New Duran Duran Video For ‘Anniversary’ is an Extravagant Sendup of Fame
If you’re Duran Duran, there’s no separating matters of fame from anything else you do – even though their songs have always held up on their purely artistic merit. And wouldn’t you know, the band are currently making some of the most vital music of their forty-year existence – while just as importantly, with recent videos like ‘Invisible’ and ‘More Joy’, they’ve also rediscovered the visual mojo that first propelled them to such dizzying heights.
No surprise, 2021 finds them cleverly referencing the expanse of their career, with an album coming October 22 titled Future Past – and in advance of its release, the exhilarating new single ‘Anniversary’, out today via Tape Modern / BMG.
The shrewdly snarky accompanying video opens with a parade of extravagantly bedecked guests arriving at some particularly grandiose European castle – we’re thinking it’s a Loire Valley chateau, but don’t quote us on that – for what looks like the impossibly glamorous soiree that we all wish we could attend right now, after endless months of lockdowns and pandemic anxiety. Directed by Alison Jackson – whose work has always incisively satirized celebrity – it straight away finds Nick, Simon, Roger and John posing with a quartet of young actors dressed up to look like their 1982 selves (The headbands! The stripey shirts!). The “kids” then take to the stage to mime a performance of ‘Anniversary’, and it just gets crazier from there.
In one scene the DD boys appear to be playing poker with Queen Elizabeth herself, while elsewhere the likes of Elton John, Lady Gaga, Vladimir Putin, Kim Kardashian and Daniel Craig are all getting their party on. But, of course, it’s not really them. So yes, it’s a bit of a meta sendup of the very notion of fame – though all involved seem to be having loads of fun with the winking commentary.
The lyrics to the track do find Monsieur Le Bon once again playing a little cagey with meaning, asking that we at least do a bit of work to get at what he’s trying to tell us.
“Come celebrate this union
Come holy and unchained
How do you know, stay or go
Keep riding on the train”
“It’s a special song for us,” John Taylor explains. “Obviously we were conscious of our own impending 40th anniversary of making music together, but we wanted the song’s meaning to be inclusive in the broadest possible way. After playing and working together for so long, we very much appreciate what ‘being together’ and ’staying together’ can really mean. It’s not something we would have thought song-worthy forty years ago, but we do today. It was also fun to build a track with hints of previous Duran hits – they’re like Easter eggs, for the fans to find.”
To keep the celebration going, this Thursday, October 21 (3pm EST), a special Dreamstage livestream event will see the band debut Double Take, a half-hour behind-the-scenes look at the making of the ‘Anniversary’ video, followed by a live Q&A. Tickets can be purchased at Dreamstage.live.