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Live at the Marquee on Friday June 29: They were the gaudiest of the ‘80s pop sensations. 20 years on, Duran Duran leader Simon Le Bon explains why the good time boys are a band for the long haul.
Paul Nolan, 18 Jun 2007
Since Duran Duran’s classic line-up reunited a few years ago, the group have enjoyed a remarkable career renaissance.
Although the band are heavily associated with ’80s synth-pop in many people’s minds, they have never actually broken up at any stage, and the renewal of interest in their work is a fitting reward for an act who have been consistently writing classic pop songs for close to three decades.
Set to be one of the highlights of the Live At The Marquee festival, Duran Duran can count contemporary artists as diverse as Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes, Scissor Sisters and The Killers amongst their fans. Indeed, one track on Duran Duran’s new album (to which they are currently applying the finishing touches) sees the band collaborate with another of their long-term admirers, Justin Timberlake.
“Yeah, we co-wrote and recorded together,” explains Duran Duran’s lead singer, Simon Le Bon. “Then I went over to LA later on and did the vocals for the track with Justin. What happened was that Nick and I were at a charity bash, and we ran into a guy who was looking after The Black Eyed Peas at the time. He said that there were a lot of guys in hip-hop and urban dance music who would love to work with Duran Duran. So we took a look at them, and ended up with Timbaland, which was pretty good going.
“Obviously, Timbaland is very close to Justin, and when he mentioned the collaboration to him, Justin said, ‘I love Duran Duran, there’s no way you’re going to work with them without me being involved’. The song is called ‘Nightrunner’ and it’s a very deep, heavy dance track. It’s not fast though, it’s hip-hop speed. Our styles merged together really well and it was a very quick collaboration. It was great.”
Although they’re back playing to appreciative audiences and enjoying their best critical notices for many years, Duran Duran have certainly had a few low points throughout their career. There have been periods when they have been severely at odds with prevailing musical trends, most notably during the grunge and Britpop eras. Did the group ever feel like packing it in at any stage?