Category Archives: Duran Duran

Arena Anniversary and Live Albums

On this date in 1984, Duran Duran’s live album, Arena, was released.        This, of course, makes me think of my connection to the album and the other live albums of theirs.  I also give my little fantasy for live albums in the future.

Arena

This album was the first live album for Duran.  It captured the Sing Blue Silver Tour of 1984 and included the sentence, “recorded live around the world” on the sleeve.  This is unlike most live albums, which are recorded at one specific show.  Of course, we also know that the album featured one new track, Wild Boys.  Around the same time, Arena, An Absurd Notion, DVD was released along with Into the Arena board game.  Indeed, fans had a lot of material to watch, listen, and buy in late 1984!

I remember receiving this album for Christmas in 1984.  That year also marked the first walkman for me.  From what I recall, all of the kids in my family got walkmans that year.  For me, this meant that I could use the headphones while I listened to my brand new copy of Arena.  The family’s record player was located in the dining room portion of our living room/dining room combo.  I have distinct memories of sitting on a dining room chair, listening and pouring over the lyrics.  While I knew all of the songs (except for Wild Boys), I was fascinated by what changes took place, lyrically, from the original recording to these live versions.  Even as a kid, I analyzed everything Duran!

Looking back on Arena, I can now acknowledge both the positive and negative aspects of the live album.  It obviously featured a lot of the band’s hits, including Is There Something I Should Know, Planet Earth, Hungry like the Wolf, and Save a Prayer.  Yet, it wasn’t until the reissue of 2004 that Girls on Film and Rio were included.  It also included some fan favorites that weren’t hits, but were well loved like New Religion and Careless Memories.  Still, many other songs seemed to be missing.  I recall being surprised that the Reflex was left off since it was such a huge hit in 1984.  It is a rather short album in comparison to the 90 minute sets that they commonly then.  The main criticism about the album, though, is that it was simply too polished.  It lacked the feel of a live album.  I cannot disagree, which is, perhaps, why I don’t tend to play this one much.  I have heard far better bootlegs of that tour, which seem to capture the feeling of that era more.

Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind

Since Arena was released, fans have enjoyed two other live albums, Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind.  Live from London focused on the reunion of the Fab Five and came out 20 years after Arena.  During that time, I loved to listen to this one as it had all the great hits and really made me feel as if I was there at the concert.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that it also came with a tremendous live show DVD and a lengthy documentary about the band’s history and the reunion.  What more could a fan want?!  It didn’t hurt that I also got to see the concert in a movie theater with lots of other Duranies.  While it wasn’t a live show, it wasn’t the next best thing!

Truly, I didn’t think it could get any better until A Diamond in the Mind came out.  This one, released in 2012, focused on the All You Need Is Now era.  In 2004 and 2005, I couldn’t imagine a better time in Duranland, but by 2011 and 2012, I knew that the AYNIN era made me even happier.  During Astronaut, I went to a bunch of shows and had an amazing time.  Yet, AYNIN came at a time that my fandom needed a shot of energy and pure Duran-ness.  That album and tour gave me more than a shot.  They gave me lots more as Rhonda and I started this blog and began to plan meet-ups.  It also featured a couple of trips to the UK, which will always be special.  Like Live from London, I was also able to see the DVD part in a movie theater with other Duranies as part of Durandemonium, our little Duranie convention in 2013.

Hopes for Future Live Albums/DVDs

Ideally, I would love a live album and DVD for each album cycle.  I know that the show at the Budokan in Japan will air in Japan on December 10th.  Hopefully, maybe, possibly, this will be made available elsewhere after that?!  I, for one, would love it.

Another idea that I would love if the band would consider would be to record all of their live shows.  They could either make them available for purchase or include them in VIP packages.  For me, I would love to have every show I have been to available to listen to after the fact.  They would bring back lots of good memories.

What about the rest of you?  What do you think of the Duran’s live albums?  What would you like them to do in the future?

-A

Duran Shopping

For the first time all school year, I am enjoying a weekend without grading.  On top of being a lot less stressed, it also means that I can finally get to some other tasks that have been on my to do list.  One of those jobs is to create my Christmas wish list.  My family, like many, exchanges wish lists.  They truly help my Christmas shopping as I might know, for example, that my brother loves comic books but would have no idea what he has, what he wants, etc.  The same is true when it comes to Duran.  My family knows that I’m a big fan but they won’t know what I have or want.

In a sense of perfect timing, Duran Duran announced on their social media that the Duran webshop has a new look and some new items! You can see all the changes for yourself here.   This, of course, will be my first stop in creating this year’s list.  What is there that I might want?!

New Look

Before I dive into the actual products, I did want to comment on the new look.  I like it.  It seems clean and easy to navigate.  One particular feature that I find helpful is that one can search prices in different currency forms.  It used to be that when I would shop I would have a currency converter open to translate those British pounds to US dollars.  Now, the site does it for me.  Of course, purchases will still be processed in GBP but this way people have an idea of cost.

Categories

Many of the categories from the old webshop remain including junior, archive, Paper Gods, etc.  That said, there is now a “lookbook”  which shows the items on actual people.  In the past, some fans have been frustrated by who has been shown wearing the items, if the models are young and nothing like the typical fan.  I get that, but, for me, I just like seeing what the items would actually look like on.  I always recognize that the models for anything might be very different from me.  In this case, there are pics of the band themselves or people connected to the band, which I think is cool.

New Items

When looking in the new items category, I cannot help but notice that there are some from the Japan shows, including a Japanese Tiger T, a Yokoo poster and a Yokoo T.  I have seen some criticism of including those.  People assumed that just those in attendance in Japan would be able to purchase them.  Again, I get wanting to have something special but I also like that people who weren’t able to attend can still get them.  I’m sure that there are some people who even attended to were not able to buy one then but now can.  One item that I did look for was a 2018 calendar.  I didn’t see one. I hear from some fans that there will be one available for pre-order later in the month, but I don’t know anything about that.

Archive

I have to admit that I was surprised by some of the items I found in the archives section.  Speaking of calendars, many of the previous years calendars are available to purchase.  Likewise, lots of the tour books are available, including All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre and even the reunion.  Likewise, t-shirts from All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre, Astronaut, the Reunion and even Pop Trash are available.  What is fun about some of those items is that they don’t cost as much as the newer items.  Be aware, though, that not all sizes might be available.

All in all, I’m pleased with the new webshop.  I will definitely be adding a few items on to this year’s wish list.  One thing I definitely recommend is getting an account.  Please note that everyone needs to do so to order.  If you are a member of DuranDuranMusic, you will continue to get the 10% discount, which is sweet.  On that note, I’m off to make my list and do a little shopping.

-A