Duran Duran is an English synthpop/New Wave/New Romantic band that were major figures in the so-called “Second British Invasion” of the early 1980s. They formed in 1978 and hit it big (internationally) in 1981.
Their iconic sound mixes rock beats with guitar riffs and synth hooks. Many of their best known songs are sweeping epics with complex melodies. Yet, you can still dance to them.
Due to their danceable music and keen fashion sense, Duran Duran are sometimes called a “style-and-dance band.”
Groups who sound similar to Duran Duran include Spandau Ballet, Japan, ABC, and Thompson Twins.
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Duran Duran Hits
Some of Duran Duran’s biggest hits are “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer,” “Rio,” “Is There Something I Should Know?,” “New Moon on Monday,” and “Notorious.”
Duran Duran also recorded a Bond song. They recorded the theme to the 1985 Bond movie “A View to a Kill.” It’s the only James Bond theme song to ever top the Billboard Hot 100.
Duran Duran Lineup
The current lineup of Duran Duran consists of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, and drummer Roger Taylor. The band employs several guest musicians during Duran Duran tours.
During their heyday, guitarist Andy Taylor was also in the fray. He left in 1986, returned in 2001 for a reunion, and left again in 2006.
While there have been many former members of Duran Duran, most fans and pundits consider the five aforementioned musicians as the quintessential lineup.
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Duran Duran Fashion
Duran Duran were fashion plates. From early on they worked with well-known designers to cultivate an urbane and sophisticated style.
Designers they’ve worked with over the years include Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, and Kahn & Bell.
Duran Duran Music Videos
Duran Duran are music video pioneers. They were one of the first acts to hire real movie directors and one of the first to shoot their videos on 35mm film.
Their music videos were quite daring for the era. Some included partial nudity and suggestive sex acts.
Due to their innovated videos and their pin-up boy good looks, Duran Duran dominated MTV in the early to mid-1980s.
Duran Duran Remixes
If videos and fashion weren’t enough, Duran Duran were also one of the first bands to do their own remixing. Sometimes they even re-recorded their songs with new and extended arrangements.
These recordings were dubbed “night versions” and generally released as b-sides or club singles. They were finally put on an album, Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran, and released in 1999.
Where Did Duran Duran Get Their Name?
Duran Duran is responsible for one of the most famous rock trivia questions of all-time…
“From what movie did Duran Duran get their name?”
Duran Duran got their name from a character in the movie Barbarella (1968)—although, the character was actually named “Durand Durand.”
They were inspired to take their name from that Jane Fonda movie by a popular and important nightclub that existed during their formative years. The name of the night club was, obviously, “Barbarella’s.”