The Duran Duran frontman and an absolute Pop icon
Simon Le Bon turns 61 today
Nothing screams more modern classic Pop music than Duran Duran 1980’s hits, the iconic frontman Simon Le Bon, born Simon John Charles Le Bon on October 27th, 1958 in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England turns 61 today. His first contact with popularity happened when he was 6 years old when he appeared in a Persil TV commercial. During his younger years Le Bon pursued an acting career and played with Punk bands in England’s late 1970’s scene. In 1980 he joined Duran Duran and he contributed to the development of the band’s new wave/new romantic distinctive sound. In 1981 the band released their debut album “Duran Duran” which was a commercial success and established them as one of the 1980’s leading pop bands worldwide. Their first batch of hits included “Girls on Film” and “Planet Earth”. In 1982 they release one of their best selling albums, “Rio” that included the smash hits “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Save a Prayer”, this was the album that gave Duran Duran success in the United States, conquering a tough market for European bands, the marketing strategy that included original music videos for MTV helped the band achieved that success. “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” released in 1983 brought more commercial success for the band, by then one of the biggest Pop acts in the world, with their blend of new wave, synth pop and rock. “The Reflex”, “New Moon on Monday” and “Union of the Snake” were the biggest hits coming out of their third album. Also released as a stand alone single in 1983 was another smash hit for the band, “Is There Something I Should Know?” . In 1984 Duran Duran released their live album “Arena” that featured a new studio song “Wild Boys” proven to be another success for the band along with it’s original and expensive music video. In 1985 the band composed the theme for the 007 movie “A View To A Kill” and scored a massive worldwide hit with the song “A View To A Kill”, the first 007 song to reach No.1 on the Hot 100. The music video depicts the band as spies inside and around the Eiffel Tower in Paris where one of the movie scenes takes place. “Notorious” was the band’s 4th studio album released in 1986, however, now with less two of the original members, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor. Still, the album was able to score some hits such as “Notorious” and “Skin Trade”. Only in 1993 the band would be able to get another big chart hit with “Ordinary World”, a song distant from their original 1980’s sound and “Come Undone”. Despite maturing as songwriters, Duran Duran failed to achieve the same level of chart success as in the 1980’s. The band still releases new music and tours, during their concerts most of the set consists of their old 80’s hits. Aside of music, Le Bon is a sea lover and While Duran Duran was on hiatus in 1985, Le Bon drew media attention when his maxi yacht, Drum, lost its keel and capsized during the Fastnet race, just off Falmouth, along the southern coast of Cornwall. Before being rescued, Le Bon and other crew members were trapped under the boat, inside the hull, for forty minutes. They were all rescued by the Royal Navy. Simon married model Yasmin in 1985 and the couple still remains together.
Look back at the 1985 music video for “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran
Boys on film: The Duran Duran video channel on Pop Expresso
Listen to some of the best Duran Duran songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
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