Category Archives: favorites

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 3

Today, we move on to the next part of our little series of polls.  The goal is to create an “Ultimate Box Set” through fan voting and participating.  In previous weeks, we have chosen the 7 singles fans would want included such a thing and we have chosen 14 album tracks from the first album through Liberty.  This week, we ask fans to choose 7 album tracks from The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Obviously, there are more tracks to choose from this week since we included one more album.  It just made sense to me to divide up the albums like this.  That means that the final poll on album tracks will include the 4 albums since the reunion.  After that, we will move to live tracks, demos/B-sides and side/solo project songs to complete the box set.

I do want to point out that this poll will be active for 2 weeks as I won’t be creating the next poll until then.  Why is that?  Simple.  Next weekend, I’ll be in California going to see a couple of shows from a band that we might talk and write about a lot.  I figured that more readers would want to hear about the shows over polls such as this.  On that note, happy voting!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 2

Right now, this little blog is in the process of trying to develop an “ultimate Duran Duran box set”.  Obviously, the song choices will not be coming from Rhonda and myself alone but will be from the fans who participate.  A couple of weeks ago, we started with 7 singles.  Then, we have moved on to album tracks.  I figured it would be too hard to just pick 7 songs from all of the album tracks that are out there.  Thus, last week, I decided to break down the choices by albums.  Fans who participated voted for 7 album tracks from the first three albums.  I’ll report on those results tomorrow.  Now, we move on to the next three albums:  Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty.

If you would like to take part in this fun, simply click on the 7 songs that you think should be considered to be part of the ultimate box set.  After this week, we will do two more like this with the remaining albums.  Once all four parts are completed, there will be 28 album tracks to choose from.  I hope that this will be easier for people than all the tracks, all at once.  Enough explanation from me.  It is time to vote!!

Which 7 songs should be considered for the Duran Duran ultimate box set?

-A

 

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 1

Last weekend, I began a process in which fans would create the “Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set”.  Again, this idea came from my friend, Nat, who thought it would be fun to make fans pick 7 singles, 7 album tracks, 7 b-sides or demos, 7 live tracks, and 7 side and solo project songs to create the best box set possible.  I dug the idea and asked fans to pick the 7 singles through a little poll.  Many people participated and I’ll share those results tomorrow as well as give a little analysis.

This week, then, we should be moving on to the album tracks.  I began creating the poll and realized just how many album tracks there are!  I always knew that Duran had a large catalog but I didn’t quite understand the length of the catalog until I started listing all of them.  Eek.  On top of that, imagine taking all of those album tracks and trying to pick just 7 of them to include.  How next to impossible would that be?!  I know that a lot of fans would struggle to pick just 7.  Their frustration might be so high that they would refuse to participate.  I can’t have that!  Thus, I decided to break down the albums into more manageable chunks.

Today, I ask fans to pick 7 album tracks from the first three albums:  Self-titled debut, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  Next week, I’ll ask about Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty.  Two weeks from now, we will focus on The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Finally, I’ll ask about Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods.  From there, I’ll take the results from all of those and ask people to pick the final 7.  I recognize that this may not be as accurate as if I listed all of the tracks but I think I’ll have more participate this way.  I hope.

On that note, let’s vote on the 7 album tracks from the Self-Titled Debut, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger that should be included/considered for the Ultimate Box Set.  This poll will be open until next Saturday (March 4)  Happy voting!

-A

 

Duranie Homework: Rank ALBUM WINNERS!

Last week, I asked people to rank Paper Gods from their least favorite song to their most favorite song.  I now have the results from last week!  Based on the participants’ responses, here is how the fan community ranked the songs off the last album from LEAST favorite to MOST favorite:

  1. On Evil Beach
  2. Danceophobia
  3. Change the Skyline
  4. Sunset Garage
  5. Cinderella Ride
  6. Northern Lights
  7. Butterfly Girl
  8. Valentine Stones
  9. Last Night in the City
  10. Only in Dreams
  11. Planet Roaring
  12. You Kill Me With Silence
  13. What Are the Chances?
  14. Pressure Off
  15. Face for Today
  16. Paper Gods
  17. The Universe Alone

Anything surprise you?  I was surprised that the Universe Alone was at the top.  I was pleasantly surprised by the top half of the list.  It is also clear that people were not fond of Danceophobia.  Now, I can’t just let people sit back and enjoy the results.  Oh no, we need to move on!  Here is your new homework assignment!!

Directions:  You will rank the WINNERS from ALL THE ALBUMS from LEAST favorite to MOST favorite.  Please note:  In order to make your determination, you may need to re-listen to these songs one or more times.

The songs that need to be included in your list are:

  • Careless Memories
  • New Religion
  • The Seventh Stranger
  • Notorious
  • Do You Believe in Shame
  • Serious
  • Come Undone
  • White Lines
  • Out of my Mind
  • Pop Trash Movie
  • What Happens Tomorrow
  • Box Full O’Honey
  • All You Need Is Now
  • The Universe Alone

How to turn in your homework:  Once you have completed your ranking and are ready to turn in your homework, you will need to head over to the Daily Duranie message board.  Specifically, you will post your homework in this thread here: Rank ALBUM FAVORITES!!  Please note:  You may have to register for the boards in order to complete your assignment, if you are not already a member.  Of course, even after you post your assignment, you may want to go back to the thread in order to see others’ homework!  You can compare your homework to others as cheating does not exist for this assignment!

Your assignment is DUE by SUNDAY, MARCH 13TH.

What is your assignment worth?  It is worth being a part of the larger fan community and having YOUR opinion count!  Besides, this is all just for FUN!!!  Another recommendation is not to think TOO MUCH!  Just go with your gut on how you rank the songs!

I will compile all of the results to determine how fans rank the winners from each album.  From there, we will rank the least favorites!  Have fun!

-A

Favorite Duran Duran Album

Yesterday’s blog about the setlist in Manchester really got me thinking!  (Dangerous, I know!!!)  One of the points of discussion was about which albums were represented in the setlist.  I pointed out that out of Duran’s 14 albums, not all of them were represented and not all of the ones represented were represented equally.  These facts connected with yesterday’s poll question, which focused on people’s favorite album.  Quite a few fans voted on the poll and I took note of the results.  Here they are:

Self-Titled Debut
18.7% / 14
Rio
37.3% / 28
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
10.7% / 8
Notorious
2.7% / 2
Big Thing
1.3% / 1
Liberty
1.3% / 1
The Wedding Album
1.3% / 1
Thank You
2.7% / 2
Medazzaland
0.0% / 0
Pop Trash
0.0% / 0
Astronaut
2.7% / 2
Red Carpet Massacre
4.0% / 3
All You Need Is Now
12.0% / 9
Paper Gods
5.3% / 4

Now, before I analyze the results, I will again point out that the question was, “Which Duran Duran Album is Your Favorite?”  The question was not which albums do you like or which albums do you not like.  People could only choose one.  I am told constantly how hard it is to pick a favorite because fans love them all.  I can understand that.  Yet, many did pick a favorite.  What do the results tell me?

First, many, many, many fans still absolutely LOVE early Duran Duran.  In fact, more than half of the votes went to the first two albums.  Yesterday, someone asked me if people choose their favorite album based on when they became fans.  That seems very possible.  After all, when they became fans is when they fell in love with the band’s music.  Hearing the album when you became a fan often brings people back to that magical time with good memories and gives lots of warm fuzzies.  Can we assume that the majority of fans became fans during the early years of the band?  If so, then, it makes sense that a lot of people would choose either the first album or Rio.  Also, those early albums set the stage.  They were the first time ANYONE heard the band.  The music of those first two albums is what Duran Duran is supposed to sound like–according to many because they were the first albums.

So, what about the rest of the results?  Which albums did not get any  votes?  There were two:  Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Interesting.  While there are many in the fan community who openly love these albums, they are NOT their favorite albums.  For many, these albums don’t feel like the Duran Duran that they came to know and love.  They sound VERY different from those first two albums.  I know, for me, they represent a time that I wasn’t as involved with Duran Duran or the fan community for one VERY good reason.  There was no John Taylor.  Heck, there was no Roger Taylor either.  Of course, there were other albums that did not get many votes, including Big Thing, Liberty and the Wedding Album.  This really fascinates me.  The Wedding Album represents another time period in which a lot of people became fans.  Yet, those fans either didn’t vote or don’t think of the Wedding Album as their favorite despite when they became fans.  This, of course, contradicts my earlier theory.  What makes this even more interesting is the fact that the Wedding Album is the most represented album right now in the setlist beyond the current album of Paper Gods.  Yet, it isn’t that many people’s favorite, according to our poll.

Speaking of more current albums, I did note that all albums post-reunion were included in people’s favorites.  Out of those four (Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods), the most popular choice for favorite album was All You Need Is Now.  While it is clear that there are many fans who love Paper Gods, All You Need Is Now still holds a big place in fans’ hearts.  Many still love that album.  Of course, time will tell how the fan community embraces these albums over as I am sure that preferences change.

So, what do you all think?  What observations can you make from this polling result?

-A

Picking Duran Duran Favorites!

Today’s poll question about people’s favorite song off of Duran Duran’s latest, Paper Gods, is getting quite a lot of attention.  I love how many people have voted and I love when people comment on one form of social networking or another about why their favorite song is their favorite.  It got me thinking.  (Always dangerous, I know!) What makes a favorite song, a favorite?  Then, I started to think about songs that I really bonded with as a kid vs. the songs I bonded with as an adult.  They have definitely changed.  Is it because my criteria for a favorite song has changed?  I think so!

When I was a kid, I remember getting certain songs in my head.  In fact, they were so in my head that I couldn’t get them out and I drove everyone around me crazy with them!  Let me give a couple of examples.  First, I remember having the chorus to Save a Prayer stuck in my head one afternoon when I was hanging out with my best friend, at the time.  It was summer and we were hanging out in my backyard.  I kept singing the chorus out loud over and over again. (Much like what my students do to me now!)  My childhood best friend was also a Duranie so you would think that she would appreciate this.  She did, too…for like the first two and a half hours.  Then, she had enough!  A similar situation happened when the Reflex came out.  Luckily, this time, both of us were completely addicted!  We were so addicted, in fact, that whenever and I mean whenever it was on MTV or the radio we would call each other up!!  We spent a lot of time on the phone in the spring of 1984!  Thus, as a kid, what made a favorite song was that it got stuck in my head!  It had to be catchy!  I didn’t think of the lyrics or dive deep into the instrumentation.  Now, though…

When I think of my favorite songs now, they tend to be ones in which the instrumentation really sticks out!  My favorite is Planet Earth, which has the fabulous call and answer between guitar and keyboard, not to mention that fabulous bass line!  I also love how the lyrics capture this spirit that Duran has with popular culture, science fiction, humanity.  Therefore, the lyrics tend to be super important to me as well now.  I might go so far as to say that, for the last couple of albums, what has really hooked me is the lyrics.  Let me give some examples.  All You Need Is Now, the song, took me a few listens to grasp the instrumentation with that jarring and unusual beginning.  What kept me listening, though, was the lyrics.  “Stay with the music.  Let it play a little longer” is a sentiment that most Duranies have felt or feel even now about the band.  Many of us loved that the song seemed to be about them and US and our history together.  Then, another one of my absolute favorite Duran songs of all time grabbed me, lyrically, from this album, too, which is Before the Rain.  In this case, I loved the feel of the song, musically, but didn’t have a connection to the lyrics until my beloved cat and grandma died ten days apart.  All of a sudden lines like, “On the bomb ticks that is my heartbeat.  In every life flash, in every car crash.  I hear the silence waiting to fall” took on new meaning as I watched two lives come to an end, leaving my broken heart beating and silence.

Lyrics have become so important to me that I do think they played a huge role in me really grasping and embracing Paper Gods.  I had been listening to the album for a week or so and had begun to really enjoy it but I wasn’t hooked yet.  All of a sudden, I was listening to it with earbuds on to really focus on the songs when I noticed the lyrics to Last Night in the City, a song that I had initially dismissed.  Lines like, “Hearts’ spinning all around on me (together).  Now they’re surrounding me.  This is how we get connected.  Running out the shadows into light!”  This is how I feel on tour!  Let me listen again!  More lines that feel like touring like, “I’m not gonna sleep tonight.  Till the morning fills the sky,” and “This is our time!”  Holy crap!  At that very minute, I got a text message from Rhonda who had realized the exact same thing!  For literally the next two hours, Rhonda and I went back through each song, listening to the lyrics, analyzing them, connecting to them.

Fast forward to a Sunday in October as I sat on a plane heading back home from tour and once again, I found myself listening to the album.  I had a piece of paper in front of me that held my flight info.  Throughout my flight, it became more than that.  It became a paper filled with more lyrics, more lines that now held new significance to me.  I still have that paper as it represents an even deeper connection to the album than I had before.  Each time I listen to Duran or really dive into the lyrics, I’m reminded of how SMART the lyrics really are.  They make me think.  They make me feel.  They also often feel like they are directly speaking to and/or about me.  Perhaps, this is why how I choose my favorite Duran songs have shifted.  Lyrics matter a lot more now.

What about the rest of you?  How do you choose your favorites?  Has the process changed?

-A

The Daily Duranie’s Lists of Top 10 Duran and Duran Related Videos

Last week, I posted the overall fan community’s top 10 favorite Duran Duran videos.  If you didn’t see those results, you can click here.  As promised, I will now share our personal lists of our top 10 Duran Duran favorite videos.  How do our lists compare to each other?  How do our lists compare to the overall fan community’s list?

Rhonda’s Favorites:

10.  Serious

9.  Save a Prayer

8.  The Reflex

7.  Careless Memories

6.  Planet Earth

5.  Sunrise

4.  Election Day

3.  All You Need Is Now

2.  Rio

1.  New Moon on Monday (extended movie version)

Amanda’s Favorites:

10.  Falling Down

9.  The Flame

8.  Rio

7.  Sunrise

6.  Planet Earth

5.  Nightboat

4.  The Reflex

3.  Save a Prayer

2.  All You Need Is Now

1.  New Moon on Monday (extended movie edition)

As you can tell, we have a lot of the same videos on our lists. We shared 7 videos.  Want to watch some videos?  I’m sure you do!  Here are the 13 videos we prefer!

Election Day:

The Flame:

Careless Memories:

Nightboat:

Serious:

Falling Down:

The Reflex:

Planet Earth:

Sunrise:

Save a Prayer:

All You Need Is Now:

Rio:

New Moon on Monday:

-A

 

 

 

 

Where It’s Gonna End Up

Yesterday, I had a staff meeting after work.  I have to admit that I found my mind wandering.  Instead of thinking about the topic at hand, what I had to do after the meeting, or the happy hour I was going to enjoy with former colleagues, I found my mind wandering over to Duran Duran. I started thinking about the most recent Katy Kafe and the song title given.  I pondered, “Do I like it??  Is it cool??”  As typical with me, after a day of work, I quickly move on to a different but related topic.  What are the things that Duran has done that I really like?  I think about all the little announcements we have gotten in recent months from working with choirs to Mr. Hudson to this song title.  Then, I thought about announcements in the past from working with Mark Ronson to introducing an album on Broadway to have 5 individual versions of a video as well as a regular, whole group one.  My fleeting brain then started pondering moves made with their videos.  Was the nudity in Girls on Film a good idea?  What about the supermodels in Girl Panic?  What about no band in The Chauffeur?  Of course, what about their live performances?  Have I liked every thing they have done with their live shows?  Did I like the heads in the All You Need Is Now tour?  What songs mixed into Duran classics have worked and which ones haven’t?

So, then, I gave my unable-to-focus-on-anything brain a task.  A focus.  I decided to think about the first 10 things that Duran has done at some points of their careers that I just have just loved.  I gave myself only 3 minutes to complete my list.  I did not allow myself to think too much.  I wanted to see what would float to the top of my brain.  I realized, of course, that this would not be perfect or in any order or that, if I did this again, the next day or the next month, I would probably have very different answers.  Yet, I resisted the urge I had to organize the list.  I wanted to go with the flow.  Here is what I came up with in 3 minutes and in no particular order.

10 Things Duran Did That I Loved:

*Electro Set

*Careless Memories anime video

*MARK RONSON

*The addition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax in Wild Boys during recent live performances

*Falling Down video

*Including past Duran footage in current video (video for All You Need Is Now, for example)

*The use of humor in video (Rio, for example)

*The influence and use of other arts in their visual presentation

*JoSi and DoJo moments during a concert

*Long, individual band introductions during concerts

I admit that the task wasn’t easy as I could think of about 200,000 things that Duran has done that I have loved.  I could have named specific songs and videos and didn’t.  They just didn’t pop up in my head the way these other ones did.  Are those my favorite things?  Your guess is as good as mine!  I suspect that if I gave myself more time, I would answer very differently.

So Duranies, interested in a quick Duranie challenge that doesn’t require too much time or knowledge?  I know you are.  I challenge you to do what I did:

In 3 minutes, list the first 10 things Duran Duran did that you thought was really cool.  They do not have to be in any order, except to list them as you thought about them.  Do not edit or attempt to control your list.

After that, please share your list with us and the rest of the Duran fan community!!!  I cannot wait to see what people come up with!

-A

Favorite Album

In thinking of a fast blog topic, I always go back to countdowns of favorites.  I have done other blog topics like that in the past with favorite songs, favorite live songs, etc.  Thus, I thought it would be easy to do favorite album.  Then, I quickly realized that I couldn’t really choose.  I might shout out All You Need Is Now then quickly change my mind to the first album and back.  What about the worst album?  Do I like Medazzaland less than I like Red Carpet Massacre?  Where do I put Pop Trash?  Obviously, this isn’t a countdown that I could just quickly do.  I had to have some serious thoughts first.  So, how do you rank them?  Should I rate all the songs on each album and see what the total scores were?  Do I just check off the number of songs I love on each album?  Would I get the same results with both methods?  Is there a different way to determine?  I am sure that there probably is.  Nonetheless, I opted for the number of songs I liked method.  It seemed faster than scoring every track.  I gave each song a like, love, okay or dislike.  Like would equal 1 point, 2 for love 0.5 for okay and 0 for dislike.  Besides, we do more specific ratings during our reviews and I often find my rating changes when I really analyze the songs.  I will also divide the number of likes/loves/dislikes/okays by the number of songs since every album has a different number of songs.  Wow.  I’m tired…just trying to think of a method of doing this!  Here is what I came up with:

Duran Duran 1st album:
Girls on Film-Like 
Planet Earth-Love
Is There Anyone Out There-Like
Careless Memories-Love
Is There Something I Should Know-Like
Nightboat-Like
Sound of Thunder-Love
Friends of Mine-Love
Tel Aviv-Love
Total:  Average of 1.5 points per song
Rio:
Rio-Like
My Own Way-Like
Lonely in Your Nightmare-Love
Hungry Like the Wolf-Like
Hold Back the Rain-Love
New Religion-Love
Last Chance on the Stairway-Like
Save a Prayer-Like
The Chauffeur-Like
Total:  Average of 1.3 points per song
Seven and the Ragged Tiger:
The Reflex-Like
New Moon on Monday-Like
(I’m Looking for) Cracks in the Pavement-Okay
I Take the Dice-Okay
Of Crime and Passion-Like
Union of the Snake-Like
Shadows on Your Side-Like
Tiger Tiger-Love
The Seventh Stranger-Like
Total:  Average of 1 points per song
Notorious:
Notorious-Like
American Science-Dislike
Skin Trade-Dislike
A Matter of Feeling-Like
Hold Me-Okay
Vertigo-Love
So Misled-Dislike
Meet el Presidente-Okay
Winter Marches On-Okay
Proposition-Like
Total:  Average of 0.65 points per song
Big Thing:
Big Thing-Dislike
I Don’t Want Your Love-Like
All She Wants Is-Like
Too Late Marlene-Okay
Drug-Dislike
Do You Believe in Shame-Like
Palomino-Okay
Interlude One-Dislike
Land-Dislike
Flute Interlude-Dislike
The Edge of America-Love
Lake Shore Driving-Like
Total:  Average of 0.58 points per song
Liberty:
Violence of Summer-Like
Liberty-Okay
Hothead-Dislike
Serious-Like
All Along the Waters-Dislike
My Antarctica-Okay
First Impression-Like
Read My Lips-Dislike
Can You Deal With It-Okay
Venice Drowning-Okay
Downtown-Dislike
Total:  Average of 0.455 points per song
The Wedding Album:
Too Much Information-Like
Ordinary World-Okay
Love Voodoo-Like
Drowning Man-Dislike
Shotgun-Dislike
Come Undone-Dislike!!!
Breath After Breath-Like
UMF-Like
None of the Above-Like
Shelter-Dislike
To Whom It May Concern-Dislike
Sin of the City-Okay
Total:  Average of 0.5 points per song
Medazzaland:
Medazzaland-Dislike
Big Bang Generation-Like
Electric Barbarella-Dislike
Out of my Mind-Like
Who Do You Think You Are-Dislike
Silva Halo-Okay
Be My Icon-Okay
Buried in the Sand-Dislike
Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For-Okay
Midnight Sun-Like
So Long Suicide-Dislike
Undergoing Treatment-Dislike
Total:  Average of 0.38 points per song
Pop Trash:
Someone Else Not Me-Okay
Lava Lamp-Dislike
Playing with Uranium-Okay
Hallucinating Elvis-Dislike
Starting to Remember-Like
Pop Trash Movie-Like
Fragment-Dislike
Mars Meets Venus-Dislike
Lady Xanax-Dislike
The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever-Like
Kiss Goodbye-Dislike
Last Day on Earth-Like
Total:  Average of 0.417 points per song
Astronaut:
Sunrise-Like
Want You More-Like
What Happens Tomorrow-Like
Astronaut-Like
Bedroom Toys-Okay
Nice-Okay
Taste the Summer-Dislike
Finest Hour-Love
Chains-Okay
One of Those Days-Okay
Point of No Return-Dislike
Still Breathing-Okay
Total:  Average of 0.708 points per song
Red Carpet Massacre:
The Valley-Like
Red Carpet Massacre-Like
Nite-Runner-Dislike
Falling Down-Okay
Box Full o’Honey-Okay
Skin Divers-Dislike
Tempted-Dislike
Tricked Out-Like
Zoom In-Dislike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She’s Too Much-Okay
Dirty Great Monster-Dislike
Last Man Standing-Okay
Total:  Average of 0.417 points per song
All You Need Is Now:
All You Need Is Now-Love
Blame the Machines-Like
Being Followed-Like
Leave a Light on-Like
Safe-Okay
Girl Panic-Like
A Diamond in the Mind-Like
The Man Who Stole a Leopard-Love
Other People’s Live-Like
Mediterranea-Like
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful-Love
Runway Runaway-Like
Return to Now-Like
Before the Rain-Love
Early Summer Nerves-Okay
Too Close to the Sun-Dislike
Networked Nation-Like
Total:  Average of 1.12 points per song
According to this then, my rankings of Duran albums are as follows:
First album
Rio
All You Need Is Now
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Astronaut
Notorious
Big Thing
The Wedding Album
Liberty
Pop Trash and Red Carpet Massacre
Medazzland
I, obviously, didn’t include live albums or Thank You.  I also tried not to think too much and went with my gut instinct.  I also wonder if this method takes into account the time in which it was released.  For example, Red Carpet Massacre will always leave a less than positive taste in my mouth because of the division in the community, no matter what I think of the album, musically.  Likewise, Astronaut always makes me smile because of the reunion.  Does this way take into consideration the overall feeling of the album as the album as a whole can feel differently than the individual songs?  Will this ranking change over time?  I suspect that it would.  After all, each new album brings new music and a new perspective.   Time also changes one’s thinking.  Lastly, does this make me strange because I thought this was fun?  
What about the rest of you?  How would you rank the albums?  How did you determine your rankings?
-A