Duran Duran actively playing the 2021 Billboard Songs Awards displays the critics had been completely wrong

When Duran Duran jumped on to the global music stage in the early 1980s, critics dismissed them as just one more teen boy team, albeit with great musical chops, who have been most probable the flavor of the moment. But the band ongoing pounding out albums and scoring hits, and this Sunday’s are living effectiveness at the Billboard Songs Awards with Blur’s Graham Coxon proves just how wrong the naysayers had been.

Time has shown that their blend of pop, rock, dance and funk has an enduring attraction that crosses generations, with their final album, 2015’s “Paper Gods,” likely Best 10 in The usa and Prime 5 in the U.K. Their newest exertion, “Future Earlier,” arrives Oct. 22, with its 1st tune “Invisible” out this previous Wednesday. 4 decades after the release of their self-titled debut album, the band is nevertheless procuring mass media publicity, headlining key festivals and showing on an awards show along with present day pop icons like BTS, The Weeknd and P!nk. That’s no small feat.

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The team was absolutely a trendsetter back again in the day with songs like “Rio” and “The Wild Boys.” Whilst some may well accuse them of trendiness — notably by performing with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland on their underappreciated 2007 album “Red Carpet Massacre” — element of their mystery sauce is no doubt the capability to observe their individual feeling of design and style while deciding on best-notch collaborators like singer Janelle Monáe, guitarist Nile Rodgers and, now, generating legend Giorgio Moroder. Even in the course of the ’90s when sales were often a little bit choppier (1993’s well-known “Wedding Album” aside), they never catered to grunge or alternate tendencies like other ’80s teams did they retained their elegant graphic on their very own phrases.

Even with their ongoing achievements, there have been other bumps in the road. By the mid-1980s, the pressures of fame and expectations fractured Duran Duran into two platinum-offering aspect-tasks: The Electric power Station (with guitarist Andy Taylor and bassist John Taylor) and Arcadia (with singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor). Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor departed thereafter, and the band soldiered on properly for awhile with guitarist Warren Cuccurullo. John Taylor remaining in 1997.

A reunion of the vintage lineup came in 2001, and the Fab Five returned with the 2004 album “Astronaut” and its Top 40 strike “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise.” Though guitarist Dom Brown incredibly capably changed Andy Taylor soon after that, the ideal album of their more recent do the job, “All You Need Is Now,” hearkened back again to their ’80s seem — but with the matured lyrics and top-quality musicianship that occur with lifetime experience. The latest output easily tends to make the case that iconic bands can report some of the greatest new music of their job 30 years into it. But it appears to be several Gen Xers who grew up on Duran Duran’s audio are unaware of how good numerous of their new tracks are.

Guaranteed, Le Bon carries on to croon about time-honored matters like associations, undesirable women and club nightlife. But recent Duran Duran tunes also reflect additional cerebral considerations, these as the media’s obsession with “Other People’s Lives,” digital voyeurism in “Zoom In” and human over-reliance on technologies in “Blame the Devices.”Often, they deal with to blend the two arcs. Le Bon has mentionedthat “Invisible” is about a one particular-sided romance, but pair that sentiment with the song’s AI-generated video clip and it could be talking to the isolationism spawned by our social media earth. Yeah, they’re frequently even now upbeat and enjoyable-loving, but Duran Duran balances the equation with contemplative moments.

There’s usually a criticism of “heritage artists” — veterans with extensive catalogs — as getting dated or out of touch. But that is not honest to Duran Duran or the times they’re dwelling in. The appears and grooves that made the Fab Five a feeling back again in the ’80s are in vogue once more, as the 10 years continue to exerts a significant affect on today’s well known culture. Duran Duran’s occupation has appear comprehensive circle, even now operating their vintage vibe even as they experiment with present day ideas.

If the new solitary “Invisible” is any sign, “Future Past” will continue that custom in Oct.

CORRECTION (Could 28, 2021, 10:05 a.m. ET): A preceding edition of this write-up misidentified Nile Rodgers’ principal instrument. He plays guitar, not bass.