Duran Duran: Former MTV darlings continue multimedia approach
By Donald Thrasher
Duran Duran’s most commercially successful days are long past but the group hasn’t stopped creating new content for its hardcore fans. The British act, best known for ’80s hits like “Hungry Like The Wolf,” “The Reflex,” “Rio” and “Girls on Film,” joined forces with hip producer Mark Ronson for its 13th studio album, “All You Need Is Now,” which was released in March 2011.
Of course, most folks attending Duran Duran’s concert at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, Aug. 28, aren’t showing up for this latest stab at musical relevancy but rather for a jolt of nostalgia from a set comprised of the band’s many hits.
“I love Duran Duran because they were part of an era of music — 1978 to 1991 — that was pretty much free-for-all,” said local concert promoter Louie Wood Jr., the organizer of “This is Planet Earth,” a Dayton band tribute to Duran Duran at Canal Street Tavern last March. “You don’t see many super commercial bands these days like Duran Duran taking risks and trying to have fun with it or, better yet, getting away with it.
“I have a huge collection of ’80s records and CDs,” Wood continued. “I have a hard time sitting through a whole album for a lot of them, but with Duran Duran, most of their records are fun to listen to all the way through. They had so many great songs. Hearing ‘The Reflex’ or ‘Girls on Film,’ even to this day, always puts a smile on my face and makes me wanna get up and dance.”
Despite a knack for catchy pop songs that still enthrall some listeners decades later, it was the group’s telegenic good looks and memorable videos, particularly for the songs “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf,” that jettisoned the group to massive popularity in the United States in the 1980s during the early days of MTV.
“I remember watching ‘Behind the Music’ on Duran Duran on VH1,” said Brian Brenner of local hardcore band Bearer of Bad News. “Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor, the drummer, were basically the brains behind it and they found the other guys. Nick Rhodes said he never viewed them as rock band, he viewed them as a multimedia corporation and that’s how they treated it from day one. Obviously, we don’t sound like Duran Duran, but we’re kind of taking the same multimedia approach.”
Since the days of heavy rotation on MTV and radio are gone, the group now applies its multimedia approach to its Web site www.duranduran.com.
HOW TO GO
Who: Duran Duran
Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28
Cost: $45 lawn/terrace, $55 side orchestra (sections A&D)
More info: (937) 296-3300 or www.fraze.com
Artist info: www.duranduran.com