A powerful part of the English New Wave bands that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Duran Duran became one of the most successful having sold more than 70 million records. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, the name “Duran Duran” came from a character in the Jane Fonda cult classic movie, “Barbarella”.
Duran Duran in Niagara Falls
Duran Duran Group Formation
The original group consisted of bassist John Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes who were later joined by Roger Taylor on the drums. After several personnel changes, guitarist Andy Taylor and finally lead singer Simon Le Bon joined the group. Duran Duran were originally considered part of the New Romantic scene which included bands such as Spandau Ballet, and this image was quickly shed as the group headed into a new direction with their music.
Duran Duran foray into Music Videos
Their breakthrough in America came with the emergence of MTV in 1981, a cable channel dedicated to playing music videos. Duran Duran had the foresight to create sleek, highly professional videos crafted by experienced directors and shot on 35mm film for the best quality. The videos combined with the power pop singles vaulted Duran Duran into superstardom in the early 1980s. They were also one of the first bands to incorporate videos heavily into their live performances.
Duran Duran’s hits included “Girls on Film” which sported a video which certain scenes had to be cut for viewing. However, it was the album “Rio” that was considered the huge breakthrough as the title track along with the smash single, “Hungry Like the Wolf” dominated airplay on MTV and the radio. So popular was Duran Duran that they were dubbed “The Fab Five” as homage to The Beatles who were known as “The Fab Four”.
Over the next few years Duran Duran peaked in their popularity with hit singles such as “Is There Something I Should Know?” “Save a Prayer”, and “The Reflex”. However, in 1985 Duran Duran split into two separate groups as side projects, The Power Station and Arcadia. While each separate group enjoyed success, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor did not rejoin Duran Duran afterwards.
This had a detrimental effect on Duran Duran, even though their next album “Notorious” sported a huge hit single with the title track. The hysteria that had surrounded the group when they first became successful was gone and their attempts to create more serious music to break away from their teeny-bob image resulted in losing a considerable number of fans.
As the synth-pop of the 1980s faded into the grunge of the 1990s, so too did Duran Duran fade from their once lofty status. The group struggled through the 90s with changing personnel and a fading audience. However, at the turn of the 21st century both Roger and Andy Taylor returned to the band and with that came some renewed interest from fans nostalgic for the Duran Duran of old. For a few years the band toured with their original line-up and sparked some of the memories from their early days in the 1980s. However, by 2006 Andy Taylor left the band once again and today Duran Duran still chugs along, having released their 14th album, “Paper Gods” in September, 2015.
See Duran Duran in Niagara Falls, live on March 25th & March 26th, at the Fallsview Casino. The Casino is located less than two minutes from our hotel, the 4-star Marriott on the Falls. View our: Niagara Falls Hotel Packages