When Duran Duran made its U.S. splash in 1981, the heady excess and glitter of the era, along with the surging energy of MTV, made it difficult to tell whether or not the band would amount to a flash in the pan. Certainly, the pouffy-haired fivesome looked good and the music sounded slick and hyper-catchy. The grooves thumped, the melodies soared, and John Taylor's basslines slithered like eels underwater. Looking back, in fact, it was those basslines that gave the first indication of substance buried somewhere behind the rock-star fantasy façade that the band was all too happy to support. (After all, frontman Simon Le Bon did once famously quip that rock stars date supermodels "because they can.") Still, even with the inherent quality of the band's music waiting to be discovered by music fans finally admitting that '80s production values did have some depth, no one in their right mind would have expected Duran Duran to last three decades. And yet, somehow, that's precisely what the band has managed to do and do in fine form — i.e., with enough falls from grace and subsequent comebacks to keep fans eager to see the next move. Welcome back again.
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