Category Archives: Billboard charts

PAPER GODS DEBUTS AT #10!

I never blog at night. However, some rules are meant to be broken at certain times, and tonight is that night.

I don’t know what made me decide to check Twitter as I prepared for the week ahead, but something told me to click, and am I ever thankful I did!

I’m happy to share that tonight, DDHQ posted some wonderful, astonishing, fantastic, and AMAZING news. I had been hearing murmurings that it was possible that Paper Gods might make the top ten on the charts this week, but there was something in me that just had doubts. Well…there’s no doubting now:

top ten announcement

Duran Duran has just accomplished something that doesn’t happen often to that many bands. Paper Gods made it’s DEBUT at #10 on Billboard’s Top 200. The last time any of their albums did this well was 22 years ago. Twenty-two years.

I can’t describe how proud I am of this band, and I know that pride is shared with many, many thousands of fans around the world. Let’s not allow this momentum to subside. I challenge everyone who reads this post to tweet the news along with a link to iTunes or Amazon to buy the album. Tell your friends – this band has a top ten bona fide HIT on their hands, and it’s worth giving it a shot, even if they want to just listen on Spotify!

iTunes Deluxe version

Paper Gods on iTunes (regular)

Paper Gods on Amazon

Paper Gods on Spotify
During a week where I would see tweet after tweet about Paper Gods charting in countries all over the world, I have to admit that I was concerned about the US. I didn’t know how the album would do, and I hoped that this would be the album to finally break the ceiling of the top 10. It just isn’t easy for the band to chart here – we’re a huge country, and what does well in the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily do well here. After all, this IS the country that spurred the Kershenbaum remixes of songs off of Rio, once upon a time. It’s an uphill battle to have a hit in America.

What fantastic news for a Sunday night!! I’d love to be at Red Rocks as the band gets the news, and let’s all work to see this album continue to  move up those charts! Our work is not done, in fact – it’s just beginning.  Until we can turn on the radio and hear Pressure Off anywhere we go, we’ve got to keep getting this album heard, and that is not an easy task. We all must do our part. Tell a friend!

What are you waiting for?? Go Tweet or post on Facebook!!

-R

Random thoughts on those Billboard Music Awards

I had originally wanted to title this The Good, The Bad and the Kanye but another (highly prominent) news outlet beat me to it.  That’s what happens when you’re a west coaster….

I subjected myself to (most) of another awards show last night. I do this for you, people…ALL for YOU.

Ok, well, I also do it so that I can see Simple Minds perform one of my very favorite songs ever…but more on that in a bit!

Truth be told, I really am getting to the point where either Duran is going to need to start showing up again on these shows or I’m going to quit watching and just assume that the (music) world has already gone to hell in a hand basket. No, I’m not stuck in the 80’s and yes, there is a lot of new music that I love….but none of it ever makes it onto these award shows, and honestly I’m tired of seeing JLo’s cleavage and clever uses for sticky tape. Alas, I settled back last night and prepared to be disgusted. And I was.

The show opened with Taylor Swift’s new video for Bad Blood. I didn’t hate it. I liked the badass femme vibe to it (who wouldn’t?), and the song wasn’t horrible. I know the kids love her – I happen to live with one here who has adored her since Day One. I just liked her a little better when she sang and wasn’t completely overproduced to within an inch of her vocal life.  I was amused that she included a group of what she calls “Powerful Women” in her video. I think the word “powerful” can mean a lot of different things, and her idea of powerful is apparently, “female celebrity and/or model”.  Food for thought.

I need a new planet. Anybody else?

Chrissy Teigen. To be completely fair, I could have written an entire blog just on her hosting ability, or complete lack thereof. I honestly thought she was higher than a kite when she first appeared on stage, and I’m still not entirely convinced she wasn’t. I just know that she did not show herself off in her best light last night, but then, this is the entertainment industry, and apparently that doesn’t matter as long as you look good – and she’s a model. It’s sad, really.  Her best comment of the night? “I bang a musician.” Classy.

That brings me to Van Halen. Let me just say, if you ever want to see a fan community that has been ripped in half due to personnel changes within a band – Van Halen is your go-to band. Half of the community knows who David Lee Roth is and loves him despite the fact that he’s never been as much of a vocalist as he’s been a showman. The other half is supremely dedicated to Sammy Hagar (and original bassist Michael Anthony)   It seems that when you’re a VH fan, you pick a side and you stick with it until death do you part. It wouldn’t have mattered if sparks had flown out of Eddie’s guitar as he played last night – if you’re a Hagar fan, they sucked and David Lee Roth was terrible. On the other hand, if you loved Van Halen from the start, you might love the showmanship of David Lee Roth enough to excuse his (lack of) vocal talent. It reminds me ever so much of a certain amount of drama that takes place in this community if we want to chat about guitarists.  (I don’t.) Last night Van Halen treated the crowd to Panama, and while I still agree that Roth is mostly flash, and a lot of goof, it got the show started with a bang.

 

I probably could have changed the channel right then and not missed much. EXCEPT that I was waiting patiently for Simple Minds, and dammit I was going to suffer through the rest to see them.

There were a ton of awards given. Most of them went to One Direction and Taylor Swift. I’m sure you can tell just how much I cared about the actual awards. Listen, they can call me when Duran Duran is nominated and I will gladly pay rapt attention.  Until then???

I was amused by Sam Smith’s acceptance speech because he is awaiting surgery and is on 100% vocal rest, so he wrote his speech on cue cards.  I wish they all did that, actually.

 

One moment in the show that shocked me…because that does occasionally still happen from time to time (thank goodness!), was seeing Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth and Lindsey Stirling’s performance. As most of you should know by now, I’m not a huge fan of Rap…not by a long shot and I still 100% disagree with John about Kanye West (In fact, I’d argue that every single time Kanye opens his mouth, he proves my point that he is WAY overrated and needs to be shipped to a different planet.)  This song, however, is different. It was beautiful and I loved it. Three things that shouldn’t really go together well, but they did. Loved the power, loved the texture, loved the message.

 

At some point in the evening, Chris Brown and Pitbull were on the stage. I just have to ask, when are we ever going to learn? Why is it that bad behavior…truly abhorrent, BAD behavior, rewarded? I’m not talking about people with drug problems, or even people who have (very sadly) completely come undone (don’t even go there) in front of the cameras and spotlights.  Sure, some of those things are bad, but this is on a completely different level. A different galaxy of “bad”. I’m talking about someone who literally beat the crap out of their girlfriend on the way to an awards show. That’s not just “a mistake” that someone should be given a second chance to fix.  Abusers shouldn’t have time in the spotlight, and they definitely shouldn’t be given a microphone to exploit their messages about women. No one is ever going to be able to convince me that Mr. Brown never laid a hand on Rihanna before that beating in the limo…that definitely was not the first time he’d ever hit her, and probably not the first time he’d ever hit a woman period. But yet we’re all going to pretend that it’s OK, that he really did his time, paid his debt to society, to Rihanna…to WOMEN (not)..and that he’s allowed back up on that stage, and people actually applaud for him to be there, including his very misguided fans – some of which openly believe that Rihanna deserved that beating. Newsflash, parents out there…TEACH YOUR GIRLS BETTER. TEACH YOUR BOYS BETTER. It’s gross. It’s demeaning. It makes people who HAVE been hit, abused, etc. feel as though their fight just doesn’t matter…that there’s no one out there fighting for them. We need to do better as humans.  I’m disgusted that this industry doesn’t give a shit,  as long as his music sells, the rest just doesn’t matter.  It’s wrong.  I will keep giving this soapbox statement every single time I see him up on an awards stage…

That is going to bring me to the best part of my Sunday night. Molly Ringwald, my leader of my (and nearly every other 80s teenage girl on the planet) “club”, stepped onto the stage and marveled over the fact that it’s been 30 years since Breakfast Club was released and Don’t You (Forget About Me) was on the Billboard charts. Despite my needing to wipe back some very happy and nostalgic tears…it was a beautiful, beautiful moment.  Yeah, she asked Taylor if she could be in her club, and that was pretty cringeworthy for me because damn it – Molly is still my leader – but aside from that, I smiled, I cheered a little, and I thanked my lucky stars that I grew up in the 80s. We really had the best music.   The video is below (it’s crappy quality – apparently Billboard didn’t care enough about this performance to make sure it was uploaded properly and I couldn’t find any better online this morning)

 

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of newer bands that I like. Imagine Dragons is one of them…and they performed last night as well. They chose to perform Stand By Me in tribute to blues legend BB King, who died last week in Las Vegas.  His guitar, “Lucille”, was actually on display at the show as well.  Other bands have done similar things before, choosing to play in tribute to legends, and those performances tend to feel gratuitous and cheesy, but Imagine Dragons did very well. They stripped the song down, and allowed the music to speak for itself.

 

Kanye West closed the show with a huge pyrotechnic performance that most of the world never heard in it’s entirety because of the language…well done, Kanye.. (no, I’m not posting it!)  With all of the incredible music out there, this is really what sells?

Good luck, Duran Duran. You’ve got an uphill battle…and fans willing to help if you’d take them up on it.

-R

Today in Duran History

On today’s date in 1993, Duran Duran played the Durban Expo Centre in Durban, South Africa.  This is not an area of the world where the band tours often…so I have to ask, did any of our readers attend??

Also on this date in 1984, The Reflex reached it’s peak of #1 in the US!!  Not too shabby for a little band from Birmingham….

Happy Monday, everyone!

-R

Today in Duran History

Today I have a Duran history tidbit that is finger licking good!!  (shout out to my pal Krista…this one is for YOU, my friend!)

On this date in 1993, Come Undone reached it’s peak of #13 on the UK charts.  Anyone know where it peaked in the US or elsewhere??  Go ahead and chime in with comments!

A fan favorite, it is done live fairly often (like almost all the time) on tour…it is one of Amanda’s least favorite songs ever, and Rhonda likes it, sans the aforementioned finger licking. (Avert the eyes! Avert the eyes!) Ah, we joke, we kid, we even tease…but we love.

-R

 

 

 

But we can call it paradise!

Come on now, you knew that title was coming, didn’t you??

I am blogging from my delightful hotel room at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta.  We just got back from the show tonight – having dropped off the very last of our (Short) Party Bus passengers (Daily Duranie sponsored a meetup and pre-party before the show, and since we’d heard that grabbing taxis from the show was difficult, we put together a party bus.  It was a lot of fun, and we will definitely do this again for other shows!)  Amanda and I are pretty tired, it has to be said.  Today alone we drove over 6 hours to get here (We were in Biloxi last night), and tomorrow we’ve got yet another 6 hour drive ahead in order to get to Durham.  So far, our little tour has been nothing short of surprising.  It has to be said that no matter how much planning we do – and trust me, Amanda has the tour binder to prove it – we just can’t plan for everything.  Something always ends up being a surprise, and most of the time, it is the shows that make the difference.

Last night in Biloxi, the show was surreal.  I think I stood there in a daze for most of the show, trying to pinch myself to make sure that it was real, that yes I was in fact holding the rail, and yes…that really WAS Dom towering right directly over my playing his guitar.  Unreal. Surreal.  It doesn’t matter. The show itself was lackluster, and as Amanda mentioned, we didn’t live up to our end of the bargain as front row participants either.  Then there was that whole Hungry Like the Wolf song….oh, I’m just kidding, settle down.  I think that having to shorten the setlist didn’t help, and quite honestly the band seemed tired.  (I was too.)

Tonight however, was a completely different story.  To begin with, Amanda and I were not front row.  We were second row, far over on Dom’s side of the stage.  Both she and I were determined to make the show count.  We wanted to enjoy ourselves, let our guard down no matter how incredibly close or far the band stood from us and have a good time.  Then of course, there was the little matter of the weather.  It rained on and off for the afternoon, and while the good citizens of Atlanta might be used to rain, coming from Southern California, I most certainly am not!  The thought of getting rained on while watching the band (Hey, I just got my hair done and it is NOT cute when it’s curly!!) was not enticing.  I watched the sky with way more interest than I ever have before, and when it started pouring at 7pm, I started biting my nails.  Thankfully, by the time we got to the venue on the Short Bus (aptly named I am sure), it was barely sprinkling – and for the most part aside from some VERY large droplets that would occasionally run down my back during the oddest times of the show – I didn’t melt. (Yes, that is a reference to the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz.  My kids believe I melt in rain.  Nice, huh??  No comments…)

Before I forget, I need to make mention of one small ten minute complaint.  Why on earth does Duran Duran think it’s necessary to play that silly short film at the beginning of their set?  Listen, I am a student of the arts.  Sure, I get the visual intention behind the film (Yes Nick, I really do get it), but the trouble is you’re losing the entire audience after about the first 4 minutes – and that’s if they only go to one show!  I knew what was coming after last night, and so as soon as the film started, I checked my phone, knowing I had ten minutes to compose myself and waste a little time. My advice??  Either can the film all together and just play music until its stage time, or cut it to 5 minutes.  Trust me.  We mere mortal fans can only take so much anticipation.

When the band did take the stage, it was clear this was not going to be a repeat of last night within the first minute of Before the Rain.  There was more power, more enthusiasm, and I even think the band was more comfortable with the sizable stage area.  I know I was FAR more comfortable with the amount of dance space I had, since last night I had approximately 32 inches (I’m American and the metric system is not in my vernacular…suffice to say I had no room!) to both occupy and dance within. Tonight I could move of my own free will, and it was welcome.  As the set wore on we danced to everything from Planet Earth to Being Followed, Safe and even Girls on Film at the end of the encore.  Amanda and I took great joy in noticing that Come Undone had been omitted from the set  (time to retire that one for a while), but sadly – I’m still singing along to Hungry Like the Wolf.  I give up.  You got me.  I will “Doo Doo Doo” all the way to my grave as long as Dom is singing it along with me.  So there, I still win.  😀

Another thing I should mention (and yes I know I’m wordy.  You’ve got extra time.  Read on.) Is that John Taylor seemed 6000 Miles better at this show with connecting with the audience.  Yes, Amanda and I talk – what on earth do you think we do on a 6 hour drive?  Listen to Duran Duran songs???  Ha!  (Actually, we do.  We also talk.  A lot. She knows a lot about me.  Probably more than my husband at this point. *gasp*)  I watched John at this show, and he really spent more time smiling and looking at specific people in the audience.  I even saw him throw a pic or two into the crowd.  Now to get one into Amanda’s hands….(oh and yes the pun was intended.  If you’re a John fan, you should know to what pun I’m referring.)

If only the band would listen to me and play Mediterranea….and add Leopard back into the set!!!  It deserves to be there just as much as Safe, if not more.  Then again, I’m just a fan.  What do I know?

So tomorrow Amanda and I, along with a couple of friends will be making the 6 hour trek to the Raleigh-Durham area.   I can hardly wait to get behind the wheel of my rental car (I am so lying…  I will say that although I dearly, DEARLY miss my car at home – the Mazda 3 isn’t horrible.  It’s kind of cute and zippy in its own way. If you see a pearly white one on the road with Tennessee plates – it might be us!)  to make that wonderful drive to yet more uncharted territory (for me, anyway).

In the meantime, I need to settle down and attempt to sleep now. I just wanted to be able to blog now since tomorrow morning I’ll be driving…hey, we did not name this blog “The DAILY Duranie” for nothing!

Oh, and by the way – we are having MAJOR editing problems with our blog client.  You might notice, for instance that Amanda’s blogs were not paragraphed correctly.  Mine seems to have decided that Billboard Charts is the correct label for this blog.  Obviously not.  We are both working on our iPads, and so we need apologize.  The good news?  I think we’ve figured out how to get video working.  Now the key is to actually record video I’m willing to upload for the world to see….
-R

Billboard embraces the digital revolution! Now, will it make a difference?

Go on any Duran Duran message board and I’ll bet you’ll find at least one thread talking about chart figures.  Duran fans cannot seem to get past the bands absence on the Top 20.  Or the Top 40.  Or even the Top 100 at times. Naturally this leads to discussions of all kinds, going from the somewhat obvious “Why aren’t they on the charts?” to the more obscure but still ever-popular “Why isn’t this band being promoted properly?!?“.

What I don’t necessarily see being discussed often is Billboard charts do not include figures for Spotify and Rhapsody, among a few others.  Granted, Spotify and Rhapsody are subscription based services – and users do not necessarily own the albums or songs they are hearing when using those services.    However, one could reasonable debate that point by saying that when we listen to radio – a FREE service unless you’re talking satellite radio – users do not own those albums or songs either, and yet radio figures have been used in Billboard charting for years.

Well, discuss no more!  Today, Billboard announced the inclusion of Spotify & Rhapsody figures in their charting.  Here’s the blurb from Hypebot below:

Billboard Magazine‘s Hot 100 chart is finally joining the digital revolution with the addition of digital music services like Spotify and Rdio to the radio airplay and digital song sales that currently define it.  Editorial Director Bill Werde, told the Wall Street Journal that the magazine had waited to update its charts because music streaming services “have only recently hit a critical mass”.  A full list of the services added to the chart:
  • Spotify
  • Rhapsdy
  • Rdio
  • Slacker
  • Cricket’s Muve Music
  • MOG
Still missing is, at the very least, music on Youtube.

Personally I think that streaming services hit critical mass a while back and Billboard is just extremely slow to react to major industry changes.  I picture them, along with most everyone else in the industry – label and artist alike – being dragged kicking and screaming into the new reality.  That said, it’s a welcome change and a good beginning to an overhaul from the last century to the one we’ve been in for the past ten years.  
Until Billboard starts including YouTube music figures though, it would seem as though the chart definitions will continue to be lacking.  It seems to me as someone who is admittedly “Just a Fan”, that until Billboard and similar start giving proper credit to services such as YouTube, and stop relying so much on land based radio play lists for these charts (does anyone really listen???), we’re still not going to be getting the full picture.  Let’s be honest – radio playlists are based on whatever the programmers (who once again are hamsters kept in a very dark basement in New York City) decide.  Artists who want radio time know how to get it. (and if you want to talk payola with me and how it’s illegal….I’ve got a bridge to sell you in the California desert!)  Spotify, Rhapsody, the other services mentioned and even YouTube are slightly different animals because, oddly enough, the consumer – that would be you and I – decide what we LIKE and WANT to listen to.  According to what I’m reading, that is what will be tracked (in addition of those nasty NYC hamsters spinning their wheels!) What a concept!   
Will this change a single thing?  Time will tell.  
-R