Sunday, February 21, 2010


As you all know, Mark Ronson is producing the next Duran Duran album. I think he is an excellent choice. Not only is Ronson one of the best producers and DJs in the business, he has a relentless work ethic and has been a devoted Duran fan for most of his life. I think he gets it, and perhaps just as importantly, the band gets him. Mark has promised to bring back "that classic Duran sound," which is good news for those who cringed with the band's last collaboration with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Personally, I love Red Carpet Massacre, but I do find a disconnect with that production on many levels.

Ronson also has mad skills when it comes to image and promotion, and I think our boys could take a few tips from him. I'll have more to come on that later. For now, let's have a look at one of Mark's latest projects, his somewhat mysterious collaboration with Sam Sparro and Theophilus London, called Chauffeur. You've got to at least love the name.

Chauffeur looks elegantly sexy, sounds disturbingly cool, and undoubtedly smells like money and expensive hair products. It's got a lubricated 80s vibe and is very synth-heavy, an element that Ronson attributes to working recently with Nick Rhodes. Just like Mark himself, Chauffeur is Gucci down to the socks. The group came together as the musical component to Ronson's line of shoes, which he designed for Gucci and is the first product actually endorsed and designed by Ronson. When you buy a pair of the shoes, you get a limited edition vinyl 12-inch of Chauffeur's "Soles of Fire." I do not wear boat shoes or own a record player. I do, however, have an iPhone, and another element to this promotion is a fun little Gucci/Ronson app that Nick Rhodes mentioned in a recent interview.

Thus far, two songs from Chauffeur have come out; the first to debut was the slippery and mentholated "Soles of Fire." Two days ago, Mark premiered the a cover of Sheila E.'s "Glamorous Life" on his Authentic Shit program on East Village Radio. "Glamorous Life" is yet another shining example of Ronson's unfailing ability to do retro with a modern twist. It makes me want to play drums while standing up, swilling champagne and wearing a full-length purple chinchilla coat.

Chauffeur - "Soles of Fire"

Chauffeur - "Glamorous Life"

Ronson is quite simply the king of combination, even down to his trans-Atlantic accent. He mixes exactly the right sounds, artists and aesthetics to create music that is at once exotic and familiar. I think he's got the recipe. Mark Ronson isn't going to make or break this next album... that's of course ultimately up to the band. But I do have faith that this charming alchemist has the ability to form a panacea that, supported with thoughtful and diligent marketing and promotion, will enable Duran Duran to shine once again like the golden gods they truly are.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blogs. Your perspective is so interesting. Thanks for sharing with us. V