Birmingham-born Nicholas James Bates changed his surname to Rhodes early in his career as keyboardist for British supergroup Duran Duran. The band, founded in 1978 with fellow art school friend John Taylor, have followed a successful career spanning 25 years, with Simon Le Bon on vocals. Rhodes, who has retained the rights to the band's name, mixed several tracks on the Rio album and has co-produced many of the band's later albums. A side-project, Arcadia, in the mid-eighties culminated in a multi-platinum selling album So Red the Rose, released a year before Duran Duran reunited in 1986.
Another project (collaborating with Duran member Warren Cuccurullo) in the early nineties, entitled TV Mania, focused on social junk culture. They later produced tracks for Blondie's reunion 1996 album, recording Pop Trash Movie for Duran's 2000 album Pop Trash. By the late nineties, Rhodes started writing lyrics for Duran Duran and reunited with Stephen Duffy, an early singer, releasing Dark Circles, under the name The Devils. Rhodes has since co-produced and played keyboard tracks on an album by The Dandy Warhols, and in 2001 the original line-up of Duran Duran reunited to record new material.
Rhodes' style of flamboyant androgyny has defined the group's decadent pop mode in symbiosis with the band's remaining analog synth sound, earning them the status as a truly successful British band with respectable longevity.