Thursday, July 31, 2008
Duran Duran - The Spirit of the 80s!
Okay. I got some criticism for my poll (at the bottom of my blog). I was told it was 'fixed' because there were so many votes for Duran Duran. I was also told it was not representative because it mostly included Brits. I was also told it was unfair to not include The Police. The thing is, you know as well as I do - no matter who the choices were, no matter what country they came from or what genre they represented, Duran Duran, or D2, would have won.
There is no band more emblematic of the 1980s, and especially the MTV generation, than Duran Duran. The original lineup of Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor captured the imaginations of pubescent girls (and many guys) in a way that no musical act had done since the music of the Beatles made its way overseas. It is exactly that furor, reminiscent of the 'Fab 4' that caused the media to call D2 the 'Fab 5'. And fab they were!
They were just gorgeous, with their New Romantic ruffles, exotic locations and heartbreaking good looks. Simon's wailing singing voice is something young people could connect with. Even though the lyrics were mostly nonsense, the painful edge in his voice hit home for us kids. And there was no beating the unique synthesizer work of Nick Rhodes, who must be credited with really bringing this style of music to the fore in a big way in the American consciousness.
And the thing is, their stuff was just too much fun to dance to. I know very hard edged masculine guys who still claim to 'love' the music of Duran Duran. Its curious, and its awesome that their influence can run so deep.
Were they the greatest or most influential musicians of all time? No. Is it mostly just meaningless pop stuff? Yes. But they DID have a HUGE influence on the imagery of pop music by becomming, perhaps, the band most identified with the burgeoning MTV enterprise. They chanced upon a perfect formula of sound, looks and exciting locales that MTV obviously felt was perfect for their airwaves. And they were SO RIGHT.
In the early 80's, Duran Duran had a tremendous influence on me and I will blog some day later about the peculiar psychological affect that obsession had on me. But for now, let's just acknowledge them as the deserving winner of my small, skewed, fixed and unfair poll!