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Mark Ronson's Next Project: Bringing Back Duran Duran

by Kyle Anderson

Now comes the point in the day where we have to talk about Duran Duran (and specifically frontman Simon Le Bon). Forged from the raw materials of New Wave, Britpop, post-punk and dance music, Duran Duran dominated the radio and early MTV with their splashy, cinematic songs and eye-catching videos. When the '90s came around, they fell a little under the radar but never truly disappeared. Their songs became popular sample fodder for hip-hop producers, they continued to sell well as a live act and the song "Notorious" made a memorable appearance in the cult classic film "Donnie Darko." They've never really gone away, mostly because the songs are just too good. Consider that "Girls on Film," "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" only scratch the surface of their massive storehouse of hits.

The three albums the band has dropped in the 21st century (2000's Pop Trash, 2004's Astronaut and 2007's Red Carpet Massacre) have been interesting if not somewhat forgettable, especially considering the breadth of their output. But they could be making their way to the top of the mountain with their new album King of Nowhere, which should be out late this year or early next. Why does it have that potential? Because it is being produced by hitmaker Mark Ronson, who recently stopped by the MTV Newsroom to chat about his own new album Record Collection but also to gush about the greatness of one of his favorite bands growing up (and also about their spectacularly underrated frontman).

"This man of 50 years old has this voice ... he never lost the power," Ronson explained of his experiences in the recording booth with Le Bon. "In fact, the power has kind of grown a bit. He puts all these indie yelpers to shame. He's brilliant."

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