Duran Duran Wiki
David Campbell
Background information
Birth name David Richard Campbell
Born 1948, Canada
Occupation Arranger, conductor, composer
Years active 1970s-present
Associated acts Marvin Gaye
Barry White
10,000 Maniacs
Duran Duran

David Campbell (born 1948) is a Canadian arranger, conductor and composer, whose work has included contributions to Duran Duran's Pop Trash album.


Born in Toronto of Canadian parents, he grew up mostly in Seattle (USA) and from the age 10 learned violin, viola and piano. Also becoming fascinated with orchestration and conducting he went from reading comic books to pouring over orchestral scores for long hours. In high school and college he formed a string quartet with friends including David Harrington.

After the quartet disbanded he became a performing member of a 16 player ensemble, The Contemporary Group, which performed a program of new experimental works every week for 2 seasons at the University of Washington. After a few years at University of Washington and Manhattan School of Music, Campbell had a brief symphony career in New York City, playing viola for a couple of seasons in the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall under conducting legend Leopold Stokowski.

Finally giving in to a long curiosity about orchestration in rock, pop and jazz, David began playing on LA and New York studio sessions and in various rock and bluegrass bands. During the early 1970s, he played on many Motown classics including Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On", as well as sessions with Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King's "Tapestry", Jackson Browne, Arlo Guthrie, Barry White, Barbara Streisand and Bill Withers' "Lean on Me". As a contrast to his heavy involvement in mainstream rock and pop for most of the 1970s, Campbell developed a passion for new bands during the developing punk rock years, spending late nights in LA and New York clubs seeing early performances by Devo, Talking Heads, Blondie and Cheap Trick.

Film music was Campbell's major interest in the mid 1980s, composing the scores for successful independent films such as Night of the Comet, as well as major studio releases like Tom Cruise's follow up to Risky Business, All the Right Moves.

With the success and Grammy acclaim of Linda Ronstadt's late 1980s return to pop Cry Like a Rainstorm, featuring several Campbell orchestral arrangements, David decided to once again specialize in arrangements for strings and horns, which included string arrangements on Duran Duran's Pop Trash album. From that period to the present, he has built up a discography in modern rock, country, hip hop and R & B, mainstream pop, rock en espanol, Latin pop, Japanese pop, rock & jazz and other international markets.

A selection of credits[]

  • Isle Of View - Jimmie Spheeris (1971)
  • Your Love Keeps Me Off The Streets - Wings Livinryte (1975)
  • The Pretender - Jackson Browne (1976)
  • Leo Sayer - Leo Sayer (1978)
  • In My Tribe - 10,000 Maniacs (1987)
  • "Show Me Heaven" - Tina Arena (1995)
  • "Pink" - Aerosmith (1997)
  • Pop Trash - Duran Duran (2000)
  • "5:55" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (2006)
  • Hold Time - M. Ward (2009)