WHO THEY ARE: The leading lights of ’80s new wave, one of the UK’s biggest musical exports since the first British Invasion, and perhaps the definitive band of the MTV era.
BEST KNOWN FOR: A series of super-catchy, vaguely arty and synth-heavy ’80s pop smashes, as well as an accompanying series of iconic music videos that portrayed the band’s existence as one non-stop adventure of trekking through glamorous-but-deadly locales, sleeping with gorgeous, exotic women and occasionally running into the stray saxophone player in the midst of a ripping solo. “Girls on Film” brough X-rated (well, hard R anyway) smut to the music video, “Hungry Like the Wolf” saw the band starring in their own Indiana Jones movie (but with more sex), “A View to a Kill” saw the group playing James Bond in a mini-flick more suspenseful than the movie it soundtracked, and “The Wild Boys”…well, we’re still not really sure what’s going on in “Wild Boys,” but it looked intense.
STILL GETTING IT DONE: The group’s good looks, slick tunes and fabulous music videos made them heroes to the MTV generation, and future pop stars such as Pink, Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani grew up as avowed Durannies, while such ’00s new-wave revivalists as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and pretty much everyone involved with the Electroclash movement listed them as a key influence. Noted child of the ’80s Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray even went as far with his fandom as to fantasize about recreating the “Is There Something I Should Know?” in the group’s own “When It’s Over” clip.
DUMBEST CHORUS OF ANY #1 HIT EVER: “The reflex / Is an only child / He’s waiting in the park / The reflex / Is in charge of finding / Treasure in the daaaaaaark….”
EASIEST WAY TO GET THEIR NAME STUCK IN YOUR HEAD FOR WEEKS: 1:20 in this clip.
MOST QUESTIONABLE CHOICE OF COVER: Amazingly, it’s not their verison of Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel’s “White Lines (Don’t Do It)”—better than you might suspect/remember—but rather another song from 1995′s cover LP Thank You, a bluesy rendition of Public Enemy’s “911 is a Joke” that ends up sounding like a British G. Love and Special Sauce. Not a good thing.
ALL-TIME MOST ICONIC VIDEO FREEZE FRAME: