English new wave and quintessential ’80s cornerstones Duran Duran shared a tribute to the late David Bowie with a new music video for their cover of “Five Years.” The song is significant as one of the greatest openers to an album ever, drawing the curtains on Bowie’s loosely conceptual The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
Duran Duran’s version of “Five Years” reworks the same vibrant imagery attached to the original’s lyrics in a new sonic space. All the principles and emotional sustenance Bowie’s version serves is here, but it sounds as though it was built from the ground up, featuring instrumentation that was not a part of the original. There are glossy synth chords and sleek electronic drums effectively filling in open gaps on the initial arrangement. The way the chorus chimes in at the back end of the song is both potent and spectacular, like a eulogy of the original. Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon flexes his vocal range in this section in ways Bowie never included on the operatic album opener.
The music video is an unspoken marvel behind the scenes. The visualizer is significant because it is the first time that digital media and editing software Tiltbrush, Unity, Nuke, Premiere and Resolve have been combined in this modem of creation.
The music video was directed by regular collaborator Gavin Elder. In a press release, he stated, “Shooting in lockdown was challenging as we had to film the band members one at a time, but this gave each of them the opportunity to deliver a unique and intimate performance.”
Virtual Production Producer Scot Barbour continues in a press statement, “Not only did we get to work with the megastars in Duran Duran, but also with some unique technical processes. Producing this video was a collaborative effort that certainly stretched across the Pond. The production team shot three of the band members, the two backing singers and the string section separately in London, under Elder’s direction, and then completed the filming with Kerry Brown’s Rolling Live Studios team in Los Angeles, for guest pianist Mike Garson, and Duran bassist John Taylor. I then conformed the edited footage from London and exported the selects to our VFX team at Mercury Studios who handled all of the compositing work in Nuke. Between us, we established a unique pipeline to achieve the desired look and feel of the video.”
For more on Duran Duran, check out recent COVID-19 recovery news on bass players John Taylor. And for an extra dosage of Ziggy Stardust tributes, watch Billy Corgan’s cover of “Space Oddity” and Sky Ferreira’s cover of “All The Madmen.”
photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz