I am very eager to see how Duran Duran’s new album does. I worked with Simon LeBon a bit in the studio in Japan in the mid 90’s and never doubted how truly talented he was as both a singer and songwriter.
To move forward, sometimes you have to go backward. That was the guiding principle that helped members of DuranDuran recapture the spirit of their early days on their 13th studio album, All You Need is Now, which debuted at No. 2 this week on iTunes’ album download chart .
“Most bands have difficult second-album syndrome. Not us, we had difficult third-album syndrome,” says lead singer Simon LeBon, referring to 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger. “So this album is the sequel to Rio that never happened.”
“What’s great about Duran Duran is that they don’t get complacent,” says Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield, author of the recent memoir Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. “For their new album, they forged ahead by returning to their classic sound. This is classic Duran Duran. They’ll keep old fans and make new ones.”
Reviving that early sound was a long time coming. “Our last album (2007’s Red Carpet Massacre, which sold about 71,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan) was underwhelming,” says Taylor, 50. “We worked with Timbaland, and we yielded to that hip-hop style of production. We came out feeling like we’d surrendered our personalities. We were hijacked by the remix.”
The various group members all have had some success with side projects: Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor recorded one album as Arcadia in 1985, while John Taylor and Andy Taylor formed The Power Station, a group that included Robert Palmer.
Now it’s 2010, and core members Le Bon, Rhodes and John and Roger Taylor say they’re feeling confident about a return to greatness with the new album. “We’re Duran Duran! Remember us?” Le Bon says. “We’re the ultimate party band, we got you dancing. And now we’ve got something to make your Christmas go off with a bang.”
Night out in Tokyo with the band. They actually practiced their old songs using Karaoke the night before their first Japan show.
Backstage at Tokyo International Forum.