Serious – The Daily Duranie Review

Hey hey hey, it’s just past the middle of February and we’re already to “Serious”, off of Liberty. You’d think we weren’t slackers!!

The song is the 22nd single from Duran Duran, which reached a staggering #3 in Italy, and a disappointing #48 in the UK. We won’t even discuss the US. By the time Serious was released, interest in Liberty had already cooled. Unfortunately, Serious was the band’s least receptive single to that date.

Something Rhonda discovered as she did some background research for this review was that the sales of Liberty were so poor that plans for a third single (“First Impression” in the states, “Liberty” for Europe) were shelved.

We have to ask, was the song really that bad? We already know Nick wasn’t a fan of making this song the second single, but maybe it’s time to give it a listen again!

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

There is something about the guitar groove of this song that just sends me. I hear the hook and immediately think of warm, sunshine-filled summer late afternoons on the patio, and I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the song feels so easy and natural, just like a summer weekend afternoon. The guitar is almost but not quite a jazz groove, and it drives the whole song. As the conductor of my orchestra says, “There are tempos that are meant to be played dead on, others that are meant to feel like they are dragging just the tiniest bit, and still others that move the song ahead.” This one does the latter, thanks to the guitar. It isn’t a strong driving beat in the same way that JT drives the tempo in Careless Memories, but the groove keeps the song from being a slow ballad, if that makes sense.

In this case, guitar is the star of the song, and does the job well. That melodic groove sets the tone, drives the tempo, and steers the ship. I think my one complaint is that there’s this whole bridge section that sounds to be nothing more than a dreamy sequence with some syncopated drums to open it. There’s no real purpose, as no instruments are being shown off, and it isn’t as though the tone of the song suddenly changes. It’s just…there. The song didn’t really need it, other than to fill space and time.

I love that the rest of the instrumentation is balanced. I can hear the bass in the depths of the mix, the drums bring it together, and synthesizer/keyboards are only there to help anchor the lyrics to the music. There aren’t many songs when I can say that keyboards really take a backseat, but in this one – they do. Musically, I think it’s one of their best, but perhaps on the wrong album at the wrong time.

Vocals

I’m sure it’s not the case, but the vocals sound so effortless and easy that I’d swear they recorded them in a single take. (That is a compliment, I promise!) No whiny falsetto, there aren’t layers upon layers of vocals beyond a few tracks in the background to do a sort of call and response, it just feels easy breezy and natural. Hard to imagine going from the “sounds like he swallowed gravel” in Violence of Summer or even Hothead straight to some of the smoothest crooning I’ve heard from Simon, but he does it with style and grace.

Lyrics

These are not the craziest lyrics ever written, nor are they that complicated, or hard to understand. They’re very simple, with an easy message…which may or may not appeal to long time fans. It’s the love song that doesn’t quite play like a love song. It’s not slow, it’s not overly gushy or sweet. In fact, the words are quite playful in parts, which I can appreciate. I know that die hard fans look for those slightly more intelligent, less black-and-white lyrics. On this album, I think they’re hard pressed to find them, and that just might have been about where the band was in their career at the time, or where Simon was in his life, too.

Overall

I love being able to go back and review Duran Duran’s catalog. We try our best to be fair, but I think it’s very difficult to replicate how I might have rated the music when first introduced to it. For example, I like this song, but I can’t remember what else I was listening to in 1990. What was on the radio? Did Serious fit? I had to consult Google and see what else was popular in order to truly address why this song didn’t hit the charts or receive radio play (and in fairness, the answer is far more complicated than I can address here). To my ears, there’s no reason why this song wasn’t at least a mild hit, except that maybe it was a bit too easy, a bit too jazzy compared to what was on the radio.

In 1990, on one end of the gamut there was Warrant with
“I Saw Red”, or “Silent Lucidity” from Queensryche, then on to “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains…and on the opposite end…”Step By Step” by New Kids on the Block, or “Giving You the Benefit” by Pebbles, or even, “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette. Admittedly, that song is the closest to what Duran Duran was bringing with “Serious”. Was there really space for them? Roxette was still semi-new, and Duran Duran had already been huge in the early to mid 80s. It would have taken something much more monumental for a resurgence on Top 40 radio at that point (which came a few years later!) There wasn’t a lot of places for Duran Duran to go, other than be relegated to flashback lunches on KROQ or elsewhere. Yet Liberty was a new album, and “Serious” was nothing like the 80s New Wave that Duran was known for. I can see where this became a problem of identity for Duran Duran during this period. While yes, it’s advantageous to have the space to recreate sound and never be pushed into a box, I would also say there has to be something to connect a band with identity, and in my opinion, however great Serious is, that identity is something that is lacking in both the single and the album.

Cocktail Rating

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

In thinking about the musicality/instrumentation of this song, I am struck by the guitar of this song. Typically, it is not my favorite instrument but I really like it in this one. It definitely is the dominant instrument without being drowning out the others. It is taking the lead, but allowing the others to play the supporting role that they should. It feels secure in the lead and doesn’t need to prove itself in the way that too many songs with a guitar focus do. I also really like the drums in this one as well, which feels weird to me. Warren and Sterling are not typically the ones whom I praise but I think it is worthy here.

Vocals

This vocals to this song very much match the lyrics. Both are simple, straightforward. Simon’s range doesn’t vary in some crazy way and there is very little layering. It is just Simon being at a comfortable range with little, if any complications. This makes for easy listening as no one has to worry about what is going to come next or if there would be a surprise, vocally. It allows for people to relax and just let the song be.

Lyrics

These lyrics, unlike many Duran Duran lyrics, would fit into the more obvious, straight forward category. As I listen, I can definitely see a couple who are struggling to figure out how to really communicate with each other, how to deal, how to figure out what is important (or serious) and what is not. While I doubt that these lyrics really make anyone ponder a deeper meaning, I suspect that many might be able to relate to them. Sometimes, people need that just as much as they need to pushed to think or feel deeper. In this case, it might even cause people to feel better knowing that their relationship isn’t the only one who struggles with this.

Overall

This song makes me smile as I think it does for many Duranies. For me, I cannot help but to think of the video with the very cute JoSi moment and Nick so obviously chewing gum. It is a song that just makes people feel good. It isn’t super deep or as complicated as so many others. The song doesn’t require a lot of deep thinking. Instead, you can sit back and just enjoy it. All that being said, I’m not sure why this song doesn’t rank higher than the 3.5 cocktails that I’m giving it. I feel like it is good but it isn’t great. I’m not sure why. Maybe, in my own bias, I feel like a song cannot be great if it isn’t something more than just a feel good song. I know many, many people who love it and I get it. For me, though, it just cannot reach that level.

Cocktail Rating

Cocktail Rating

The Closing Down

This week, like many of the last few, has been pretty intense on a variety of levels. As I attempted to hold on, emotionally, I found myself wondering what life will look like and be like next year at this time. What about five years from now? Ten? 15? It reminds me of when I was a kid. Every year, my dad would sit us kids down to talk about our goals. This meant that we had to share our ideas for our future. As a kid, I just thought my dad was being weird. How the heck was I supposed to know what my goal in five years should be?! Now, as an adult, I get it more. For example, I am starting to see retirement far on the horizon. Granted, it is just a tiny speck and too far away but it’s there. When I think about that, I often wonder what it will feel like knowing that it was my last year of teaching. Will I get sad with every last whatever? Will I just not give a crap? Will I spend time appreciating every moment? Is it better to know it is the end?

This leads me to think about Duran Duran and my fandom. When I was a kid, I never once thought about when Duran Duran was going to retire or leave the business or even break up. Likewise, I never considered that I might stop being a fan. Even, when the side projects happened in 1985 or when Roger and Andy departed, I never thought about the end. I just assumed it would go back to what it was like. I didn’t realize what it meant when the band recorded, Notorious, as a three person group rather than five. I just put my entire faith that everything would work out. Ah, the innocence and ignorance of being young. What if I did get it? Would it have been better to really get it and know things were changing as it happened?

As an adult, I have often thought about the end of Duran Duran. Just to be clear before people start screaming at me–I’m not wishing that or thinking that is happening. I think as I have gotten older and have started to deal with some health issues, I have realized that not everything lasts forever even if I want it too No one has that much control, especially me. Whenever I begin to think about the end of Duran, or my fandom, I just go back to the question I asked above. Would I want to know? Would I want to know if this next album would be the last? What about the last tour? Would it be good to know? What about my participation? What if I know that a show is going to be my last–not just the last of a tour or until next time but the last last. The final. The end. Would it be better to know or not?

This is obviously not an easy question. If I knew it was the last album/tour/show, would I appreciate it more? Maybe. Perhaps, I would take time just to appreciate, to stop and smell the roses more. I could see myself documenting everything more. There might be more photos, more everything. In some ways, I think that would be great. I would try to capture as much as I could and I wouldn’t haven’t any regrets at the end. On the other hand, would this make it harder, emotionally? Would I be too sad to really enjoy myself? Would I be too worried about capturing it all that I wouldn’t actually experience it? I don’t have a good answer but it does make me wonder.

-A

One Billion Sets of Beautiful Eyeballs

Congrats to A-ha!

During my daily scroll through Twitter, I noticed that the video for “Take On Me” by A-ha has reached the crazy milestone of one BILLION YouTube views. It is only the second video from the 1980s to have reached that pinnacle. More on that later…

One billion views is a lot. If I only had a dollar…. well, away, that’s a lot of eyeballs watching a video from 1985. (note: the original song was released in 1984, but the video, along with the updated version of the song produced by Alan Tarney, came out in May of 1985

Now, I have a sneaky suspicion that many of you out there reading are wondering “Well, where do any of Duran Duran’s videos fit into this? Are any of them near one billion?? I mean, this is A-ha. Surely “Rio” has to be close to that, or “Hungry Like the Wolf”??) 

Have you ever wondered…

Let’s just have a look-see on YouTube. At first, I just looked up the videos I thought of first, but then (as typical with me) I got caught up into it and decided to check out ALL of their videos. The criteria was that I only took the stats for the official music videos unless otherwise noted (for example, Friends of Mine has [HQ] denoted because there is no “official” official version. This was the closest I could find). I didn’t track the exact number of views, relying on what my YouTube search gave me when I’d type videos into the search bar, so if they’re slightly off from what you find when you do a detailed search – I don’t need to know. I also didn’t choose to include the separate Sunrise edits for each band member.

In order of most views:

  • Save a Prayer 56 M 
  • Come Undone 53 M
  • Wild Boys 15 M
  • Girl Panic 7.7 M
  • New Moon on Monday 7.6 M
  • Planet Earth 7.5 M
  • Ordinary World 7.2 M
  • Girls on Film 6.9 M
  • Is there Something I Should Know 5.3M
  • Pressure Off (Uncensored version because JT is funny!) 5M
  • Union of the Snake 5M
  • Hungry Like the Wolf 4.8 M 
  • Serious 3.2M
  • A View to a Kill 3M
  • Rio 2.6 M
  • The Reflex 2.3 M
  • All You Need is Now 2.2 M
  • All She Wants Is 2.1M
  • What Happens Tomorrow 2M
  • The Chauffeur 1.9M
  • Skin Trade 1.9M
  • Electric Barbarella 1.7M
  • Notorious 1.2 M
  • Sunrise 1.16 M
  • Perfect Day 1.1 M
  • Friends of Mine [HQ] 1M
  • White Lines 844M
  • Do You Believe in Shame 797K
  • Too Much Information 659K
  • Burning the Ground 639K 
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare 632K
  • My Own Way 596K
  • Breath After Breath 566K
  • Violence of Summer 456K
  • Pressure Off (Lyric video, because you can’t get enough!) 362K
  • Night Boat 342 K
  • Femme Fatale 314K
  • Falling Down 297K
  • Last Night in the City 290K
  • Meet El Presidente 288K
  • I Don’t Want Your Love 253K
  • Careless Memories 116K 
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare (V2 – another official version) 97K
  • Edge of America (does not say official ) 88K
  • Pressure Off (Censored version, thanks to JT!) 76K
  • Make Me Smile 64K
  • Face for Today 59K

What does it all mean?

I have to admit, some of the results surprised me. I wasn’t expecting Save A Prayer to be the most widely viewed video, nor did I think that Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf would be so far down the list. Of course, if any Duran Duran video has been uploaded multiple times in addition to the “official” video and received views, that wouldn’t add into the total, which in turn wouldn’t help the band. That’s something to think about (in addition to respecting copyrights). I also was surprised to see how little love Edge of America or Face for Today seems to get, but then again – the band doesn’t appear in either video, and that seems to matter. Ultimately though, we have quite a ways to go before any Duran Duran video nears the 1 billion mark!

That other video…

I did mention that another video from the 80s has also hit 1 billion views. That video (brace yourself) is “Sweet Child o Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Please digest that information however you see fit. Out of a decade that saw massive video creativity and innovation, it’s a little off-putting to see a lackluster, everybody-does-one “rehearsal” video hit one billion views.

Billboard did a top ten best video list of the 80s. “Hungry Like the Wolf” was on it (as it should be), even “Take on Me” has a place on the list, along with “Thriller”, “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel and even “When Doves Cry”, by Prince, but “Sweet Child o Mine” isn’t on it at all. There’s no accounting for taste, but it is interesting to see how the general public feels.

Then again, maybe GNR watches their own videos. A lot.

Yes, I said that. My blog = my opinion, no holds barred. You’re welcome.

-R

Choosing Just One Year

It is a question that is ultimately pointless but nevertheless fun to consider. If you could only listen to album released from a single year, which year would you choose and why. The more I asked people about it, the more I realized how much thought was going into the answers. With that in mind, I invited music writer Aurora Montgomery back to Daily Duranie to debate which year we would choose as explained in eleven albums. Why eleven? Because Spinal Tap. And we’re off!

The Case For 1979

As I contemplated the death of Andy Gill from Gang of Four a few weeks ago, I started to think about 1979, the year the band’s astounding debut Entertainment! came out. Post-punk has come to mean a lot of things in retrospect but, ultimately, it was a wonderfully creative period that built upon the punk manifesto that anyone could do it and added the idea that anyone could do it anyway they wanted to. Gang of Four did just that, creating politically charged music that fearlessly meshed funk, disco, punk, and rock into their own powder keg of a concoction. Then, I looked at the other albums that arrived in 1979 and I realized that I knew my answer to the question.

I always assumed that, if forced to choose albums from only one year to listen to forever, that I would probably pick either 1982 or 1983. Those were the years when I fell in love with music and when Duran Duran ruled the world. As a ten-year old, the videos on MTV were a window into a world I would someday, hopefully, get to see. With Seven & the Ragged Tiger leading the way, 1983 still seems like a huge year. The Police’s Synchronicity, Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Men At Work’s Cargo, and Quiet Riot’s Metal Health were all massive. However, they don’t hold a candle to the class of 1979. 

Check this out (in no particular order).

  • Gang of Four – Entertainment!
  • The Cure – Three Imaginary Boys
  • Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
  • Japan – Quiet Life
  • The Clash – London Calling
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn The Torpedoes 
  • David Bowie – Lodger
  • The Slits – Cut
  • Blondie – Eat To The Beat
  • Public Image Ltd. – Metal Box

How About 1971?

When this question was posed to me I didn’t think it would actually be possible to commit to a single year of music. I think my first official answer to the question was, “I can’t; it’s impossible.” There are hundreds of years of incredible music to choose from – so how could anyone possibly distill it all down to one year? In order to start the process, I had to imagine myself in one of those desert island scenarios – why else would you limit yourself like that? I also had to take into account that the variety of music that became available in the 20th century is astounding. From there I was at least able to work within the span of 100 years. 

1971 is the year I would choose to get stuck in musically, because there were so many different genres, and because it was the most difficult to choose only eleven albums to represent it. In addition to the great rock and folk albums being made, there were also some incredible minimalist compositions being released in the classical music world. Ultimately it is kind of cheating, because there is a little bit of everything available within this year. Here is the list of albums that I chose, which was extremely hard to narrow down. Ultimately I had to boot Johnny Cash in favor of a second Alice Cooper album, which felt like a real “Sophie’s Choice” ordeal, but as a whole the Cooper album is just better. 

Here are the eleven I ended up with (in no particular order):

  • Alice Cooper – Love It To Death
  • Genesis – Nursery Cryme
  • David Bowie  – Hunky Dory
  • T. Rex – Electric Warrior
  • The Who – Who’s Next
  • Yes – The Yes Album
  • Carole King – Tapestry
  • Elton John – Madman Across the Water
  • Joni Mitchell – Blue
  • Alice Cooper – Killer
  • Leonard Cohen – Songs of Love and Hate

So, which year would YOU choose????

T. Rex 1971
The Clash 1979

What’s Pop anyway?

Sticky-sweet pretentious pop

As I mentioned yesterday, lately I’ve been more interested in learning/reading/discussing music than rehashing fandom. One of the books I’m currently reading is about rock music and social history in America. It’s been many years since I sat in a history of rock music class, so it was time for a catch-up while I pondered where Pop music fits in.

Over the years that I’ve written Daily Duranie, one of things that has frustrated me is the knowledge of how little credit the band receives. If not about their fan base, then about their music. I’ve seen it referred to as anything from sticky sweet bubble gum pop to overly-pretentious pop garbage.

I suppose the common word there is “pop”. Ask any critic, read any book about music history, and the word isn’t usually aligned with descriptions of greatness. It tends to be used to describe crappy music, and that seems pretty unfair.

Cultural perspective

This whole subject came to a head for me as I was reading last week. Rock Music in American Culture describes how rock tends to transcend or it comments on social structure. That’s why the history of rock music tends to align seamlessly with American social history, or the history of American culture. Not all rock music does that, but according to this author, the very best rock music is capable of cultural perspective. I’ve written about pop before, but I’ve never read quite the damning definition in oh-so-many words that I found in this current book.

There are plenty of artists, bands, and songs that have ended up being exploited by the social order. That kind of means they’ve become so popular that the songs aren’t heard for their true, original meaning. They’ve become anthemic without the audience knowing what in the hell they’re singing, for instance. Others are so “ethereal that they don’t have grounding in the revolutionary struggle” – so the music doesn’t have anything to do with this world, or the artists have been so blinded by the delights that follow success that they’ve sold-out. Meaning, you guessed it, that they just want another hit, however they can get one. In any of these cases, the music is no longer capable of providing prospective, or it’s so heavily self-absorbed there’s just no seeing past it all.

Shlock rock is still rock

Interestingly enough, some bands and songs manage to do all of the above. In which case, the author believes is the best characterization for “schlock rock”, which, for those who just came in – is essentially pop music, circa 1956-1963. The only difference between shock rock and pop, based on the definitions used by this author, is that “shlock rock is still rock, it just ceases to be effective.”

Effective? I suppose if one is characterizing and judging rock music solely on it’s use for social revolution, then maybe. But is that all there is to it?

As the author continues to categorize music styles in order to explain his thought process and prove the basis for the theories presented in the book, he comes to an actual definition for pop. It isn’t kind.

Pop, pop…pop music

“Of the styles noted thus far, only Pop is intrinsically inauthentic, (and he backpedals a bit with the second half of the sentence) and this only to the extent the term is used to describe music deliberately created exclusively for monetary gain and no other reason.

There’s so much wrong with that definition, beginning with the fact that I know of startlingly few artists that create music SOLELY for the sheer joy of doing so. I also know of no one who goes to the trouble to create music solely for money. Sheer economics tells me otherwise. In 2020, music doesn’t pay well. Concerts might, but writing and recording? Think again. For 99% of the bands out there, sales aren’t great. It can’t just be about money for most bands and artists.

The author goes on, doubling down on his original comment. “Pop, therefore, reflections no one’s present experience, and thus has no immanence whatsoever. Nor does it convey with any conviction any particular set of values (expect perhaps plutocratic values), so it is totally devoid of transcendence as well. Pop music is best described as early rock and roll once was, namely, music consciously contrived to make money by appealing to the widest possible audience substance, merely empty calories.”

I prefer Pepsi for my empty calories

He goes on to equate pop with muzak heard on “EZ” listening stations, and finishes by adding, “Top 40 radio is a better target; it is obviously not immune to the “pop” disease. In all cases of “pop”, however, imitation (not merely making money) is pop’s key distinguishing feature, no matter how difficult it might be to accurately diagnose it’s presence.”

So, pop has no quality, it is unable to provide perspective, and is the non-food/beverage equivalent of a can of Coca-cola. Or…pop.

He goes as far as to call pop a disease. I can see that Robert Pielke and I are not going to be friends, and as a retired philosophy professor, he is an excellent example of why I avoided taking philosophy in college. Is there anything in here worth gleaning? Obviously, I don’t agree with some of his more editorial-sounding comments about pop, but that doesn’t make his definition any less accurate…or widely held.

The fact is, this is why Duran Duran has had such a difficult time with critics. It is why so many have an issue with the Hall of Fame, too. Rock is seen as serious, as something “worthy”. Pop is not. Even better (or not), pop was created as a music category for a female audience. Those EZ listening stations and Muzak? All designed and devised for female ears. Better to have them listening to something like that at work, or at the grocery store, or even at home over FM radio, rather than, God forbid, organizing a takeover of some sort with other women. Listening to music makes women more productive. Ever listen to some tunes while house cleaning or working out? It was all created with you (and me) in mind.

It was created for you

While the author explains that all styles of music, and all bands, have fallen prey to this pop disease at one time or another, it does little to sway my thinking. Even albums like Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or Red Carpet Massacre have their significance, even if critics are not able to see past the surface. Writing them off as bloviated examples of self-absorption is the easy way out for cowards unwilling to do the hard work necessary to understand the message contained within. I mean, if I can do it as a mere female….well, you get my point.

If bands and artists like Duran Duran are held to this definition of pop, and are regarded in this manner, then there is no question as to why they are never mentioned in history books, or given due credit. To say that Duran Duran are pure empty calories is like saying that songs such as “Rio” or “Pressure Off” have no significance beyond monetary value whatsoever. I am just not convinced that is the case. Moreover, working in absolutes, particularly in music, seems about as effective as shoveling out a horse stable with a teaspoon.

-R

Question of the Day: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Yesterday’s winner: Other People’s Lives

Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: Safe or Shadows on Your Side?

Coming Soon
Which Song Better Represents the All You Need Is Now Tour?
Safe
Shadows on Your Side

Still Reaching

The time has come

Lately, I’ve been feeling far removed from the Duran Duran fandom. That isn’t so much a symptom of some personal strife keeping me from fully embracing all that is the band and fandom, as it is the effect of being between albums. Even so, aside from occasional dinners with my friend Lori, whom I met while road tripping to see Duran Duran in 2012, and writing this blog, there’s not much going on in my own fandom. (Real life, however, is very busy, and I’m enjoying it!) While I haven’t minded the quiet in Duranland, and I’m not in a hurry to have whatever is happening next to take place, I can’t help but notice the difference in how I’ve adjusted.

Before Paper Gods was released, I was chomping at the bit, almost angrily so, wondering why the album was taking so long. I felt like there was very little news coming from the band, and in a lot of ways for me personally, that seemed to make the waiting worse. This time around, for reasons I’m not entirely certain, I don’t seem to notice.

There still isn’t a lot of news coming from the band. I would say I know even less about this album, or what is to come from 2020 than I did Paper Gods. I barely batted an eye when John mentioned that the album wasn’t at a stage where it could be discussed, for instance. When rumors of summer dates recently trickled their way down to me, I didn’t really think twice about them. I figured when and if they’re announced, that would be the time to concern myself. I can’t imagine I’ve actually learned the art of patience before I turned the magic 5-0, so what is it?

Change

A lot of it, I think, really has come from just knowing this band. The album will arrive when it is ready, and hopefully not a second before. Dates are announced when it is time to announce them. Many of them will be in places I’m not able to travel. That said, I’ve already done more than my share. I’ve had a great deal of fun over the last fifteen years that I’ve traveled to see Duran Duran. I’m in a good place with all of that, and despite some objections from well-meaning friends otherwise, I’m seriously and truly not the least bit worried about how I’ll feel when and if concert dates are released. I don’t think I’ll feel left out, because I have one heck of a lot going on here at home. I’ll still do what I can, but the likelihood of traveling much beyond my bordering states is pretty slim. Believe it or not – I’m fine with that. I feel good about where I’m at.

Much more of my sense of disconnect though, comes from something different. I think I’m tired. Seeing posts from people who intentionally knock other fans just makes me roll my eyes in disgust. I really have come to hate the near-constant assertions of “I’m the best fan because ________________”. In that sense, I’m exhausted! Just today I saw a tweet from someone that read “eff the RCM haters”. Really? OK. That’s one hell of a way to make friends and influence people, but great. Sure, you can like or dislike whatever music you want. I couldn’t care less…and maybe that is what is really different from me now than five years ago.

At one point, I might have responded to that person in some sort of effort to A. take their attitude down a notch, and B. to prove that I’m not such a horrible fan for not loving every single song they’ve ever written. I’m sure it would have devolved into the type of “shouting” match that seems to happen on social media and nothing would have ended up being accomplished. I’d love to believe I have somehow grown past the urge to do that, but I don’t think that’s entirely it. This morning when I read a few posts of that vein, all I felt was an enormous sense of just being tired. I clicked off of the thread, put my phone down, and debated whether or not I even wanted to write. Is that a good or a bad thing? Difficult to say.

Go round together

I still love Duran Duran. That hasn’t changed one bit. I care about those guys, and intend to support whatever they come out with because seriously – forty years in, they’re still writing, recording, and performing. I’m going to applaud that because it’s far more than I’ve ever done or could hope to do. Their blood, sweat, and tears are worthy of my respect.

What I do struggle with though, is that although I write a blog for fellow fans to read – I am finding that I’m opting not to connect online any more than by writing each day. Whereas at one point I spent a great deal of time trying to cultivate more friendships, or chatting with fans, nowadays – I just don’t. It is as though I’m happy to go back to the band being more of a singular activity for myself – kind of as though I’ve run the entire trail and I’m back to where I first started. I never thought I’d get to the point where I just said “Enough!”, but here I am.

Music’s between us


Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy having heartfelt, genuine, knowledgable conversations about the music. Any music, for that matter. I find that I get far more out of talking about the history of rock and pop music in conjunction with American social history, than I do when I analyze why fans seem to fall into the same predictable patterns over, and over again. Again, I can’t decide if any of this is really a good thing, or a bad thing, or even how it might affect me or the blog going forward. That’s probably why I chose to write about it today. Sometimes, it helps to sort it all out. Today, I finish feeling conflicted, but at the same time a little relieved. At least my feelings are out there, and perhaps at a later date, everything will be clear to me. Until then, I’m off to enjoy some sunshine.

-R

Question of the Day: Monday, February 17, 2020

Yesterday’s winner: Mediterranea

Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: Other People’s Lives or The Reflex?

Coming Soon
Which Song Better Represents the All You Need Is Now Tour?
Other People's Lives
The Reflex

Happy Birthday Andy!

Rhonda and I have been writing this blog for over nine years! Yet, I don’t think I have ever written a blog post for Andy’s birthday before. How is that possible?! Anyway, today is Andy’s 59th birthday and I definitely want to celebrate him before wishing him the best birthday ever! What is the best way to acknowledge his big day? For me, it is to watch some Andy highlights and to cheer his amazing career.

Duran!

How in the world can I choose videos that capture what Andy Taylor meant to Duran in those early years? I’ll just pick a few but there were a ton more that I could have chosen.

Power Station!

I could not forget about Power Station both in 1985 and in 1996.

Solo career

Who didn’t love Andy’s solo work from the 1980s? As much as most of us didn’t want him to leave Duran, many had to admit that his solo work was pretty dang good like this one:

Reunion

Whenever I think about the reunion and having all five members back together, I cannot help but to smile. It was my childhood dream coming true! When the first songs and videos were released from that time, I ate it all up and could not get enough. One thing I thought was particularly awesome was the set of Sunrise videos that focused on each guy. Here’s Andy’s:

Here’s a video of Andy playing Save a Prayer during that Astronaut Tour.

Live 2019!

I love that Andy is still out there performing and love it even more that he has not rejected his Duran history as seen here:

On that note, I wish Andy the best birthday ever!

-A

Question of the Day: Sunday, February 16, 2020

Yesterday’s winner: Girl Panic

Which song better represents the All You Need Is Now Tour: Mediterranea or Ordinary World?

Coming Soon
Which Song Better Represents the All You Need Is Now Tour?
Mediterranea
Ordinary World

An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!