1978 in Birmingham, England
- Simon Le Bon - Lead vocals
- Andy Taylor - Guitar
- John Taylor - Bass
- Nick Rhodes - Keyboards
- Roger Taylor - Drums
Duran Duran's Early Years:
Duran Duran grew out of its founding members' rather unique combined fascination with British art rock, post-punk and dance music. Despite such disparate influences, the band quickly began to fit into the growing British new wave scene, growing even more popular once Simon Le Bon came on as lead vocalist in 1980. Early on, the advent of the video age became a major ally for the quintet, as clips for early singles like "Girls on Film" generated both controversy and rabid matinee idol worship for the photogenic band members. Still, success on both sides of the Atlantic would have to wait, but only very briefly.
Arrival of the New American Sensation:
With 1982's smash album Rio, Duran Duran became a household name almost overnight, on the strength of the title track and the No. 3 hit, "Hungry Like the Wolf." And while the catchy tunes and the hooks they contained had much to do with this, the band's popularity via MTV added another dimension entirely to its appeal. As marginal representatives of the British New Romantic movement, it was imperative that the band put a strong emphasis on presentation, but without originality and solid songcraft Duran Duran would likely have made far less of an impact on the pop music scene.
Dominion of "the Fab Five":
Well into the mid-'80s, Duran Duran maintained its status as one of the most popular bands in the world, enjoying a string of hit singles and persisting as a major concert draw. But even at this whirlwind stage, storm clouds had begun to threaten the still-growing empire. Creative differences over the stylistic direction of the band led the bandmembers to embark upon a typical rock and roll hiatus following a monster worldwide tour in 1985. During this time Andy and John Taylor resurfaced in the Robert Palmer-led supergroup Power Station; meanwhile, Rhodes and Le Bon started the synth-heavy Arcadia.
Survival in the Face of Decline:
Even so, Duran Duran never disappeared completely from the '80s pop music world, managing to register two more Top 5 hits in "Notorious" and "I Don't Want Your Love." By this time, the band had lost its status as a sensation, as many pop music fans had moved on from synth pop to the rising genres of hair metal or hip-hop. In addition, the band's propensity toward experimentation may have confused any longtime fans who had stuck with the band. Coupled with a music industry that no longer treated the band as royalty, Duran Duran became a second-tier act without much noise or protest.
Duran Duran Comebacks:
Without guitarist Andy Taylor, Duran Duran returned with a new album in 1993, surprising fans and the music industry with a No. 3 pop hit in "Ordinary World." This new round of success didn’t last long, but the band proved its longevity and resilience once again. About a decade later, the original band reformed for a new album, Astronaut. Although neither of these comebacks set the world on fire, each resurgence made certain that the legacy of Duran Duran’s singular place in pop music had retained a continuous flame for nearly 30 years of musical evolution.
- Sold more than 70 million records worldwide.
- Took its name from a character in Roger Vadim's 1968 sci-fi cult classic Barbarella.
- While performing at Live Aid in 1985, Le Bon struck an erroneous falsetto note during "A View to a Kill" that the British press took great delight in reporting.