A friend of mine recently saw Duran Duran at the new National Harbor resort near Washington, DC. She described the show as awesome, and as she knows that I have a weekly Monday feature on 80’s music, told me that I had to feature Duran Duran on it.
Consider your request granted, my friend.
Then I began to think of how I would choose which song to feature for today’s post. Using last week as a reference, I went back to my senior year of high school. One of the big albums of that time period was Seven And The Ragged Tiger. Using that and going through my senior year playlist, I found that Duran Duran had three top ten hits from that album. So I decided to feature them all.
Considered as one of the leading groups of the second “British Invasion,” Duran Duran were well on their way towards superstardom by the time Seven And The Ragged Tiger was released. Through their seemingly constant presence on MTV over the previous year, the group had grown from a curiosity to one of the biggest groups in the world. To say that the world was ready for new music from Duran Duran would be an understatement. The first of their three top ten hits, “Union Of The Snake,” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 two weeks before the release of the album. With another video that shot into heavy rotation in no time, the song powered its way up to the #3 spot, where it stayed for three weeks.
Barely two months later, “New Moon On Monday” debuted on the Hot 100, and made its way up to #10. Needless to say, it too was driven by another video. More proof that Duran Duran was an MTV band if ever there was one.
By the spring of 1984, the third single from the album was released. Armed with a remix by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, “The Reflex” proved to be the album’s biggest hit here in the U.S., going all the way to #1, where it stayed for two weeks. My sister loved this song so much, she bought the 12″ version and played it almost non-stop.
Things would begin to change with the group after the album’s run and the successful world tour. The five members would split into two factions: John and Andy Taylor split off to form The Power Station with Robert Palmer and Chic drummer Tony Thompson. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor worked on a side project called Arcadia. After both projects were finished, Roger Taylor left the group, citing exhaustion. Andy Taylor left for a solo career. The “fab five” as they were known during their 80’s heyday, didn’t all appear on the same stage again until 2003.
Currently four of the five original members (minus Andy Taylor) make up the band, and they are obviously touring, and are still making music (their last album, Paper Gods) was released in 2015. But for a time in the 1980’s, they were one of the biggest bands in the world, driven by music videos and a string of hit records; a few of which figured prominently in my senior year of high school.
Hopefully some of you will have fond memories of these Duran Duran classics, and as always, I thank you for reading and listening.