that headsinger Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran is a sometime resident of Japan and
helps run a studio here, it's only natural that the quintessential '80s
band should visit the country on a regular basis. Following a 2000 comeback tour
and album from the aging synth-pop warriors, Duran Duran cement their re-emergence-25
years after their founding-this summer with a reunion tour and album that
brings back the original lineup of Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger, Andy and John
Roll back to the early '80s: singer Simon Le Bon and Duran
Duran are breaking ground in a new media, MTV. Many of the elements that we now
think of as essential to music video-scantily clad models prancing about
for instance-were pioneered in Duran Duran videos like "Girls on
Film." Not only their visual approach, but also elements such as Duran
Duran's precise synthesizer arrangements and elaborate choreography routines
have since become standard for music video.
In many other ways (not to
mention Le Bon's studio success), Duran Duran's influence is still
being felt. It will be interesting, then, to see how the current lineup differs
from that of three years ago, which featured guitarist Warren Cuccurullo.
tour follows the amazing welcome the band have received since re-forming and signing
a multi-album, multi-million deal with Hollywood Records for 2000's Pop
Trash. Their tenth album overall was a deliberately self-deprecating acknowledgement
of Duran Duran's place in history. With plenty of pop hooks and undimmed
cynicism, the album pleased diehard fans without perhaps winning them any new
Out on tour, however, the band's comeback was a different
story. Duran Duran were treated rapturously. Their sold-out tours across the US
and Europe included a week's residency in 2001 at the House of Blues in
Los Angeles, smashing all attendance records.
In Japan, the picture looks
equally frenzied, with tickets to their first Budokan show selling out in 30 minutes,
leading to the addition of another show. Promoter Naoki Shimizu of Creativeman,
who is putting on all of the Japanese dates, says he is particularly thrilled
to be working with Duran Duran again, having first been hired by the band some
18 years ago as their driver.
Commenting on the forthcoming dates, Shimizu
said, "It has been very big news that Duran Duran will tour Japan after
18 years with the five original members. It is also big news that this is the
first place anywhere in the world that they'll be performing. The sales
of the Budokan show are fantastic. I believe this phenomenal success is not only
because they're a great live band with a wonderful catalog of hit songs,
but also because fans are unbelievably excited about this next phase of their
career and the band's much-anticipated new album."
Duran play the Nihon Budokan on July 11 (sold out) and 12. See listings for details.
music with METROPOLIS readers at http://forum.japantoday.com