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PAPER CUT

IT TOOK DURAN DURAN FIVE YEARS TO CRAFT PAPER GODS, A RECORD THAT STANDS UP WITH THEIR FINEST, WITH A HOST OF STELLAR GUESTS. CLASSIC POP MET THEM IN 2015 AT THE TIME OF ITS RELEASE AND DISCOVERED A BAND INCREASINGLY AWARE OF THEIR MORTALITY. AS JOHN TAYLOR EMPHASISED: “WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE MANY MORE ALBUMS. WE HAVE TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT WHEN WE DO

Halfway through Classic Pop’s interview with three-quarters of Duran Duran at Kensington’s slightly absurd Blakes Hotel (a caged budgie is next to reception), a plate of canapés arrives. With typical enthusiasm, Simon Le Bon’s eyes are out on stalks. “What are those?” he burbles at the waiter of halfa- dozen small purple squares. Nick Rhodes turns to Classic Pop with eyebrows raised and, with a long-suffering look, he mock-sighs: “Well, that’s two of them gone, whatever they are.”

Duran Duran, it transpires, are much more fun than their public image might suggest. For decades, they’ve been painted as either vacuous buffoons who lucked into a career thanks to women screaming at clothes horse John Taylor, or they’re pretentious berks who take themselves too seriously. The reality is, Duran Duran are a hoot – or the three of them gathered over Blakes’ beetroot falafels are. Le Bon and Rhodes are knowingly theatrical pantomime dames who bicker lovingly throughout, while the affable Roger Taylor is content to sit back and enjoy the spectacle. Missing these promo duties is John Taylor, who we speak to a week later by phone from his home in LA. He’s friendly and attentive, but he’s a marked contrast to his bandmates, intense and serious where they’re laidback and playful. If Simon Le Bon relishes the gargantuan world tour that accompanies any Duran album, John Taylor would far rather return to the studio as quickly as possible. Whatever the chemistry, it’s at its peak on Paper Gods. Duran’s fourth album since the classic line-up reunited in 2001 and their first since 2010’s All You Need Is Now, Paper Gods features Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, John Frusciante, Janelle Monae, Kiesza and even Lindsay Lohan, though producer Mr Hudson proved integral in ensuring it’s Duran’s best pop-with-depth album since Rio.

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About Classic Pop Presents

In the latest 132-page special edition of Classic Pop Presents, we celebrate 40 years of Duran Duran. Inside, we explore the band's roots in the New Romantic movement and take an in-depth look at their phenomenal success in the Eighties when they defined the decade with a string of chart-topping hits across the globe. We also tell the story of their critical and commercial rebirth in the Nineties and bring things bang up-to-date with the band fully enshrined as elder statesmen of pop. Elsewhere, we profile the band's best albums including the timeless Rio, Seven And The Ragged Tiger and Notorious plus we look through the lens at their blockbuster videos that shaped the MTV generation. We also hear from the band themselves through numerous archive interviews as well as a rare chat with former member Stephen Duffy. For your ultimate Duran Duran playlist, Classic Pop serves up the band's Top 40 greatest songs. The music. The videos. The style. The decadence – it's an unmissable treat for any Duran Duran fan.