These modern-day dandies personified fashionable pop in the early 1980s. Inspired in equal part by Chic’s sleek disco and the glam rock of Roxy Music, Duran Duran had a string of pop-funk hits made bigger by its expert use of a new art form – the music video.
The band’s eponymous 1981 album cemented its position as ambassadors of England’s New Romantic scene, but it was Rio, released a year later, that was its defining achievement. The dance club anthems “Hungry Like the Wolf” and the title track permanently entered the dreams of a generation via the epic little adventures directed by Aussie Russell Mulcahy and shown constantly on MTV.
Pictured on yachts and chasing glamorous gamines, the members of Duran Duran — Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor and Simon LeBon — pioneered the guy-liner look and sophisticated pop sound for teen heartthrobs, showing that androgyny and machismo could indeed blend.
Duran Duran kept its fanatical fan base after its big moment passed, and though some members have come and gone, it is still recording and touring. In 2008, MTV viewers voted “Rio” the best video of all time.