Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 13/05/2001

Duran Duran reforms! Well, almost . . .

As a long-time observer of Duran Duran, I'd figured that they were in the same area as many of my other favourite 1980s bands; still producing music which I sometimes found interesting, but unlikely to ever reclaim their previous position in the public eye. They'd done all the expected things: members leaving, bust-ups with their record labels, endless delays in the release of albums, lots of fan fretting about their failure to secure high chart positions. I'd seen it with Nik Kershaw, and Duran seemed to be going down exactly the same path. When a couple of songs showed up on last year's Pop Trash album that Simon Le Bon didn't even have a hand in writing, I wondered if the end really was nigh.

Now, however, Duran has decided to go for a more radical tactic to win back public favour. Longstanding third member Warren Cuccurullo is departing shortly to rejoin Missing Persons (There was actually a hint of this last year, when Simon and Nick Rhodes posed for a Vanity Fair music issue without him), and the two remaining members will team up with the three Taylor boys, Andy, John and Roger, to reform the 'classic' Duran Duran lineup.

While I'll be well pleased if this results in some seriously funky new recordings along the lines of 'The Reflex', I actually think it's a bit of a stretch to claim, as the band's official statement does, that this will be the "first time in 15 years" that the band has been together in this form. After all, John didn't actually leave the group until 1997, and Roger contributed drums to the 1995 covers album Thank You, so it's only really Andy who hasn't been in the picture all that time. In fact, the more relevant observation about the 15-year gap might be that for most of their career, Duran Duran haven't existed in the lineup that most people still remember.

It'll also be interesting to see if the problems that led to the members leaving last time around can be overcome. Roger Taylor left because he was stressed out by the band's fame-heavy lifestyle, so that shouldn't be a problem. John Taylor quit because he was sick of waiting for the band to finish up the Medazzaland album. While the band's output has sped up a little since then, and a new record from this lineup is promised by 2002, it'll be interesting to see if JT lasts the distance. After all, when the Power Station reformed, he stuck around for the recording but quit before any actual promotion took place.

However, doubtless they'll still be laughing all the way to the bank. If nothing else, they'll be able to mount an expensive and extensive tour of the US to cater for old 80s pop fans like me. Maybe Missing Persons could do the support.

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