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Duran Duran

Duran Duran (pronounced /djʊərˈæn.djʊərˈæn/ dew-ran-dew-ran) are an English band, formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States, where they were first seen in the 1981 film Listen to London. 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 have, according to the Sunday Mercury, 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, they later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image that earned them the nickname “the prettiest boys in rock.” 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.

The group was formed by Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Stephen Duffy, with the later addition of Roger Taylor and, after numerous personnel changes, Andy Taylor and Simon Le Bon. (None of the Taylors are related, and Roger Taylor is not to be confused with the Queen drummer of the same name.) The group has never disbanded, but the lineup has changed to include guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. 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 in mid-2006, and London guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member.

1978–1980: Formation and early years

John Taylor and Nick Rhodes formed Duran Duran in Birmingham in 1978, where they would become the resident band at the city’s Rum Runner nightclub. At the club they were doing jobs such as John working the door and with Nick deejaying for £10 a night. They began rehearsing and regularly playing at the venue. There were many nearby nightclubs, and the one “significant” one, where bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash played gigs, was called Barbarella’s. They would go on to name the band after the villain from Barbarella, Roger Vadim’s French science-fiction film. The villain, played by Milo O’Shea, is named “Dr. Durand Durand”.

The band’s first singer was Stephen Duffy. Simon Colley soon joined Taylor, Rhodes and Duffy. Colley was the band’s original bass player, as Taylor was the guitarist at this point. This was the first complete line-up of the band that played live shows. For drums and percussion, an electronic drum machine belonging to Rhodes was used. Colley left the band prior to the addition of Andy Taylor. A few guitarists were subsequently auditioned (for the most part, unsuccessfully) as well a handful of vocalists joining after Duffy left Duran Duran early in 1979. Among the handful of vocalists they had prior to Simon Le Bon was Andy Wickett, who had a major part in the writing of “Girls on Film” during his tenure with the band, according to Andy Taylor’s autobiography. (Wickett is also featured on some of the demos that were presented to EMI.) According to both Wickett’s and John Taylor’s websites, Wickett co-wrote an early version of the song that came to be known as “Rio” Tenor sax solo by Andy Hamilton. Upon Colley and Wickett’s departures, the band enlisted singer Jeff Thomas and guitarist Alan Curtis, each for only a relatively brief period of time, before finally settling on Andy Taylor for lead guitar and Le Bon for vocals in 1980.

Discography

Studio Albums

1981 Duran Duran – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/duran-duran/duran-duran-duran-duran-1981/

1982 Rio – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/duran-duran/duran-duran-rio/

1983 Seven and the Ragged Tiger – Coming soon 13/09/2015

1990 Liberty – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/duran-duran-liberty/

1993 Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/duran-duran-duran-duran-the-wedding-album-2/

Compliations

Decade – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/duran-duran/duran-duran-decade/

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