Duran Return to "Arena"; Two DVDs Planned for Summer Release

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Duran Return to "Arena"

Two DVDs planned for summer release

A pair of Duran Duran films from the classic days will be issued for the first time on DVD on May 4th, both augmented with bonus material. Arena and Sing Blue Silver follow last year's Greatest, which compiled Duran's videos, a set that has since been certified platinum.

Arena captures a 1984 performance by DD in Oakland during the world tour of the same name. Hardly a basic tour film, the Russell Mulcahy-directed Arena fuses the concert with footage with a live-action narrative in an odd self-referential manner that includes actor Milo O'Shea, who portrayed the character in the Jane Fonda vehicle Barbarella, from whom the band took its name.

The Arena DVD will be packaged with a documentary about the making of the film, an interview with singer Simon LeBon and additional extras. The Arena CD has also been updated for reissue, with the ten-song original padded with two additional cuts, "Girls on Film" and "Rio."

Also set for release is Sing Blue Silver, a behind the scenes documentary filmed throughout the three-month Arena tour. The DVD will include behind-the-scenes material as well as performance footage mixed in 5.1 surround sound.

The 1984 Arena Tour looked to be the last hurrah for the classic Duran Duran lineup -- LeBon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor. The group appeared at Live Aid (which, coincidentally, will also be released on DVD this winter) in 1985, after which Roger and Andy Taylor departed, with John leaving in 1996. Though LeBon and Rhodes continued as Duran Duran, all five members didn't record or perform together until last year, when the group announced plans for a tour and a new album.

That album is still a work-in-progress, but the reunited group recently included "Sunrise," its first new song in two decades, on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack.

Always big on the visual, Duran Duran lost a member of its extended family recently when fashion designer and artist Stephen Sprouse died on March 4th of heart failure. Sprouse clothed the band for its 1989 tour and did other visual work for Duran Duran, including the art for their 1989 compilation Decade.

ANDREW DANSBY - ROLLING STONE.com

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