Video Still Rocks for ’80s Pop Band Duran Duran

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By Patty Jenkins
The Virginian-Pilot
© August 16, 2012
Duran Duran has always had a way of turning its pop-synth sound into video artistry.

During MTV's dawning age, the British pop act played like a renaissance band, playing its seductive dance tunes over scenes of the band in exotic locales - "Hungry Like the Wolf" was shot in Sri Lanka, "Rio" near Antigua - while many of the era's other acts were simply lip-synching in front of quirky backgrounds.

"Music has the ability to affect us like a painting," said John Taylor, bassist for the band that plays Portsmouth on Wednesday evening.

"When we were starting out, videos were certainly used to introduce people to the band members. In a way, people got to know the band very, very quickly."

Thirty years after that band made its debut on American TV, Duran Duran is still relying on music videos to introduce itself to music fans. And its still built around the glamour, fashion and sexiness Duran Duran has always used so well, at least in the video for "Girl Panic."

The nearly 10-minute video plays out like a documentary of the band's career - even poking a little fun at the frequent changes of its guitarists - and features supermodels, including Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, portraying the band members.

"It got a lot of people's attention. I think videos sort of drag people's attention away from whatever reality TV show they are watching," Taylor said. "I think we really pushed the envelope on the 'Girl Panic' video. It wasn't like it hadn't been done before. It was very similar in many ways to the Lady Gaga video for 'Telephone.' "

With former music video channels like MTV and VH1 having morphed into full-fledged entertainment stations, and music videos being minimized to online vehicles like YouTube, Taylor believes that videos still have an importance in marketing music today. "It's a creative outlet. I wouldn't want to launch a new album without there being video material for at least one song or even more."

Patty Jenkins, 757-446-2298,

Who Duran Duran
When 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where nTelos Wireless Pavilion, 16 Crawford Circle, Portsmouth
Tickets $26 to $86
More info 800-745-3000,

Duran Duran
Where: nTelos Wireless Pavilion
Date: Wed. 8/22 8p.m.

Courtesy Hampton Road