Duran Duran have parted company with guitarist Andy Taylor - while Black Sabbath are to reform without Ozzy Osbourne.

Taylor was said to have left Duran Duran due to an "unworkable gulf" between him and the rest of the band.

It is the second time he has quit the chart-topping group, as in the late 1980s they sought legal action to get him back in the studio after he promised to return after embarking on a solo career.

Taylor was an original member of the band which enjoyed a string of pop hits such as Girls On Film, Wild Boys and Rio.

He left in 1986 to form The Power Station with Robert Palmer and drummer Tony Thompson, who had two top ten singles Some Like It Hot and T Rex's Bang A Gong (Get It On).

He was replaced by American guitarist Warren Cuccurullo until 2001, before being reunited with the original Duran Duran line-up of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor.

Since then the group have enjoyed critical and commercial success with their 2004 album Astronaut and singles (Reach Up For The) Sunrise and What Happens Tomorrow.

Taylor is said to have retired back to his home in Ibiza to spend more time with his family, to enable him to work at his own pace. In a message to fans, posted on the band’s official website they said they could no longer "effectively function" with him.

The statement read: "As of last weekend, however, the four of us have dissolved our partnership and will be continuing as Duran Duran without Andy, as we have reached a point in our relationship with him where there is an unworkable gulf between us and we can no longer effectively function together."

A spokesman said: "Dom Brown will play guitar on the upcoming US shows which are slated to run from October 26 to November 11."

Andy Taylor was unavailable for comment last night.

* Meanwhile, former Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi (right), Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ronnie James Dio are forming Heaven and Hell, named after their 1980 hit.

They plan to launch an international tour next year.

"The fans have been wanting to see this for years and years. Now was just the time," said publicist Maureen O’Connor.

Since its formation in 1969, Black Sabbath have undergone numerous member changes and reunions.

Dio, who replaced original Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne as part of the band’s early 80s lineup, has been recording new songs with Iommi in the UK, O’Connor said.