Duran Duran hungers for more
Not content with its success in the '80s, the band is trying to win back old fans and impress new ones with its album "Astronaut."
By Victor Balta
Few bands define a decade the way Duran Duran does.
The band's contribution to music of the 1980s, for better or worse, can't be denied.
The original lineup regrouped to record its first album in 18 years, last year's "Astronaut," and will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Everett Events Center at as part of a 40-date North American tour that started Feb. 8 in Puerto Rico.
Tickets are still available, ranging from $37 to $77.
With their sense of music and style still intact, albeit two decades since they peaked, the members of Duran Duran will be the coolest middle-aged guys in town on Wednesday night.
The band made it into the American consciousness as part of what some called the second British invasion in the early 1980s, along with bands including Spandau Ballet, Human League and Culture Club.
Pop hits such as "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "The Reflex" made international superstars out of singer Simon LeBon, 46, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, 42, guitarist Andy Taylor, 44, bassist John Taylor, 44, and drummer Roger Taylor, 44 - none of whom are related.
Duran Duran stood apart visually by embracing the glam tendencies of the day. It became an MTV sensation, presenting some of the more artistic and sensual videos of the time for the burgeoning network that was, at one time, dedicated to showing music videos.
The band picked up a pair of Grammys in 1983 for best short video and best video album, and started a three-year torrent that took them to their highest highs before a long, slow descent.
Things started to fall apart after the success of 1984's "Seven and the Ragged Tiger," when Andy Taylor and John Taylor joined Power Station, and LeBon, Rhodes and Roger Taylor went off to form Arcadia.
LeBon, Rhodes and John Taylor kept things going with 1987's "Notorious," which hit No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts. Other albums followed throughout the '90s, spawning an occasional hit single.
But in 2003, the band gathered for a 25th anniversary tour of clubs and theaters, prompting work on "Astronaut," which has received some praise from critics.
The band's comeback album and subsequent tour, though, shouldn't be lumped in with other performers' seemingly desperate efforts to scrape the bottom of their barrel of notoriety.
Duran Duran, sometimes to a fault, takes itself and its music too seriously to give its enormously dedicated fans any kind of halfhearted effort - on stage or in the recording studio.
Fans can expect a good mix of songs from the new album as well as most of the band's hits and B-sides from years past, making it a night that should be as much about the past as it is about the future.
Courtesy Everett Herald