Band Review: Duran Duran

I remember that my first exposure to Duran Duran would’ve been in the mid-1980s, during the height of their popularity with the Seven & The Ragged Tiger era. I have to admit that at the time, I didn’t really care for group. My guess is that this was due to a couple of reasons. First, I was in the fourth grade, so I wasn’t exactly in the group’s target audience at the time. I think the second reason was the fact they were being so hyped at the time, and I just got really sick of hearing about them.

My next impression of Duran Duran came in 1988, when I started hearing “I Don’t Want Your Love” on the radio. I remember hearing it, loving it, and being shocked when I realized it was Duran Duran; I also fell in love with “All She Wants Is…” So, I went back and listened to the older material that I had shrugged off just a few years earlier, and realized that I actually really liked it. “The Reflex” and “A View To A Kill” have become personal favorites of mine over the years. Then, I remember “Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)” on the radio in 1990. I enjoyed it, but didn’t think it was nearly as strong as the band’s older material. Then, I heard “Serious“; at the time, I really didn’t like it, but it’s one that’s grown a lot on me over the years. Unfortunately, at the time, those two songs left me rather disappointed in Duran Duran.

I have to admit that a couple of years later, when I first heard that Duran Duran would be putting out new material, I was rather unsure about whether I would like it. But hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio for the first time pushed aside any doubts that I had. I absolutely fell in love with the song and thought that musically, it was absolutely beautiful. I was a senior in high school when this song came out, so lyrically, it really spoke to me at the point of my life that I was in. I also immensely enjoyed “Come Undone,” “Too Much Information,” and “None Of The Above.”

After this, they released the cover album, Thank You, which I never really heard anything from at the time. I only heard this material years later when the band released their singles box sets. The covers were OK, but they definitely weren’t as strong as the songs I’d heard from the previous album. My next exposure to the band was hearing a couple of singles from Medazzaland, and I thought that “Out Of My Mind” and “Electric Barbarella” were excellent. However, the rest of the album really didn’t leave much of an impression on me. The year 2000 saw the release of Pop Trash, an album that I have never heard any material off of, so I really can’t comment on it.

Then the Astronaut album was released in 2004. Much like the “Wedding Album,” I admit that I headed into this album with a lot of doubt; but, I ended up falling in love with the lead-off single, “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise.” From this album, I also liked “Nice,” “Finest Hour,” “What Happens Tomorrow,” and the title song.

The next album the band released was Red Carpet Massacre. Before the album’s release, I heard a stream of the song “Nite-Runner” at an Entertainment Weekly website. To be honest, I really didn’t like it. Musically, the song was very repetitive and it sounded like the band was trying too hard to sound “contemporary” and “relevant.” I have yet to hear anything further from Red Carpet Massacre. They have released one more album, All You Need Is Now, and I haven’t had an opportunity to hear anything from it yet.

As you can see, I’ve had my ups and downs with Duran Duran over the years. However, I’m hoping to find a chance to give their most recent material a listen and decide what I think of it.

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