Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Durable Duran: Can a Band That Scored the Soundtrack to the '80S Make a Mark on Contemporary Pop?

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Durable Duran: Can a Band That Scored the Soundtrack to the '80S Make a Mark on Contemporary Pop?

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DURAN DURAN Red Carpet Massacre EPIC

WHERE WOULD THE '80S BE WITHOUT Duran Duran? An amazing string of hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio," and "The Reflex" pushed the British pop group's record sales above the 70 million mark and sent hair mousse sales skyrocketing. But in the words of another icon of that bygone era: What have you done for me lately?

Since the group's second act in the early '90s, with the bittersweet "Ordinary World," not much. Duran Duran has soldiered on in various incarnations, but its legacy has been better served by lip service from acolytes like Scissor Sisters and DVD compilations of the band's MTV classics than by its lackluster albums, like the 2004 dud Astronaut.

Last year keyboard player Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor compiled Only After Dark, a top-notch DJ mix pegged to Duran Duran's nascent days at the Rum Runner club in Birmingham, England. Its underground classics by Grace Jones, Iggy Pop, and Kraftwerk not only won critical accolades but bode well for longtime Duran fans. Perhaps the wild boys were finally poised to go back to basics and show the Killers et al how real synth-rock fashion plates behave?

No such luck. Instead, Red Carpet Massacre makes a bid for contemporary relevance, leaning on songwriting and production assistance from Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Nate "Danja" Hills (the fast-rising star responsible for Britney Spears's "Gimme More"). …

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