Did you read the exciting news released by Duran Duran this week? In case you missed it, Warner is releasing a double LP of live music from “As The Lights Go Down” for Record Store Day 2019. The special was a TV concert filmed in Oakland, CA for the Sing Blue Silver tour in 1984. As a collector, this news excites me as I have long yearned for the band/management/record label to release more physical music items. However, there are a few items in the press release that didn’t sound right to me. In this era of “Fake News”, I had to wonder how much of this info is “fluff”, and how much is fact.
First, the press release claims that “Duran Duran played three incredible shows to over 150k people at the Oakland Coliseum”. We all know they were incredible, that’s for sure! However, I have done some research over the years and I believe the biggest non-festival shows that Duran Duran have played in the United States were at Madison Square Garden in 1984 and the Staples Center in 2005 with both venues having a capacity of 20,000 people for concerts. Naturally, it seemed incorrect that they played to 150,000 people over three shows in Oakland.
Some quick research (and the fact that I’m a sports fan) indicates that there are two neighboring properties as part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, both commonly referred to “Oakland Coliseum”. First, there is the football and baseball stadium that can hold 50,000 people for concerts. Second, there is the basketball arena (now called Oracle Arena) that can hold 16,000 for concerts. Duran Duran played in the arena, as seen in the As The Lights Go Down video, so it is not possible that they played to 150,000 people over those three days.
Second, the press release states that “no official products were ever released”. Again, I take issue with this statement. The actual video for “As The Lights Go Down” was released on DVD as part of the 2010 Special Edition CD/DVD box set for “Seven And The Ragged Tiger”. Also, the live tracks were released as part of an iTunes audio album in 2010. Even though Itunes is a digital format, it is still considered a product in my book since I had to pay for it!!
Furthermore, for those that do not know, the live tracks presented on “As The Lights Go Down” are the same live tracks released on the live album “Arena”. The audio is mixed and edited a bit differently, and the “As The Lights Go Down” version has some of the sound effects from the video incorporated, but the base live tracks are the same recording. Therefore, I have a hard time believing that “no official products were ever released” with regards to “As The Lights Go Down”.
Third, the last line of the press release states that the release “is available from 13 April 2019 (Record Store Day) in records stores across the country”. I am not a card-carrying member of the grammar and spelling police, but shouldn’t it read record stores? Also, which country is being referred to here? I’m guessing it is referring to the United States, but then why use the European date format? Fans outside the United States may take offense to this wording. I believe the record is being released in the U.S. and U.K.
Finally, all wording issues and “fluff” aside from the press release, am I excited for this release, or am I just a bit triggered about all this? I’m absolutely very happy!!! Duran Duran has not participated in Record Store Day every year. The fact that we have something to buy on this special day in April for the second straight year is step in the right direction!
The two pink and blue colored vinyls match the gatefold cover perfectly and also gives a nice nod to the recent Paper Gods era/branding. The package will also feature photos from Denis O’Regan. As an audio collector, it will be fantastic to have this recording on a physical format. There has also been some debate online if Duran Duran are still signed to Warner. This RSD release confirms there is still some relationship, even though Duran Duran is not currently on the artist roster at warnerbrosrecords.com.
I would like to give Amanda and Rhonda a special thank you for allowing me to write a short piece concerning this press release. I don’t write a lot, but I think it’s a great outlet to organize and communicate your thoughts, and sometimes it just feels better to “get the words out”!! Happy Record Store Day 2019 to everyone!
Jeff Bistline has been a dedicated Duranie since 1984. His passions in life are his Duran Duran collection, college basketball, and his boxer dog, Vivi. He is an accountant and lives in Nebraska.