If you were a teenage girl in the 80s, you most definitely had a Duran Duran poster on your wall - along with that Athena poster and probably one of George Michael (if only you knew then what you know now).
Often referred to as the "prettiest boys in rock”, Duran Duran were one of the most successful and iconic bands of the 80s, after coming together in Birmingham in 1978. The line-up comprised five sharply dressed, coiffeured young men - we're talking double denim, leather trousers and a lot of hairspray! They were for a while known as part of the New Romantics movement, alongside Spandau Ballet, but by the end of their reign things had turned more poppy.
The band members changed throughout the 80s. At the time of their first album in 1981 the band comprised frontman Simon Le Bon (now married to supermodel Amber Le Bon), Nick Rhodes on keyboard, John Taylor on bass, Andy Taylor on guitar and Roger Taylor on Drums. The three Taylors, were coincidentally named and completely unrelated.
If you only know one Duran Duran hit (pretty unlikely, I know) it's probably “Girls On Film” whose accompanying music video was deliberately provocative, featuring topless women mud wrestling, with the intention of becoming a sensation that would get people talking about the band. The video was heavily censored of course, and was edited in most cases but it was shown in its entirety in some off the newer nightclubs that had big video screens.
All of this made them ripe for an appearance on the hot new music video channel, MTV. It was through this that their fame rocketed and Duran Duran became a worldwide sensation. Throughout the 80s, Duran Duran churned out one hit after another achieving 12 Top-10 hits in the UK in the 80s alone.
The band’s next major success was “Hungry Like the Wolf”, which was released in 1982 and which is considered by many to be one of the greatest New Wave songs ever recorded. In the same year they reached number 2 in the charts with “Save A Prayer” and also made number 9 with “Rio”. The bands first No,1 came in 1983 with “Is There Something I Should Know?” and was quickly followed by another No.1 hit with “The Reflex” in 1984 and, shortly after that, “The Wild Boys” made it to number 2 in the charts. You might say, the boys were on a roll.
James Bond has changed many a musician's life - Shirley Bassey to name but one. And Duran Duran were lucky enough, or rather cheeky enough, to get involved in the massive money-spinner. In 1985, John Taylor, the bass guitarist, approached James Bond producer Cubby Broccoli (great name!) at a party and reportedly asked, somewhat drunkenly, “When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?”! Now, usually, you'd expect to be sent on your merry way for showing this kind of gall, but not Duran Duran! The band was offered the opportunity to work with the legendary John Barry to create the theme song for the next Bond film “A View To A Kill”. The eponymously titled song became a worldwide success reaching No.1 in the US and number 2 in the UK as well as making the Top 10 in various other countries around the world.
In total, Duran Duran made 14 Top-10 (UK) singles, released 13 studio albums, sold over 100 million records - not to mention the countless hearts broken along the way.