Duran Duran’s Top Moments of 2011

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by Karen Duran

Duran Duran had quite a few memorable moments in 2011, with the release of a new album, touring most of the world, and the ups and downs that come with it. Here's a look at the top 10, listed in chronological order:

- "All You Need Is Now": Though an abbreviated version of Duran's new album appeared on iTunes in late 2010, March 2011 saw the physical release of the band's 13th studio album. Hailed as a return to Duran's 1980s form, the album was greeted warmly by critics and fans alike.

- U.S. promotional tour: Duran soon embarked on a tour of the United States to promote the new album, with a slew of talk show appearances and a stop by South by Southwest. The band played venues big and small, from one of the largest casinos, Winstar in Oklahoma, to smaller clubs such as Epic in Minneapolis. Both were "epic" shows.

- Unstaged with David Lynch: The band landed a dream gig when it teamed up with the groundbreaking film director and American Express for a live Web performance chock full of special guest appearances. Duran was joined by producer Mark Ronson, Kelis, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance and the Gossip's Beth Ditto.

- On fire at Coachella: As the sun was setting, Duran took the stage in April for one of its most impressive live performances. The blazing set, which included an appearance by Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic, proved a pleasant surprise in front of the festival crowd.

- Simon Le Bon's vocal scare: Duran's summer plans unraveled when singer Le Bon encountered vocal problems on stage at Cannes. The mysterious throat condition forced the band to cancel or postpone tour dates. But Duran was back in no time, though it seemed like ages to worried Duranies.

- Rehearsal shows delight Duranies: The band rewarded fans for their patience by playing a series of rehearsal gigs in the U.K. in early September. While playing rarities such as "Secret Oktober," "Shadows on Your Side" and "Too Bad You're So Beautiful," Le Bon showed that he was recovered fully.

- U.S. tour Version 2.0: Duran returned to the States for a series of arena shows in the fall. The tour was a great success, with Duran making it onto Pollstar's list of top 15 tours.

- Madison Square Garden: The band played yet another epic show, this one at a major venue, New York's Madison Square Garden. Duran was joined by opening act Neon Trees, Matronic and Ronson.

- It's a "Girl Panic!": Early November saw the much-anticipated release of the video for "Girl Panic!" The Jonas Akerlund-directed short film boasted supermodels as stars and quickly went viral. The video has racked up millions of view online and even made it onto year-end lists of top videos.

- U.K. tour: The band finally gave fans in the U.K. what they were waiting for in the form of a pre-Christmas tour. Duran was joined onstage at the O2 by Ronson, and its Manchester show was filmed with director Gavin Elder at the helm. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come in 2012. With a tour of the world ongoing, might there be a new video, or even more, next year?

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