Anniversary Celebration Wish List

While the marketing for the Ibiza weekend will undoubtedly capitalize on the 40th anniversary of Duran Duran, I think that is more about a promoter pushing a show and a band wanting to drive some profit while touring isn’t an option. The global pandemic has ruined the best laid plans for many and Duran Duran celebrating a 40th anniversary is hardly that significant given the challenges most of us are facing each day. However, we WILL get through this and we WILL get back to celebrating music in a live setting. With that in mind, I put together my “wish list” for the anniversary celebration when the time is right.

Merchandise

I’ll keep my thoughts on the beach towel to myself. My idea of tone-deaf is probably at the far-left end of the spectrum so I understand if most fans loved it. However, the merchandise in general has really been disappointing over recent years. When you compare it to the quality and aesthetic of what Patty Palazzo at Punk Masters is doing, there is no comparison. There is a reason the band wear her designs!

Looking at the Duran Duran fan base, the demographic certainly skews female and most fans have some interest in fashion – the band’s style has always been a factor in their overall appeal. Throwing old album covers on a t-shirt just doesn’t cut it. The vintage line has some gems but there is a lot of potential being untapped when it comes to band merch. Three artists that seem to get it right are Wilco, Ani DiFranco, and Joy Formidable. The shirts often hint at a lyric but it’s more subtle and unique. How about a nice fitted t-shirt with a lizard and “Mixture” on it? Playing off the Paper Gods artwork, the cherry ice-cream cone would look great on a grey v-neck shirt.

Re-Issues

The back-catalogue has been mined thoroughly at times but it wouldn’t hurt to see a complete box-set put together with a focus on sound quality. The upcoming clear vinyl re–issue of the debut is taken from digital sources and will sound terrible compared to an original pressing. Why wait until it’s too late to do this right? The Bowie boxsets have been well put together and the Prince boxsets are an absolute treasure for fans. Obviously, Duran Duran doesn’t have a vault with that much treasure but I’d pay for a well-packaged box set.

It goes without saying that the 90s albums and beyond are in need of attention especially on vinyl. How the band hasn’t capitalized on the vinyl wave with at least a new pressing of the Wedding Album amazes me. It must have been in the works at some point because I pre-ordered it on Amazon but that eventually disappeared. It’s OK to embrace your heritage AND stay current with new music. Too often, the band seems determined to avoid that but there is a big difference between curating nice re-issues and playing the hits on a package tour.

Live Shows

I understand the economics of touring and I know how physically hard the road can be (I did 14,000 miles with Cowboy Junkies one tour and felt it first-hand). The temptation to take a huge pay-out for one-off shows makes sense to an older band. I’m sure the Ibiza show will pay more than the band would earn doing Memphis, Nashville, and Raleigh back-to-back-to-back. However, I am an old rock-n-roller at heart and I think the grind of touring is part of the experience. I don’t want a cozy box with clean restrooms. Concerts should take some work. That’s how you filter out the disinterested fans who want to film all of “Rio” on a phone while blocking your view.

I would love if they used the U2 model and played a handful of shows in several major markets AND used that as a way to explore more songs in a more intimate setting. The band has to move less so they can offset the payout of a smaller venue by eliminating a lot of travel expense. It would also allow for some fantastic fan weekends! Imagine three nights in NYC for shows plus a fan conference with Duran-centric hosts like Lori Majewski and a DJ set from Richard Blade. I’d pay for that experience!

I’m not a fan of hearing an entire album but I like when an artist highlights an older album. Believe it or not, the last few summer tours from Jimmy Buffett did just that. Each show would include a selection of songs from a specific album. In the spirit of the anniversary of the band and recognizing that the casual fan loves the early stuff, it would be amazing if they did three nights that focused on each of the first three albums with the rest of the set being culled from the later work. And yes, now I will offer sample set lists that keep in mind that you need some anchor songs night to night and certain songs are essentially required.

Let me know what you think and I hope to see you at a show in 2021!

NIGHT ONE – Duran Duran

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Wild Boys
  3. Friends of Mine
  4. Careless Memories
  5. Notorious
  6. Pressure Off
  7. Anyone Out There
  8. Ordinary World
  9. All You Need Is Now
  10. A View To A Kill
  11. Electric Barbarella
  12. All She Wants Is
  13. Come Undone
  14. Hungry Like the Wolf
  15. Rio
  16. ENCORE – Save A Prayer
  17. ENCORE – Sound of Thunder
  18. ENCORE – Girls On Film

Night Two: Rio

  1. Hold Back the Rain
  2. Hungry Like the Wolf
  3. Wild Boys
  4. New Religion
  5. Notorious
  6. Pressure Off
  7. Lonely In Your Nightmare
  8. Ordinary World
  9. All You Need Is Now
  10. A View To A Kill
  11. Tempted
  12. I Don’t Want Your Love
  13. Come Undone
  14. The Reflex
  15. Girls On Film
  16. ENCORE: The Chauffeur
  17. ENCORE: Last Chance on the Stairway
  18. ENCORE: Rio

Night Three: Seven & the Ragged Tiger

  1. The Reflex
  2. New Moon On Monday
  3. Wild Boys
  4. Shadows On Your Side
  5. Notorious
  6. Pressure Off
  7. The Seventh Stranger
  8. Ordinary World
  9. All You Need Is Now
  10. A View To A Kill
  11. Someone Else Not Me
  12. Do You Believe In Shame?
  13. Come Undone
  14. Planet Earth
  15. Rio
  16. ENCORE: Hungry Like the Wolf
  17. ENCORE: Planet Earth
  18. ENCORE: Union of the Snake

Comments

  1. Not one B-side on those lists? Not even one?? Can we skip Tempted and play Red Carpet Massacre…or GOD forbid put in a B-side or bonus track??

    And this is just one example of how the band must feel every single time the plan a set list. 😀

    -R

    1. Author

      I originally had Late Bar, Like An Angel, and Secret Oktober in the #11 slot each show but figured that wasn’t realistic. Tried to be mindful of the band’s, umm, passion these days….

  2. Yes, take out Tempted and add Secret Oktober. Skin Trade would in there somewhere too!

    1. Author

      I had Oktober on there in place of Someone Else Not Me but figured they wouldn’t touch the b-sides. Like An Angel and Late Bar were the other two.

  3. Hi Girls!! Loving this commentary with hugs and love!! The current releases are less than worth the promotion behind them being audio and tangible items! I really think Ibiza is out of my range, but after a glass of vodka I’m booking hotel rooms in Spain for next spring! 😆🤩 A live internet online concert is due!! I hope the guys and mgmt get it together and really bring something worthy of the 40th anny to fans earning a regular wage!
    So far I’m still optimistic about their touring future and #DD15! Re-releases and reissued albums singles just to put something out isn’t worthy of their back catalogue! Let’s pray we get a new boxset of singles from Wedding to PG’s and DVD’s of rare concerts!!
    Kisses 💋💋Love your work and keeping it real!!
    dD Desertduranfan Jason 🌈❤️🌵😎

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