Par Birmingham1 le 17 Mai 2006 à 18:56Duran Duran is usually identified as having been part of the New Wave music scene and are still often identified as an 80's band despite continuous recording and evolution over the past twenty-five years. The band was formed in Birmingham, England by Nick Rhodes (keyboards), John Taylor (bass guitar), Roger Taylor (drums), Andy Taylor (guitar), and Simon Le Bon (vocals). Inspired by the name of one of their favorite Birmingham clubs, Barbarella's, the band took their name from the evil character Dr. Durand-Durand, played by Milo O'Shea in Roger Vadim's sexy science-fiction cult film Barbarella.
John Taylor and Nick Rhodes created the band in 1978. They experimented with several different lineups; one of their early singers was Stephen Duffy, later to become lead singer of The Lilac Time. Duffy left early in 1979, shortly before the other two Taylors and Le Bon fell into place, finalizing the lineup. Duran Duran recorded two demo tapes and performed tirelessly in clubs around Birmingham and London, especially at the Rum Runner nightclub owned by their managers, brothers Paul and Michael Berrow. Touring that year with Hazel O'Connor, the band attracted critical attention that escalated into a bidding war between the major record labels. A certain patriotism toward the label of the Beatles led them to sign with EMI.
The band's first album, Duran Duran, was released in 1981. The first single, "Planet Earth", reached the United Kingdom's Top 20 at number 3, selling 2.5 million copies. The second, "Careless Memories", made the chart but faded away quickly; it was the third single, "Girls On Film", that garnered them the most attention. The song went to #5 in the UK in July, before the notorious video was even filmed. That video, made with directors Kevin Godley and Lol Creme (formerly of 10cc), was filmed in August just two weeks after MTV was launched in the United States.The raunchy video (featuring topless women mud wrestling and other not-very-stylized depictions of sexual fetishes) created an uproar, and was consequently banned by the BBC. An edited version of the video aired on MTV.
Later in 1981, the band went on their first United States tour, where they performed in venues such as The Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles and The Peppermint Lounge in New York, followed by more dates in Germany and the UK.
From the very beginning, the band had a keen sense of style, and worked with stylist Perry Haines and fashion designers like Kahn & Bell and Anthony Price to build a hip, cutting-edge image. In addition, they retained creative control of the band's visual presentation, and worked closely with graphic designers like Malcolm Garrett to create album covers and tour programs.
Teen magazines and music magazines in the UK and US latched onto their good looks quickly. Duran Duran would later come to regret this early pin-up exposure, but at the time it helped gain them the national attention they sought.
Like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran were among the earliest bands to work on their own remixes. Before the days of digital synthesizers and audio sampling, they created complex, multilayered arrangements of their singles, often recording entirely different extended performances of the songs in studio. (These "night versions" were generally available only on vinyl, as b-sides or 12" singles, until the release of the Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran compilation in 1998.)
Duran Duran began to achieve worldwide recognition in 1982, when they opened for Blondie during that band's last American tour. They released their second album, Rio, which scored three UK top twenties with "Hungry Like the Wolf", "Save A Prayer", and the title song. The album didn't do well in the US at first. Capitol Records (EMI's American branch) was at a loss about how to sell them. After Carnival (an EP of Rio's dance remixes) became popular with DJs, Capitol arranged to have most of the album remixed by David Kershenbaum. Only after it was re-released in the US, with heavy promotion as a dance album, did Rio begin to climb the American charts. MTV placed the video of "Hungry Like the Wolf" into heavy rotation, pushing that song and "Rio" into the US charts' top 20 in early 1983. The album peaked at number 5 in the US, and remained on the charts there for 129 weeks - almost two and a half years. (In 2003, Rio was listed at number 65 in the NME 100 Greatest Albums Of All Time.) The album's distinctive purple cover was painted by artist Patrick Nagel, and its iconic sun-drenched videos were directed by Russell Mulcahy (who went on to direct Highlander and other feature films).
In 1982, Princess Diana declared Duran Duran her favorite band. The band was dubbed "The Fab Five" by the British press, and in the US the band spearheaded what became known as the Second British Invasion of rock acts.
In the summer of 1983, the band re-released their self-titled first album, with the addition of the new single "Is There Something I Should Know". This song went to number 1 on the UK charts and Number 4 on the American charts. In addition, keyboardist Nick Rhodes produced the #1 hit "Too Shy" for the English band Kajagoogoo that year. Rhodes and Le Bon served as MTV VJs for a show, during which artist and admirer Andy Warhol dropped by to greet them. An autograph signing session in Times Square got so far out of control that mounted police had to be called in to control the mob. The hysteria of their teenage fans accompanied them everywhere they went, drawing frequent comparisons to Beatlemania.
At the end of 1983, the band released a third album, Seven And The Ragged Tiger, which included the hits "Union Of The Snake", "New Moon On Monday" and "The Reflex"; Duran thus had top twenty hits off of three albums in one year. The band embarked on a massive round-the-world tour, followed closely by a film crew led by director Russell Mulcahy. The resulting documentary film was entitled Sing Blue Silver.
The live album Arena was recorded during the tour, and included the new studio single "Wild Boys", which went to number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1984 they appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and were featured on the Band Aid benefit single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" along with George Michael, Boy George and Bono, among others. They won two Grammy awards that year in the brand-new video categories.
In 1985, Duran Duran contributed the title song to the soundtrack of the James Bond movie A View To A Kill - it remains the only Bond theme to go to the top of the charts. The song was accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek "spy" video that had the band scampering all over the Eiffel Tower.
Duran Duran performed for the last time with all its original members on July 13, 1985, at the JFK Stadium Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was not intended to be a farewell performance - the band planned only to take a break after four years of non-stop touring and public appearances. (The original five did not play together again until July of 2003.)
While Duran Duran was on hiatus, John and Andy Taylor joined forces with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson to form the band Power Station, which released a self-titled album with two hit singles. Meanwhile, after a six-month break, Le Bon, Rhodes, and Roger Taylor formed the band Arcadia, whose sole album So Red The Rose went platinum.
After Arcadia, drummer Roger Taylor, suffering from a near-nervous breakdown, retired to the English countryside with the band's blessing. Guitarist Andy Taylor, on the other hand, led the band to believe he would return to work on a new Duran Duran album even as he was signing record contracts for a solo career in Los Angeles. The band finally resorted to legal measures to get him into the studio, but after dealing with numerous delays and legal countersuits, they let him go at last. He played on only a few tracks on the Notorious album.
In September 1986, Warren Cuccurullo (formerly of Missing Persons and Frank Zappa's touring band) was hired as a replacement guitarist. With Le Bon, Rhodes, and John Taylor, he recorded the rest of the album Notorious, released in 1987. Although the title track went to number 2 in the US, the band found that they had lost much of the momentum and hysteria they had left behind in 1985. The music was funkier, more mature, and less "pop", and many of their teenage fans had grown up while they were away.
Subsequently, Duran Duran's fame began to wane, as they struggled to escape the teen idol image and gain critical success with more complex music. Capitol seemed to have lost interest in promoting the band, and many casual fans never heard that the band had released anything after Notorious, and assumed that the band had broken up.
In 1988, Cuccurullo was made a permanent member of the band, and the next album Big Thing yielded the hits "I Don't Want Your Love" and "All She Wants Is". The record was very experimental, taking inspirations from hip-hop and house music and mixing it with Duran's atmospheric synth pop and more mature lyrics.
In 1989, a greatest hits album, Decade, was released, becoming another major seller for the band. However, the tepid 1990 release Liberty (a retreat from the experimentation of Big Thing) failed to capitalize on any regained momentum - a pattern the band repeated regularly in their later years.
In the early 1990s, the rise of the Internet did allow a resurgence in popularity. Many of the older fans rediscovered the band through Usenet and a growing number of Duran Duran mailing lists and web sites.
In 1993, the band released a second self-titled album - this Duran Duran album is informally known as The Wedding Album (for the cover art) to distinguish it from the 1981 release. The swift success of this album came as a surprise to many who considered Duran Duran to be a purely "80's" phenomenon. However, the commercial and critical success gained by such hits as "Come Undone" and "Ordinary World" was swiftly tarnished by the poorly received covers album Thank You (1995). The 1997 departure of bassist John Taylor reduced the band to two original members plus Cuccurullo, and they failed to significantly add to their fan base with the albums Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000). They parted with their label Capitol Records in 1999.
In May 2001, as the trio finished their final dates for the global Pop Trash tour, it was announced that Cuccurullo would be leaving Duran Duran to work again with his 1980s band Missing Persons, and that John, Roger, and Andy Taylor had returned to reform the original five-member band.
Throughout 2002 and 2003, Duran Duran worked on writing new material. The band rented a house in St. Tropez to work on their first serious writing session. They then returned to London to do some self-financed work with various producers (including old friend Nile Rodgers), while searching for a new record deal. A record label willing to gamble on the band's comeback originally proved difficult to find, so Duran Duran took to the road to prove the drawing power of the reunited band. The response of the fans and the media was more than anyone expected.
First, the band played a handful of 25th-anniversary tour dates in Japan, California and Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2003. Tickets sold out for each show within minutes, and celebrities turned out en masse for reunion shows at small venues the band had played on their first trip to America – The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles and The Ritz (now Webster Hall) in New York City.
Then in August, the band were billed to appear as presenters at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, but were instead surprised with a Lifetime Achievement Award. They were also given a Lifetime Achievement award by Q Magazine in October, and the equivalent Outstanding Contribution award at the Brit Awards in February 2004.
The pace picked up as a sold-out 25-city American tour was followed by several stadium dates in Australia and New Zealand with Robbie Williams. The band also played a full concert at a private Tailgate Party at Super Bowl XXXVIII; their performance of "Wild Boys" was broadcast to millions during the pregame show.
A remix of the new track "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise" was released on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy TV show soundtrack in February, while the Queer Eye guys (the modern "Fab Five") hailed Duran Duran as "the first metrosexuals".
Duran Duran then celebrated their homecoming to the UK with fourteen stadium dates in April 2004, including five sold-out nights at Wembley Arena. The British press, traditionally hostile to the band, gave the shows some very warm reviews.At last, with more than thirty-five songs completed, the band signed a four-album contract with Epic Records in June, and polished a new album entitled Astronaut with producer Don Gilmore. The album was released in October 2004 and entered the UK charts at Number 5 and the US charts at Number 17; the first single was "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise". Radio stations around the world picked up on the new track and started playing it right away, each seemingly proud to announce the return of the original five-piece for the first time since "A View To A Kill". In November, the single reached Number 1 on the Billboard U.S Dance Chart, and also peaked at number 5 on the UK singles chart. "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise" has been Duran Duran's highest charting UK single since "A View To a Kill" was released in 1985. A second single, "What Happens Tomorrow", is slated for January 2005.
The first leg of a 2005 tour was highly successful and culminated with several sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. The second U.S. leg of the tour was equally as successful.
Choose Member Simon Le Bon Nick Rhodes John Taylor Roger Taylor Andy Taylor Warren Cuccurullo
Girls On Film
My Own Way
Hungry Like The Wolf
Save A Prayer
Lonely In Your Nightmare
Is There Something I Should Know?
Union Of The Snake
The Wild Boys
New Moon on Monday
A View To A Kill
Meet El Presidente
I Don't Want Your Love
All She Wants Is
Burning Up The Ground
Do You Believe in Shame?
Violence of Summer
Breath After Breath
Too Much Information
Out of My Mind
Someone Else Not Me
What Happens Tomorrow
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
A View TO A Kill
Duran Duran "The Wedding Album"
Singles Box Set 1981-1985
Singles Box Set 2 1986-95
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