DURAN DURAN IS 40! Well, actually, as a band they're older than that, but their self titled debut album, Duran Duran, is 40.
Released on June 15, 1981, the Duran Duran debut album introduced the world to a band that would go onto become one of the most successful groups in both the New Romantics/New Wave genres, as well as the 1980s, in general.
Featuring the classic hits, Planet Earth and Girls on Film, both of which continue to receive heavy airplay on classic alternative radio, the Duran Duran debut album was produced by Colin Thurston who was no stranger to the burgeoning alternative rock and synthpop genres, of the late 1970s-mid 1980s. Mr. Thurston was the engineer on both David Bowie's Heroes and Iggy Pop's Lust for Life, both juggernaut albums, as well as producing the most recent release by synthpop superstars, Human League, titled Reproduction. According to Duran Duran keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, "That one particularly was an inspiration because that came out before ours, and Colin produced that one. It was one of the reasons that we got Colin Thurston. He had been the engineer of those great albums that Iggy and Bowie made together, and he produced Human League. He knew exactly what we liked."
Although Duran Duran are often perceived as danceable pop music icons, the tracks featured on their debut album spanned from dance oriented pop to atmospheric to punk and post-disco. In addition, the lyrics written by lead singer, Simon Le Bon, dealt with heavy issues including teen angst, hopes of the band and even social commentary.
Both the album's track listing and success differed in the various parts of the world. Planet Earth skyrocketed to #9 on the British charts while, in the US, the album failed to break into the Top 10, until 1983, two years after its release, due to the album being re-released because of the success of Duran Duran's follow up album, Rio.
Despite all of that, Duran Duran's debut gave the world their initial introduction to one of the bands/artists that would go onto define the 1980s.