5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Duran Duran
English new-wave band Duran Duran dominated the ‘80s. Throughout the decades, their ability to create lasting hits has remained constant.
By bonneville on May 10, 2023
English new-wave band Duran Duran dominated the ‘80s. They endured several changes to their band’s lineup over the years, but four current members remain: John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor. Their ability to combine synth-pop and disco with punk styles to create lasting hits has remained constant throughout the changes.
Before you see them live this June, read for more facts you might not have known about the band.
1. They got their name after a character in Barbarella
Duran Duran was formed in late 1978 by John Taylor and Nick Rhodes, ten years after the science fiction film Barbarella was released. The film was broadcast on BBC the same year the band formed, and Stephen Duffy, the original lead singer, named the band after the character Dr. Durand Durand, played by Milo O’Shea.
Soon after forming, the band played at Barbarella’s, their namesake coming full circle. Duffey and Simon Colley (who played clarinet and bass) left the band shortly after in June 1979.
2. They were pioneers of the music video
Duran Duran came to age in the music video era and dominated MTV with their high-end films. The video for “Girls on Film” was released only two weeks after MTV launched in the United States in 1981. And “Hungry Like the Wolf,” released the following year, was an MTV favorite.
At the time, Duran Duran received little radio play, and MTV was eager to showcase new artists. Rather than a video that shows them playing on a stage, Duran Duran set the bar for creating music videos with engaging storylines. They also filmed in exotic locations such as Sri Lanka and Antigua in 35mm film, which differentiated them from other bands.
The band has continued to innovate with film, especially with AI. The music video for “Invisible,” released in 2021, was created by AI and designed to be listened to with headphones on for a 360-degree listening experience. According to the band, the video “was created by an Artificial Intelligence called Huxley, a unique dreamer whose ‘mind’ has been modeled after the cognitive and emotional processes of humans.”
3. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year
The band won the fan vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022 and was inducted into the Performer category later that year. John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes, and Simon Le Bon performed “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” and “Ordinary World” at the ceremony. During their speech, the band read a letter from Andy Taylor, who could not attend due to his battle with prostate cancer.
4. They were Princess Diana’s favorite band
In the 80s, the press dubbed Duran Duran “the Fab Five” as a comparison to the Beatlemania craze, who were dubbed “the Fab Four.” To add to the sensation, Diana, Princess of Wales, declared Duran Duran her favorite band. The band, in response, dubbed Diana their favorite princess.
The group played a special set at the tribute concert on June 27, 1998, at a special request from her family, and again ten years after her death at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium.
5. They were considered part of the “New Romantic” scene
The New Romantic subculture originated in the later 1970s in the UK. It was defined by fashion that combined glam rock and 19th-century Romantic-era styles with gender-bending clothing and accessories. Its influence primarily came from David Bowie and Roxy Music.
Later, many early punk bands from the UK adopted the style, including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Boy George.
Enter to win tickets to see Duran Duran perform on June 3 with special guests Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic at the Delta Center, presented by Live Nation.