Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

For those in the US today, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. If you’re elsewhere in the world, allow us to send our best wishes and a hearty thank you for taking the time to read. It has become a bit of a tradition at this time of year for us to say thank you, and take stock in what we are thankful for.  Instead of doing a combined list, we decided to each write a little something this time.


For me, this has been a year full of adjustments – but one that I’m also thankful for, both personally and fandom-wise.

I struggle when it comes to knowing what exactly to say about Duran Duran. I am obviously very thankful I fell in love with them at the age of ten. I’m also thankful they continue to make amazing music. I’m thankful Paper Gods is out. It is beautiful and I continue to be very proud of them. In a year that has been a personal struggle for me, I desperately needed to escape into the music just to stay sane, and the band came through, as always. Thank you for continuing to challenge me to broaden my definition of what IS Duran Duran, even if it took me a while to “get it”.  I am so thankful that I was able to see them a few times this year – they came at a point in time that I really needed, and I’m glad I had the opportunity. (Big thanks to you, Amanda) It’s funny, I don’t think I take the band for granted as is, but I learned just HOW thankful I am for them on November 13…not just as a fan-girl, but as a real person. They matter in my world, and I wasn’t ready to lose them. Thank goodness they are safe.

On the blog front, I am so thankful for DDHQ! They keep us updated with what’s going on via social media and by doing so, they help us to do OUR job, and their hard work isn’t taken for granted. I am thankful for two people who took the time out of their own busy day to sit and talk with Amanda and I, and offer some very well-intended advice. I don’t want to name them, but I am hoping they know who they are. I needed to hear what they had to say and while I am sure I will continue to make mistakes, I appreciate the encouragement they continue to offer. “Thank you” doesn’t seem to even begin to cut it – and I can’t explain how much it helps knowing that people who have been in similar positions understand. I also very much appreciate the “learning opportunities” I’ve been given this year. Those moments did not go unnoticed. I am thankful that we have this blog, too. I’m proud of what we’ve created, and I especially appreciate that our writing resonates enough with people that our blogs get read. Lastly, thank goodness for my friendship with Amanda. She is the one completely loyal, unwavering pillar of support I really have and can always count on. This is the one major lesson I’ve learned this year: she’s got my back and I have hers, no matter what. For that, I’m eternally grateful. 


Every year, at this time, I do like to stop, think about life and express my gratitude.  This year is no different.  In fact, I would say that it feels even more important this year as I feel like the big lesson of this year is truly to appreciate what I have as it can be easily taken from you.  First and most importantly, I learned this through my parents.  I didn’t learn it through example or some teachable moment that they captured as was when I was a kid. No, I learned it through my mom’s cancer diagnosis and my dad’s continuing health struggles.  Luckily, both parents are doing as well as can be expected.  My mom has completed treatment and we are very optimistic that all cancer is gone and will stay gone.  My dad keeps up the daily battle of having a chronic condition with strength and courage.  Truly, as much as they can drive me crazy and cause me to worry like no other, I’m extremely thankful that they are still here with me.

Interestingly enough, I also learned this lesson of appreciation through Duran Duran.  A year ago, the album seemed impossibly far away with no real end in sight to the Durantime.  A big part of me worried in the back of my mind about whether or not the album would ever be finished and would ever be released.  I didn’t want to say goodbye to Duran and I worried that I might have been doing just that.  This concern appeared to some to be negativity.  It never was.  My love and loyalty to the band never wavered but the fear of losing them was real.  That fear of losing them returned in a huge way when they were in Paris on the date of the recent terrorist attacks.  Thankfully, the band was fine and their career is doing well!  I’m beyond thankful for that.  The music they brought us this year did what good Duran Duran music is supposed to do.  It made us feel and it made us think.  It made us dance and feel good and it made us fall for their music all over again. As always, the live shows I attended only reinforced my love for the album and the band that I became a fan of over thirty years ago.  I am definitely grateful for that!

Of course, the band has given me more than just a great album and some fabulous live shows.  I have been given some of the best experiences of my life, on tour, and the motivation to do all that Daily Duranie does from writing to holding fan events.  This year caused Rhonda and I to question ourselves and our purpose with this operation (or whatever you want to call it!).  This questioning along with support from DDHQ and those who really understand our current position and take time for us made a huge difference in encouraging us to keep going and in giving us reassurance that we are on the right path.  As Rhonda said, we still make mistakes but we are learning and will continue to learn with every new opportunity we are given.  Lastly, I have to agree with Rhonda that I, too, am thankful for our friendship.  It has only grown stronger through time and through this journey we have been on.  It is a constant that gives us both strength and determination to continue on.  We are very lucky to have found each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Question of the Day: Thursday, November 26, 2015

In the past, when asking about favorite Duran Duran song, the clear winner was New Religion.  Yesterday, the question was asked again in order to include the favorite off of Paper Gods.  The result?  The Seventh Stranger.

Based on the new response to favorite song, let’s put the old winner of favorite song against the new winner.  Which song do you prefer?

How Beautiful the Closing Down

Listening to Paper Gods, I am struck by how strongly the album ends. Has any Duran Duran album closed with a stronger trio of songs than Butterfly Girl, Only in Dreams, and The Universe Alone? Very few, when I actually sat down and thought about it. Why does it matter? Duran Duran album sequencing provides insight into how the band views their own material. Sure, Simon will say he can no more compare the songs to his children and avoid picking favorites, but the running order does not lie. A band is not going to bury their favorite song in the middle of an album.

Let’s look at Duran Duran album sequencing through the back catalog and see where Paper Gods stacks up. As usual, these rankings reflect my opinion and not those of Daily Duranie, Simon Willescroft, Rob Sheffield, Georgie Davies, or the man who stole a leopard (is he still in prison? Maybe he got out for good behavior?)

Tier One: My favorites

Duran Duran: Sound of Thunder/Friends of Mine/Tel Aviv

The gold standard.  Admittedly, these songs don’t just end the album, they represent nearly half of it since there were only 9 tracks to begin with. But I’m going to stick with my 3 song criteria to be consistent. Tel Aviv is my favorite “instrumental” in the band’s catalogue, even though it does have vocals. Friends of Mine and Sound of Thunder are classic Duran songs that have stood the test of time.

Paper Gods: Butterfly Girl/Only in Dreams/The Universe Alone

Yes, after going through the entire catalogue, I think we have the 2nd best ending to a Duran album. Butterfly Girl could be a single; it’s fast-paced, funky fun. If Notorious and Runway Runaway had a child, it would be Butterfly Girl. Then, we get the two funk ballads to close things out. (I don’t know what else to call them). I am a fan of the power ballads like What are the Chances, but I can only handle so many of those. I think Duran struck the right balance with Only in Dreams and The Universe Alone, building the synths and orchestral beginnings around the funky core of each song. It’s a really powerful way to end the album.

Medazzaland: Midnight Sun/So Long Suicide/Undergoing Treatment

Blasphemy, to rank this album’s ending so high! What can I say? I love all three songs. Undergoing Treatment has one of the more clever Duran lyrics and its funky acoustic vibe is a nice contrast to the mournful Midnight Sun (yes, the demo version is better, but the album cut is still great) and the driving rock ballad So Long Suicide.

AYNIN: Too Bad You’re So Beautiful/Runway Runaway/Before the Rain

Runway Runaway is still my favorite song off of AYNIN, five years later. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and subversive at the same time; an upbeat song evoking images of child leaving home, moving on to adulthood. And if Runway Runaway is #1 for me off AYNIN, than Too Bad You’re So Beautiful is a close second. Another bitingly clever lyric about dating while musically harkening back to Hold Back the Rain. Speaking of rain…Before the Rain really grew on me after hearing it live. All in all, an extremely strong ending sequence. (Note: I am not counting instrumentals in this analysis, thus the exclusion of “Return to Now,” which, truth be told, I am largely indifferent to.)

Tier Two: Very Strong

Rio: Last Chance on the Stairway/Save a Prayer/The Chauffeur

I am not a fan of The Chauffeur, but I recognize it’s a great and classic Duran song, and a fitting ending to Rio. Last Chance was my favorite song off the album growing up, and obviously Save a Prayer is classic. This would be top-tier (and probably is for most of you reading) but for my feelings about The Chauffeur.

Duran Duran (The Wedding Album): Shelter/To Whom it May Concern/Sin of the City

This is a strong way to end an album. I’ve always felt Shelter could have been a single, and I enjoy the guitar driven songs like Sin of the City and To Whom It May Concern. But…I’ve never particularly liked the lyrics to To Whom It May Concern (I get it, it’s about a lawyer they fired). I’ve always felt like that music was wasted with those lyrics…and similarly, I wish Sin of the City was shorter and all of the extraneous non-musical parts were stripped out. Again, I realize that it’s Duran Duran, they’re an art band, but sometimes those extra sounds work (e.g. fireworks in New Moon) and sometimes they don’t.

SATRT: Shadows on Your Side/Tiger Tiger/Seventh Stranger

The weak link here, for me, is Tiger Tiger. Otherwise, I might rank this as highly as the debut album’s ending sequence. The Seventh Stranger is one of my all time favorite Duran ballads (and would probably rank as my favorite album-closing song), and Shadows on Your Side might be my favorite song off the entire album. Tiger Tiger is fine, but I think its appeal for me is more one of sentiment (it takes me back to 1983! It’s the opening to As the Lights Go Down!) than of actual musical quality, as compared to the rest of the catalogue. That being said, I still put the ending sequence to SATRT in the upper half of Duran albums.

Best of the rest

Big Thing: Land/Flute Interlude/Edge of America/Lake Shore Driving

I don’t dislike any of these songs, but if I’m comparing them to the rest of the catalogue, they don’t hold up. I do think the ending works in context of the Big Thing album. Lake Shore Driving is as explosive an ending to a Duran album there is, as if all of the pent-up energy from the acoustic/mellow b-side of the album finally finds its release. Again, nothing bad here, but I’m not going to rank these songs, as a group, ahead of many of the other aforementioned album closing trios.

Liberty: Can You Deal With It/Venice Drowning/Downtown

These three songs are emblematic of the entire album. They are not necessarily bad (especially when you listen to John Taylor’s version of Can You Deal With It), but something went horribly wrong in production. They would probably sound good live. Venice Drowning’s lyrics are especially tough (I think it was the Rolling Stone review that called out this song and I was hard-pressed to disagree).

Pop Trash: Lady Xanax/The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever/Kiss Goodbye/Last Day on Earth

The problem here is that we have the closest Duran has ever come to a country song wedged between an excellent ballad and one of the best, most guitar-driven and edgiest songs the band has ever written. I’m just not a fan of The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever, the minute-long guitar solo at the end notwithstanding. I also think Kiss Goodbye/Last Day on Earth would have worked better as the album’s opening track, not the closer, with Lady Xanax closing out the proceedings.

RCM: She’s Too Much/Dirty Great Monster/Last Man Standing

The highlight here is She’s Too Much, one of the more underappreciated cuts off RCM. I don’t necessarily dislike the other two songs, but I don’t think they are especially memorable, either. I did think Last Man Standing was cool to see live, as each member left the stage as the song wound down to just the drums (similar to what U2 did when they would close a set with “40.”) If Cry Baby Cry were an actual album track and not an extra, then RCM would rank higher.

Astronaut: One of Those Days/Point of No Return/Still Breathing 

This will get me some hate mail, I’m sure. Let me be positive: I love One of Those Days, it’s one of my favorites on Astronaut. And if I’m in the right mood, I do enjoy Still Breathing, even though I’ve always interpreted it as Simon’s credo about the 90’s lineup. Which is difficult for me because I love that era of Duran, even though it had to end. Overall, Duran has set the bar very high with their ballads, and I don’t think the two that end Astronaut hold up well. Just an opinion…now, had some of the discarded tracks been used, we’d have a different story (e.g. “TV vs. Radio” has closing track written all over it and would have been an amazing way to end Astronaut).

Notorious: Meet El Presidente/Winter Marches On/Proposition 

Meet El Presidente is my least favorite song on the album, so for as much as I love Proposition, that’s hard to overcome. I am lukewarm on Winter Marches On, but it at least feels like an album-ending song.

Thank You: Thank You/Drive By/I Wanna Take You Higher Again 

I don’t even like including Thank You in these types of rankings, since they aren’t Duran Duran songs. Except for Drive By. See my comments above about The Chauffeur.

So what do you think of my rankings? Are they paper-thin? What did I get right? And more importantly, where did I go wrong?  (I know, I know: I must have a case of Chauffeurophobia…!)


Question of the Day: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Yesterday’s winner and the winner of the favorite song off of Paper Gods:  Only in Dreams

Today, then, we take the favorite songs off of each studio album, which had been voted on previously, and ask which song do you like best?

Happy Birthday to you…So Red the Rose turns 30!

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of So Red The Rose, the lone album from Duran splinter group Arcadia. Several years ago, in one of my first guest blogs for Daily Duranie, I wrote about my love for this album (you can read that blog here). I don’t want to replicate that blog today, but offer some quick thoughts on Arcadia and this 30th birthday.

They’re still getting back together, right?

Do you remember what it was like to try to get news about the band in 1985?  I was 13 years old. There was no internet, no social media, no Ask Katy…there were magazines, newspapers, and MTV News. I do remember hearing on MTV News about Roger and Andy’s departure from the band and being devastated. I do not remember the exact timing–I want to say that would have been in 1986.  Regardless…put yourself back to 1985, when the Taylor “brothers” were jamming with Power Station and getting all sorts of airplay, and Arcadia dropped this album. I remember not being sure exactly what was going on, but hearing Simon’s voice, deciding I would just go with it, and buying the cassette on the strength of “Election Day.”  (I was so in the dark that I didn’t even fully realize what the project was about. I didn’t buy the “Tiger Beat” magazines or whatever they were called and while I watched MTV, I clearly missed something).   So it was in that context that I first encountered So Red The Rose, devoured the liner notes, realized what it was, and immediately fell in love with it. Can you imagine that scenario today? I would be absolutely going out of my mind trying to figure out what the heck was going on with Paper Gods…!

Don’t be scared of what they say:  

I love when Duran Duran doesn’t try to write hits, and just puts out material that they want (the song “Paper Gods” is a great example of this).   That’s why I love So Red the Rose.  Here is are three-fifths of the biggest band in the world recording “the most pretentious record of the decade” (Simon would later be quoted), and yet, they apparently didn’t care.  They wrote the music they wanted to, got the guest artists (what a lineup!), and created a masterpiece (in my opinion).

The John Problem:

I have only met the band once, and that was just Simon and Nick for about 30 seconds outside of a venue in New York city in 2001. But if I ever got the chance to sit down with them and actually talk, my first question to John would be about a comment he made in 1986 that Power Station “worked” and Arcadia didn’t, and that’s why the band went in a  funkier direction on the Notorious album. I know he’s the Bass God and all that, but…how dare he! I really like The Power Station album and some of those songs are great to blast if you’re working out or doing yard work. And I love Living in Fear, their obscure second album. That being said…come on, John! Everyone knows Arcadia is better than Power Station!!! (You can flame me in the comments below if you disagree.)

So..it’s been 30 freaking years?!?!?:

This anniversary really hits me. Obviously, since 2011, we’ve been cycling through the 30th birthdays of each Duran album.  But now I’m really processing how much time has passed. I think that’s because I was younger for the original albums; my experience with them was largely via radio listening. I didn’t own a cassette player until…1985! (I literally realized this as I was typing). So, this is really not just the 30th anniversary of So Red the Rose, but the 30th of my Duran fandom expanding beyond the singles! In the summer of ’85, I bought all the cassettes of the first four albums (including Arena). So Red the Rose marked the beginning of buying Duran albums as they were released. It marked the beginning of waiting for the new album, wondering what the single would be, what direction they would go. In essence…my concept of Durantime started 30 years ago this fall!

A final thought:

If you had told me in 1985 that, 30 years later, we’d still be talking about and analyzing So Red the Rose in the larger context of Duran’s catalogue and legacy, I would not have been surprised. But consider this: We can’t have the 30th birthday party for Paper Gods until 2045!

Regardless…happy 30th , So Red the Rose!



Question of the Day: Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Based on yesterday’s poll results in which What Are the Chances had the most votes with Face for Today closely behind, clearly there needs to be one more poll on favorite song off of Paper Gods!

Therefore, which of these 3 songs off of Paper Gods do you like best?

We Carry On

I know it’s been a few days since it was announced, but I had to comment on the GOOD that came out of the campaign to get the Eagles of Death Metal’s version of Save a Prayer to number one in the UK. The results were tweeted out on Friday afternoon, and while the song missed the mark in the UK – it went straight to number one in several other areas of the world, which was wonderful to see.

Save a Prayer to Number one

I know that I tweeted out the link several times, wrote a blog or two about it, and just enjoyed the feeling of goodness that washed over me while doing it. Focusing on something else other than the evil and anxiety that seems to dominate the news these days was a welcome relief. Rather than continuing to feel pretty damn helpless over what might happen next, I guess I centered my thinking on living. On music. On Save a Prayer. Felt appropriate given the people who were in the Bataclan that night, just LIVING.

I suppose one could look at the charts and think it was a colossal failure, at least in the UK where the actual campaign to get Save a Prayer on the charts took place. The US looks pretty dismal too, sitting at #220. I don’t really see it that way, though. Two bands came together over a single cause.  Save a Prayer – a song that is imprinted the souls of most of us who grew up being fans of Duran Duran has now come to mean something far bigger. All due to a single person deciding to make the music matter more than the evil that dared to destroy it. One Facebook page, one Twitter account, inspired countless people to put down whatever it was they were doing at the time and buy a song. I can’t call that a failure, no matter what the numbers say.

Every once in a while I get a glimpse of what magic can happen when people are pushed to the brink and realize that the only real way out is to work together.  JM – the person behind Eagles of Death Metal for No.1 on Facebook, inspired an incredible amount of people this past week. That’s the real “win”, and in my mind there are no failures or shame in what was accomplished. Well done.

I will echo JM’s sentiments: to those who went out that night in Paris to have a good time and never came home. I will continue keep those people and their loved ones in my thoughts.


Question of the Day: Monday, November 23, 2015

The winner from the full track list off of Paper Gods:  Only in Dreams

This matches the results in our usual two songs against each other, bracket type questions.

Some have asked us to create a poll with just the TOP FIVE off of the full song list poll so we did!  :)

Which of these songs, the top 5 fan favorites off of Paper Gods, is your favorite?

Picking Duran Duran Favorites!

Today’s poll question about people’s favorite song off of Duran Duran’s latest, Paper Gods, is getting quite a lot of attention.  I love how many people have voted and I love when people comment on one form of social networking or another about why their favorite song is their favorite.  It got me thinking.  (Always dangerous, I know!) What makes a favorite song, a favorite?  Then, I started to think about songs that I really bonded with as a kid vs. the songs I bonded with as an adult.  They have definitely changed.  Is it because my criteria for a favorite song has changed?  I think so!

When I was a kid, I remember getting certain songs in my head.  In fact, they were so in my head that I couldn’t get them out and I drove everyone around me crazy with them!  Let me give a couple of examples.  First, I remember having the chorus to Save a Prayer stuck in my head one afternoon when I was hanging out with my best friend, at the time.  It was summer and we were hanging out in my backyard.  I kept singing the chorus out loud over and over again. (Much like what my students do to me now!)  My childhood best friend was also a Duranie so you would think that she would appreciate this.  She did, too…for like the first two and a half hours.  Then, she had enough!  A similar situation happened when the Reflex came out.  Luckily, this time, both of us were completely addicted!  We were so addicted, in fact, that whenever and I mean whenever it was on MTV or the radio we would call each other up!!  We spent a lot of time on the phone in the spring of 1984!  Thus, as a kid, what made a favorite song was that it got stuck in my head!  It had to be catchy!  I didn’t think of the lyrics or dive deep into the instrumentation.  Now, though…

When I think of my favorite songs now, they tend to be ones in which the instrumentation really sticks out!  My favorite is Planet Earth, which has the fabulous call and answer between guitar and keyboard, not to mention that fabulous bass line!  I also love how the lyrics capture this spirit that Duran has with popular culture, science fiction, humanity.  Therefore, the lyrics tend to be super important to me as well now.  I might go so far as to say that, for the last couple of albums, what has really hooked me is the lyrics.  Let me give some examples.  All You Need Is Now, the song, took me a few listens to grasp the instrumentation with that jarring and unusual beginning.  What kept me listening, though, was the lyrics.  “Stay with the music.  Let it play a little longer” is a sentiment that most Duranies have felt or feel even now about the band.  Many of us loved that the song seemed to be about them and US and our history together.  Then, another one of my absolute favorite Duran songs of all time grabbed me, lyrically, from this album, too, which is Before the Rain.  In this case, I loved the feel of the song, musically, but didn’t have a connection to the lyrics until my beloved cat and grandma died ten days apart.  All of a sudden lines like, “On the bomb ticks that is my heartbeat.  In every life flash, in every car crash.  I hear the silence waiting to fall” took on new meaning as I watched two lives come to an end, leaving my broken heart beating and silence.

Lyrics have become so important to me that I do think they played a huge role in me really grasping and embracing Paper Gods.  I had been listening to the album for a week or so and had begun to really enjoy it but I wasn’t hooked yet.  All of a sudden, I was listening to it with earbuds on to really focus on the songs when I noticed the lyrics to Last Night in the City, a song that I had initially dismissed.  Lines like, “Hearts’ spinning all around on me (together).  Now they’re surrounding me.  This is how we get connected.  Running out the shadows into light!”  This is how I feel on tour!  Let me listen again!  More lines that feel like touring like, “I’m not gonna sleep tonight.  Till the morning fills the sky,” and “This is our time!”  Holy crap!  At that very minute, I got a text message from Rhonda who had realized the exact same thing!  For literally the next two hours, Rhonda and I went back through each song, listening to the lyrics, analyzing them, connecting to them.

Fast forward to a Sunday in October as I sat on a plane heading back home from tour and once again, I found myself listening to the album.  I had a piece of paper in front of me that held my flight info.  Throughout my flight, it became more than that.  It became a paper filled with more lyrics, more lines that now held new significance to me.  I still have that paper as it represents an even deeper connection to the album than I had before.  Each time I listen to Duran or really dive into the lyrics, I’m reminded of how SMART the lyrics really are.  They make me think.  They make me feel.  They also often feel like they are directly speaking to and/or about me.  Perhaps, this is why how I choose my favorite Duran songs have shifted.  Lyrics matter a lot more now.

What about the rest of you?  How do you choose your favorites?  Has the process changed?


Question of the Day: Sunday, November 22, 2015

After voting one song against another in our usual bracket-type voting format, it seems that the fan favorite off of Paper Gods is Only in Dreams.  In order to determine if that is accurate or not, we will ask the question, one final time in a different format.  For today’s poll, you can choose YOUR favorite off of the album out of all the songs.

Two Duran fans with a lot of opinions!