Category Archives: Covers

Muse is Hungry LIke the Wolf

Give me a sign

Has anyone noticed that DDHQ has been promoting a cover of Hungry Like the Wolf performed by Muse lately? I did – and filed the information in my head for later.

Today was that day, my friends. I had to mentally prepare myself. I would not only be listening to Hungry Like the Wolf, but sitting through an actual cover of it. Doesn’t everyone do that???

In touch with the ground

In full disclosure, I’ve liked Muse for a long time. They’ve been on my radar since the soundtrack for the first Twilight was released with “Supermassive Black Hole”. (Yes, I did actually read the books and go to the movies with my oldest. I’m a mom. It’s what we do.) I was a little surprised they decided to do a cover of a Duran Duran song, much less HLTW. It seems to be one that many bands choose for their cover. I was curious to see what Muse would do with it.

Covers usually take one of two basic routes: either they are rearranged to the point where they are almost unrecognizable, or they hold true to the spirit of the original. Maybe they have a little flair here and there, but the spirit of the song holds on faithfully. I really wasn’t sure which way Muse would go. I figured it would be a little different, yet recognizable.

I’m on the hunt

Clearly, DDHQ has been promoting the song to some extent – so I wanted to hear what it had to offer! I sat down with my coffee this morning, and clicked play, hoping I wouldn’t be completely disappointed or put off. (one never knows!)

Here is the link if you want to see and hear it for yourself! Muse is Hungry Like the Wolf.

The first thing I can tell you is that Muse held true to Duran Duran. I don’t even know if they changed a single drum beat, which surprised me. Obviously, I could tell it was Muse playing the song, but I don’t think they took much in the way of poetic license with the arrangement or even the rhythm. It sounded like Muse playing Duran Duran, and while that was comforting, it was also strange.

I think that bands are in a no-win situation with covers much of the time. If they take too much liberty – fans will hate it because the original is what they fell in love with, or what they know. If they don’t take enough, then they’ve got yahoos like me saying “Hey, how come you didn’t get more creative with it?”

Straddle the line

In my own defense, I like to see a band choose a song that inspires them, and pushes them to do more with it. Take the song to a different level, or a different place. Explore the sound, create a new environment – that sort of thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to hear HLTW sound like a ballad, but I want to hear them create something fresh.

In my opinion, the song was good. They didn’t perform it to make fun of it or to change it from pop to classical jazz. They wanted to perform in tribute to a band that they apparently respect and admire, and they were absolutely successful in doing so. I think Muse could have done more with it on a creative level, to be sure, but they chose not to – and I have to respect that because the song was performed incredibly well. Obviously they felt it is amazing as is, and you know, that speaks to Duran Duran’s own songwriting genius. I can’t argue with that!

Discord & Rhyme (my favorite line!!)

I did rather enjoy the end of it, as Matt Bellamy began to launch into a very familiar guitar riff/solo that Dom likes to do during the live shows…and I thought it was an interesting spin to have that part end the song rather than act as the bridge. So in that aspect, they did assert some creativity with the arrangement.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I still say that “Hungry Like the Wolf” is indeed the song that will outlive all of us.

-R

If We’re All of the Same Stuff

I apologize for not having a blog post yesterday. I would like to say that this won’t happen again, but I cannot. Before I even say what I’m about to say, I can already hearing some comments. You all thought my campaign work was done in November, right? Well…not so much. I had a three week break before I took on a new role, which is a campaign manager for a local race, which will be decided in the first week in April. This combined with the end of the semester at work means that things are pretty intense with me right now. I’m so tired that I feel like crying, which doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying the new work but wish that I had more hours in my day. Anyway, my apologizes for yesterday’s lack of a blog and any in the future.

Despite my busy schedule this past week, I did one task just for fun, which was to contact a fandom group of friends. No, this group is not connected to Duran Duran or Duran fandom. These women are people I met when I was really into the TV show, Roswell, back in the early 2000s. Back then, we reached out to each other after discovering that we all lived in the Midwest on a message board. The first get together led to lots more even though the show hasn’t seen a new episode in 17 years until now…sort of.

This week, a reboot of the original series, premiered. I felt compelled to reach out to my little group of friends to see what they thought, if they were planning to watch, etc. As we shared our thoughts, one thing became extremely obvious. All of us are assuming the worst about the series with comments like, “They will never be the real characters.” As I read more and more messages like this, I found myself snorting and thinking about whether or not there is, has been or could be something similar to this in the Duran fandom.

First, I considered cover songs. Is this similar to when a band covers a Duran Duran song? I don’t really think so. A whole show is a much bigger deal. Could it be a whole album of covers? That definitely seems like a closer comparison. After all, it might be that some songs of an entire cover album might get Duran Duran’s music more than others as some elements of a reboot might get it right. If we assume that these are comparable situations, I’m not surprised that my Roswell friends responded in the way they did. After all, this was a show that they loved. It is hard to imagine that any reboot could create the same sort of love and devotion even with elements that are very similar. Likewise, I have seen a lot of Duran fans reject any covers of Duran’s music. They love the originals so much that any aspect that is different makes it feels dramatically different and bad to many of the hardcore fans.

Then, of course, comes the question of how similar should the cover be. Should covers try to match the original as much as possible or would it be better if it creates a completely new version or interpretation while keeping key elements like lyrics? I can see both. On one hand, if the cover is alike in style to the original, it could feel comforting. It could also feature the best elements of the original. On the other hand, if the cover sounds really different, that might be less problematic to hardcore fans. A new interpretation could be judged not based on the original but completely on its own.

True confession time. I have not watched the first episode yet. The reason is simple as I want to be able to take it all in when I am not super duper tired or stressed. I’m wondering if this cover of sorts could actually make me appreciate the original show more, not because it sucks but because it shines a light on what make the show so awesome to me. Could it renew my interest in the show or the fandom? Maybe. It certainly got my Roswell group of friends to be chatty all week, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. To me, that makes the reboot worth it. Besides, as I told them, if it really sucks, then we should watch and make a drinking game out o it.

So, what do the rest of you think of covers? Reboots? Are they good and valuable or annoying and dumb?

-A

Help Needed: Duran Covers Others!

I’m sure that many of you are aware that I am responsible for the daily question.  Over the years, I have asked about many different Duran Duran related questions.  Some of them include:  Favorite song, Favorite album, Favorite song on each album, Favorite b-side, Favorite piece of merchandise, Favorite video, Favorite album cover, Favorite side project, Favorite song from each side/solo project, Favorite pictures of individual members and group, and more.  Lately, I have focused the questions on the setlist after it became a very frequent topic among fans.  I’m reaching the end of that set of questions.  Thus, I need and want to move on.

In thinking about the questions I have asked about, I decided that it would be fun to talk about songs that Duran Duran has covered.  (By the way, if you have a suggestion for a set of questions for the question of the day, do let me know!  I’m sure that many of you are more creative than I am).  Anyway, back to the next set of questions, Duran Duran has covered a LOT of songs over the course of their career.  Some of these songs were featured on Thank You, the album of all covers.  Others were on singles while some were only played live.

I have come up with an initial list of songs that I know that Duran Duran has covered at some point.  Here’s the thing.  I’m SURE that I’m missing many of them.  Thus, I need your help to complete the list of songs Duran has covered.  Here is what I have so far, in alphabetical order:

Ball of Confusion
Boys Keep Swinging
Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)
Crystal Ship
Diamond Dogs
Fame
Femme Fatale
Gimme Some Truth
Good Times
Groove Is In the Heart
The House of the Rising Sun
If She Knew What She Wants
Instant Karma
I Feel Love
I Wanna Take You Higher
I Wanna Take You Higher Again
Lay Lady Lay
Love Me Tender
Needle and the Damage Done
911 Is a Joke
Perfect Day
Poker Face
Psycho Killer
Rebel Rebel
Relax
Space Oddity
Staman
Sweet Jane
The Message
Thank You
Virginia Plain
Watching the Detectives
We Are Family
When I Was a Little Boy
White Lines

What songs did I miss?  On top of that, I would love to know when Duran Duran covered the songs.  It gives me a chance to try to search for them online because I would love to be able to link to them so that others who might not have heard those covers can.  It makes for better voting, too.  So, will all of you help me out?  What songs did Duran Duran cover that I missed???  Thank you in advance.

-A

Duran Duran Celebrating David Bowie

It has been a week.  My thoughts and feelings mirror many of the posts, tweets, messages I have seen, sent, and read since Monday.  I’m exhausted.  Mentally.  Certainly emotionally.  I feel very heavy and like I’m struggling to swim upstream.  This, of course, is common when is grieving, even if that person or persons are not known to us, personally.  This week, the world lost two greats in David Bowie and Alan Rickman due to the horrific disease of cancer and many of us are truly still mourning the loss.  Yesterday, Rhonda blogged about her emotional connection to Alan Rickman and the Harry Potter fandom.  While I do not share that specific fandom, I still get it.  I truly get it.  I understand how tough it is to lose someone who is a significant focus of a fandom one belongs to.  While David Bowie might not have been the focus of Duran Duran fandom.  He certainly had a direct connection.  Since after all, it is probably safe to say that if there was no David Bowie, there would be no Duran Duran.  He inspired them.  He motivated them to not only form a band but to form the kind of band they are.  His influence cannot be measured.  Yet, it remains so evident, so clear in so much of what Duran has done and continues to do.

The love that Duran Duran has for David Bowie is so strong that they have covered his music more than anyone else, I believe.  They love the music so much that they wanted to recreate it for themselves, to show the world how much the songs meant to them, or at least this is how I’m interpreting their choice to cover Bowie music.  Over Duran’s career, they have, in fact, covered 5 David Bowie songs.  One thing I have learned in my  life is how important it is to celebrate someone you have lost.  Thus, it seems fitting to me to celebrate David Bowie and his influence on Duran Duran by checking out those 5 cover songs.

Fame

Duran Duran included their cover of the song, Fame, as the b-side to their second single, Careless Memories, in 1981.

While they did, indeed, play this song live.  I could not find a live clip of it.  Therefore, I chose a montage video.

Diamond Dogs

Duran Duran released this cover on the Japanese version of their Thank You album in 1995.

I do not believe that they ever played this song live.

Rebel Rebel

This cover was played live and during TV/promotional appearances during the Thank You era of 1995.  It never appeared on an official release, which is really unfortunate.

This clip is from 1995 at a Hard Rock Live performance.

Boys Keep Swinging

After the Thank You era, which focused on cover songs, Duran Duran seemed to take a very long break from covering other artists’ work.  They broke out from this break to record Boys Keep Swinging for the album, We Were So Turned On:  A Tribute to David Bowie, released in 2010.  This song was available as a limited edition 7″ vinyl single as well as a download.

They did not play it live much, but they did play it for the Fendi private party in 2010 as seen above.

Here is the recorded version as well:

Starman

Duran Duran played this song live in Greece in the summer of 2012 to commemorate Bowie’s first performance of the song on the UK’s Top of the Pops TV show in 1972.

Personally, I would love to see them perform this one live…perhaps in..say..the summer of 2016!!

The loss of David Bowie is immeasurable.  I, for one, am thankful that his work, his music lives on and that we can all celebrate him forever.

-A

 

 

 

 

Lesser Known Songs Duran Duran Covered

About a month ago, I posted a blog about Duran Duran demos that people might not know about.  People seemed to enjoy the post and I promised more.  Well, today, I’m finally fulfilling that obligation in a way.  Today’s post will be about songs that Duran Duran has covered.  Now, we know that they recorded a whole album of covers, Thank You.  Today’s covers are ones that might have ended up on b-sides or on bootlegs or something similar.  These songs were often ones that Duran covered live, meaning that the only time they never got played by Duran Duran was on stage, in front of a live audience.  As with the demos, I tried to choose ones from different eras.

Fame – Originally Written by David Bowie, John Lennon and Carlos Alomar.  Released on David Bowie’s album, Young Americans.

Duran Duran covered this one and released it on the 12 inch version of Careless Memories, way back in 1981.  If you don’t have the 12 inch, you could also own a copy from the Singles Box Set.

Gimme Some Truth – Written by John Lennon and released on his Imagine album.  

Duran Duran performed this one live in 1991 at the  Jerusalem for Reconciliation Concert in London.  For those unfamiliar with the message of the song, it was a protest song in which Lennon was frustrated by the Vietnam War and politicians like President Nixon.  Duran’s cover was included on bootlegs entitled Didn’t Anybody Tell You and Money or Reputation.

Rebel Rebel – David Bowie song from his album, Diamond Dogs.

This song is a well-known for its gender-bending lyrics like, “She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl.”  Duran Duran performed during promotional activities during the Thank You era.  This performance is from the Hard Rock Live in 1995.  This song is included on a number of bootlegs, including Thank You Demos, Rebel Rebel – Rarities Live, Boyz on the Side and many more.

House of the Rising Sun – Traditional folk song 

This song is said to be a traditional folk song adapted to New Orleans.  It was successfully recorded by The Animals in 1964.  Duran Duran played this song at the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans in October of 2006 as it seemed appropriate to describe a city returning to life after the devastating Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

Showroom Dummies – Originally done by Kraftwerk

During the promotional Broadway shows for the Red Carpet Massacre album as well as the first leg of the tour supporting that album, Duran Duran performed an electro set as seen as the video above.  During the Broadway shows, they opened up the electro set with this song.  This makes sense since Kraftwerk is an electronic band.

What other cover songs can you think of that Duran Duran has performed?  There are certainly plenty more lesser known Duran Duran “songs” that I can share.  Perhaps, you would prefer more live songs.  Maybe, demos are more your thing.  For some people, the preference might be more an era thing.  If so, is there a specific era you would like me to focus on?  Let me know!  I’ll do what I can!

-A