"Rio" was a big hit for one of the biggest rock bands of the 1980s. Now, a late Summer Song is putting Duran Duran back in the spotlight. Anthony Mason caught up with the band on the road:
On a hot August night in a vineyard in eastern Long Island, four musicians climbed the stage, and suddenly it was the '80s all over again. The "Wild Boys" were back.
"It's almost astonishing to all of us, I think, to accept that Duran Duran is three-and-a-half decades old," said Nick Rhodes.
They released a new album this past Friday, called "Paper Gods." If it were the debut from some upstart band, Rolling Stone wrote, "the buzz would be insane." For hard-core fans (Duranies as they're called), the insanity never ended.
To listen to Duran Duran's "Pressure Off" (featuring Janelle Monáe and Nile Rodgers), from their new album, "Paper Gods," click on the Soundcloud player below.
In the eighties, the Fab Five, as they were then, led the Second British Invasion.
"We had ambition, and we had a plan," said Simon Le Bon.
"What was the plan?"
"World domination within five years," he said. "And what did we get? World domination within five years!"
They'd come together in Birmingham, England, where keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bass player John Taylor had been childhood friends:
"When I was 16, he was 18, we formed Duran, Duran. And we were convinced that it was going to work," said Rhodes.
"I was like a super nerd in school," said Taylor. "The first time I put on an electric guitar, I played at the school dance, life was never the same again. My standing went from zero to hero!"
With Andy Taylor on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums (none of the Taylors are related), and Simon Le Bon as front man, Duran Duran crossbred punk and glam, charting 11 Top 10 hits, such as "Hungry Like a Wolf."
If girls ate them up, critics spat them out. "A mall version of Roxy Music," read one review.
"We grew a thick skin really quickly," said Le Bon. "The more girls we got kind of following the band, the more [critics] hated us."
"Did you think the rock press just didn't get you?" asked Mason.