Category Archives: Music

Top 25 Duran Duran Songs Part 2

Ah…the moment you have all been waiting for!  We are, finally, going to reveal the top 10 Duran Duran songs as voted by all of us, the fans!!!  Before we do that, let me remind everyone what songs ranked 25 to 11.  Next week, Rhonda and I will reveal our lists then the following week, I’ll take some time to analyze the results.

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

And, now, we present the TOP 10!!!

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

Thoughts?  Reactions?  Is what you expected?  My first thought after looking at the top 10 was, “Why isn’t Duran playing New Religion live?  Clearly, it is a fan favorite.”  While they do play Careless Memories, sometimes, and have played The Chauffeur, Friends of Mine and Hold Back the Rain, at times, perhaps, they would be wise to play them more often.  Then, I have to ask, why in the world do they not play Secret Oktober?!?  Yes, I know that they have played it a few times in recent years but a few is not enough.  Clearly.  What do the rest of you think?  How did your favorites do?  Did they make the list?

-A

Top 25 Duran Duran Songs Part 1

This is it!!!!  Well, this is the first half of “it”!  Today is the day that I reveal part of the top Duran Duran songs (songs 25 to 11) as picked by us (the fans!).  First, let me thank each and every person that sent us a list!  Most said that it was hard, particularly to order the songs, but that they enjoyed it.  I know that it took me a long time to make my list as well as to compile the results (hence the lateness of today’s blog), but I think it was worth it!  Now, if you didn’t do it, but wish that you had, have no fear!  We plan on making this an annual event.  You can send your list next year!!!  Second, I wanted to clarify one point.  A lot of lists contained specifics like certain remixes or certain live versions of songs, which was cool.  I ended up adding those to the totals of the original song.  Otherwise, those songs/votes would have been lost in the shuffle!  Without making you all wait any longer, I now present the favorite Duran Duran songs 25 to 11.

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

Next Saturday, we will reveal the top 10 Duran Duran songs!  After that, I will do a little analyzing about what songs were chosen and what that says about our fandom and our preferences!  Were you surprised by any on here so far?  Any predictions for what songs will make the Top 10 now that you have seen 11 through 25???  Come on, be brave!  Make some guesses!

-A

Reaching Out, Calling Out: Top 25 Song Reminder and Predictions

Next week is Valentine’s Day.  Normally, that is day that I dread and not for the reason you think.  As a middle school teacher, Valentine’s Day is a day filled with heightened emotions and drama.  Yet, this year, I have something to look forward to!  I get the final results for our fun Duranie homework!  That’s right, kids, you have one more week to get your list to me with your Top 25 Duran Duran songs!!!!  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can get all of the details and directions on how to participate here.  Basically, we will be compiling everyone’s favorite songs into a solid list of 25 based on the position of the songs in people’s lists.  We have gotten many, many lists so far but I would love to get lists from every single Duranie!  After all, the more lists we get, the more accurate the compiled list will be, statistically speaking!!!!

I have to say that I have found the results so incredibly fascinating.  As someone who studies things like groups of people and patterns of behavior, I can’t help but be interested in the patterns I have seen or the lack of patterns.  I had some predictions in my mind based on discussions we have had here or observations I have made throughout my tenure in the Duran fan community.  Some of my predictions have been proven true and others…not so much!  So, with a week to go, I figured it might be fun for all of you to make some predictions yourself about the results.  Then, you, too, can compare your ideas with the results and with what is shared about the results.

*How many different songs do you think made it on people’s lists?  (Obviously, not everyone is going to have the same songs as favorites, right?  So how many different songs were named by, at least, someone?)

*Are all the albums represented?

*Which albums are represented the most?  The least?

*Are the majority of songs on people’s lists hits?  Were they the singles?

*How many of the songs had videos to go with them?  Do the fact that they do or don’t seem to make a difference in people’s preferences?

*Are ballads more popular or are songs you can rock out to more popular?

*How many are cover songs?

*How many are b-sides?

*How many are demos that clearly should have made the album?

*How many were from the height of their popularity?  Their 1990s comeback?  Post reunion?

*Which songs do you assume with make the final 25?  (Which songs do you think are most popular in Duranland?)

*Which songs are played live all the time?

*Which songs should be played live from the list?

Perhaps, these questions don’t interest you.  What are you looking forward to finding out the most?  What didn’t I think of to analyze?  Ponder?  Seriously, if you have predictions for any of the questions above, I would love for you to comment here so that we can all compare later.  If you are anything like me, you will probably get some right and some…not so right.  Either way, it is okay as this is all in fun!  I can’t wait for the final results and for the predictions!!!  Each time we do something like this, I learn so much about our fan community!  I love it!

Speaking of learning about our fan community, if you haven’t already figured out by now, we have moved our “daily” question/poll/vote over here now.  There are a number of reasons for this.  First, I don’t have to count both on Facebook and twitter anymore and hope that I’m accurate in my counting.  Second, it eliminates the possibility of people trying to vote “both” or first one answer and then the other.  People have to choose as was intended.  Lastly, people can see the current results right after they vote!      I will always try to remember people on Facebook and Twitter when a new question/poll is up, but you can always look for it at the top of our home page as it will always be a “featured” blog!  No worries, we will still be asking a new question each and every day.  Now, if you have been following this series of questions (pictures of the band members!!!), you know that we have just completed Simon and have moved on to Roger.  Lots of people sent in Roger pictures so it will take awhile to get through him.  Then, we will move on to the rest.  If you are interested in  the order, you can read the original blog post about it here.   Just like the top 25, I hope everyone keeps voting daily as the more people who vote, the more accurate the results!

Now, fellow fans, make sure you are sending us your list of your Top 25 Duran Duran songs (b-sides, covers and demos are okay but no side or solo project songs) numbered in order by next Friday, February 14th!!!  You can send them via email at dailyduranie@gmail.com or through a private message on Facebook!    It may not be the easiest of assignments but it is fun!!!

-A

Tiger Tiger — The Daily Duranie Review (A)

Today, it is my turn to review a little instrumental called Tiger Tiger.  Rhonda did hers last week.  On one hand, I have to admit that I’m glad to be doing an instrumental as I won’t have to deal with two major components of vocals and lyrics.  It isn’t that I don’t love those elements of Duran’s music.  I do.  I’m just super tired as I type this!

Musicality/Instrumentation:  Wow.  We have often talked about how there are some Duran songs that start and you can’t really tell what it is and then there are others that you know instantly.  This song is definitely an instant one.  The opening notes are almost haunting, creating almost a spiritual feeling.  Now, in fairness, I’m sure that is partly what it has come to represent in my mind–that 1984 tour, Duran on top of the world, etc.  It reminds each and every one of us of watching that tour documentary, Sing Blue Silver.  Anyway, after hearing those first couple of notes, you are hooked whether that is from memories or not.  The beauty of these opening notes is truly how fitting, musically, they were with that opening title images of Sing Blue Silver.  The song is played with trucks loading equipment, doors opening and closing.  The music almost sounds like that.  You can hear the squeak of the door hinges and the door being shut or again it is just that those images have been so burned into my brain!   As the song continues, the additional keyboard notes in the beginning enhance that haunting sense.  It reminds me of Nightboat in that way.  All of this before the song really kicks in.  Of course, the majority of the song features not only Nick’s keyboards, John’s bass and Roger’s drums that Roger fans all love live as he typically stands up for, but the song also places saxophone, front and center.  What?!  The saxophone player isn’t even a full member!  Yet, I don’t think that anyone complained about Andy Hamilton’s role for this one.  The thing I always loved about this song is that how it just feels so peaceful, in a way.  It feels calm despite the changes from the eeriness and slowness of the beginning to the more up tempo middle and end.  It is almost like you are riding a wave.

Vocals:  No vocals.  I have to say that I can’t imagine this song having vocals, can you???

Lyrics:  Again, I can’t image lyrics!

Overall:  Perhaps, one of the reasons that this song doesn’t feel so overwhelming is that it doesn’t feel TOO full.  In many of the songs off Seven and the Ragged Tiger, it feels like there was effort to fill up every little bit of musical space with sound and often layers upon layers of sound.  Now, this song still has strong instrumentation but the music is just allowed to breathe.  It isn’t like one instrument takes the center stage and pushes the rest to the side like other songs on Seven and the Ragged Tiger can.  They all can coexist equally.  It is one song that I have truly grown to appreciate both for the memories it always brings up but also for the beauty of the song.

Cocktail Rating:  Four and a half cocktails!

c718c-4halfglasses

-A

Winter Is Marching On…

I have had about 5 different ideas about what to blog about today.  A couple of those ideas are good ones that I might address this weekend or next, but I couldn’t approach those today.  They are too much, too serious.  Another idea focused on how crappy January has been and how I’m so glad that January is finally coming to an end but no one wants to hear me complain.  Thus, I had to come up with a completely different idea.  I realized one big thing tonight after finding out that my dental “insurance” sucks beyond belief, which is that I could go on and on and complain, fret about my lack of future touring money or I could fight.  Now, I can’t fight my bills (at least not directly) but I can and should fight other aspects of my life.  In order to do that, I need some motivation, some inspiration.  Then, it dawned on me.  Music can do that.  It can provide some motivation and some inspiration.  Maybe, others also need some feisty Duran in their lives on this final day of January.  Therefore, I decided to pick out some great Duran clips to watch to do just that–to get us to fight, to get us motivated, to get us feeling feisty.  Here are the clips that I came up with:

Wild Boys seemed fitting.  While I love the way they have been doing this song, this intro is still dang cool.

What else says feisty to me?  How about when Duran discusses the world?  I like how they do it.  A couple of good examples.

Too Much Information

Finest Hour.  I definitely understand the feeling of taking back and fighting for what I believe.  I’m right there, right now.

What about how they deal with the less-than-fun aspects to their careers?  Here is Notorious and their response to their critics in the  media (at least that is what I have always heard that  this song was about).

So, fellow Duranies, what am I forgetting?  What songs should I have included?  Any interviews that you want to post that fits the bill?  I know that I still need more to keep my new focus going.

-A

Tiger Tiger — The Daily Duranie Review (R)

Today I’m reviewing Tiger Tiger – an instrumental off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  I think this might actually be the very first song that we’ve reviewed where there are absolutely no vocals of any kind, so hey – something new!

Musicality/Instrumentation:  There are certain songs that give me immediate, inescapable chills, and this one is on that extremely short list for me. I simply cannot listen to this song without having them, and I can’t listen to this song without visualizing the beginning to Sing Blue Silver. (and if you’ve never seen Sing Blue Silver I want you to go to Amazon right now…right this very second in fact…and order the DVD. It’s worth the money, and every Duranie should have this in their collection. ) I love the opening – it sounds like an orchestra warming up (although I doubt that’s what it is) and then is silenced with the opening keyboard notes. That leads into the familiar notes where I see a convoy of semitrucks on the highway in my minds eye, along with hearing the beginning of the well-known keyboard melody.  Now, what I truly love about this song is the soprano saxophone, played by Andy Hamilton – which certainly becomes the entire melody line for the song, backed up by synthesizer.  I really appreciate that the band took the initiative to have the lead instrument in the song be the saxophone – an instrument that really is not in the actual band line-up, although to be sure it is included in a good many songs in the band catalog.  Even in my youth, I grew to love Tiger Tiger on this album, likely because of the saxophone – but also because of the simplicity of the song itself. It is a head-clearing few moments for me as I listen.  At 3 minutes and 19 seconds in  length, the song is not incredibly long, but it flows beautifully and takes you on a short musical journey.

Vocals:  No vocals here…so Simon gets a free pass…this week.  🙂

Lyrics:  This song is so good it didn’t even NEED lyrics!

Overall:  This song gets everything right in the way that the rest of this album falls short.  The production isn’t messy, it’s not overdone – and while there is a lot going on in background tracking and melody lines, it sounds simple, yet finished.  I love that there are no lyrics – because it allows the listener and the music to just BE..and on an album like Seven and the Ragged Tiger, where there is just layering upon layering, it’s really nice to have a song just take you away to a daydream.  For me, the beauty in this song is it’s simplicity.  Not only does it showcase the musical chops of Andy Hamilton and Nick, it also proves what Ian Little and Alex Sadkin are indeed capable of producing.  By far one of the best tracks off of this album, if not *the* best track.  second-to-last song, although I can see why it works there as well.  I really cannot think of a single thing that could have been done to make this song better, music like this is why I became a fan in the first place.

Cocktail Rating:  Five very well-deserved cocktails!

dca2a-5glasses

-R

I Know You’re Watching Me Every Minute of the Day

I haven’t blogged about Direct to Fan marketing lately since the band is still in the studio (quiet as can be)…but I ran across something today in my mail that intrigued me enough to throw it out here on the blog, just in case anyone is reading!

We all watch videos on YouTube. In this day and age, I don’t really see how one can escape YouTube – we go there to listen to songs, see clips from various shows and TV, and yes, even the occasional music video.  There’s a whole royalty payout system that goes on (or doesn’t go on, depending upon who you talk to), over there that I don’t really understand the full mechanics of – but in any case, it prompted a few folks to come up with a platform they call Audiam.  Ultimately, Audiam seeks to help artists receive royalties from YouTube, as well as introduce new methods for exposure.

One such way they want to increase exposure for bands is by having the band encourage fans to take their music and create their own videos.  The way it works is the band chooses one song and tells their fan base to make videos for it.  That seems, well…like something that has been done before, but what’s different is that this time, the fan gets paid.  *blinks* Wait a second, why on earth would a band want their fans to get paid for using THEIR music?!?  Good question.

Here’s the scenario: Duran Duran comes out with their new album. They want videos for their music – so maybe the band decides to do a video of one of their songs,  but there’s another song that they’d really love to use in order to gain more exposure.  So they announce that they want fans to create their own video to the song.  Granted, fans are going to get paid for these videos being viewed, but for the band – it’s about exposure.  Maybe 10 fans who wouldn’t normally use Duran’s music decide that they want to create a video.  They each upload that video and it gets viewed 1000 times. That’s 10,000 views the band didn’t have before, and if the band does it right, they can even have the fans direct viewers back to the original piece of music or another video of theirs from the fan-made video.  It’s about numbers, and it’s very similar to doing an ad-campaign.  For free.

The band has done a similar thing before when they did the Genero video contest for AYNIN, and TV Mania even allowed fans to create franchises and then submit videos and music in a contest.  (Hey, did that contest ever end?!) This is simply another version of the same sort of promotion, once again creating a sort of “We’re all in this together” feel.

While I’m not at all sure of the economic viability in such a platform – for the artists or the company itself, it does seem that more and more these days, fans are being put in the drivers seat as opposed to being the passive passenger…or purchaser.   There are still any number of annoying obstacles in the way for bands these days, as they stumble to figure out how to use many of these new platforms to benefit their bottom line and increase their exposure.  I don’t envy those who make their living trying to figure out the answer to getting paid (from streaming, YouTube, etc.) or learning how to maximize the possible benefits to social networking.  I see enough on SEO as it is – being told that we need links everywhere and so forth.  My personal opinion is that while all of this is fine and good, the personal connection has to be there. People are far more willing to go out of their way for people/bands they like and who they feel respect them in return. The ONE thing I learned in sales was that people buy from people that they know, like and trust. It is just not possible for one band to know every single one of their fans…but they can certainly put themselves out there to try once in a while.  It’s a good system for the people who are smart enough and sincere enough to put the time in to make it work.

-R

Out Of My TV

I didn’t watch the Grammy’s last night.  I realize that for most of you, this is probably not groundbreaking news. Maybe you stopped watching after Nick was there presenting an award in what…1986 or so?  For me, I was hardcore. I watched all of those cheesy damn award shows every single year, cringing through much of it, but insisting that I had to keep trying. I kept that up right through 2013, up until Miley did her deal at the VMA’s.  Something else happened that night though, something far less visible, far more subtle…and probably a lot less important to everyone in the world but me. I stopped caring.

There is a part of me that would like to kick myself this morning, because out of all the years to stop caring – this doesn’t seem like it should have been the year. I actually tolerate Macklemore…sort of. (for me, this is a miracle, as I am not a fan of Rap or Hip-Hop)  I really enjoy Daft Punk.  (Enjoy is probably not the right word – Nile is amazing and without him, they’d likely just be a gimmick. You can’t help but hear his wonderful influence all over that album, which is why I love it so.) I love Lorde – she reminds me a little bit of the teenager that lurked within (me) back in the 80s, and I think her music has integrity – something that tends to lack these days.  And, I did miss seeing Ringo and Paul onstage together – even though they didn’t perform a Beatles song, instead doing a song off of McCartney’s latest album.   That said, I’m glad I didn’t sit around to watch Madonna continue her attempt at keeping up with the “younguns” and staying cool – that ship sailed a few years ago, and now it’s just getting sad.  I didn’t need to see Beyoncé and Jay Z – quite frankly they bore the hell out of me, no matter what the rest of the world says.

The only question I’m really asking myself this morning is why I stopped caring. I’ve always loved music. Still do. I think though, I got tired of watching the dog and pony show. I miss the days when talent spoke louder than gimmick, when the music made the hair on the back of my neck stand up or when I’d get goosebumps from something I heard.  Maybe though, those days only existed in my head. I suppose gimmick has always played it’s part – but the question is whether or not gimmick outweighed the music or the message.  I find myself looking for the music that’s off-the-beaten-path nowadays. I’m much more apt to buy the music I can’t hear on the radio than I am to buy songs that I hear every time I get into the car. I like supporting the little-known, the obscure, the new.  There is absolutely nothing like the feeling when I hear music that speaks to me – the hair stands up on end, the goosebumps still wash over me, and I feel like I’m being taken on an escape.

So perhaps it isn’t that I’ve stopped caring, perhaps its just that right now I want more than the spectacle or the show.  I want something to savor, to contemplate.  It doesn’t have to always be that way. Sometimes fast food works, and other times, I want the well-thought out, slow-cooked gourmet.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt much if Duran Duran happened to hit an award show one of these days, either!

-R

This Life is Stranger than Fiction

There are certain “hallmark” dates to my year, and it’s probably not a big surprise that while none of them are birthdates of band members – the birthdates of my children tend to remind me of where I was, where I’m going, and how in the heck I ever got to this point.

Seventeen years ago today, I woke up knowing that yes, the time had arrived, and my oldest was about to be born.  I went through the entire day thinking her birthday would be the 22nd of January.  Of course, little did I know she had her own ideas, and she wasn’t coming out unless forced, which happened just after midnight on the 23rd of January.  Funny, she’s still notoriously late (and stubborn) to this very day…

I had no idea just how much my life would change that day.  I don’t think you really can know until you’ve become a parent. There just isn’t any way to explain that for the next “several” years (I’m still waiting), your needs no longer matter,  and you willingly put aside the things you want, need or desire in order to make sure that your children are cared for. I suppose that even if someone had really sat me down and explained the details to me, I don’t know if I’d ever believed them anyway.

I cannot remember a single piece of music from this time period. I highly doubt I even really listened to the radio, much less paid attention to what was charting and what wasn’t. Even before I was picking out baby cribs and layette pieces, I think I’d stopped thinking about what Simon and Nick were doing.  I didn’t know when/how John quit the band. I didn’t really take much notice.  That blows my mind now when I think about it.  I mean, here I am, writing a daily blog about the band, and yet there was a period of time – a pretty lengthy one if I’m being completely honest – where I really didn’t keep up much at all.  I didn’t own Thank You until recently (sometime after the year 2000 – time runs together now, you see!), and I can still remember the exact day that I bought Medazzaland back in late 1997.  I put it in the car stereo, listened to the beginnings of each song, and then calmly removed it, putting it back into its packaging and thinking that for me, the period of being a Duran Duran fan had ended.

Famous last words.

-R