Category Archives: Demos

Ultimate Box Set: B-Sides and Demos Results

During the last few weeks, we asked Duranies, Duran fans, our readers to narrow down the entire list of Duran Duran b-sides and demos to just seven.  These seven would be included on our imaginary Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  Which songs were chosen?  What do those say about the Duran fan community?  Before I go into those details, let’s list the entire box set so far.

Singles:

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Save a Prayer
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Girls on Film
  5. Pressure Off
  6. Rio
  7. New Moon on Monday

Album Tracks:

  1. New Religion
  2. The Chauffeur
  3. Hold Back the Rain
  4. Friends of Mine
  5. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  6. The Seventh Stranger
  7. Paper Gods

Now, for the results of the b-sides and demos…

B-Sides/Demos:

  1. Secret Oktober
  2. Late Bar
  3. Beautiful Colours
  4. I Believe/All I Need to Know
  5. Salt in the Rainbow
  6. Planet Roaring
  7. Faster Than Light
  8. (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile

Analysis:

As soon as I saw the results, I immediately thought about two things.  How many b-sides were chosen vs. demos?  Which eras were these songs from?  Then, of course, what can I learn about our fan community from these results?

You may have noticed that there are 8 songs listed when before there were only 7.  The last two songs (Faster Than Light and Make Me Smile) tied.  I opted to leave both of them in as opposed to having another vote because they are two very different songs.  While both of them are b-sides, (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile is a cover song.  Since we don’t have covers in the box set at all, I thought it would be cool to include it.

All of the songs chosen minus two are b-sides.  This fact didn’t shock me, in the least.  After all, these songs are ones that were finished.  The band didn’t need to do anything else to them.  Demos, on the other hand, tend to have some thing that needs to be done or redone on them.  The two demos that were chosen were the two most popular ones from the Astronaut era.  In the case of Beautiful Colours, it was done enough that the band performed it live.  Salt in the Rainbow sounds pretty well done to me so whatever they needed to do would have been minimal.

When I look at the results, I notice that a lot of different eras are represented, including the first album (Late Bar and Faster than Light), Seven and the Ragged Tiger (Secret Oktober and Make Me Smile), Big Thing (I Believe/All I Need to Know), Astronaut (Beautiful Colours and Salt in the Rainbow), and Paper Gods (Planet Roaring).  Looking at that, the fans chose well by having so many different Duran times included.

In looking at these results, what did you notice?  Were you surprised by anything?

For the next few weeks, we are voting on live songs.  To participate in this week’s poll, go here.   After we choose live songs, we will finish up with side/solo projects.  I can’t wait to see the final version of the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Demos Results

Last weekend, fans voted on which Duran Duran demos should be considered for our fan created Ultimate Box Set.  In looking at those results, I was not surprised at all by how the vote turned out.

Demos Vote:

First of all, this category produced the least number of votes.  I worried about this as I assumed that there would be less fans familiar with the choices.  I did create a blog with all of the demos listed as well as a chance to listen to all of them.  That said, I do understand how one or two listens to a song is not the same as knowing a song well.  Because of that, I expected the Astronaut demos to do the best because they are really known by many more fans than the rest.

The top 8 demos included:

  1. Beautiful Colours
  2. Salt in the Rainbow
  3. Tel Aviv (original form with lyrics)
  4. TV vs. Radio
  5. Pretty Ones
  6. Girls on Film (demo with Andy Wickett)
  7. A Matter of Fact
  8. Be My Icon (John Taylor vocals)

As you can see by the results, my hypothesis did indeed prove true.  The majority of demos chosen were from the Astronaut era.  Those included Beautiful Colours, Salt in the Rainbow, TV vs. Radio and Pretty Ones.  Many of the remain demos chosen were ones that did eventually get released in different forms.  The demo that does not fit either category is A Matter of Fact.

Box Set Status:

At this point, we have chosen singles and album tracks.  This weekend, we will make our final votes on demos and b-sides.  If you want to vote on that category, please go here.

From here, we will move on to live tracks.  This is a category that is less clear about how to proceed.  Here is where I need people’s advice or thoughts/opinions about how to pick the songs.  I don’t want to just list every song that has been ever played live.  There is simply too dang many.  One option is to ask people for a list of which songs they like to hear live the most, but I doubt I will get many responses.  An alternative is to pick from the list of songs that have played the most.  Setlist.fm can provide that list.  Heck, they list the top 157 songs played live.  I don’t think we would want to vote on all of those!  So, if we go that route, how many songs should I include?  21?  30?  50?

Of course, after live songs, we have one category left:  side/solo project songs.  Then, we will have our Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.

-A

Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set: B-Sides and Demos

During the last few weeks, we (the writers and readers) of this little blog have been voting on which possible b-sides and demos should be considered on our Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.  We consider b-sides to be those songs that were included on the back of singles, back in the day.  Those extra tracks that appear on special versions of an album are also considered b-sides.  They are the modern day version of them!  Demos, of course, are songs that were written and recorded but never released (at least not in that original form).

We narrowed the choices down to 14 b-sides and 7 demos.  You now get to vote on which 7 of those, out of that total 21 should be included in our Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  You may choose all b-sides.  Perhaps, you want to vote for all demos.   Maybe, you want 5 b-sides and 2 demos or vice versa.  It’s all up to you.  Vote how you want!

From here, we have only two categories left–favorite live tracks and side and solo projects.  I’m already starting to think about how in the world we will narrow down those live tracks.  One thought I had included looking to see which songs have been played most on setlist.fm (totally fascinating, by the way!).  We could also ask based on average setlist per year, which that website produces as well!  Maybe, we could ask for your favorites or a combination thereof!  Any thoughts?

On that note, I’ll leave you to voting on which 7 b-sides and demos should be included on a Duran Ultimate Box Set!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Demos

I apologize that today’s blog is so late.  My to-do list is pretty overwhelming today and I have been trying to get through my list as quickly as possible.  As I promised yesterday, I will post the poll to allow people to vote on which demos they think should be considered on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  Just a reminder that this box set is just for fun and we have no ability to make it happen (although I wish we did!).  After the poll, I will share the results from last week’s one on b-sides as well as give my thoughts about those results.

On that note, let’s vote on which demos should be considered to be included on Duran’s Ultimate Box Set.  If you need to hear those demos to vote, I refer you to yesterday’s blog here.

B-Side Results Part 2:

The b-sides that people thought should be considered for the box set include:

  1. Planet Roaring
  2. Northern Lights
  3. Virus
  4. Fallen Angel
  5. Cinderella Ride
  6. Cry Baby Cry
  7. Valentine Stones

Last week focused on b-sides from the Wedding Album to the band’s most recent release.  What do I notice about the results?  Most of them are from Paper Gods.  Then, there is one from Red Carpet Massacre and one from Astronaut.  Perhaps, this is an indication of which album is more popular or which era is more of a fan favorite.  It could also be showing that now-a-days those extra tracks are more important than they were during the late 1990s.  What do think of those results?

Next weekend, we will then pick 7 songs from the 14 b-sides people thought should be considered as well as the 7 demos from this week.   Happy Voting!!!

-A

Unreleased Duran Duran Songs

It is Saturday, which lately means that I post a poll to continue voting for songs that Duranies think would be great to include on a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  This weekend, however, I’m doing things a little different.  This weekend’s focus is on Duran Duran demos or songs that were written but not released on an album.  In some cases, demos might be complete with all parts ready to go.  In others, they are far from done.

Because these songs were never officially released, many people might be unfamiliar with them.  Therefore, today’s blog is focused on giving people an opportunity to hear these demos before actually voting on them.  I have included demos from released songs, or songs that might be familiar to fans, if they changed dramatically from the original writing to being released.  Tomorrow then, we will vote as well as give results about b-sides voting that took place last week.

Demos in alphabetical order:

A Matter of Fact:

Anything For You:

Be My Icon:

Beautiful Colours:

Bottleneck:

Capitol Chill/Bomb:

Dream Nation:

Girls On Film:

In Between Woman:

Lonely Business:

Money on Your Side:

My Family:

People Like You (PL You): 

Plastic Girl:

Pretty Ones:

Reincarnation:

Salt in the Rainbow:

Second Alibi:

See Me Repeat Me:

Tabula Rasa:

Take It To Me:

Tel Aviv:

TV vs. Radio:

Working the Steel:

Now, I fully admit that I didn’t include all of them.  If I could not find a video, I didn’t include it because I thought that would bias the voting.  On top of that, I’m VERY certain that I don’t know every Duran demo out there.  These are the ones I know about.  If you know of other demos that I should include, please let me know before tomorrow (Sunday) so I can include it on the vote!  I would appreciate it!!!

-A

Duran Duran Demos: Trust the Process

As a Duran Duran fan, what is your dream day?  A dream day for me would end at a Duran show with good friends followed by an all-night party.  The rest of the day, though, I would love one thing.  I would love to be able to explore the Duran Duran vault where all songs, videos, pictures are kept.  Is there such a thing?  I’m not sure, but there really should be.

What would I be looking for in this magical vault or archive?  Simple.  I want to see and hear all of the material that I haven’t had the good fortune to watch/hear.  I can think of numerous examples.  Anyone remember a little documentary about the 2005 tour called Drama Americana that was never released?  I would love to see it.  There even was a trailer for it:

Of course, I’m sure that there is plenty of music that they created that we were never able to hear.  The most obvious example is Reportage, the album created after Astronaut that was shelved after Andy left and with the change in direction leading to Red Carpet Massacre.  If that wasn’t enough, I would love to hear demos of released songs.  One of the best features of those re-released box sets of the early albums was not only getting official remixes but often hearing demos, showing how much some songs changed.  The best example of this is Tel Aviv:

In thinking about all of the unreleased Duran material that exists, I wonder how they feel about those songs or versions that ended up on the cutting room floor.  Do they think they made the right choices with what they chose to be released or do they regret some of them?  Beautiful Colours is a demo that many Duranies have and desperately wish that it was included on Astronaut.  If you haven’t heard it, listen to it below and let us know if you agree that it should have been on the album:

Then, I wonder about the process they go through.  I think many of us have heard interviews in which they state that writing and recording usually begins with them “jamming” in a room together.  When they come up with something interesting, they try to form the song around what they discovered or something like that.  Every time I hear about this process I always think about how organic and natural it sounds.  I get the sense from this that they don’t try to force a certain sound or a specific type of song.

That said, I suspect that there are many steps, though, between grasping onto something cool and being ready to go on an album.  What I want to know more about is how they deal with questions about how they should proceed.  Say, for instance, they have something like a song that they had been working hard on but they know or someone else points out that there is something missing to the song.  How do they add or subtract or change to fill in the song, to make better, to make it ready to send out to the world?  What about those songs that they truly change like Tel Aviv?  Clearly based on the fact that some songs were never released, how and when do they decide to scrap a song?  Then, do they ever feel that they wasted their time?

I can imagine that it must be frustrated to work a song that ends up not going anywhere.  If that is the case, I wonder how they feel about albums that they created that never made it out of the recording studio.  Do they ever wish then to pick up those projects and finish them?  I know that many of the fans would really like them to see certain projects and songs through.  If they chose to just fix songs that were mostly done, maybe, the next album could be released sooner rather than later??

Overall, I find myself really wondering what their creative process really is.  As someone who is also working on a creative project, I bet that I could learn from them.

-A

The Joy of Demos

I was in the car this morning, and the demo version of “Nice” shuffled its way to the top of my iTunes.  I know I’ve had the song for a while, but I can’t remember how I ended up with it. It has been at least a couple of years since I sat and listened.

As it played, I thought about how far the song had come from the time it was recorded as a demo to the final version included on Astronaut. Aside from the chorus, which was much of the same, if not exactly the same as we heard on the album, the rest of the song definitely had some further evolving and retooling before any of us ever marched up to the counter of our local music store (I seem to recall there still being a few back then!) and purchased our copy of Astronaut in October of 2004.

When I hear demos like these, it reaffirms what I already know about myself: I am a music geek. I might not know many of the more  obscure bands out there – admittedly finding bands like that takes more time than I’ve really got these days to listen to music (something I wish I could change).  I am also not very good at being aware of every type of drum Roger has used or every single synthesizer Nick has used over the years, I’m just not quite that exacting with details. However,  I love being able to listen and discover the evolutionary paths the songs have taken on the journey to a finished album. I like hearing the way a bass line has changed, or how the final mix brings out certain tracks and leaves others to be more of a “suggestion” rather than full-blown. Perhaps, as it is in the case for “Nice”, the lyrics have taken a completely different turn. I like hearing that discovery, and in plenty of ways, it gives a little extra insight and minutia into the recording process, which is really cool.

I can’t say I am like that about many of my favorite bands. For instance, I have always had a fondness for Tears for Fears, but I don’t seek out their old demos – although I do have an album from back when they were called The Graduate, which was a cool find for me. I also have a few demos that The Killers have released on various remasterings or what-have-you, and while those are interesting, none of them hold the same sort of significance.

I remember when the remastered editions of the first album and Rio came out – I was more excited by the prospect of finally hearing a version of Tel Aviv, complete with vocals, than anything else. I listened to that song first, and wondered what made them change it. I remember listening to the original and Kershenbaum mixes over and over again, absorbing every last change and marveling over how something seemingly so subtle could make all the difference in the US market. It’s those types of stories that I enjoy most. I suppose part of that comes from studying pop culture, and seeing that yes, even with (or especially with) Duran Duran, who felt to me like they were so ahead of the time in 1982, the culture here in the US not only had to catch up, but in some ways Duran Duran even had to slightly alter themselves to be picked up by radio. Had any one thing changed in the way they were embraced here in America, perhaps that would have made the difference as to my own fandom – and that both fascinates and thrills me.

I’ve really enjoyed the few things the band has shared with us over the years – the demos, the stories, etc. Now that the catalog has been reunited under Warner, I hope that as the years go on we can expect to see more shared from the archives!

-R

Lesser Known Duran Duran Songs: Demos

The other day, a Facebook friend of ours posted the following demo on our timeline:

If you aren’t familiar with this one, it is a demo of the song, Be My Icon, from the Medazzaland era.  Unlike the final song, the demo has very different lyrics and features John Taylor on vocals.  This demo has been featured on a variety of bootlegs, including Out of my Mind – The Final Mixes, You’re Now Entering Into Medazzaland, Medazza Sessions, and Here Today Gone Tomorrow.  It seemed to me, based on the reactions from other people, that there were a number of fans who have never heard this.  This got me thinking that there might be other songs to showcase and share.  Therefore, this post will showcase some of those songs with, potentially, more posts to follow in upcoming weeks.

Anything For You:

This one was a demo during the Notorious era.  Like the last demo, this one is also featured on a number of bootlegs, including Out of Notorious, Notorious Demos, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, Behaviour, Proposition, and Notorious:  The Demo Sessions.

My Family:

This is a demo from Liberty.  Interestingly enough, this one was performed once in Denmark at the Skanderborg Music Festival on August 13, 1989.  It is featured on a number of bootlegs, including Didn’t Anybody Tell You?, The Liberty Sessions, De Panne 89, Denmark:  Skanderborg Festival Aug. 13, 1989, First Impressions, and The Liberty Mixes.

P.L. You

This is a song that was performed during the Thank You album era, including the TV performance above.  This song was featured on the following bootlegs:  B-Sides &Rarities, Medazzaland Sessions, Medazzaland Demos, People Like You, Radio Promo 95, Thank You, Philly…., Burning the Ground:  B-Sides, Medazzaland:  Demos & Sessions, The B-sides and Beyond Vol. 2, Boston 6-3-95, and Thank You Demos.

Matter of Fact

This is a demo from the Wedding Album era.  It is featured on the following bootlegs:  Four on the Floor, The Wedding Demos and A Matter of Fact (bootleg).

TV vs. Radio

This is a demo from the Astronaut era.  It, along with the other unreleased demos from that era, are included in a number of bootlegs like Beautiful Colours, Another Astronaut – The Demos, Oh My God What’s Thus:  Astronaut Studio Sessions & Demos Volume 2, In Deep Space, The Sound of 2004, and Astronaut Demos.

I, for one, would love to hear demos from the band’s most recent works, especially All You Need Is Now.  Have you heard these before?  What do you think of them?  Would you like to hear more rare Duran Duran songs?

-A