Duran Duran: Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor.
Along with Spandau Ballet, Visage, and others, Duran Duran led the early-'80s charge of the New Romantics, a movement heavily inspired by the fashion-conscious, synth-colored art-school antics of Bowie and Roxy Music. Duran Duran and their peers updated that sound for a new decade, adopting punk's DIY attitude and helping to give birth to dance-rock along the way by adding a disco-ish beat.
Subsequent releases would find the band moving more toward straight pop, becoming simultaneously less dance-oriented and less arty. The 1981 debut, however, is full of thumping, club-friendly beats and long, atmospheric tunes full of extended synthesizer-centered interludes. The fact that the boys were pop-savvy enough to add irresistible choruses to "Girls on Film," "Careless Memories," and "Planet Earth" doesn't hurt matters.
Rolling Stone (9/4/03, p.146) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Simultaneously atmospheric and dance-floor-directed...a synth-rock blueprint..."
Q (10/03, p.127) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Naturally, it's all terribly glamorous..."
CMJ (1/5/04, p.8) - Ranked #19 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1981"