Best Known For
Bassist John Taylor first rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of the internationally successful band Duran Duran.
Duran Duran - Full Biography (45:14)
Duran Duran, the strikingly handsome pop quintet from Birmingham, pumped out three decades of top hits including "Hungry Like the Wolf", "Rio", "Save A Prayer" and "The Reflex."
Duran Duran's John Taylor describes his early career and his memoir "In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran."
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in 1960, John Taylor co-founded the band Duran Duran with Nick Rhodes in the late 1970s. The group scored its first hit in 1981 and went on to become one of the top musical acts of the 1980s. He also played with the Power Station in the mid-1980s. In 1996, Taylor left Duran Duran, but rejoined the group in 2001. The band continues to tour and record. They released All You Need Is Now in 2011.
"I'm no virtuoso, but I am an honest and sincere person who takes performing very seriously."
A co-founder of one of the top bands of 1980s, bassist John Taylor started out as an art student in Birmingham, England. He formed an experimental, punk-influenced group with friends Nicholas Bates (who renamed himself Nick Rhodes) and Stephen Duffy in 1978. Taylor and Rhodes later brought drummer Roger Taylor into the fold.
After a while, Duffy left to work on other projects, and John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Rhodes pressed on. They met vocalist Simon Le Bon through one of Le Bon's ex-girlfriends who worked at the Rum Runner, a Birmingham night club where their group performed. Guitarist Andy Taylor soon joined the band, which soon became internationally known as Duran Duran.
The band took their name from a character, "Dr. Durand Durand," in Roger Vadium's 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda. Their music contained futuristic elements, as well as dance and punk influences. "We have always strived to be apart from the mainstream, that's the punk ethic," Taylor told Music Week. The resulting sound was meant to be "night music"—edgy and interesting, yet vibrant enough to get people moving at a club. Their fashion, hairstyle and make-up choices were theatrical, reflecting a glam-rock aesthetic.
"Planet Earth," released in 1981, proved to be their first hit single in Britain. Following the album's release, Taylor and his bandmates traveled to the United States for their first American tour. Duran Duran sold more than 2.5 million copies.
With some help from MTV, Taylor and his bandmates became one of the top music acts of the 1980s. The videos for "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" got heavy airplay on the cable music channel, and the songs both became Top 20 hits in the United States in 1983. The album Rio (1982) went multiplatinum, and Duran Duran developed quite a following, especially among young listeners. Images of the tall, lanky, floppy-haired Taylor appeared often in teen magazines.
More success for Duran Duran followed with the release of Seven and the Ragged Tiger later in 1983. The album featured such smash singles as "New Moon on Monday" and "The Reflex." The band maintained a heavy tour schedule while continuing to make new music. They scored their first No. 1 hit in the United States with the theme song for the James Bond film A View to a Kill in 1985. Both Andy and Roger Taylor left the group in mid-1980s, but John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon continued on as Duran Duran.
By the mid-1990s, however, Duran Duran's enormous popularity had waned. Taylor was battling his own demons during this time.
Included In These Groups
The 1980s were an important era in London marked by several significant social and historical events. On July 29, 1981 the United Kingdom saw the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The new Princess of Wales soon became a cultural icon—noted for her patronage, charity work and refined sense of fashion. Another history maker, Margaret Thatcher, served as Britain's first female prime minister, soon establishing herself as the authoritative "Iron Lady." Biography.com looks at these powerful women and the many other figures of the '80s, who made their mark on the decade.
London Cultural Renaissance - Cultural Icons: 1980s 19 people in this group
Bond—James Bond—was introduced to movie fans with the release of the first 007 film, Dr. No, in 1962. The past five decades of James Bond films have included a gamut of soundtrack artists, including Paul McCartney & Wings, who performed the song "Live and Let Die" for the Bond film of the same name; Shirley Bassey, who sang tracks for the films Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger; Jack White and Alicia Keys, who performed "Another Way to Die" for Quantum of Solace; Gladys Knight, who sang the title track for License to Kill; Louis Armstrong, who performed "We Have All the Time in the World" (secondary theme) for On Her Majesty's Secret Service; and Adele, who sang the title track for the newest film of the Bond franchise, Skyfall.
James Bond Soundtrack Artists 23 people in this group
Famous Geminis 556 people in this group