I understand the desire to move forward as a band, so if you’re going to try to be around for multiple decades it only makes sense to experiment wildly. I just don’t know that the transparent use of a flavor-of-the-month producer is the way to go. Madonna hops on the whatever’s hot train every time she makes a record, but she also takes a beating from critics. I imagine she doesn’t exactly weep into the piles of cash she makes off album sales, so it’s no sweat off her back in the end. But Duran Duran has never attempted the save-my-career-collaboration before. Prince has and failed miserably. Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, anyone? Two-time departing guitarist Andy Taylor would likely quit a third time over the news of such careerist collaborations.
Of course, Duran Duran would relish success on a level it had back when 14-year-old girls would hemorrhage at the mere sight of them. Who wouldn’t? But realistically everyone involved knows that is not in the cards. I don’t know that any producer could rekindle that level of fanfare. But keyboardist Nick Rhodes describes his vision for Red Carpet Massacre due out November 13 on Epic, thusly:
“I think what we were trying to do was merge the Timbaland beats sound with Duran Duran. We wanted to make a very modern, angular record, but also something that preserved our roots.”
Vocalist Simon Le Bon is quick to point out that Duran Duran didn’t just sit back while Timbaland did all the work:
“(Timbaland) had recorded an entire track — he had rhythm, he had bass, he had total instrumentations, he even had a guide vocal on it. He said, ‘All you gotta do Simon is write the words.’ And we just said, ‘We don’t do that.'”
And to top off the press-buoying collaboration news, the band has filmed an allegedly X-rated video for “Falling Down”, the first single off Red Carpet Massacre, which should garner more than its share of headlines.