Category Archives: Music

Anyone Out There – Service Bells (Making Patterns Rhyme Tribute album)

Today brings new music in the form of a newly released single from the upcoming Making Patterns Rhyme tribute, curated by Manimal records. Service Bells put their mark on “Anyone Out There”, and I took a listen before posting it on Facebook.

For the first thirty seconds, the music is pretty unrecognizable…and depending upon whether you like that sort of creativity or not will likely determine how you feel about the rest of the song. I think it’s slightly harder or rougher edged than the original, but on the same token there are certain sounds that remind me very much of some of the old remixes from that day or even of songs on Seven and the Ragged Tiger…but not as polished and glossy.  The same familiar guitar riff can be heard, but Service Bells doesn’t stop there. They take their liberties and make the song their own.

As always, give it a listen, see what you think and let me know!!

 

-R

 

Book Club: Mad World (The Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode and Yaz)

It is Monday and you know what that means! It is the next installment of our most recent book club, in which we read and discuss a book, chapter-by-chapter! This time around we are reading, Mad World. This week, we read the chapters on The Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode and Yaz. We would love to have you read and discuss right along with us!

The Psychedelic Furs:

Amanda:

This entire chapter made me think about what makes a certain band, a certain rock star cool and popular. Lori Majewski mentions in her introduction that Richard Butler, the lead singer, became “one of the most romantic figures in music.” That quote got my attention as I never once thought about him in that way. I am a fan of both of the songs, Love My Way and Pretty in Pink, discussed in this chapter and yet, I never considered him “romantic”. If I read the lyrics, I can see where she is coming from. I suspect that this has less to do with the lyrics or the mood of the song and more to the age we were when these songs came into our lives. I’m young for the typical New Wave fan. For example, Love My Way came out in 1982 but I don’t remember hearing it or knowing it until much later. If I did hear it then, I was 7. I certainly wasn’t thinking “romantic” then.

Later in the chapter, Richard Butler explains how the band had a “cool popularity” and Love My Way threatened that. He explained how with that song, girls started to show up in the front rows and that they had to use back doors because of the fans. He said that they had to be “careful” with this popularity. As someone who studies fandom and fan/celebrity interaction, I totally understood what he meant. On one hand, having that level of fame and adoration must be amazing and addictive. On the other hand, it can and does change people significantly. Perhaps, the goal isn’t and shouldn’t be to be the most popular. It sounds like the point was that they wanted to have “fans” but not in an all-encompassing, overwhelming fan base kind of way.

Similarly, he didn’t seem all that excited with having Pretty in Pink associated with the John Hughes movie starring Molly Ringwald. I was a little jarred by that statement as someone who grew up watching those movies and loving them. Yet, for him, it seemed like he was bothered by how the intention of the meaning of the song seemed to change by its connection to that movie, that storyline. On one hand, I can understand that frustration. On the other, I like songs that can be interpreted in different ways. To me, that is a sign of intelligence by both the songwriter and the listener.

Rhonda:

So, to jump on Amanda’s bandwagon – I wasn’t into Richard Butler. I loved Psychedelic Furs, but this is one case where I can easily say I loved the music. Period.  Maybe I’m a late-bloomer, but “Love My Way”, “Pretty In Pink” and “Ghost in You” were some of my favorite songs simply because of the lushness of the sound – I don’t think I really listened to the words for interpretation until I was much older. (I think back to how my mom would ask me “Do you know what this song is about?!?” and how often my answer was “No, Mom. I don’t even listen to the words. I just love the music!!”….and I guess it’s not really surprising that my kids answer similarly when I ask them the same question. Sometimes I’m really shocked by what my kids are hearing until I realize that it was the same for me…and I survived.) So to recap: never thought of Richard Butler in that romantic sense….I didn’t listen to the words…and yet I call myself a fan. Awesome.

I’ve seen Psychedelic Furs live a few times, and so it was not really a surprise to me to read “We’ve always been a band that pulls people in. You won’t see me stomping up and down saying, ‘Can you hear me at the back?!’ and ‘Hello Chattanooga! It’s great to be here!’ The amount of words I will say to an audience during a tour is a page of a notebook and they would most be ‘Thank you.’ I don’t like talking much between songs.” (Page 155) 

I’d agree. Richard Butler doesn’t say much during a show – and from what I’ve witnessed, this is a band that, when they’re on, they’re good. When they’re off (which I’ve seen more than once), they’re not good and no one is being drawn anywhere. There’s not a lot of “connecting” going on between the band and audience – this isn’t a band you go and expect great showmanship in the same vein as you might from others. Whether that is a good or bad thing really depends on the show, in my opinion. 

I found Richard Butler’s comments about the movie, Pretty In Pink to be pretty sad. The movie gave the music more exposure…even if the song wasn’t presented in the light the band had written. I thought it was interesting that Richard didn’t necessarily think about how many possible fans could have been drawn to their music through that movie – for him it was all about the song and it’s use. In that sense, and based on his activity during their shows, I’m not sure that he derives a lot from the audience or his fans. There isn’t really as much of a give and take sort of connection there as I have seen with other bands, such as Duran Duran, but certainly others as well…and I think his statements here are good example of that.  It’s not that I think it’s particularly awful he feels that way, either. What’s fascinating to me though is that he’s also a painter – which is a very sort of introspective sort of art. One doesn’t necessarily connect with their audience when they paint – they connect with the work itself, in much the same way as Butler does or did with his music. Coincidence? Probably not.

Depeche Mode:

Amanda:

I openly admit that Depeche Mode is one of my favorite bands and has been for a long time. It hasn’t been as long as I have been a Duran fan but close. The introduction to this chapter reminded me that Depeche has changed over time, much like any other long lasting bands. In their case, they started out “optimistic” and cheerful unlike many of the other synth pops of that era. Of course, Depeche Mode at this time included Vince Clarke, who later left to form other bands like Erasure. Despite my love for the band, this early period isn’t my favorite Depeche era. I have always preferred the darker Depeche.

Vince described how they were often bored in the town of Basildon as it was a town that had nothing to do for kids. The town is described as just “mud”. It seems to me that music produced from a band in an area like that could either express the frustration, the despair created from the environment or the opposite. Depeche obviously didn’t want their music to match their surroundings. Of course, they also opted for synthesizers over guitars as they were “cheap”.  They didn’t need expensive amps like guitars did. Likewise, they didn’t require any knowledge of chords. This reminds me of how Daniel Miller in a previous chapter declared that electronic music was the most democratic. It was more accessible to everyone.

As Vince shared the story of how Depeche got started, I was amazed that one label offered them a spot on the Ultravox tour if Depeche signed with them whereas Daniel Miller offered only a single and they went with Daniel. It seemed like they did because of who Daniel was connected with. I know that Duran looked into who else EMI had signed into consideration when they were trying to decide which label to sign with.

I always wondered why Vince decided to leave Depeche. While this chapter didn’t really explain that much, I did learn that he was truly the leader of the band at that time. Perhaps, his leaving could have been the best thing for the rest of the band as they had to step up and take on more responsibility. This would be needed if the band was going to continue and be successful. Obviously, it worked out well for Vince, too.

Rhonda: 

Like most teens, I had my happy-go-lucky moment and my depressing moments. Thankfully for me, Depeche covered both rather well.  I’d start off with “Just Can’t Get Enough” and end with “Blasphemous Rumours” (my long-lasting favorite).  Never did I realize that Vince Clarke had everything to do with my happy moments, and nothing to do with my sadder ones. I feel a little embarrassed to admit that, given that I’ve been a DM fan for almost as long as I’ve been a DD fan – but the two bands couldn’t be farther apart from the ways I choose to practice that fandom. For me, DM is the band I simply listen to in the VERY few quiet moments I find. DD, on the other hand…well, I do write a blog, don’t I? I’ve never seen Depeche Mode live, yet I own all of their albums and a lot of their imports – singles, etc. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything having not seen them. In fact, I rather enjoy that for me – this fandom is EASY. I expect nothing but music, and I’m never disappointed.  

Like New Order in some respects, Depeche Mode got me interested in electronic music. I asked for a cheapy Casio keyboard for Christmas one year just because I wanted to be able to learn to play some of their music by ear. It’s funny to me that I never thought to ask for a guitar – I think that generally speaking, the guitar seems a lot more complicated to me. All those strings, chords and fingerings. I can make a lot more happen on a keyboard or synthesizer by fiddling with some knobs and buttons. So, I can understand why Martin Gore went with the synthesizer – and it’s a good thing for us that he did go that route, since everyone in the band followed! 

Vince says something else that really hits home with me, “I’m a fan of Kraftwerk, but I’m more of a fan of people like OMD, because I like emotional records. Music affects me changes my insides – it really does.”  This couldn’t possibly be any more dead-on. I’ve never been able to articulate why I like some electronic and dislike others. I didn’t really have a good answer for why I’m not into some of the electronic I hear today…until now. The emotion matters. Music has to hit me internally, it needs to stay with me. Some songs do that just because of the music – I don’t know why but they do. Others, it’s the lyrics. With Depeche, I find a lot of both, and equally from the one record that Vince Clark did with them through to what people like to call “Depressed Mode”. Truthfully, their songs ARE depressing – but those songs are also what helped this very-awkward young lady get through some difficult moments in high school.  

Yaz:

Amanda:

In this chapter, the song, “Only You,” is described by Alison Moyet, the singer, as a “universal, everyman song.” Vince Clarke agreed that it had a simple arrangement and one he had written after Depeche.  He wanted Alison to demo it because she could sing with emotion.  She agreed simply because she needed the money. She didn’t desire to be a pop star or have a big hit. I always find it interesting when some artist gains some success without really trying 110%. I always hear the opposite. Success happens with that passion combined with lots and lots of hard work, right? Maybe not always.

Alison’s frustration about the lack of acknowledgement about her work in the band comes through loud and clear in this interview.  According to her, people always assume that Vince wrote everything and she was just the singer. She sounds so tired of trying to explain to everyone that she, too, wrote songs for the band. Is this an example of sexism within the music industry? Possibly. I would be interested to know if other female performers who wrote material experienced the same assumption. Yet, she later states how women experienced less sexism then in comparison to present day. Now, she says women have to present themselves as sex toys but then women could express themselves as independent people with a bit of aggression. I have to agree with her that real freedom isn’t always about appearing as characters in male sex fantasies.

I found her definition of being “famous” to be really fascinating. To her, it wasn’t about people all loving her as much as it was about how she was recognized and how people always had something to say about her. Is that the real definition of fame?

Rhonda:

I had no idea that “Only You” was written by Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet.  I knew it as Yaz, and I knew that I loved it’s simplicity. Sometimes it’s nice just to love something without knowing anything about it – it feels innocent and pure. Sure, I might be naive…and I like it here.

I like the way Alison Moyet describes the song as nursery rhyme simplicity – and how Lori Majewski calls it a lullaby. Those words are perfect. The song is simple, clean and beautiful. My only disagreement with Alison Moyet on this is that I feel you DO have to be a great singer to pull off that emotion – and she does. Period. End of story.

While I would be perfectly content to keep this song on a pedestal of its own and never know the backstory – it’s interesting to read that Clarke and Moyet weren’t really “a band” in the same sense of others in this book. They were so detached from one another, it blows my mind that they could be that detached and yet put out two albums – maybe I shouldn’t be surprised (hello naivety!!)  I can absolutely read the frustration from Alison when she talks about how it was assumed that Vince was the creator and she was the voice. I’d like to tell her that for me – it was always her. She was the voice, and I just assumed that for her to sing with that kind of emotionality, she had to have been the one to write the words – if not the music as well.  I just didn’t know any different.  I’d also argue that for me, I usually assume that the vocalist IS the writer.  Maybe that’s just because Duran Duran has trained me to think that way – but I do, and I doubt I’m alone. 

I usually leave the comments on Feminism to my writing partner – but on this one, I have to interject. I agree wholeheartedly with Alison Moyet that today – women can’t just present themselves in a male light without being sexually aggressive. It’s annoying – it’s as though the only way a female can portray real power in the industry is as a sex-toy.  It’s so insulting to me as a female that women in the industry line up, practically begging for the opportunity to be used in that way – it’s as though they’re willing to do whatever they’ve got to do in order to make it through.  It’s gross. I choke on the idea that Beyonce…of all the women on the freaking planet, is considered to be “the most feminist” of female artists.  Are you joking?  Because she tells men that if they liked it they should have put a ring on it?  That’s IT?  We have pretty low standards for what qualifies as power these days.  

Next week, we take a look at Kim Wilde, Howard Jones and Berlin – so be sure to check in!!

The Chauffeur – Warpaint (Making Patterns Rhyme Cover Album)

I love the days when Manimal releases a new song from the Making Patterns Rhyme album, because it’s like getting brand new music! Today is certainly no exception. I suspect that many fans will find this new single easy on the palate, and perhaps even something that they’ll add to their playlists.

When I first hit ‘play’, I won’t lie – at first I found myself the teensiest bit underwhelmed. It’s not that the song isn’t beautiful or that the vocals left me cold. I liked the sound, but I felt like they could have pushed that envelope a bit further. It sounded too much like what Duran Duran had done. I wanted more. I wanted to hear what Warpaint could really do with it on their own.

At this point – I might have shut the song off to write a short blog because I thought I’d gotten a good idea of what they’d done. This time though, I left the song playing as I went on to tackle the next morning task on my list. I’m glad I did, because as they say – “the best was yet to come”. The further it got into the song, the more that Warpaint played with the melody – not taking away from the original, but adding more to the sound. The vocals grew more haunting, more ethereal; the music more deconstructed, so to speak. They explored the sounds in a way that Duran Duran hadn’t, and I loved it! The last 30 seconds or so of the song are worth waiting for – and you’ll want to play the song over and over again because it really is that good. They took the beauty of the original and added their own color to the artistic palate.  Rather than just being comfortable with letting the original melody stand on it’s own, they explored a bit with the sound combinations, and in many ways – Warpaint improved upon the original. I suspect this one sentence may get me into trouble with my fellow Duranies, but it’s the truth – and it pays the highest compliment possible to Duran Duran.

Additionally, I’m taking a second to gush over the artwork that our very own Patty Palazzo has created for the project.  In each case, she has taken an image from the original song (most from videos, with the obvious exceptions of the songs that did not have videos) and updated it as the artwork for the cover version.  It’s kind of like taking a bit of the old to send off the new, and I love that simple, yet effective theme.  I really like the specific images Patty has chosen – they ‘re iconic for us, and explanative of the cover version as well.

Take a listen and let me know what you think! -R

Covers, Covers, we got your covers!!

Second “real” blog post in two days.  You’d think I was gearing back up for an album or something…

I think most Duranies are aware of the Making Patterns Rhyme tribute album that Manimal records is producing, and if you’re not familiar with the yet-to-be-released full album, surely you’ve heard Moby’s Rio and Belief’s Sound of Thunder.   If not – go check them out, the links are there for your convenience!

Yesterday, John Taylor asked DDHQ to ask about your favorite Duran Duran cover song.  I almost tweeted back that I was going to sit down with some popcorn and drinks, and let the games begin.  I knew that I’d be reading a litany of “You can’t do Duran Duran better than Duran Duran”, but I was curious to see what other answers might come up.

Personally, I haven’t paid a ton of attention to covers over the years. I knew they were out there – but I didn’t really care. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t really feel the need to hear them, either. I was so busy just enjoying Duran Duran that I didn’t think I needed to pay attention. I knew Reel Big Fish had done Hungry Like the Wolf, and I remember Hole’s version on The Chauffeur…and I can’t really forget the medley of DD songs that Rockapella performed  (I have it on my iPad somewhere…), but I didn’t take the time to really search or listen beyond that.  Somehow, I suspect I’m not alone.

So, when John Taylor asked about our favorite covers yesterday, I really thought about the question, and more importantly, why he might be asking. There were definitely an overwhelming number of  those “it’s nothing if it’s not Duran Duran” type-replies, and I suspect that John knew he’d see that. So, why ask?  I’m sure he was curious what we have heard. After all, not every single Duran Duran cover has been promoted by the band. (and from the research I’ve done in the past couple of days, I can understand why…) I think asking that sort of question gives him a reasonable gauge of what we’ve exposed ourselves to hearing.  I also think he wanted to somehow indicate that while he appreciates loyalty to the band and all – he fully expects that we might occasionally hear, and enjoy a cover of their music…and that it’s OK.  Additionally, just talking about covers gets fans thinking about covers, and maybe, just maybe…it gets us listening and exposing our ears to what is out there.

My own response, and theory to what is going on here with the complete dismay, dislike, and venom (I could go on…) for the covers of Rio and Sound of Thunder (not as much so for the LUXXURY version of Girls on Film…) is that quite simply: I don’t think fans are used to hearing them much.  We haven’t taken the time to expose ourselves. It takes time to accept that it’s OK that it’s not Simon singing the vocals, John on bass, Nick…Roger…etc, and the only way you grow to accept it is to force yourself to keep listening.  Eventually you realize that no, the world does NOT come to an end because someone covered a Duran Duran song. Even better, you start recognizing that yes, there are people out there who have a tremendous gift and can continue to be creative with what is already an amazing song. Then the pendulum starts to swing to the point where you want to see just how far someone can go with the original song.  How far can it be taken before it’s not really Rio, or Hungry Like the Wolf or The Chauffeur?  Where are the boundaries?? Sure, this might not be the case for everyone, but I really kind of think it’s the case for many.  I know because I was there, and I’m betting I’m not alone. This was definitely me several years back.  I though I was being the good little fan by saying nothing was as good as the original.  I missed out on some really great music in the process.

I made the comment yesterday that part of the problem is that I don’t think fans have been exposed to many covers and that someone…maybe even a fan blog (because I’m a smart ass that way) should start posting some and getting people to listen.  I’ll say this much: after you hear some really bad covers, you start listening to the covers that might be way out there but still very creative much, much differently.  I can almost promise that.

So each week I’m going to take Wednesdays (since this is what day this is) and post some covers and a short little review of them.  It’s going to be YOUR job, as good readers, to listen and post whatever you think.  You are probably going to hate most of them at first. I get that. I’ll keep reminding you that they’re not as terrible (most of the time) as you think, and that no – Simon will not hate you for listening to them.  That I can pretty much promise.  Eventually you might just find something you like, and by that time, hopefully this damn #DD14 album will be READY TO PLAY!!!  (that was for you, John Taylor and Co….)  What I’m going to try to do is pick a song and then find a few covers of that song to post.  I might not ever find them all – in which case if you know of one to share, please do. Send a link, email us…and we’ll post it!

The question is where to begin. So this week let’s try Ordinary World. There are a TON of covers of this song, so I picked my favorites. If you have others that you want me to hear, send ’em!! Link is in the title:artist name. Short review is below each.

Ordinary World: Aurora

So this cover is different. The melody is definitely secondary to the rhythm track – in an attempt to make it danceable, and it has a much more atmospheric, spacey sound in parts. It’s also sped way, way up from the original.  That said, it’s completely recognizable…and the lead singer is apparently Robert Pattinson’s (of Twilight fame) older sister.  She has a beautiful voice.  Funny how I never thought much about females taking on Duran’s tunes before…but as you’re going to see over the next several weeks, MANY of the most beautiful covers out there are done by females!

Ordinary World: Gregorian

Very interesting, this Gregorian. (really…I’ve studied real Gregorian chant, and it’s not quite to that point) The music is somewhat subdued, and of course the voices are meant to stand out on their own.  For me, this doesn’t really quite do it…but you know, it IS beautiful in it’s own right. I just keep thinking it feels a bit too much like karaoke.

Ordinary World: Joy Williams

This is my favorite cover of this song (that I’ve found so far).  Haunting, emotional…it’s as though all of the sorrow that could be found in this song is packed into her vocals. No guitar, just piano…and it’s stunning in every single way.

Ordinary World: Red

Love the strings on this one and the additional synth sounds make it interesting and their own. The song is executed in much of the same style as Duran Duran, but it’s definitely their own spin on it musically with a little more of a rock anthem type of sound to it.

Ordinary World: Ainjel Emme

Another female artist.  This time, it’s just guitar and vocals.  Her vocals are stunning, and the guitar is acoustic – very pretty.  My only constructive criticism is that she does very little to make the song her own, and I’d like to hear what she could do to take the song to a different place.

Ordinary World: Rust

Wow. This is a much harder rock version. They kept the melody, the guitar solo…probably kept most of the synth that we know…and added a whole new element. Truthfully out of the covers I chose to include, this is probably the farthest from the original – but it’s interesting.  The hard rock gives the song a great gritty texture to it for those moments where I’m really just majorly pissed off AND sad at the same time!

That’s six different versions of Ordinary World. I know there are a ton more out there that I didn’t even include (I could be here for days…listening and writing away….), but it’s a start. Take a listen. Get your ears used to hearing other people performing Duran’s music. It won’t kill you. In fact, I think it broadens the horizons a bit.

-R

 

 

 

 

Sound of Thunder – Beliefs (Making Patterns Rhyme cover album)

Today brings the gift of music…a freshly released cover by the Beliefs  of Sound of Thunder!

Like Moby’s Rio, this single can be found on Making Patterns Rhyme – the Duran Duran tribute (cover) album that has been produced by Manimal Records.

This cover is in the style of “Shoegaze” and if you’re not really familiar with that sound – I would suggest possibly listening to old Tears for Fears, like anything off of The Hurting, for instance.  This has a little heavier guitar (with a lot of reverb going on), and the vocals are pretty existential, which completely changes the vibe of the song.  For me, Sound of Thunder was a song that described sitting back and  watching the world go by, as though not being an active participant for whatever reason. The slightly disjointed, disconnected lyrics hovering just over the top of the guitar really bring that concept home.  For me, this version hits a home run; but I’m really more curious about what you might think – so take a listen and send me a line!

The song is available as of tomorrow 6/10 on iTunes, proceeds go to Amnesty International.

Here’s the link on Soundcloud!

-R

Book Club: Mad World (The Normal, Kajagoogoo, and Thomas Dolby)

Week 6 of our latest book club is here!  We are moving along in the book, Mad World:  An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s.  This week, we tackle the following chapters and artists:  The Normal, Kajagoogoo and Thomas Dolby!  Read those chapters and share your thoughts with us!

The Normal:

Amanda’s thoughts:

I have adored this song for quite awhile now.  Maybe it is when it was featured on Only After Dark, a compilation by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor that came out in 2006.  Maybe, it was when I realized the connection between this song and bands like Depeche Mode.  I suspect, though, that the liking of this song became stronger after seeing Duran include it in their electro set on Broadway in November 2007.  I remember how the audience seemed perplexed, at first, then seemed to grasp the coolness.  Here is a clip of that:

Right away, author, Jonathan Bernstein, sums up what made this track so cool, so unusual and so important, the machines and Daniel Miller’s “detached delivery”.  Exactly.  I hear so much of that machinery in music that followed.  Likewise, that detached delivery can be heard in many, many songs to follow.  It along with other songs like it definitely was a trend setter and would work to change music.

Daniel Miller talked a lot about electronic music and synthesizers in this chapter.  One idea that really grabbed my attention is how electronic music was pure punk with the do-it-yourself attitude.  He differentiates this with punk rock, which has a similar philosophy but, obviously, sounds differently.  I can definitely see his point.  Anyone can pick up a synthesizer and play with various sounds without any training needed.  There is no need for expensive lessons.    Then, of course, he worked to spread that electronic music by starting Mute Records and helping others express themselves through that electronic music.

Rhonda:

So the reality is that for a good many years, I danced to this, well perhaps dance is the wrong word…but I was out on that floor and surely I did something akin to bobbing around, for many years before I really knew what the song was or who it was by.  It was an anthem of sorts, and anyone who was anyone in the club I went to (Fashions – Redondo Beach Pier, Redondo Beach, CA. If there had been a frequent club-goer card, mine would have been gold. Or black. Probably black.) put their drink down, stubbed out the last of the clove cigarette they had in hand, and got out on that floor. Lori Majewski said it best.  “…it was our new wave rave’s version of Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’, inviting even those not outfitted in skin-tight PVC to join…the car crash set.” (page 132)  Perfect. 

I particularly liked reading that Daniel Miller didn’t enjoy Anglo-American music, because that’s really how I felt as a teenager. 99% of the music I loved most was from the UK or elsewhere in Europe, and the more obscure the better. Granted, he’d already rejected most of it by 1970 – the year I was born – but hey, I’m finding out that I wasn’t really quite as alone as I may have thought. Thank goodness for New Wave. I’ll go to my grave saying that. It kept me alive through some of the darker periods of my teen years.

I went around for years saying that I really didn’t like electronica. I hated beat-boxes and a lot of the synthetic, heartless feeling that went into a lot of “today’s” music…specifically the crap (including auto-tune) that you find on a top 40 station. That’s totally unfair of me though, because you don’t have to look very long to find music in my collection that fits that label. I think my problem with a lot of the electronic music out there is that for all the creativity allowed through that medium – a lot of it sounds ridiculously familiar.  Not so with New Wave, and certainly not with “Warm Leatherette”. I loved the detached delivery, and a lot of my favorite songs that followed had that same sort of vocals to them. I think I liked the unfeeling, robotic nature – it provided a texture we didn’t have before, and I completely embraced that.

The Normal was the “parent” EDM of my generation (but far, far more creative than what you hear today, in my humble opinion!) I know from reading Mad World that Daniel Miller hates that term – but without The Normal, there wouldn’t have been a Mute Records, and without Mute, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Goldfrapp might not have happened.  For that alone I owe a huge thank you to Daniel Miller. 

Kajagoogoo:

Amanda:

This song and band always makes me laugh.  I can’t help it.  Maybe it is their look or the name.  Perhaps, it is the fact that Nick Rhodes produced it and got him his first number one, even before Duran.  Nonetheless, every time I hear the song or see the video, I laugh.  The introduction reinforces this as the authors mention how their success was sudden and “mocked”.  I suppose my reaction even today shows this.  It isn’t that I don’t own the song or don’t have fond memories of it because I do.  There is just something about this band that creates a certain amount of ridicule.  That said, the introduction pointed out why they are important to know, though.  They were an example of a band without a long past, who did want to shock in some way.  They did affect things, no matter that people did not take them seriously.

Lead singer, Limahl’s, story about how much he loved music and wanted to use it as an escape from the no-future mining life is not a unique one.  Yet, unlike some, he actually went for his dream.  He mentioned how being young helped both him and his band mates.  Being young meant that they weren’t as worried about everything and just went for it.  I admire that.  When I was young, I did everything to become safe and secure when I should have just taken some risks.

I was hoping to learn more about the name.  They named their band to shock people and there was some connection to the  movie, The Mirror Crack’d, according to this chapter, but, as someone who hasn’t seen the movie, I’m at a bit of a loss.  Can someone explain it?

Of course, I loved the story about how Limahl met Nick at the Embassy Club.  How brave of Limahl to just try to get Nick a copy of their demo tape.  Then, Nick loved it and got EMI to sign them!  Amazing!!  If we could all be so lucky!  He is right that Duranies were interested because Nick produced them.  Many of us are like that even today in that if there is a connection to a member of Duran, there is likelihood that some/most/all of us will check it out.

Speaking of fans, I thought it was interesting that as a gay man, he didn’t want to talk about his sexual orientation when they had a lot of teenage females fans despite his belief that teenage fans don’t/didn’t actually want to have sex with the rock star.  I often wonder that.  Would rock stars who are gay get the same level of attention?  Respect?  Intensity of fans?  I would like to believe that things are better now, but, in 1983, I don’t blame Limahl for keeping it quiet.

Rhonda:

It didn’t take Nick Rhodes to get me to love “Too Shy”. In fact, I don’t think that I realized Nick had anything to do with them until later. I just didn’t know. If I remember correctly, I heard them on the radio, made a note of their name – and found them on a cover of a magazine, of course.  Sure, Limahl was pretty, and once I did realize that Nick was involved, I wanted to see what they were all about. So yes, in that sense I suppose Nick did drive me to buy their album.

What I remember most though, was how my friends gave them almost zero time. None of my friends felt they had staying power, and a good many of them thought they were TRYING to be Duran Duran. Fair assessment?  I’m not sure. They didn’t last long enough for me to decide. I think that ultimately, they really weren’t a lot more than a pop band trying to make a splash with what they had. They hit fast and hard, and were gone within a blink of an eye.  Not many gave them much credence beyond (or including) “Too Shy” – if I ever thought the critics were hard on Duran Duran, all I had to do was see what they had to say about Kajagoogoo before realizing DD had it easy in comparison. They’d written this band off before it even got started. 

Limahl  says something in this chapter that really gets my “fan” blood percolating a bit, though. He mentions that the Duran Duran fans were interested in what Nick was doing with Kajagoogoo. True statement. It’s the one immediately following though that I think is incredibly rude and unfair: “You know how fans are in that obsessive way.”(page 141) To begin with: that “obsessive way” probably made you some cash over the years Limahl, so you’re welcome. Secondly, that sort of thing is really called “MARKETING”. When you are a fan of a band, or someone in a band that works on a new project – it doesn’t mean you’re obsessive to check that new project out. It means you’re curious, and that curiosity paid off a bit for Kajagoogoo. So while I would agree with Amanda that yes, that sort of thing still happens even to this day, it’s not necessarily out of some sort of crazy obsession.  If that were the case, what happened with John’s solo material, or even better – The Devils?  Fans don’t know much about either of those things unless they were very interested, and from what I’ve been able to tell – not many were. So that’s where I take issue with Limahl and his ego.

This was a band that reunited for the sole purpose of making money, that much is clear. A lot of bands do it, but some just can’t figure it out to make it work for the long term. This one is on that list. Nick Beggs, who is incredibly talented in his own right, said it best, “It’s not a great song, it’s just a reasonable pop tune”  He’s right, and it’s OK to have an iconic song from that time period under your belt.  A lot of these bands have them, and sure – if you look hard enough, you can certainly see the debris field they left behind. It’s called “my life”….. and just as Nick Beggs says, “…music can transport us across the years to where we once stood.”  Absolutely. 

Thomas Dolby:

Here is a little story for you.  Every time I mention Science at work (I teach in a middle school), I say, “Science as in she blinded me with.”  The kids, of course, have no idea what I’m talking about but it doesn’t stop me.  I can’t help it.

I found his songwriting process fascinating.  First, he had to come up with an image and he adopted the professor look as he had family in education and because he knew he couldn’t be a “pin-up”.  Then, he wrote a storyboard for a video to go along with a song title he had.  He didn’t know what the song would sound like but he had the title.  This, of course, is the exact opposite of how Duran works with music first then lyrics, with the title being towards the end.

I love that he got Dr. Magnus Pyke to be in the video and that the video became his claim to fame rather than his scientific work.  (In case you didn’t know, Dr. Pyke was a British scientist.)

Of course, after Dolby experienced commercial success, the record label wanted him to make more songs with the same formula.  Like the young Limahl in the previous chapter, he decided not to go the safe route and told them no.  He makes an interesting point.  He says that people think that the music is “fake” if an artist changes styles or genres.  Does the music industry really put artists into a box?  Has Duran felt that way or felt like they had to keep to a certain formula?    On the other side of the coin could be artists trying to be or sound like something they are not?  You can’t blame fans for not wanting that, either.

Rhonda:

Amanda, you should really play your students the video at the end of each school year or something so that way they better understand your psychotic ramblings.  (I can say that because we’re friends…and because I’m 2000 miles away from her right now.)

I remember watching Video One (or MV3 as it was called even earlier on)  during the week with Richard Blade, and invariably he’d play “She Blinded Me With Science” or “Hyperactive”…both of which I loved.  I think just from watching the videos and listening to the music, even as a kid, I sensed he was a genius. I liked that he didn’t seem like just an everyday rock star. I mean, sure…Simon LeBon is great and all, but there is something equally intriguing to me about Thomas Dolby because he wasn’t afraid to push boundaries and he’s willing to try something completely new. I stand fascinated by his marketing of “A Map of the Floating City” because rather than just continually blame the demise of the industry, it’s like Thomas Dolby sees it as a challenge, so he comes up with a damn video game for it. Who does that?! Thomas Dolby…because he’s a genius!!

I also found his comments about the music industry pretty true-to-life. I think that once a band or artist found their niche – even to this day to a large extent – it’s tough to break out of that. Part of it, in my opinion, is that record labels are freaking lazy. They don’t want to have to try to sell something different once they’ve figured out how to market a band. While I think it’s pathetic that bands weren’t given the leeway to discover themselves in a lot of ways, I can also see the business-end. Look at how fans have reacted to what Duran Duran have done over the years. It’s not always a bed of roses, even though we all say (and we do all say this) that we admire the band for taking risks. And we do. As long as they adhere to the sound we’re used to.  I’m guilty of this as much as anyone.  So, for a label, where it all comes down to dollars and cents through image and sound – once that’s all been hammered out and proven successful, they don’t want to change that formula.  We’ve read that again and again. The trouble is, I don’t know many bands, particularly from this era – that were willing to keep remaking the same album over and over again. That formula works far better today than it ever did in the 80s. 

What’s up for next week you ask?  Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, and Yaz!  We’d love to see some comments on the discussion, but until then – we’ll just keep talking!!

Book Club: Mad World (Dexys Midnight Runners, Bow Wow Wow, The Waitresses)

Welcome to week 5 of our latest book club!  This time, we are tackling the book, Mad World, chapter by chapter, band by band.  This week we are discussing the chapters on Dexys Midnight Runners, Bow Wow Wow and The Waitresses.  We would love for you to read those chapters and jump in to discuss them with us!

Dexys Midnight Runners:

Amanda’s response:

The chapter begins with a reminder that this band is really known for this one hit wonder, “Come On Eileen” despite the driven nature of the leader and the fact that there was a lot more to them than this one song.  I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to have had done a lot of work but only to be recognized for ONE song.  ONE.  Clearly, that frustration hasn’t stopped them for continuing forward and continuing to make music.

One of the thing that their story hit home for me was the strange juxtaposition being a pop or rock star must be.  On one hand, Kevin Rowland, the leader, needed to make music and discussed how it felt it saved him.  Otherwise, he would haven’t made it, he thinks.  Like many artists, he needed to express himself.  He needed to create.  On the other hand, the business and promotion side of it was not something he enjoyed.  He didn’t like the pressure and didn’t like the non-stop workload.  Yet, it seems to me that to truly make it, one has to be both that artist, that creator and that salesman.  That must be super tough.

Rhonda:

Ok, so before I jump in – I’ll admit it, I only know them for “Come on Eileen”. It’s true, I suck for not finding more of their music, and I’m sort of sickened by myself this morning (as I was when I first read this chapter).  Happy?  Good.  

One of the most poignant passages I read in this entire book came from this chapter though – and it was written by none other than Jonathan Bernstein.  “There comes a time when you’re happy not to hear any new music from your idols, no matter how much time, love and money you’ve invested in them over the years. It’s not like tha tfor Dexys fans: We’re in it for life.”   I think this holds true for many of the bands I once admired.  The bands had run their course for me – and either I moved on, or the band moved on, and I was able to make peace with that.  However, this passage certainly describes exactly how I feel about Duran Duran. No matter what kind of music they choose to explore next, no matter how much I may have not cared for one thing or another that they’ve done, I am always going to be ready for more.  I enjoy the constant exploration and evolution of their career, and I completely respect what Jonathan meant.

For me personally, this song IS happiness.  How can you not be joyful when you listen to the song? It’s upbeat – even if it changes timing several times throughout the song, and you can’t help but not sing along.  I especially like the fact that they didn’t start out to write a song like that –  I always hate reading things like that about bands I admire anyway.  That whole “it was completely contrived” type of thing really annoys me, it’s the same thing as sitting down to write a hit song.  So formulaic, and I really don’t want to believe that’s how the industry works – so to read that this song came about from hard work and just organically became what it is, well, I applaud that even IF we Americans never heard anything else from them on our radios. 

I also have to say that reading Kevin Rowland’s account of what fame was like for him as “Come On Eileen” rose up the charts really made me think.  He talks about how he’d get on a bus in Brum and the driver would want him to go back to the depot to meet his coworkers. He wouldn’t want to disappoint people, but it never stopped. I think that is why, as a fan, I think twice before approaching band members like that.  I feel guilty in a lot of ways as a fan, because on one hand, of course I want to meet my idols – who wouldn’t?!? But on the other hand, aren’t they ever allowed to just BE?  I see it happen often enough after shows and things, which perhaps that’s normal enough, but just on regular days? I don’t think I could handle it – I treasure my privacy.  

As I admitted when I started writing, I only know them for “Come On Eileen”…but today that’s going to change. I’m going to check out One Day I’m Going To Soar. You know, it’s never to late to find something new, and there’s something very wrong about being that person who never bothered to even try as I’m sitting here writing a music blog. I find the division between what really interests listeners in the UK and Europe versus what gets attention here in America so striking. I can understand why Rowland might not hold his breath for one of their albums to do well here, but you never know. 

Bow Wow Wow:

Amanda’s thoughts:

Malcolm McLaren is an incredibly fascinating character in music history with his role with the Sex Pistols, Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow.  Clearly, he made his mark.  My goodness, he kicked Adam Ant out of his own band and got a 13 year old to be lead singer of this band.  A 13 year old!  As someone who teaches kids that age, I can’t even wrap my head around that.  Was this move all about getting outrage from the public?  Was it all about getting attention through controversy?  Nonetheless, I’m not surprised that this band did not last long, especially when it is based on the lead singer, Annabella Lwin’s youthfulness.  You can’t stop aging and you can’t really control people, either.

Clearly, Malcolm had an ability to read that something wasn’t secure within Adam and the Ants.  He was able to play on the worries band member, Leigh Gorman, had about getting fired and about how Adam wasn’t fitting with the music.  It seems like he found a crack and exploited it to get the band to kick Adam out, from reading Leigh’s version of the story.  As Rhonda mentioned last week, clearly, friendship and loyalty were not characteristics at the top of the list for some of these bands and band members.  Like her, I have a hard time relating.

Malcolm’s formula for a successful band was “sex, style and subversion”.  Bow Wow Wow fit that formula with things like album covers with Annabella naked next to her clothed bandmates.  As a kid, when I heard this song, I had no idea her age.  If I did, it wouldn’t have bothered me but as an adult, as a teacher, it definitely does.  Thankfully, the guys in the band were decent guys but the fact that she was told not to talk much just adds to my discomfort.  I’m well aware that art is supposed to make you uncomfortable, at times, and supposed to question what society finds unacceptable.  Still…

Then, history repeated itself when the band went on to kick her out three years after she joined the band like what was done to Adam Ant.  Sometimes, reading more about the band and the history behind the song makes me want to check out more or put them back in steady rotation.  The exact opposite happened here for me.

Rhonda:

There are two stories in this book that absolutely shocked me.  This is one of them.  (The other comes later)  

Like most Americans of nearly ANY age – I’ve got this song in my music library.  I loved it as a kid, I loved it as an adult.  The group itself had music that made me want to dance, and made me think of summer for some reason. Maybe it was the guitar, because it’s very similar to the surf-style guitar that groups like The Beach Boys utilize. (If you know my name, you’ll recognize that yes – I was named after one of their songs. Isn’t that cute? No. No it is not. I pity the kids out there named Rio. I really do…but I digress.) Regardless, Bow Wow Wow occupy a happy, childlike place in my mind…and now I know why! It just never occurred to me that when I first heard this song in 1982 that the lead singer and I were probably only months apart in age. Except she was naked on the cover of a record album and I wasn’t even allowed to wear miniskirts above my knee…

When I read this chapter, the last person I really had any respect for was Malcolm McLaren. As in, I really had none.  Don’t get me wrong, I recognize talent. I know the Sex Pistols and I don’t take that away from him. I also recognize exploitation when I see it.  I know Jonathan called him Nostradamus, and I have difficulty with that. The logical, sensible part of me agrees – exploitation is what this business is all about, of course. But, that pesky human side desperately wants to believe that it’s not all so damn contrived and planned all the time. I hate the fact that he (McLaren) brought this young, young girl into this band clearly to create a stir. I’m shocked as a parent that no one stopped them from putting her on a picnic blanket completely naked next to her bandmates (who were dressed, of course).  I see the implications that she was young and innocent (the nakedness serving as a sort of nod to a savage young woman being tamed into society by the knowing men, which in turn is exactly the idea behind the painting from which the album cover was based upon -“Le déjeneur sur l’herbe” by Manet. ), and while I know it was a different time… the very point WAS to shock.  

It’s just so clear that McLaren really wanted Annabella Lwin there purely for shock value, and once he was finished with her – he did with her as he’d done with Adam (Ant) and fired her.  It’s such a throw-away industry, full of use and abuse. It’s any wonder that so many of these bands are even still looking at one another, much less continuing to create music. How can they all look at themselves in the mirror each day? It makes me wonder as a fan just how many souls are truly left in music, or if they’ve ALL been sold just to make a buck. 

The Waitresses:

Amanda’s thoughts:

The introduction to this chapter discusses the record label, ZE Records, and how it was super fashionable and that many still love their catalog.  Before, I even dive into the story of this song, I feel a bit of sadness by the loss of a bygone era, when record labels could be cool and could represent a sound, a musical meeting of the minds.  We certainly don’t have that anymore.

The story behind the song, “I Know What Boys Like”, reminds me of the first version of Duran’s “Girls on Film”.  Apparently, rejection weighs heavily on young men’s minds in that multiple people would feel it necessary to express something about how girls didn’t seem interested in them.  In this case, Chris Butler used his wonderings about why the women in his local bar were not interested in going home with him.  “Girls on Film” originally discussed how women in pictures were so unattainable.  Of course, here, Chris Butler ended up getting a female, Patty Donahue, to sing the lyrics and express the idea of toying with men only to reject them in the end.   Yet, they weren’t a band yet as Chris had to scramble to get one together after a DJ heard the song and played it for Island Records.

I suspect that part of the reason that the song captured the attention of the public is because men and women are constantly trying to understand each other in order to take part in the dating world.  That theme is a timeless one, for sure.

Rhonda:

I agree with Amanda regarding record companies. I do miss the days when they weren’t so incredibly corporate and you’d have maverick companies like ZE that actually produced things of interest.  Nowadays we have to rely on true indie bands to do that – and they’re tough to find.  

This song, “I Know What Boys Like” was one of my favorites back in the day. I am honestly not even sure I completely understood what it meant when I’d listen and giggle along with my friends…I just knew I liked that the woman had the upper hand for a change. (Listen, I was in junior high at the time. My hair had more frizz than Brillo, I was awkward and played the clarinet of all things. I liked the singer’s attitude, but I can assure you – I had NO idea what boys liked back then, except that it certainly wasn’t me.)  As bitter as Chris Butler might have been towards women – well, I was that way towards the 13 and 14 year old boys at my school that never even noticed me standing against the wall at school dances.  So this song came to mean something to me – it was as though this singer was the girl I wanted to be in my dreams.  Ha!  I’m still not like that!!  It amuses the hell out of me that Butler wanted to know the enemy – because in my head, it’s always been the guy that was the “enemy”, so to speak.  

What is usually very sobering to me, are the “That Was Then, This is Now” sections in the book. I can’t help but be surprised, if not quite flabbergasted, and certainly a bit sad by the fact that even with a song like this – one that has been covered and has lasted over the years, that Chris Butler is NOT driving that Maserati.  It’s the truth of the music business, I suppose.  Most never really become millionaires, most never live the life that Duran Duran portrays in their videos (or even in their real lives).  We (well…*I*) always think that with a single song like this, it’s instant riches, and that’s just not the case much of the time.  The real reward comes from seeing the place the song takes in music or pop culture history, I suppose….but it really bugs the hell out of me that someone like Chris Butler can’t send his kid to Harvard, and yet we’ve got Justin Bieber living like a king. There’s just something wrong with that picture (for me).

Join us next week as we tackle The Normal, Kajagoogoo, and Thomas Dolby!  

-A & R

Today in Duran History – Big 80s Pop

On today’s date in 2001, VH1 released a compilation CD called The Big 80s Pop.  Duran Duran’s New Moon on Monday was included on the CD.

5118AQN8E4L-1

CD track listing:

1. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
2. Sowing The seeds Of Love – Tears For Fears
3. Manic Monday – The Bangles
4. Kokomo – The Beach Boys
5. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young
6. Private Eyes – Daryl Hall/John Oates
7. Too Late For Goodbyes – Julian Lennon
8. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
9. I’ve Been In Love Before – Cutting Crew
10. New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran
11. Kids in America – Kim Wilde
12. Turn Me Loose – Loverboy
13. I’ve Done Everything For You – Rick Springfield
14. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
15. Breakout – Swing Out Sister
16. What I am – Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians

Wow…I don’t think I’ve seen such an eclectic group of songs since I last looked at one of my old K-Tel records…Poptastic!!

In case you still want it – I believe there are still a few hanging around on Amazon!

-R

Analysis of Top 25 Duran Duran Songs

A couple of weeks ago, we revealed the Top 25 Duran Duran songs that were compiled from the top 25 lists that many fans submitted to us.  You can find the results here.  Then, last week, we posted our choices for the Top 25 Duran Duran songs.  While you might have thought we were done with this task, you were wrong.  I promised to go through the selections and provide some information about the songs chosen as well as what the choices might say about Duran Duran fans.

The number of songs to appear on people’s lists: 159 different songs were listed.  I couldn’t believe how the list of songs kept growing!  Clearly, this shows that Duran’s catalog is very large, at this point!

The albums represented in order by the points they received.  The songs are listed in order of preference.

Rio-2865 (New Religion, The Chauffeur, Save a Prayer, Hold Back the Rain, Rio, Lonely in Your Nightmare, Last Chance on the Stairway, Hungry Like the Wolf,  My Own Way).  All songs from the album were listed.

Self-titled-2547 points (Careless Memories, Planet Earth, Friends of Mine, Girls on Film, Sound of Thunder, Nightboat, Is There Something I Should Know, Anyone Out There, Tel Aviv, To the Shore).  All songs from the album were listed.  I included both Is There Something I Should Know and To the Shore.

All You Need is Now-1903 (All You Need Is Now, Before the Rain, The Man Who Stole a Leopard, Girl Panic, Mediterranea, Leave a Light On, Being Followed, Safe, Too Bad You’re So Beautiful, Runway Runaway, Blame the Machines, Networker Nation).  71% of the songs were listed from the album.  I used the 17 track Best Buy exclusive.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger-1493 (The Seventh Stranger, New Moon on Monday, The Reflex, Tiger Tiger, Shadows on Your Side, Union of the Snake, Of Crime and Passion, Cracks in the Pavement, I Take the Dice).  All songs from the album were listed.

Astronaut-1152 (Sunrise, Nice, What Happens Tomorrow, Bedroom Toys, Want You More, Virus, Still Breathing, Astronaut, Finest Hour, Chains, Point of No Return, Taste the Summer, One of Those Days).  All songs were listed.  I included Virus as it appeared on the Japanese version.

The Wedding Album-1062 (Ordinary World, Come Undone, None of the Above, Too Much Information, Love Voodoo, Breath After Breath, Sin of the City, Shelter, Femme Fatale, UMF, Drowning Man).  85% of the songs from the album were listed.

Big Thing-744(Do You Believe in Shame, I Don’t Want Your Love,  Palomino, The Edge of America, Land, All She Wants Is, Lake Shore Driving, Drug, Too Late Marlene, Big Thing).  83% of songs listed.

Notorious-666 (Vertigo, Notorious, Skin Trade, A Matter of Feeling, American Science, Hold Me, Winter Marches On, Proposition, So Misled, Meet el Presidente).  All songs from the album were listed.

Red Carpet Massacre-469(Falling Down, Box Full O Honey, The Valley, Night Runner, Skin Divers, Cry Baby Cry, She’s Too Much, Tempted, Last Man Standing, Red Carpet Massacre, Zoom In, Tricked Out).  92% of songs from the album were listed.  I included Cry Baby Cry for the same reason as Virus.

Liberty-439 (Serious, My Antarctica, Violence of Summer, All Along the Water, First Impression, Liberty, Read My Lips, Hothead, Downtown, Venice Drowning).  91% of songs listed.

Medazzaland- 313(Out of my Mind, Big Bang Generation, Electric Barbarella, Midnight Sun, Be My Icon, Buried in the Sand, Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For, Medazzaland, Who Do You Think You Are, So Long Suicide).  83% of songs listed.

Thank You-284 (White Lines, Perfect Day, Lay Lady Lay, Drive By, I Wanna Take You Higher, Watching the Detectives, Success, Thank You).  67% of songs listed.

Pop Trash-204 (Playing with Uranium, Someone Else Not Me, Pop Trash Movie, Starting to Remember, The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever, Last Day on Earth, Lava Lamp, Mars Meets Venus).  67% of songs listed.

Obviously, all albums were represented.  I was not surprised that the top 3 albums were Rio, Self-Titled, and All You Need Is Now.  I was also not surprised that the bottom 3 were Medazzaland, Thank You and Pop Trash.  I was a little surprised that Thank You did better than Pop Trash.  There were a few surprises to about the songs within the albums.  For example, Falling Down was the favorite from Red Carpet Massacre, collectively, as opposed to Night Runner or Skin Divers.  Likewise, I was surprised that Electric Barbarella wasn’t the favorite in Medazzaland.  Lastly, I was surprised that My Antarctica is as loved as it is off of Liberty.

The singles chosen in order of preference: Careless Memories, Ordinary World, Planet Earth, Save a Prayer, All You Need Is Now, Come Undone, Rio, New Moon on Monday, The Reflex, Girls on Film, Sunrise, Wild Boys, Nice, Girl Panic, Serious, Do You Believe in Shame, A View to a Kill, Leave a Light On, Is There Something I Should Know, Out of my Mind, I Don’t Want Your Love, What Happens Tomorrow, Notorious, Hungry Like the Wolf, Union of the Snake, White Lines, Perfect Day, Falling Down, My Own Way, Skin Trade, Playing with Uranium, All She Wants Is, Too Much Information, Someone Else Not Me, Violence of Summer, Electric Barbarella, Meet el Presidente, Last Day on Earth, and Burning the Ground.  Every single made it to the list.  Did the biggest hits do better than the rest of the singles?  Not necessarily.  Careless Memories was not a huge hit on the charts but is with the fans.

The songs that had videos to go with in order of preference:  Careless Memories, Ordinary World, Planet Earth, The Chauffeur, Friends of Mine, Save a Prayer, All You Need Is Now, Come Undone, Rio, Lonely in Your Nightmare, New Moon on Monday, The Reflex, Girls on Film, Sunrise, Wild Boys, Girl Panic, Serious, Nightboat, Do You Believe in Shame, A View to a Kill, Is There Something I Should Know, Out of my Mind, I Don’t Want Your Love, What Happens Tomorrow, Notorious, Hungry Like the Wolf, Union of the Snake, White Lines, Perfect Day, Falling Down, My Own Way, Skin Trade, All She Wants Is, Too Much Information, Someone Else Not Me, Violence of Summer, Breath After Breath, Electric Barbarella, Meet el Presidente, and Burning the Ground.  I can’t think of a single video that was not listed.  Again, their most well-known videos were not necessarily at the top of the list.

Cover songs in order of preference:  White Lines, Perfect Day, Make Me Smile, Lay Lady Lay, Instant Karma, I Wanna Take You Higher, Needle and the Damage Done, House of the Rising Sun, Watching the Detectives, Success, Thank You, Boys Keep Swinging.

B-sides in order of preference:  Secret Oktober, Late Bar, Like an Angel, Khanada, I Believe All / I Need to Know, Fallen Angel, Faith in This Colour, We Need You, Sinner or Saint, Faster Than Light, Yo Bad Azizi, Waterbabies, Decadance.

Demos/Unreleased tracks in order of preference:  Beautiful Colours, Salt in the Rainbow,  Lonely Business, Matter of Fact, Pretty Ones.  Clearly, there are many demos from Astronaut that people really like.

There were a number of songs only chosen once, which are listed here in order of preference on that person’s list:  Lay Lady Lay, Zoom In, Instant Karma, Lonely Business, Burning the Ground, Femme Fatale, Lava Lamp, Waterbabies, House of the Rising Sun, Watching the Detectives, Hothead, Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For, Networker Nation, UMF, A Matter of Fact, Medazzaland, One of Those Days, Success, Thank You, Pretty Ones, Tricked Out, Who Do You Think You Are, Boys Keep Swinging, Decadance, Too Late Marlene, Venice Drowning, Big Thing, Drowning Man, So Long Suicide and Mars Meets Venus.

What does all this prove?  I think the biggest take away here is one we already knew.  Duran Duran fans are diverse in their opinions and preferences.  While most seem to love songs off of Rio, the first album, and All You Need Is Now, there are many songs that people love off the other albums.  What did you learn?  What surprised you or confirmed what you already knew?

-A

P.S.  I have to admit that I really enjoyed doing this.  I loved getting people’s responses, organizing them, and analyzing the results.  I had so much fun that I want to do something like this again and I don’t want to wait until next year.  I plan on doing something similar for videos.  Any other suggestions?  Thanks!!!

The Daily Duranie’s Lists of Top 25 Duran Duran Songs

As promised, we are sharing our lists of our top 25 Duran Duran songs.  Before we share our lists, let’s review what the top 25 songs were based on the voting by the fans who participated.

Top 25 Duran Duran:

25.  Girl Panic

24.  Nice

23. Wild Boys

22.  Sunrise

21. Girls on Film

20.  Last Chance on the Stairway

19.  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

18.  Before the Rain

17.  The Reflex

16.  New Moon on Monday

15.  Lonely in Your Nightmare

14.  Rio

13.  Come Undone

12.  All You Need Is Now

11.  Late Bar

10.  The Seventh Stranger

9.  Secret Oktober

8.  Hold Back the Rain

7.  Save a Prayer

6.  Friends of Mine

5.  The Chauffeur

4.  Planet Earth

3.  Ordinary World

2.  Careless Memories

1.  New Religion

How do our lists compare?  Do we have a lot of these songs on our Top 25s?

Rhonda’s list of her Top 25 DD songs:

25.  Last Chance on the Stairway

24.  Finest Hour

23.  Hold Back the Rain

22.  Lonely in Your Nightmare

21.  Make Me Smile

20.  The Edge of America

19.  Friends of Mine

18.  Too Much Information

17.  New Religion

16.  Sound of Thunder

15.  Serious

14.  Tiger Tiger

13.  New Moon on Monday

12.  Rio

11.  Mediterranea

10.  Virus

9.  White Lines

8.  All You Need Is Now

7.  Sunrise

6.  Careless Memories

5.  Before the Rain

4.  Planet Earth

3.  Secret Oktober

2.  Late Bar

1.  Is There Something I Should Know?

Amanda’s list of her Top 25 DD songs:

25.  Out of my Mind

24.  New Moon on Monday

23.  Breath After Breath

22.  Shadows on Your Side

21.  Salt in the Rainbow

20.  Tel Aviv

19.  Red Carpet Massacre

18.  Too Bad You’re So Beautiful

17.  Wild Boys

16.  Sunrise

15.  Sound of Thunder

14.  Late Bar

13.  Vertigo

12.  All You Need Is Now

11.  Lonely in Your Nightmare

10.  Finest Hour

9.  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

8.  Friends of Mine

7.  The Edge of America

6.  Secret Oktober

5.  Before the Rain

4.  New Religion

3.  Careless Memories

2. Hold Back the Rain

1.  Planet Earth

Were you surprised by any on our lists?  Did we match more than you thought we would?  Did we not match more than you thought?  Now, that we have shared our lists, we welcome each of you to participate!  If you would like to share yours on a blog, please send (or resend) your list.  It would be cool if you wanted to explain any/all of your choices as this would be a means of getting to know you, your tastes and your Duranie experiences.  As always, we ask you to follow our guest blog requirements, they are described here.

Next week will be the final post on the Top 25 Duran Duran songs as I take time to analyze the results.

-A