These wild boys always shine
No expense spared in Duran Duran's ''Live From London," a lavish DVD/CD package documenting the group's sold-out run last year at London's Wembley Arena. And the boys themselves don't look too bad either: These aristocrats of the '80s pop scene can probably still fit into the exquisite trousers they wore 20 years ago. Time has told a little on their musical capacities: The rhythm section has lost some of its pep, as drummer Roger Taylor sleepily tonks those disco-pads, and the slightly serrated flatness of Simon LeBon's voice has become more pronounced. But the band's flouncing good humor and sentimental attachment to the trappings of '80s glamour -- flashed images of mean-faced models, a backing singer in thigh boots, even a saxophone -- carry the day. Duran knows its demographic, and as the camera pans across the audience, it pauses from time to time on a middle-age woman, heaving cheerfully along with ''Union of the Snake" or ''Wild Boys."
Material from last year's ''Astronaut" gets an airing -- the smiley-techno splurge of ''(Reach Up for the) Sunshine" and the sub-Oasis ''What Happens Tomorrow" -- but the vintage stuff is the best. In the Duran canon there are two indisputably great songs: ''Ordinary World" and ''Planet Earth." The first gets a proper slaughtering on ''Live From London," but the second . . . ''Look now, look all around/ There's no sign of life!" Nick Rhodes, creamily pretty, touches his keyboard and leans into a tiny, tubular microphone. It's perfect. (Universal, $29.98; available now)
Courtesy Boston Globe