But the group still did not have a label. It was then that Michael Berrow, one of the owners of the Rum Runner, sold his house and with £15,000 finance a tour for the band.

Success was in the cards, and, a month later, labels like Phonogram and EMI were very interested in the group.

Duran Duran chose the second label because it was the label of the mythical Beatles. The group obtained a contract where it maintained a total artistic control. It was at this time that Nigel John Taylor officially took the name of John Taylor and Nick took that of Nick Rhodes (after having been credited Dior on some demos).

The group quickly went between studios (those of EMI in Manchester Square) and recorded several songs. The recording of these songs would be strongly influenced by the assassination of John Lennon on the 8th of December 1980.

Furthermore, the group was dissatisfied with their demos, and therefore appealed to the sound engineer and producer Colin Thurston. The group then recorded at the Red Bus studio in London, recording the titles Planet Earth and Careless Memories in their quasi-definitive versions. They continued recording in other studios (Utopia Studios and Chipping Norton).

First Single

The 2nd of February 1981, Duran Duran released his first single, Planet Earth, which immediately entered the British Top 20. In March of 198, the band appeared on the popular British show, Top of the Pops, on BBC One. The second single, Careless Memories, was released on April 20th, 1981.

They released their first studio album, the eponymous Duran Duran on June 15, 1981. It sold over 2.5 million copies and reached the 3rd place in the UK Albums Chart. The third and final single from the album is Girls on Film, released July 13th. It entered the Top 5. The clip is censored, especially by the BBC, which contributed to its worldwide success.

Duran Duran embarked on their first world tour, the Faster Than Light tour, which began in Europe. In France, the band performed at Captain Video in Paris the 8th of September 1981, but the public was not enthusiastic about the concert. Singer Simon Le Bon has mentioned he has a very bad memory of this first French concert.

The 16th of September 1981, Duran Duran began their tour of North America in New York. During a concert at the Savoy Theater, they met renowned artist, Andy Warhol.

After the release of the single, titled My Own Way, in November 1981, Duran Duran began to obtain worldwide recognition thanks to their second album Rio, released in May of 1982. This generated three hits that include “Hungry Like the Wolf” (May 4), “Save a Prayer” (August 9) and the title track “Rio” (the 1st of November). The Rio Tour tour took place in Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The Fab Five Arrives

In the middle of 1983, when the Rio album was a hit in the United States, the band re-released its first self-titled album Duran Duran with the addition of a new single; “Is There Something I Should Know?”  Then, in March of 1983, the album reached number one in the UK and fourth on the Billboard Hot 100 . At that time, Nick Rhodes also produced another tune, “Too Shy”, with the English group Kajagoogoo.

In May 1983, the band moved to a castle in the south of France, then to Montserrat and Sydney to record and mix their third album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger . This album produced three singles, Union of the Snake (in October 1983), New Moon on Monday (in January 1984) and the huge hit, The Reflex (April 1984), which quickly became a worldwide success for the band.  The album title refers to the five members of the group and their two managers (the Berrow brothers) who hope to worldwide fame with this album. That was the case. Its success is such that the group was baptized the “Fab Five”, with reference toBeatles , the “Fab Four”.

A real media phenomenon, Duran Duran began the “Sing Blue Silver Tour” in the United States and was the first group to use video on a large stage. The tour is filmed and gave us the “Sing Blue Silver” video document as well as the live album “Arena” in November 1984, which includes “The Wild Boys”, released in October 1984.

In February of 1985 the band re-released in the United States the tune “Save a Prayer”, ignored when first released in 1982. A new clip of “Girls on Film” was aired, shot directly from the film “Arena (An Absurd Notion)” directed by Russell Mulcahy. Less shocking, less erotic, but just as effective.

Nick Rhodes published “Interference”, a book of photographs entirely taken with a polaroid and ended up meeting his idol Andy Warhol.

In May 1985, the band released “A View to a Kill”, for the soundtrack of the 14th Bond film of the same name. This single is number one worldwide. This was also, at the time, the first song of a James Bond film that reaches number 1 in the US.

Arcadia and the Power Station

At the height of their notoriety, Duran Duran split into two projects. On the one hand, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor (and prestigious guests such as Sting , David Gilmour , Grace Jones, etc.) formed Arcadia with the album “So Red The Rose” and the single, Election Day. The name of the group comes from a painting by Nicolas Poussin.

On the other hand, John Taylor and Andy Taylor, in collaboration with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson, formed The Power Station with an album of the same name and the single, “Some Like It Hot”. For The Power Station, the band’s name came directly from the famous New York recording studio of the same name.

Duran Duran regrouped for the concert Live Aid on the 13th of July, 1985, at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, but it felt the separation.  This was the last concert with the original formation for a long time. Members were more interested in their new projects than being in Duran Duran. The bassist John Taylor has soloed the song “I Do What I Do” on the soundtrack of “9 And A Half Weeks”.

Warren Joins The Band (1986-1992) 

After a one-year break, Duran Duran resumed operations in 1986 without two of its founding members, Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor. The group is thus reduced to a trio: Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, without a drummer or guitarist. Andy Taylor would still take part in some recording sessions of the new studio album, Notorious, but no longer agreed with the band’s new music direction. He turned to a more solo rock career without success, but collaborated with his former colleague of The Power Station, Robert Palmer, for his solo album, which was a great success.  As for Roger Taylor, he no longer enjoyed media pressures and tours and went on to retire with his wife and children in Gloucestershire.

Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, collaborator of Frank Zappa and The Missing Persons, joined the trio. Steve Ferrone, a renowned studio drummer who played with David Bowie, did the same. The album was released in November with three singles: Notorious (October 1986), Skin Trade (February 1987) and Meet El Presidente (April 1987). A black and white documentary film, “Three To Get Ready”, showed the behind-the-scenes recording of the album. The group also released a VHS concert, “Working For The Skin Trade”.

In 1987, Duran Duran began their “Strange Behavior Tour”, again with Warren Cuccurullo on guitar, and Steve Ferrone on drums.

Big Thing

In October 1988, the album Big Thing was released with the singles “I Do Not Want Your Love” (September 1988), “All She Wants Is” (December 1988) and “Do You Believe In Shame?” (April 1989), with drummer Steve Ferrone and Warren Cuccurullo on guitar. The group then began a new world tour: Big Live Thing tour. Warren Cuccurullo and Sterling Campbell then became permanent members of Duran Duran.

Duran_duran_big_thing

In November 1989, Duran Duran released “Decade: Greatest Hits”, their first compilation, promoted by the megamix-single “Burning the Ground”. The construction of this single highlights the sampling of many of the group’s titles since its debut.

This second half of the 1980’s was less successful for the group in terms of overall success; but the music nevertheless turned to compositions which are more and more intimate in some ways.

In August 1990, Duran Duran released their sixth album, “Liberty”, with the singles “Violence of Summer” (July 1990) and “Serious” (October 1990). For the first time, the group chose not to tour to support the album, which did not receive the expected-as-usual mega success around the world.  Call it a lull.

In late 1990, Sterling Campbell left the band to go on tour with David Bowie. In the months that followed, the group set to work for the release of a new disc.

Return To Form (1993-1996)

In February 1993, a new eponymous album, “Duran Duran”, was born. To differentiate it from the previous eponymous album of the group in 1981, this opus was nicknamed “The Wedding Album”, with reference to the photographs of married couples on the cover, who are the parents of the members of the group.

duran duran wedding album

Duran Duran made its big comeback in the charts with “Ordinary World” (January), which became a huge hit in the world. It was followed by two other singles: “Come Undone” (April) and “Too Much Information” (August).

With this huge success, Duran Duran began a long world tour, “Dilate Your Mind”, which ended in 1994.  The group was then honoured with a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Notorious indeed.

duran duran hollywood walk of fame

During “Dilate Your Mind”, Duran Duran had already started working on their next album, which would be an album of occasions upon which the group members would pay homage to their musical influences from their teenage years.

“Thank You” was then released in April 1995.  In addition to the singles “Perfect Day” (March) and “White Lines” (in June), we can hear covers of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, Iggy Pop, The Doors, The Temptations, Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five, and Sly and The Family Stone.  Here is “Perfect Day”, a cover of Lou Reed.

During the tour that accompanied the album, the group also included “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie. On the extra singles for Thank You, they also re-work “The Needle and The Damage Done” by Neil Young and “Diamond Dogs” by David Bowie. Although leaving the band in 1985, Roger Taylor returned to the band and played two songs on the album, including Perfect Day, and even appeared in the clip.

In late 1996, bassist and co-founder of Duran Duran John Taylor decided to leave the group for a solo career. Warren Cuccurullo will replace him in the studio. John nevertheless collaborated with them on three tracks that would end up on Medazzaland before leaving them.

John created the band Neurotic Outsiders with Steve Jones (formerly Sex Pistols), Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan (formerly Guns N ‘Roses ). A single eponymous album will emerge from this ephemeral association.

That year, The Power Station also re-formed with a second album titled Living In Fear”, but without John Taylor.

Downloadable Medazzaland

Duran Duran became a trio again: Simon Le Bon (vocals), Nick Rhodes (keyboard) and Warren Cuccurullo (guitar and bass). Without a permanent drummer or bassist, they nevertheless started working on a new album, as Duran Duran always does. It took the title “Medazzaland” and was released in October of 1997. It contained the single “Out of My Mind” (March 1997), which was used in the movie “The Holy One”. The second single “Electric Barbarella” was released in September 1997 but could also be downloaded on the Internet, back when the Internet was new.  Ever the trailblazers, Duran Duran was one of the first groups to use this method.

Medazzaland was the first and only album to date of Duran Duran not to be released around the world. Indeed, this album was to be released in North America and Japan, after breaking their contract with EMI, after 17 years of collaboration. In spite of everything, Duran Duran began an American tour called “Ultra Chrome, Latex and Steel Tour” with Wes Wehmiller (former Missing Persons) on bass guitar and Steve Alexander on drums.

Website Launch

duranduran.com 1998

In 1998, EMI released two compilations: “Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran” (in March), which included all of the hits of the group in extended versions for the nightclub, then “Greatest” (in November). The group started the “Greatest and Latest Hits Tour” in the UK, then the “Let it Flow Tour” in the United States, with Wess Wehmiller on bass and Steve Alexander on drums.

In March 1999, EMI released a new compilation, this time of remixes, entitled “Strange Behaviour”.

Pop Trash

Duran Duran signed with Hollywood Records, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, and began to prepare their next album. In June 2000, Duran Duran gave us “Pop Trash”. Despite praise from some critics, this album had only very little success (135th position on Billboard) and contains only one single, “Someone Else Not Me”, released in May of 2000. This title was to be recorded in Spanish and would become “Alguien Que No Soy Yo”, and, in French, “Une Autre Que Moi”.  The single video was the first in the world to be totally made with flash animations.

The group began the “Pop Trash Tour” in the United States with bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers (collaborator of Frank Zappa ). It was followed by a Christmas tour in England, marked by the use for the first time of Augmented Reality, a 2D and 3D graphics technology with visual effects that allowed animated characters to appear on stage with the group, like Elvis Presley during “Hallucinating Elvis”.

In 2001, Duran Duran continued their Pop Trash Tour in eastern Europe and returned to the United States for the “Close Up Tour” which ended the tour for that album. During this period, Simon Le Bon found John Taylor and talked about a possible reformation with the original line-up.

In spite of this news which was beginning to start the rumour mill turning, the group ended the tour with Warren Cuccurullo in Japan in June 2001.

warren cuccurullo

These were the last concerts of Cuccurullo with Duran Duran, which he left definitively in the middle of 2001, after a collaboration that lasted 15 years and produced seven albums. This would leave the field open to the return of former members. Also in 2001, the band’s relationship with Hollywood Records got more complicated.

Former members John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor then re-joined Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon to reform Duran Duran, and they were back to the first draft that started it all.

Return of The Fab Five (2002-2006)

Throughout 2002, the group was working on a new album. In July of this same year, Nick Rhodes found Stephen Duffy, original Duran Duran singer, to form the ephemeral group The Devils, and release the album “Dark Circles”.

the devils dark circles

In 2003, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Duran Duran, the band toured Japan, the United States, and England. This period and this tour marked the return of all original members who had not met for 18 years; while Duran Duran then proceeded to dominate the charts of the world. Tickets were sold out in a few minutes and dates had to be added for shows to allow everyone a chance to see the group.

The band joined Robbie Williams during his tour in Australia and New Zealand. At the same time as the tour, the group refined the writing of their new album.

EMI took advantage of the remastered reissues of the albums Rio, Duran Duran, and Seven and the Ragged Tiger and also a box of 13 singles from the period 1981-1985.

In March 2004, a new song, Beautiful Colors, was presented during a video presentation at the 100th anniversary of FIFA 41. In April 2004, Duran Duran was back in the UK with 17 dates “sold out” including 5 concerts at Wembley Arena in London. The last two concerts are filmed for a future DVD.

With this revival, the band signed to Epic Records and released the album “Astronaut” in October 2004. The last album with the original members was Seven and the Ragged Tiger released in 1983. The first single, (Reach Up For The) Sunrise, entered directly at the top of various world charts. The band embarked on an endless promotional tour around the world.

The documentary “Sing Blue Silver” was reissued on DVD as well as the film / concert “Arena / Making of Arena”. For its part, EMI released the second box made up of the singles of the period 1986-1995.

In January 2005, “What Happens Tomorrow”, the second single from Astronaut, was released. Duran Duran started its Astronaut Tour in the United States with a visit to Madison Square Garden in New York, followed by a summer tour to Europe, which ran through Live 8 in July at the Circus Maximus in Rome. It continued in Japan, and ended in December in the United Kingdom with two concerts at the Earls Court in London. The film “Live from London”, recorded during the British tour of April 2004, was shown in cinemas throughout the United States.

After pausing briefly, Duran Duran entered the studio to write the successor to Astronaut. But the album, to be titled “Reportage”, would never see the light due to musical differences between the members.

In February 2006, the group performed at the Olympic Games in Turin. In August, Duran Duran gave a concert in Monaco for the Red Cross where they recorded their version of “Instant Karma!” by John Lennon, a reprise that was included on the compilation-tribute on behalf of Amnesty International, Campaign to Save Darfur. This was the last concert with guitarist Andy Taylor, who announced his departure a few months later. He rejected the new musical direction that the group wanted to initiate, not rock enough for his tastes then.

The Duran Duran found themselves made up of four members then: Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor, and without a permanent guitarist. The group then decided to work with producers Timbaland and Danja, as well as with Justin Timberlake for their next album.

At the end of 2006, Duran Duran began a mini tour in Eastern Europe and in the United States with Dom Brown on guitar.

Red Carpet Massacre and World Tour (2007-2009)

At the beginning of 2007, the group returned to studio in London to finalize their next album. In July, Duran Duran performed two performances in the new Wembley Stadium in London. The first was a concert in tribute to Diana and the second was for Live Earth. Duran Duran was the only group to participate in both events.

In November, they performed a series of 10 concerts at the Ethel Barrymore Theater for the launch of their new album Red Carpet Massacre. Only one single was released, “Falling Down”, and the album, unlike its predecessor, had little success. In December 2007, Duran Duran gave a single concert at the Lyceum Theater in London.

In March 2008, Duran Duran kicked off his Red Carpet Massacre World Tour in New Zealand . The tour continueed through Australia, Asia, and then the United States.

In the summer of 2008, the Red Carpet Massacre World Tour went to Europe. Two special concerts were held in Paris during this summer tour. The first took place in June at the Musée du Louvre. Duran Duran was the first group to be allowed to play in the museum. The second was a private concert that took place in July at La Cigale with Mark Ronson. At the end of 2008, the tour went to South America and ended in December in the United States.

In early 2009, they joined Mark Ronson in the studio in London to record their 13th studio album. June-July 2009, Duran Duran started the Summer Tour 2009, a mini summer tour with dates in Russia, the United States, which finished in England.

EMI launched the deluxe edition of the album Rio with many bonuses as a dual-vinyl limited edition, as well as the DVD-CD “Live at Hammersmith ’82!” on 21 September 2009.

Back To The Winning Formula (2010-2012)

In January 2010, Duran Duran recorded a cover of “Boys Keep Swinging” for the David Bowie covers album, “We Were So Turned On”, which was released on September 14, 2010.  In March of 2011, the band was in Austin for the South by Southwest festival.

EMI continued to re-release deluxe editions of the old Duran Duran albums. On March 29, 2010, the first eponymous album Duran Duran and Seven and the Ragged Tiger was released as two CD’s with bonuses in a two CD + DVD set along with posters and postcards, as well as a limited edition double vinyl. 

seven and the ragged tiger deluxe edition

On September 27, 2010, it was time for the re-release of Notorious and Big Thing albums to come out swinging with the same features as the previous reissues.

It was also in September of 2010 that Duran Duran announced on his official site the name of their thirteenth album: “All You Need Is Now”, produced by Mark Ronson. It was then released on December 21, 2010 for legal download on iTunes.  A special version was done for Europe, “From Mediterranea With Love”, containing 3 bonus tracks, including two “live” tracks. A CD collector deluxe version and vinyl was released on March 22, 2011 complete with bonus tracks.

This new album, “All You Need Is Now”, saw from its outset a craze that the group had not experienced in years. It was hailed as an instant classic by critics as well as by fans, who considered this album a return to the roots of the band’s sound, and one of the best Duran Duran albums ever.  It ranked quickly at the top of most download platforms (number one in fifteen countries), as well as its first single, All You Need Is Now, followed by two other singles, Girl Panic! and Leave a Light On.

The band announced its All You Need Is Now arena tour at the end of January 2011, a tour in the United States starting in April 2011 followed by eleven dates in England scheduled for May-June and then staying in Europe until August. But, Duran Duran unfortunately had to cancel its English and European tour dates due to Simon Le Bon’s voice problems. After that, Duran Duran hit the road with a second tour in North America for September and October.

In March 2011, David Lynch filmed and mixed their live show on YouTube. The project is named “Unstaged” and is sponsored by American Express for Vevo. Guests joined them on stage: Beth Ditto, Gerard Way, Kelis, and Mark Ronson.

On November 8, 2011, the video for “Girl Panic!” was launched. This was the second video of the album All You Need Is Now. It includes top models Yasmin Le Bon, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, and Helena Christensen and lasts more than 9 minutes and was directed by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund.

The video presented the top models playing the role of the 4 musicians interviewed and on stage, while these have ancillary roles, all interspersed with scenes that are supposed to represent the life of the group.

The clip is forbidden to be broadcast by MTV and VH1, considered to be too sexual (we see drunk girls kissing, several times, for instance) and too full of “advertising” (the clip is sponsored by Harper’s Bazaar on tour at the Savoy Hotel in London).  30 years ago it was the Girls On Film clip that was banned, and here we can also see excerpts from Girls on Film.

At the beginning of July 2012, “A Diamond in the Mind: Live 2011”, a live concert recorded on the 16th of December 2011 at the Manchester Evening News Arena, was released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.

On July 27, at the Hyde Park in London, the group played for the London Olympic Games ceremony. They represented England.

The end of the tour, which was to take place in the United States and Canada was sadly canceled after a few concerts, due to Nick Rhodes’ illness. This was the end of the All You Need Is Now Arena Tour.

In September 2012, John Taylor released his autobiography, called “In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran”.

in the pleasure groove

Paper Gods (2013-2015)

After a break of several months, Duran Duran, in collaboration with Mark Ronson, was back in studio from March 2013 for their fourteenth album. On April 23, 2014, the group confirmed on its official site that the former guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante, was working with them on this new album, and Nile Rodgers of classic funk disco band Chic also took part in the recording sessions.

The 15th of June 2015, the band announced the title of the new album: “Paper Gods”. The single “Pressure Off” was launched on the 19th of June, 2015.

The album was released to the world on the 11th of September, 2015, and featured collaborations with Nile Rodgers, Mr Hudson, John Frusciante, actress Lindsay Lohan, and Janelle Monáe.

The cover of Paper Gods, composed of several small vignettes, refers to the past of the group: the lips painted by Patrick Nagel for the album Rio, as well as a pink phone and a chauffeur cap which is an allusion to the last song from the album Rio, The Chauffeur.

duran-duran-paper-gods-album-cover-art

The sumo, the feminine silhouette, and the glass of champagne represent the controversial clip – the single, Girls on Film, taken from the group’s first album. The image of the tiger harkens back to Seven and the Ragged Tiger. The ice cream cone is a reference to the single Perfect Day, from their album of covers, Thank You. The deluxe CD version is sold with the stickers separately, so you can make your own.

Where will Duran Duran go next?  It is exciting to consider the possibilities…

Group Members (Past and Present)

  • Simon Le Bon  : singing (1980-present)
  • Nick Rhodes  : Keyboards , Synthesizers , Voice Effects (1978-present)
  • John Taylor  : bass , choirs (1979-1997, 2001-present) , guitars (1978-1980)
  • Roger Taylor  : drums (1979-1986, 1994, 2001-present)
  • Former members [ edit | change the code ]
  • Stephen Duffy  : vocals, drums (1978-1979) , bass (1978)
  • Simon Colley: Bass (1978-1980)
  • Andy Wickett  : vocals (1979-1980)
  • Alan Curtis: guitars (1979-1980)
  • Jeff Thomas: singing (1980)
  • Andy Taylor  : guitars, choirs (1980-1986, 2001-2006)
  • Warren Cuccurullo  : guitars, choirs (1989-2001)
  • Sterling Campbell  : drums (1989-1991)

Touring Musicians

  • Dom Brown  : guitars, choirs (2006-present)
  • Wes Wehmiller  : bass, choirs (1997-2001)
  • Warren Cuccurullo  : guitars, choruses (1986-2001)
  • Steve Ferrone : drums (1987-1988)
  • Sterling Campbell  : drums (1989)

 

 

Duran Duran Discography

Studio Albums

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

Live Albums

  • 1984  : Arena
  • 2009  : Live at Hammersmith ’82!
  • 2012  : A Diamond in the Mind: Live 2011

Compilations and Remixes

  • 1989  : Decade: Greatest Hits
  • 1998  : Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran
  • 1998  : Greatest
  • 1999  : Strange Behavior
  • 2003  : Singles Box Set 1981-1985
  • 2004  : Singles Box Set 1986-1995
  • 2007  : The Essential Collection

Music Videos

  • “Planet Earth” (1981)
  • “Careless Memories” (1981)
  • “Girls on Film” (1981)
  • “Friends of Mine” (1981)
  • “My Own Way” (1981)
  • “Hungry Like the Wolf” (1982)
  • “Save a Prayer” (1982)
  • “Lonely in Your Nightmare” (1982)
  • “Rio” (1982)
  • “Night Boat” (1982)
  • “The Chauffeur” (1982)
  • “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” (1982)
  • “Is There Something I Should Know?” (1983)
  • “Union of the Snake” (1983)
  • “New Moon on Monday” (1984)
  • “The Reflex” (1984)
  • “The Wild Boys” (1984)
  • “Save a Prayer” (Live) (1985)
  • “A View to a Kill” (1985)
  • “Notorious” (1986)
  • “Skin Trade” (1987)
  • “Meet El Presidente” (1987)
  • “I Don’t Want Your Love” (1988)
  • “All She Wants Is” (1988)
  • “Do You Believe in Shame?” (1989)
  • “Burning the Ground” (1989)
  • “Violence of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)” (1990)
  • “Serious” (1990)
  • “Ordinary World” (1993)
  • “Come Undone” (1993)
  • “Too Much Information” (1993)
  • “Breath After Breath” (1993)
  • “Femme Fatale” (1993)
  • “Perfect Day” (1995)
  • “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” (1995)
  • “Out of My Mind” (1997)
  • “Electric Barbarella” (1997)
  • “Someone Else Not Me” (2000)
  • “(Reach Up for The) Sunrise” (2004)
  • “What Happens Tomorrow” (2005)
  • “Falling Down” (2007)
  • “All You Need Is Now” (2010)
  • “Girl Panic!” (2011)
  • “Hungry Like The Wolf (Steve Aoki Remix)” (2012)
  • “Pressure Off” (2015)
  • “Last Night In The City” (2016)

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