Simon LeBon says Duran Duran was part of industry demise

Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:44pm EST
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By Shirley Halperin

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Thirteen could be Duran Duran's lucky number. The music video pioneers and pop icons, who are one of the few bands to transition from '80s pinups to legitimate, chart-topping artists, have seen success in every decade since their monumental 1981 album was released. Their latest, and 13th, album "All You Need Is Now" (released on iTunes December 21), looks poised to do the same.

Produced by longtime Duran Duran devotee Mark Ronson, it's already being hailed as a return to form and promises to be the closest today's fans can get to that "New Romantic" sound they fell in love with all those years ago.

Helping the band execute their musical vision are several guests, including Kelis, Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic and Arcade Fire's Owen Pallett, but in embracing the sounds of the future for "All You Need Is Now," they also reference bits of their past -- a "Chauffeur"-like synth, the instantly recognizable bass-line -- to great effect. If you like that sort of thing, of course. The four original members, singer Simon LeBon, bassist John Taylor, keyboard whiz and programer Nick Rhodes, and drummer Roger Taylor, are counting on a least a few million people who do.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Duran Duran's frontman Simon LeBon just as the single and title track, available for free, shot to No. 1 on iTunes' pop download chart.

THR: "All You Need is Now" is your first iTunes exclusive release and it's a nine-track "LP," can you explain the methodology behind this roll-out?

Simon LeBon: "We'll be releasing physical product at the end of February, which will be in CD form and vinyl and will have 14 tracks, but we felt that we wanted to put something out very essential on iTunes. Rather than doing the traditional deal with a record label, we went to the company who was most excited about Duran Duran, and that was iTunes -- they had the best ideas, a campaign in mind, and the best thrust. As far as the nine tracks, Mark thought it was a very good number because 'Rio' only has nine tracks on it."

THR: The "Rio" comparison, originally made by Mark, seems to be getting a lot of traction...

LeBon: "People have said this is the follow up to 'Rio,' but it's important to stress that it's not supposed to sound like that. This is not an album that sounds like it came from the 80s, but it does, to some extent, have the spirit of Duran Duran from that period. I think that's what we were trying to recapture with Mark."   Continued...