Today’s and tomorrow’s questions focus on John Taylor. Today’s question is: Best John song or video. In answering this question, many people want to know if it must be a solo song/video or one with Duran. Obviously, we have taken every answer. That said, I would love to know people’s favorites of his solo career. It was fairly clear in the responses that many people have not heard much, if any, of his solo stuff. This, of course, could be the topic of the blog in itself as it seems to me that some fans dive in with much intensity and drive in order to find everything related to their favorite whatever and others don’t. Bet you all could guess which type of fan I am?! 😉
It seems to me that John’s work still gets a truly varied response. Some people love it simply because it’s John and others hate it. Perhaps, some of those people hate it because they don’t think he has a great voice or didn’t like the varied musical genres that came through. That’s fair. Still others might not like the fact that he went solo. Speaking for myself and as a John fan, Duran didn’t feel like Duran at all without him. It was upsetting to learn that he had left and definitely didn’t make me want to pay attention to the band much. I will also admit that I didn’t really understand why he left the band, at first. My initial impression was that he left because..well..the band wasn’t doing well, musically or commercially or both. Then, of course, I discovered that there was much more to it. It seems to me that John left to sort his life out, to get himself together, to deal with some serious emotional demons (addiction, divorce and more). The band didn’t seem like the setting to do that. From everything I understand about being a member of the band, all decisions and moves must be made to help the band. It seems to me that John might have needed to put himself first and couldn’t do that in that setting. Maybe he could have but I wonder what the consequences would have been if he had stayed. Would he have made it? Would he be like he is today? Somehow, I doubt it. As someone who likes where the band is now, really, why would I want to change the history at all?
Now, where does that leave John’s music? As I got to know John’s stuff, I couldn’t help but to compare it to Duran. Obviously, his music varies a great deal from Duran and takes on different styles that simply wouldn’t work for Duran but that isn’t what catches my attention. I noticed a dramatic difference in lyrics. It seems to me that Simon is rarely personal (although that is changing more and more as he gets older). I could probably easily list the songs that are personal to Simon and some of the more personal songs are still hidden in a metaphor of sorts. Most of Simon’s lyrics are either silly, sexual or strange. I’m not criticizing him for this. I like that but it hasn’t really allowed me to get much of an insight into who Simon is and what makes Simon tick. John’s lyrics, on the other hand, are mostly personal and very personal, at that. I’ll be honest here. In many ways, they are so personal that I respond in a protective manner to them. He just puts himself out there so much that I worry that people will use this to hurt him. Then, of course, my other reaction is awe. I think it is so completely brave of him to be so open, to let the world see the real him, to see his fears, his anxieties, his hopes, and his feelings about himself and his family. This openness made me a different kind of John Taylor fan. It was no longer about his looks for me. It is way more about his courage to be so open, his courage to make tough decisions, and his courage to be himself. These are qualities that are much more important than his looks or his fashion sense or even his bass playing, at least to me.
I hope Duranies take the opportunity to find his music and get to see him in a different light. I feel very lucky that I did.
P.S. If you are looking for song suggestions, I’ll be happy to help! 😉