My Legends of Pop Music – Part Thirty-Nine – Duran Duran

If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.

So, in a sort of chronological order, my thirty seventh ninth legends are: Duran Duran.

Some may view Duran Duran as a boy band, and de-facto dislike them.  Not me though.  I have always enjoyed their music and found them to be very professional, producing some great tunes.

Curtesy of Wiki:

Duran Duran are an English new wave band formed in Birmingham in 1978. The group was a leading band in the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US in the 1980s. The group was formed by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, with the later addition of drummer Roger Taylor, and after numerous personnel changes, guitarist Andy Taylor (none of the Taylors are related) and lead singer Simon Le Bon. These five members featured in the most commercially successful line-up.

When Duran Duran emerged they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet and Visage.  The video age catapulted Duran Duran into the mainstream with the introduction of the 24-hour music channel MTV. Many of their videos were shot on 35 mm film, which gave a much more polished look than was standard at the time. They also collaborated with professional film directors to take the quality a step further, often teaming up with Australian director Russell Mulcahy for some of their most memorable video offerings. In 1984, the band was an early innovator with video technology in its live stadium shows. The band was one of the most successful acts of the 1980s, though by the end of the decade, membership and music style changes challenged the band before a resurgence in the early 1990s.

After a couple of minor singles, the band’s first major hit was “Girls on Film” (1981), from their self-titled debut album, the popularity of which was enhanced by a controversial music video, which in heavily edited form, played in rotation on MTV. The band’s breakthrough album was Rio (1982), their second album, which peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US, number two in the United Kingdom, and number one in Australia and Canada. The songs “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf“, which featured cinematic music videos, became two of their biggest hits, with the latter winning the inaugural Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 1984. Their follow-up third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger became their only UK number one album; it also reached top ten status in the US, Canada, Australia, and several other countries, and featured the US and UK number one single “The Reflex“. In 1985, the band topped the US charts with the single “A View to a Kill” from the soundtrack of the film of the same name. Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor both left before the recording of the band’s fourth album, 1986’s Notorious, which was produced by Nile Rogers and featured the top ten single, also named “Notorious“. The band spent the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s continuing to release albums and singles, to only moderate success. Their comeback album, 1993’s Duran Duran (commonly called The Wedding Album) returned the band to their former superstar status, featuring two top-ten worldwide hits “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone“. A 1995 album of cover songs, Thank You, produced a minor hit in the critically acclaimed cover of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day“, but was otherwise critically panned. After John Taylor left in 1997, the band released a number of albums and singles which (compared to prior releases) underperformed on the sales charts. A full reunion of the original line-up of Le Bon, Rhodes, and all three Taylors in 2001 led to a number of highly successful concert tours and the 2004 album Astronaut, which reached number 3 in the UK and top 40 in numerous other countries. The album’s lead single “(Reach Up for The) Sunrise” was an international dance hit, and reached number five in the UK. Andy Taylor left again in 2006, and the band has released four additional albums, with the most recent being Future Past in October, 2021.

Duran Duran has sold over 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They achieved 30 top 40 singles in the U.K., 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The band have won numerous awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a Video Visionary Award from the MTV Europe Music Awards. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.

A full discography is here: Duran Duran

Girls on Film (Live from London) 2008

Planet Earth (TOTP 1981 HD)

Careless Memories (Official Music Video) 1981

My Own Way (TOTP) 1981

Hungry Like The Wolf – 1982 – Live at the London Palladium

Save A Prayer (Official Live Video) 1984.  I do like this.

Rio – Top Of The Pops 1982

Is There Something I should Know –  Live in California 1984

Union Of The Snake (Live Aid 1985)

New Moon On Monday (Official Music Video) 2009

The Reflex – Duran Duran Appreciation Day 2013, Live from Hyde Park!

Wild Boys – live at BBC Music Day, Eden Project 2016

A View To A Kill (Official Music Video) – In my opinion the best Bond Theme tune. *Stands back, holds pint*

Notorious – Later… with Jools Holland – BBC Two – 2015

My favourite from the later era is this one:  Ordinary World (Official Music Video) 1993.  Bet some of you will recognise it but not realised who it was!

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to previous Legend articles:

1-Buddy Holly 2-Elvis Presley 3-Everly brothers 4-Cliff Richard 5-Joe Brown
6-Gerry and the Pacemakers 7-Roy Orbison 8-The Seekers 9-The Hollies 10-The Rolling Stones
11-Beach Boys 12-The Monkees 13-Rod Stewart 14-T-Rex 15-Slade
16-10CC 17-Pussycat 18-The Kinks 19-Blondie 20-Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music
21-David Bowie 22-Meatloaf 23-The Temptations 24-Dusty Springfield 25-Fleetwood Mac
26-Gilbert O’Sullivan 27-The Four Tops 28-Chas ‘n’ Dave 29-Diana Ross and The Supremes 30-Status Quo
31-Jim Reeves 32-The Small Faces 33-The Doobie Brothers 34-Manfred Mann 35-Creedence Clearwater Revival
36-Otis Redding 37-Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 38-Squeeze 39-Duran Duran

Featured image: “Duran Duran” by My Brit Spirit is You! BITCH ♥ is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

© Phil the ex test manager 2022