Legend of the '80s still pulls fans

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am


Legendary 1980s pop icon Duran Duran will appear in Hong Kong in March next year as part of the All You Need Is Now world tour.

It will be the band's first concert in Hong Kong since the 2008 Red Carpet Massacre tour.

The latest tour, which began in March this year, has so far taken Duran Duran to the United States, Brazil, Britain and Europe. After Hong Kong, it will play six dates across Australia.

Duran Duran is arguably one of the most successful bands to come out of the '80s, having sold more than 80 million records worldwide with 18 American hit singles, 30 chart toppers in Britain and a global presence that guarantees the group huge concert audiences in five continents.

Duran Duran celebrated its 30th anniversary with the release of its 13th album, All You Need Is Now, produced by celebrity producer and Grammy award-winning musician Mark Ronson.

The album was initially released on iTunes before going to CD, with critics lauding the new work as the best since the 1982 Rio album - which spawned such megahits as My Own Way, Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer and the title track - and the 1983 album Seven and the Ragged Tiger, which featured iconic hits The Reflex, New Moon on Monday and Union of the Snake.

With All You Need Is Now, Ronson has harked back to the glory days of 1982 and 1983, recreating the sound that made the world sit up and notice the new wave band from Birmingham.

Instead of being a tired replica of yesteryear, though, the album re-energises the unique Duran Duran vibe, reminding listeners why it was so big in the first place.

Songs such as the title track and Too Bad You're So Beautiful are chorus sing-a-longs, while the disco beat of Safe, featuring vocals from Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters, is reminiscent of Rio and Girls on Film.

American artist Kelis features on the grandiose The Man Who Stole a Leopard and Blame the Machines takes listeners back to '80s electro-pop.

The more recent Girl Panic has garnered rave reviews for its video, featuring original supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Yasmin Le Bon, posing as the band.

Duran Duran was a pioneer in the early '80s, being the first band to make a music video on 35mm film rather than videotape.

It also took the genre to exotic locations such as Sri Lanka and Antigua, incorporating mini-storylines interspersed with special effects.

It was hardly surprising when Duran Duran won two Grammys for Best Music Video short form and long form in 1984.

The band was also known for using prestigious artists to direct its videos, including future film director Russell Mulcahy on Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer and Is There Something I Should Know?, and photographer Dean Chamberlain and Chinese director Chen Kaige.

In 1984, Duran Duran was one of the first bands to use video technology in its live stadium shows.

While the band was considered part of the New Romantic scene, it shed this image by working with fashion designers to create a sharp yet elegant look that earned it the reputation as 'the prettiest boys in rock'.

Formed in Birmingham in 1978 by John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Stephen Duffy, who left the following year, Duran Duran took its name from the villain Dr Durand Durand, in Roger Vadim's 1968 French science-fiction film Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda.

Barbarella's was also the name of one of the clubs it played in that helped launch its career.

Drummer Roger Taylor came on board in 1979.

The line-up changed several times before Andy Taylor and Simon Le Bon, on lead guitar and vocals respectively, joined in 1980.

The band's now familiar line-up of John Taylor, Rhodes, Roger Taylor, Le Bon and Andy Taylor released their first album Duran Duran in 1981 with notable hits Planet Earth and Girls on Film. Duran Duran is seemingly an unstoppable force, winning five prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from MTV, Brit Awards, Ivor Novellos, Spanish Ondas and Q Magazine awards.

The band never split up in its 30 years together, although it had members leave only to return again.

With strong new material that holds up to some of its biggest hits, concert goers will see that the All You Need Is Now tour is far from a greatest hits revival. The band has brought its sound to a new generation.

The Hong Kong show features four original members - John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Rhodes and Le Bon who will perform songs from their latest album and all their greatest hits, including such favourites as Planet Earth, A View to a Kill, The Reflex, Notorious, Ordinary World, Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film and Rio.

Concert schedule

Date March 14, 2012

Time 8pm

Venue Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo Hall 10

Tickets HK$1,088, HK$888, HK$588 at HK Ticketing and all Tom Lee outlets

Public sales date December 14, 2011

Bookings hotline (852) 3128 8288

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