Duran Duran and The Beatles Connections
Duran Duran have often been compared to The Beatles, not just in the UK, but also in Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, and also Canada and the United States. Here is a list of 26 The Beatles/Duran Duran connections, in order of The Beatles timeline.
1960 - The Beatles are formed from 4 lads from Liverpool, Northern England. 1980 Duran Duran's classic lineup are formed from 5 lads, one from the North East and the rest from Birmingham, Midlands, England.
1961-1964 - The Beatles inspired Beatlemania starting from their Cavern Club days in Liverpool, where fans would scream during live shows. Hysteria for pop bands is unusual, and has only happened to a select few bands on such a globally insane level; where fans would cause major disruptions. 1981-1984 Durannie Mania begins, continuing over their career.
1962 - The Beatles sign with EMI in February. In Dec 1980, Duran Duran was signed by Dave Ambrose from EMI. The band say they signed with EMI due to the legacy of The Beatles.
1962 - The Beatles are famous for their hair styles. By 1982, Duran Duran are famous for their hairstyles.
1962 - The Beatles charm their audience with a zany comic sense of humour. By 1982, Duran Duran had learned to charm their audience in the same way.
1962 - The Beatles all smoked cigarettes. Duran Duran all smoked at one point, with Simon being the first singer to light a cigarette audibly in a song, during the intro of Last Chance on the Stairway.
1962 - The Beatles are dubbed "The Fab Four" by Tony Barrow, who gave up his career as a journalist and music critic to become the Beatles' first publicist in 1962, and who for the next six years played a crucial role in shaping the public's perception of the Fab Four. In January 1980, Duran Duran link up with Paul Berrow and Michael Berrow, who give up their nightclub careers, and spend the next 5 to 6 years shaping the public's perception of "The Fab Five". Duran Duran were dubbed "The Fab Five" on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in February 1984; the only band to have been given this nickname, and in direct reference to The Beatles. (Image Source).
1963 - The Beatles are photographed inside EMI's Manchester Square studio, leaning over a rail. The iconic photo was revisited in 1969 when they would repeat the shot; which was used initially for the "Get Back" cover, and later the Greatest Hits LPs. Dec 1980, Duran Duran record 4 demos at Manchester Square Studios. It is likely they leaned over the same rail.
1964 - The Beatles, during February of 1964, opened America's doors to a new wave of emerging British talent, thanks to their haircuts, charm, whit, and crazy-good music, which the American press called the Second British Invasion (the first being the one which founded the country). In 1981, MTV launches in August, followed by Duran Duran's first American tour. This opened Americas doors to emerging New Wave British bands, thanks to their stylish videos, combined with their good looks, haircuts, whit and crazy-good music; which became known as the Second British Invasion of Pop Music (the first being the 1964 invasion, lead by The Beatles). Duran Duran lead the second British invasion (Source), and also created a teen "hysteria" similar to Beatlemania.
1964 - The Beatles, having broken America, make their legendary press conference from JFK Airport, in February 1964. They quip about their haircuts. In 1984, Duran Duran, having broken America, make their famous press conference from LA. They quip about how they play their instruments.
1964 - The feature film Help! is released by The Beatles in July 1964. 1969/1970 - Simon sees A Hard Day's Night by The Beatles, when he was "About 11, or something?". Simon remembers thinking "Cor, that looks like fun!". Simon sights this as the moment when he first wanted to be involved in a band, having previously experienced stage acting. (Source).
1965 - The Beatles first stadium concert was Shea Stadium, Queens, New York, in August 1965, with a capacity of 60k seated people, and to an audience of 55,600. Duran Duran's first stadium concert was Wembley Arena, London, England, on Dec 18th 1983; where they performed for five consecutive nights. Wembley was the biggest stadium in the UK, with a capacity of 82k seated people. Each concert was Sold Out.
1966 - The Beatles release the first non-performance based music video for Paperback Writer. They followed this with several story-based videos with the likes of "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields". Most music videos which followed continued the established trend of the artist performing/miming to the camera, most notably Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". June 1981, Duran Duran release the 'Girls On Film' video, featuring a story, acting, and no miming to the camera. This 'mini movie' or featurette idea was solidified with "Hungry The The Wolf", and immediately the style of music videos changed - leading to a wave of music videos being shot on beaches and tropical locations, and the Micheal Jackson 'short story' videos.
1966 - The Beatles release a song called "Rain", 30th May 1966. Duran Duran release the song Hold Back the Rain, 10th May 1982.
1966 - The Beatles First backwards instruments to be used on a rock recording was released in Aug 1966, Tomorrow Never Knows on the album Revolver. Duran Duran's song Rio opens with a backwards sample of metal rods being thrown into a grand piano.
1966-1967 - The Beatles release several hippie-style songs including Tomorrow Never Knows and Strawberry Fields. 2000 Duran release the song "Lava Lamp", and in 2002 Beautiful Colours, with a 'flower power' themed video.
1966-1967 - The Beatles release several record sleeves featuring collages of old photographs, most notable Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and also the Christmas Time is Here Again! flexidisc. 1992 Duran Duran release TWA with a cover sleeve collage of old photographs.
1967 - The Beatles First printing of lyrics on a record cover was for the album Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club. Duran Duran's first album in 1981 was released with lyrics, but also the Japanese Pressing featured the New Romantic dance steps; containing both a visual guide and also the foot patterns and movements, with notes for each step.
1976 - The Beatles Within You Without You is the first Indian Prog song. Duran Duran used Indian progressive elements in the song Buried in the Sand, released in 1997, and emphasised in the live performances of the song.
1968 - The Beatles first political song was arguably Revolution from The White Album, containing the line "You say you want a Revolution". In 1990, Duran Duran release their first political song Hothead, with the line "Evolution, Non-stop Evolution".
1968 - The Beatles song Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is the first rock song to use Polyryhthm; that is playing different conflicting rhythms on top of each other. In 1982 Duran Duran released New Religion, a rock song which features Polyryhthm vocals during the bridge section.
1969 - The Beatles famous rooftop concert was held January 30th, 1969. Duran Duran perform on a rooftop at The Aster Hotel LA, near the Capitol Records building, March 17th 2022.
1969 - John Lennon releases the Wedding Album. In 1992, Duran Duran release Duran Duran also known as The Wedding Album.
1969 - The Beatles split up, with the news being held back until 1970. Disagreements stemmed from paranoia mixed with substance abuse, and everyone wanting to produce solo work. In 1985, Duran Duran split to make solo projects, amid general paranoia mixed with substance abuse. It would be many years later before the original 'fab five' got back together again for the Reunion in 2003.
1970 - John Lennon releases songs "Instant Karma" and "Give Peace a Chance". 2007 Duran/Simon records Instant Karma and also Give Peace a Chance. Another of John's songs was meant to be covered on the Thank You album.
1973 - Paul McCartney is invited to write the theme song for James Bond movie Live and Let Die. The song is a break from the usual Ballad style, and instead is a Rock song. "Live and Let Die" reached No. 1 on two of the three major US charts, though only reached No. 2 on the US Hot 100 (for three weeks) and No.9 in the UK. The song was only a No.1 hit in America. In 1984, Duran Duran invite themselves to write the James Bond theme for A View To A Kill. The song is another Rock themed track; reaching No. 1 on the all three of the American music charts, including the Hot 100, and similarly reaching No.2 in the UK The song would go on to be No.1 in 7 countries worldwide, which are officially on record, and several more unofficially; some say perhaps in 12 to 15 countries.
1980 - John Lennon is murdered in New York, Dec 8th 1980. On the same date, Duran Duran finished recording their first single, Planet Earth. News of the shooting landed as they left their studio. John was particularly affected.