Duran Duran were one of the most popular groups to emerge from the “second British Invasion” of New Wave music. The period produced a whole series of new “modern rock” sounds starting in the late 1970s and into the early-mid 1980s. Duran Duran came from the glam-inspired New Romantic sect, focusing not only on music but also fashion. The group was led by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor. Joining the group shortly thereafter were the rest of classic lineup, Simon LeBon on vocals, Andy Taylor on guitar, and Roger Taylor on drums (no relation among the Taylors). The group was often called “The Fab Five” in reference to The Beatles, since the group’s teen popularity was the most frantic since early days of Beatlemania.

The group’s first album was issued in 1981, and the lead single was “Planet Earth“. The pulsing keyboard sounds and guitar sounds were good examples of the New Romantic sound of the day (“new romantic” is even mentioned in the song).┬áThe song was a top 15 hit in the U.K. and set the group up for a series of hits to follow. This is one my favorite songs from the group and the video highlights the sound, fashion, and music video technology of the day. Future videos from “Planet Earth” director Russell Mulcahy would be more professional produced, earning the group a leading status in the emerging music video field. The group’s interesting videos and poster-boy looks made sure the group was a staple of MTV.

The Duran Duran album was ignored in the U.S., later issued with a new song and new cover in 1983 after the group’s second album Rio was a hit. During 1983-1985, no group was more popular, as the group scored a huge number of popular singles and albums worldwide, culminating in the theme song for the James Bond film, A View to a Kill. In 1985, the group played Live Aid but also performed in two offshoot groups, The Power Station (featuring John Taylor and Andy Taylor) and Arcadia (LeBon, Rhodes, Roger Taylor).