Duran Duran

The first time he saw the video for "Mr. Brightside," the latest single by the Killers, Simon LeBon must have felt as if he'd fallen through the looking glass, or maybe the picture tube. Everything about the clip -- its ornate setting, elaborate costumes, semi-clad vixens and air of sophisticated ennui -- screams "1984," in the MTV (as opposed to the Orwellian) sense. That this throwback aesthetic is being embraced, not ridiculed, demonstrates why Duran Duran's original members have reunited and are performing in arenas instead of Holiday Inns. Astronaut, the players' latest comeback album, didn't exactly blast into the stratosphere, sales-wise, but it earned significant airplay for "(Reach Up for the) Sunrise," as retro a single as their team could conceive -- and Greatest: The DVD, a collection of popular hits mostly culled from the Max Headroom decade, recently went platinum. Of course, the likes of "Rio" don't exactly qualify as au courant, since they spotlight more feathered hair than a vintage episode of Charlie's Angels. Then again, if trends keep moving in the direction they're headed, blow dryers will soon be back in style. To LeBon, this would undoubtedly represent the real bright side.


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