duran duran Jacks Song Of The Day: Duran Duran

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

In less than a month, Jack FM‘s favorite ’80s band, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Duran Duran[/lastfm], will be in town.

Guess we better start making our “We Love Simon” signs.

They are the epitome of the 1980s.

Duran Duran first rose to fame in their native England in 1981.  Their self-titled debut album peaked at #3 and spent 118 weeks on the charts.  The single, “Girls on Film,” with its raunchy and somewhat controversial video, became a Top 5 hit.  While Duran Duran was a sensation in the U.K., the album was initially ignored in the States.

The band’s streak continued with 1982’s Rio.  It went to #2 on the U.K. Albums chart and produced four Top 20 singles: “My Own Way,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer” and “Rio.”  But again, the album went unnoticed across the Atlantic.

Wanting to breakthrough in the U.S., Duran Duran, in June ’82, made their first stateside TV appearance on the show, Dancin’ On Air.  Their energetic performance created buzz among American music fans, and Rio was re-released in the States five months later.  This time, the album was a huge success.  It climbed all the way to #6 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than two million copies.

Duran Duran released their third album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, in ’83.  It was another international hit for the Fab Five, and the single, “The Reflex,” went to #1 in both the U.K. and U.S.  But unbeknownst to anyone, it would be the last album to feature the original line-up for almost 20 years.

In early 1984, Duran Duran embarked on a global tour and played U.S. stadiums for the first time.  At the height of their popularity, the stylish and photogenic band were plastered on the covers of teen magazines and became international heartthrobs.  Girls loved them, and boys wanted to be them. 

After the tour, the band temporarily split to pursue side projects.  [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Taylor[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Andy Taylor[/lastfm] formed [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Power Station[/lastfm] with [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Robert Palmer[/lastfm], while [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Simon Le Bon[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Nick Rhodes[/lastfm] created [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Arcadia[/lastfm].

In 1985, the members of Duran Duran regrouped to record “A View to a Kill” for the James Bond movie of the same name.  It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the only Bond theme to do so.

A year later, both Roger and Andy Taylor left the band, leaving Simon, Nick and John to make 1986’s Notorious.  Although it was a Top 20-charting album, Duran Duran had lost momentum.  Trying to shed their teen idol image and gain the respect of critics, the band adopted a more mature sound.  However, fans weren’t accepting of this new serious image, and Duran Duran’s popularity began to fade.

However, in the midst of the early ’90s grunge movement, the British popsters surprisingly scored a commercial hit with their seventh, and second self-titled, album.  Released in ’93, Duran Duran was considered to be the band’s comeback.  It landed at #7 on Billboard‘s 200 chart and spawned two Top 10 singles: “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone.”

In 2001, all five original members reunited and began working on new material.  They also went on tour to see if they could still draw an audience.  The tour was a huge success, and the response from both fans and critics exceeded all expectations.  In ’03, Duran Duran received an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Thirty years after the release of their debut, Duran Duran are still going strong (minus Andy Taylor, who left the band for the second time in ’06).  As a foursome, they have released two albums, 2007’s Red Carpet Massacre and 2010’s All You Need is Now.  The latter, produced by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mark Ronson[/lastfm], debuted at #29 on the charts and proved Duran Duran still have what it takes to be competitive in today’s pop world.  The album’s third single, “Leave a Light On,” was recently released to radio, and it’s Jack’s Song of the Day.

Duran Duran are currently on tour and will be at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie October 6th.

Check out Duran Duran performing “A View to a Kill” at this year’s Coachella Festival.  And just call us FM. Jack FM.

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