THE SUN NEWSPAPER (UK): - Friday 8th October 2004
WILD (OLD) BOYS ARE BACK
ASTRONAUT >> ALBUM OF THE WEEK (4 out of 5)
By JACQUI SWIFT
The last time Duran Duran had a Top 5 hit, Live Aid was the event of the year, Back To The Future was the No1 film and Wayne Rooney wasn't even born.
That was 1985 and now comeback single (Reach Up For The) Sunrise is set to be their biggest hit in 19 years.
The band which influenced acts such as The Killers and The Strokes are back with the original line-up - singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, Keyboard player Nick Rhodes and guitarist Andy Taylor.
This week thousands of Duranies turned up to see them sign copies of their new single in Birmingham and London. And the hysteria is still the same, with grown women crying and having to be pulled from the stage.
John, 44, told Something For The Weekend: "We are very aware of our chemistry together. When we started playing concerts again, it was 'Wow they're responding just like they used to'." He reckons new album Astronaut is their best yet. John says: "Astronaut is very different to the other albums and no one came away thinking, 'I should have changed that or I should have done this.' Everybody thought that it was the best album we could have made."
Unlike the bitter splits of many bands, the five stayed good friends and kept in touch after the group fragmented in the late 80's. They decided to get back together in 2000.
Simon, 45, says: "It was always at the back of my mind. I'd gone to visit Andy and I thought it would be nice to work with him again - but it had to be the original five of us."
John adds: "It was weird, I was on vacation and said to my wife, 'We've got to get the band back together."
"When I got home there was a message from Simon, I knew we were doing the right thing."
Last year Duran Duran went on one of their biggest tours taking in America, Japan and Australia.
The highlight was a show at London's Forum. John says: "That was a special night - one of our greatest."
Simon adds: "We operated differently in the old days. The stage show wasn't as important as it is now - it was the party later that mattered."
(REACH UP FOR THE) SUNRISE - Simon: "It's very exotic, with a Russian vibe. It took ages to get the lyrics right."
WANT YOU MORE! - Simon: "This started as a keyboard part that wouldn't go away. I took it home and one day it just clicked."
John: "It's just one of those great songs."
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW - Simon: "Nick saw a kid on TV talking about the bombing of Iraq. He said, 'Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow' and the phrase stuck. The song started out Britpoppy but changed to a rock, funky sound."
ASTRONAUT - Simon: "It's very special and one of my favourites. It has so much energy - it's pure frivolity."
BEDROOM TOYS - John: "I love the line in it, 'I've seen a lot of things that will make your chicken curl.' It's so suggestive. It came from Simon and you just know what he means."
Simon: You think you know what it means but you're not quite sure - best to leave it like that really!"
NICE - Simon: "Roger was playing and we kept the vibe of the drums going. I love it."
TASTE THE SUMMER - Simon: "It's a song of St Tropez. The wind came off the sea into the room as we played."
John: "We'd all gone out dancing the night before and we had this feeling that we took off the dance floor and into the room the next day."
FINEST HOUR - Simon: "This is like a Pink Floyd track in the way they stick to two chords and just build the intensity and the feeling."
CHAINS - Simon: "This song comes from a nightmare I had. I kept seeing a guy in a swamp and he feels demons coming to take him away but he wants to hang on. It stands for not giving up. It's such an un-Duran Duran song. I like it when we do things we don't normally do."
ONE OF THOSE DAYS - John: "I can get really down but Simon is pretty level. The song is about Simon's take on life, it's an anti-depressant."
POINT OF NO RETURN - Simon: "It's about the 9/11 attacks. We watched the towers come down on TV and two days later we wrote this song about what's wrong with the world."
STILL BREATHING - Simon: "This is my long-term love affair on the album and always will be, even when I get infatuations with other songs."
John: "It was the first song we wrote after 9/11 and I felt stranded. My family were in the States and I was here in the UK."
Courtesy THE SUN NEWSPAPER, http://www.thesun.co.uk/