Had Duran Duran not formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, we can’t imagine them being even half as popular as they turned out to be.
You see, in 1981 an amazing thing happened. Two weeks before Duran Duran filmed their titillating video for “Girls on Film”, a new cable channel was born. It was called MTV, and it aired nothing but music videos 24 hours a day.
The thing was, though, there weren’t many music videos at that time. But Duran Duran was just so darn pretty (and crafted such catchy pop tunes), it was a marriage made in television heaven.
Instead of being stuck with hazy Led Zeppelin concert videos, shot on (presumably) 8mm film, suddenly we were being whisked away to Sri Lanka and Antigua with amazing widescreen videos that literally looked like movies. And there, in each of them, were our new boyfriends: John, Roger, Simon, and (to a lesser extent) Andy and Nick.
Duran Duran (yes, named for Dr. Durand-Durand in Barbarella) was the biggest thing to hit the radio (and TV and arenas) from late 1982 to mid 1985. Yep, that’s right. Duran Duran (the real Duran Duran—not that Power Station/Arcadia/Notorious crap) was only around for a scant 2 ½ years. Hard to believe, right? But then, poof, they were done.
(We were, of course, completely stoked for their 2004 reunion album Astronaut, and it was pretty solid, but something was missing. And then Andy bailed… again.)
So what are we left with? Only the big unanswered question (with apologies to our readers with a y-chromosome). The one that sparked the knock-down, drag-out debate of the 80s among Duranies the world over. Which guy was cutest?
For our money, it had to be either Simon or Roger. Nick was just a little too… well, foofy. John was just too pretty for his own good, and Andy was just weird. Of course, being the front man, Simon got most of the attention, but don’t count out Roger— sitting there all brooding-like, pounding on those drums.
Eh, it doesn’t really matter. They’ll always be the Fab Five to us (though they had an even shorter tenure than the Fab Four), and they really did rock the world, from mountains in the north down to the Rio Grande.
Three albums (plus the killer live album Arena), a handful of top ten hits, Live Aid, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, A View to a Kill, the re-vamping of MTV, and hundreds of thousands of swooning fangirls around the world. Not a bad legacy.
We ♥ Duran Duran.
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