What a week! I have been at work late all week due to meetings and back-to-school night. On top of that, I have had multiple friends in crisis, leaning on me for emotional support. If that wasn’t enough, the political world in the U.S. has been rocked. The result of this is that I’m feeling both exhausted and wired at the same time and unable to get much, if anything done. Not good. After all, I have much to accomplish, including working on our current project. This project that has both of us excited! One aspect of this, yet to be defined on here project, is that it allows our research to go in all sorts of directions. As someone who enjoys the process, it is so nice to not be so narrow. Right now, I have been into looking success. Specifically, what is the definition for success for bands? How do I prove that musical artists made it?
In thinking about this question and reading about it, it seems to me that a common definition of success focuses on the charts. To refresh everyone’s memory, the idea here is that the higher one’s song or album appear on something like the Billboard charts, the better the song/album is doing. You want to hit the top spot! Back in the day, this would come from sales and plays. Now, there is consideration for downloads and online streaming as well. On top of that, there is also a focus on how long a song/album appeared on the charts. Obviously, hitting number one was/is the goal. Duran Duran experienced strong chart success over their career, including some number one songs like The Reflex and A View to a Kill in the U.S.. Of course, they also had a number of top 10 tracks like Hungry Like the Wolf, Is There Something I Should Know, Union of the Snake, New Moon on Monday, Wild Boys, Notorious, I Don’t Want Your Love, Ordinary World, and Come Undone. Yet, is that it? Is that the only thing that determines success?
Another factor that comes up with the discussion of what success for a band looks like is the number of album sales. According to Wikipedia, Duran Duran, for example, has sold 100 million albums. Of course, this statistic also takes into consideration the number of years together. A brand new band, for instance, won’t have been together long enough to sell that many albums.
Beyond chart success and album sales, what else can and should be taken into consideration to show success? What about awards? Would that prove anything? Wikipedia, again, lists awards and nominations that Duran has won.
|American Music Awards||0||1|
|The Brit Awards||2||2|
|Golden Globe Awards||0||1|
|MTV Video Music Awards||2||6|
|Hollywood Walk Of Fame||Inducted|
|Ivor Novello Awards||2||2|
Does that prove Duran Duran’s success? I’m not sure. Maybe. Should I consider ticket sales to various tours? What about the size of venues? Number of dates? What about other, less tangible pieces of evidence? For example, if you asked pretty much anyone of a certain age, they know who Duran Duran is and remember hearing their songs. What about the number of references in other popular culture like TV shows and movies? How about the fact that thousands of fans had/have their posters on their walls? Then, I think about all the various quotes about Duran Duran and their importance. For example, the Behind the Music documentary featured a quote from Richard Blade about how people weren’t around for the Beatles but they were around for Duran Duran. So, another means of doing this could be comparing to other bands considered successful. What about media coverage? Does that matter?
On that note, what do all of you think? How should I demonstrate Duran Duran’s success? Is it about charts, sales, etc? Is it about more intangible items like their level of memorabilia out and about in the 1980s? Maybe, you have an idea that I haven’t even mentioned. Seriously, I would love to know!