First single is "Pressure Off," featuring Janelle Monáe
Multiplatinum superstars Duran Duran will release their 14th studio album, "Paper Gods," in the U.S. Sept. 18 and in the rest of the world Sept. 11 through Warner Bros. Records.
Singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor recorded the album in London with producers Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Josh Blair and Ben "Mr" Hudson. The record features special guests Janelle Monáe (on the first single "Pressure Off"), former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, Canadian Juno-Award-winning singer Kiesza, British singer/songwriter "Mr" Hudson, violinist Davidé Rossi and actress Lindsay Lohan. The album was mixed by Mark "Spike" Stent.
"Paper Gods" will be available for pre-order, and "Pressure Off" will be available for purchase at all participating digital retailers and DuranDuran.com this week.
The songs on "Paper Gods" capture the duality and sense of conflict at the heart of Duran Duran's music.
"It really goes back to that strange early Duran mix: the hard-edged pop, coexisting with this dark, weird, experimental side," Taylor said.
"That's something that's essential to all of us," Rhodes added. "It's great to be able to lift people's spirits - and your own - with a strong shot of pure pop; but the world we live in isn't all just made of that stuff, so it seems natural to me that we have kept one foot in the darker, more Gothic side of life."
Early sessions for "Paper Gods" began in 2013 with Ronson and engineer Josh Blair once again joining the band in its south London recording studio, as they had for 2011's "All You Need is Now," which Ronson produced. When Ronson was called away to begin working on his own album, Duran Duran and Blair hooked up with the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaborator "Mr" Hudson, and the sessions caught fire.
In the summer of 2014, Ronson returned once more to the project, adding long-time Duran collaborator Rodgers to the mix for two of the album's standout tracks. The remaining songs were co-produced by Blair and the band.
"We found a whole new level of inspiration on this album," Rhodes said.
"We've allowed ourselves the time to make music that we can be proud of," Le Bon added. "I judge what we release by my favorite albums - "Horses," "Harvest," "Let It Bleed," "Blue," "Transformer," "Aladdin Sane." Those are classic albums. The only rule is it's got to be music you can live with for the rest of your life."
CHIC co-founder Rodgers and Ronson co-wrote and produced the tracks "Pressure Off" and "Only in Dreams." Rodgers also features on the first single from what will be the band's 14th studio release.
The former harks back to the taut funk of Duran Duran's 1986 album "Notorious," which was co-produced by Rodgers.
"Notorious was a strong touchstone for the band," Taylor said. " 'All You Need is Now' definitely reflected our earlier albums, but our starting point here was 'Notorious.' We're fortunate to be able to be inspired by our own back catalogue - not many bands can say that."
In a collaboration overseen by China Chow, the band worked closely with Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel, who created the album's cover art. It features a collage of images that reference the visual history of Duran Duran, each placed like a sticker on a reproduction of Israel's "Sky Backdrop" painting. The logo and graphic design are by Brian Roettinger.
Alongside news of the new album, Duran Duran have announced they will perform a series of summer festivals, as well as several shows in the U.S. in September and October, followed by a U.K. arena tour that kicks off in late November. Fan community members (www.duranduranmusic.com) will have access to pre-sale tickets and VIP packages. Following the Duran Duran VIP member presale, in the U.K., American Express card members will have the ability to purchase tickets before the general public on-sale.
Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, Duran Duran is a culturally influential and commercially successful band that has topped the charts around the world over the past three decades while selling more than 100 million records worldwide. The band has been honored with multiple Grammy, BRIT, Ivor Novello and MTV Video Music awards, as well as a 20th Century Style Icon award from the City of Milan.
In July, the band will receive the Spotify UK Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's 40th Anniversary O2 Silver Clef Awards.