Duran Duran are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were one of the most successful stars of the 80s music and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States. Since the 1980s, they have placed 14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and according to the Sunday Mercury, they have sold more than 100 million records.
While they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene along with bands such as Spandau Ballet when they first emerged, the band later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image. The band has won a number of awards throughout their career, including two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—receiving the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, and were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows.
Nick Rhodes — keyboards, backing vocals (1978–present)
John Taylor — bass, backing vocals (1979−1997, 2001–present), guitars (1978–1980)
Roger Taylor — drums (1979−1986, 2001–present)
Simon Le Bon — lead vocals (1980–present)
Stephen Duffy — lead vocals (1978–1979)
Simon Colley – bass (1978–1980)
Andy Wickett – lead vocals (1979–1980)
Alan Curtis – guitars (1980)
Jeff Thomas – lead vocals (1980)
Andy Taylor — guitars, backing vocals (1980–1986, 2001–2006)
Warren Cuccurullo — guitars, backing vocals (1989–2001)
Sterling Campbell — drums (1989–1991)
Even with Duran Duran on hold, band members were soon anxious to record new music, leading to a supposedly temporary split into two side projects. John and Andy Taylor wanted to break away from the Duran Duran sound and pursue hard rock material; they collaborated with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson to form the rock/funk supergroup The Power Station, which released two Top 10 singles. Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes, on the other hand, wanted to further explore Duran Duran’s atmospheric aspect and formed Arcadia, who released one LP from which the single “Election Day” was released. Roger Taylor was primarily the drummer for Arcadia, but also contributed percussion to the Power Station album.
Duran Duran were never the same after this break. According to Rhodes, the two side projects “were commercial suicide… But we’ve always been good at that.” The band were still off balance when they regrouped to contribute A View to a Kill to the 1985 James Bond movie of the same name. This single was the first Bond theme to go to Number 1 on the US charts, and was at the time the joint highest-placed Bond theme on the UK chart where it reached Number 2. It was the last single the band recorded as the original five-piece for close to twenty years.
The group was formed by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, with the later addition of Roger Taylor, and after numerous personnel changes, Andy Taylor and Simon Le Bon.The group has never disbanded, but the line-up has changed to include American guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and American drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991.
As a follow-up to the Christmas 1984 Band Aid single, Duran Duran performed in front of 90,000 people (and an estimated 1.5 billion TV viewers) at the Live Aid charity concert at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 13 July 1985 while their Bond song held the top spot on the American charts. 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—but the original five did not play live together again until July 2003. Their Live Aid set became infamous for Le Bon inadvertently hitting a falsetto note in the chorus of A View to a Kill, which he later described as the most humiliating moment of his career. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band once again in mid-2006, and London guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member.
Duran Duran (1981)
Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
Big Thing (1988)
Duran Duran (1993)
Thank You (1995)
Pop Trash (2000)
Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
All You Need Is Now (2010)