Duran Duran

Duran Duran


As the 1980s dawned over England, both punk and disco seemed to be in decline. Bands like Birmingham’s Duran Duran began weaving strands of both styles together into a form that came to be known as “New Romantic”—a danceable, synthesizer-driven style that placed a premium on cutting-edge fashion and cutting-edge hooks alike. The band’s self-titled debut served as a template for a sound it has continued to explore, in one way or another (and one lineup or another), ever since. Sleek dancefloor fillers like “Girls on Film,” “Planet Earth” and “Careless Memories” drew energy from the tension among Nick Rhodes’ synths, Roger Taylor’s urgent drum work, John Taylor’s Chic-influenced bass lines and Andy Taylor’s unexpectedly aggressive guitar playing. Atop it all, singer Simon Le Bon sang about a world filled with mysterious women and intriguing locales. But that original album, as well as it stands up today, was but part of the tale—and this three-disc re-release tells the rest. The first disc offers the original album outfitted with four B-sides; a second showcases surprisingly rough-and-ready demos and BBC sessions and the group’s innovative remixes—vivid expansions of the original songs, pieced together methodically in the days before sampling. A DVD offers groundbreaking videos like the controversial, nudity-filled “Girls on Film” and a series of mostly mimed TV appearances that demonstrate how this band made its look an integral part of its art. (Duran Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger and side project Arcadia’s So Red the Rose have also just received the three-disc reissue treatment.)

– CN


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