Simon Le Bon
Simon Le Bon
Le Bon agreed to "try [Duran Duran] out for the summer"; within six weeks the band was playing steadily around Birmingham and London, and a national tour supporting Hazel O'Connor led to a record deal with EMI Records in December. Le Bon never returned to his acting career. The band's first album, Duran Duran, was released in 1981, and they quickly shot to fame as part of the New Romantic movement. Three more albums followed in quick succession: Rio (1982), Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983) and Arena (1984). Each album release was accompanied by heavy media promotion and a lengthy concert tour.
By mid-1984, the band was ready for a break. Duran Duran's only other work that year was an appearance on the 1984 Band Aid charity single, "Do They Know It's Christmas". Following the departures of Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor, Le Bon, Rhodes, and John Taylor continued on as Duran Duran, recording and releasing Notorious (1986) and Big Thing (1988). The group added guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and Sterling Campbell (his only album as a member of the band) and recorded the album Liberty (1990), but the band's success had begun to wane in the late-1980s. Duran Duran had a resurgence in popularity in 1993 with The Wedding Album.
Several months into the intensive concert tour supporting this album, Le Bon suffered from strained vocal cords, and the tour was postponed for six weeks while he recovered. In 1995, Le Bon performed Duran Duran's 1993 hit "Ordinary World" with opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti during a "Children of Bosnia" benefit concert for War Child. In 2001, Duran Duran's original five members reunited to record a new album, "Astronaut", for Epic Records. "Astronaut" was released worldwide on 11 October 2004. The album was preceded by the single "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise", their first UK Top 10 single for a decade. While Le Bon has been in Duran Duran for the band's entire history, he has also dabbled in solo outings. In 1985, for the Whitbread Round the World Race, he contributed a song entitled "Grey Lady Of The Sea" and narrated a video of that year's race called Drum (1987).
Grey Lady Of The Sea was released as a single in Japan in 1988. In 1989, for Jonathan Elias' Requiem For The Americas project, Le Bon contributed "Follow In My Footsteps", with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs on background vocals. The track was released on 7" single in Italy that year. In 1998, along with friend Nick Wood and wife Yasmin, he set up SYN Entertainment (Simon Yasmin Nick) in Tokyo, Japan. Having first conceived the idea in 1988, Le Bon is currently described as SYN's "Founder and Chairman", while Wood is "Founder, President and Creative Director". In 2000, SYN Entertainment founded SYN Records which has released a number of compilations, some of which have included contributions by Le Bon. Another solo track, "Dreamboy", was featured on the SYN-released soundtrack to the Mario Van Peebles movie Love Kills. In October 2005 Dutch trance DJ Ferry Corsten released the track "Fire", with vocals by Simon Le Bon.
It was a remix of the lesser known Duran Duran single Serious, from the album Liberty. (full credits: Ferry Corsten feat. Simon Le Bon - Fire (Flashover remix), on Flashover Recordings) In late 2006, Simon became a member of Shinzou Sound, and took part in the Japan-based online manga project, 'Synesthesia', by co-writing the theme song 'Nobody Knows' along with Nick Wood. In 2008, Duran Duran released "Red Carpet Massacre". The album features collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
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