I love Duran Duran. And this is not a bandwagon thing based on their recent comeback tour. Here I go dating myself, but I was a Duranie in high school. Those who knew me in those days can confirm that I had a fedora hat that I wore all the time -- not the Indiana Jones kind, but the Duran Duran kind like in the video for "Hungry Like the Wolf". :)
Back in the day they were generally dismissed as a boy band and never really got their props for being able to play their instruments and write songs (unlike the boy bands we are subjected to on commercial radio today). Granted I don't like *everything* they've done..."Wild Boys" and "View to a Kill" never did anything for me. But I still enjoy their work a lot. Their singles collection, set on random in the CD player, is perfect for working out to. "Electric Barbarella" from 1997 is a great treadmill song. (The more weight I lose, the harder it is to keep the heart rate in the target zone so a fast insistent beat is important. But then the speed I'm going starts to overwhelm the CD player's anti-skip abilities...but I digress.) I put it on repeat sometimes, since it's fun listening to the story of one man's twisted infatuation with a state-of-the-art sex doll over and over.
Their ballads are very strong. "Save a Prayer" is beautiful, and I plan to cover it someday. :) "Come Undone" is also very deep and thick.
I think of Duran Duran's songs as eighth-house pop music. The eighth house, in astrology, covers things like sex, death, and mystery, which Simon Le Bon's lyrics keep coming back to in most every tune of theirs. Simon is a Scorpio, so it's natural for him to write lyrics about those topics. As it happens I'm also a Scorpio, and I think that comes out in my lyrics too.
In other news, Jim and Grant have provided their bios! Check out the artist page if you want to read them.