Category Archives: New album

Durantime

Since the announcement of the South African tour dates, fans have been speculating about when exactly the new album will be released.  The press release said that these dates will begin a “global campaign” for the new album.  The common thinking is that the album will be released in early 2011.  This would make sense since that is what the band have been saying in interviews and also what was stated in the presale email from the official fan community.  Plus, this fits in the typical pattern for Duran. 

On every message board I go to, there are references to “Durantime”.  This is a term used to describe how Duran Duran takes an incredibly long time to release new material, no matter if that material is a new album or a new dvd or even a re-release of an old album.  Everything Duran is connected to seems to take a long time.  Of course, some of that time is because the band seems to seek perfection, which really could be a positive.  After all, fans, including myself, want quality products.  We don’t want things that look or feel rushed.  Most of us would prefer quality over quantity.  Right?  If that is true, then we must accept this concept of “Durantime” even if we do not like it.

Like most fans, I accept “Durantime” (since I have no other choice) and I will continue to complain about it.  At this point in time, though, I would LOVE the band to destroy this concept, at least a little bit, by releasing the album ahead of the common thinking.  Perhaps, this is just my desire to get my hands on the album sooner rather than later.  At the same time, I think it would be good for the band to be a little less predictable.  It would keep the fans on their toes and more engaged in the fandom.  After all, who can afford to turn away when something may happen at any time?! 

-A

Tour Dates in South Africa

Today, there was an official Duranie alert as the band announced tour dates in South Africa during December.  While I’m not anywhere near there, announcements like this get me all excited as they do for countless other Duranies!  People are thrilled with the news, even if they are unable to go, as it is clear that life in Duranland is about to pick up.  It seems we won’t have to wait long for official word about the album and tour! 

Fans have been discussing and analyzing both the announcement on duranduran.com and the email sent out about the presale from Duran Duran Music.  Two lines, in particular, from the official announcement have captured people’s focus.  The first line that grabbed people mentioned that this mini-tour is the beginning of a huge promotion campaign in regards of the upcoming release of their latest album.  There seems to be universal consensus among fans that this means that there will be a ton of tour dates to follow!  The only question seems to be when will those dates start and where exactly they will go.  Will they do more shows before 2011?  Around Christmas?  Will they do them in the U.S.?  Europe?  People’s minds are already guessing about when they will be coming close to them, geographically, and then plotting about how to get to those shows, myself included!  The other sentence that has captured people’s attention can be summarized by saying that the new album is going to be released shortly after these tour dates (December 8th-12th, by the way).  Does that mean that the album will be released this year or in the beginning of 2011 as they have been promising?  Time will tell but that certainly doesn’t stop the fans from speculating! 

No matter what specifically happens in terms of an album release date or tour dates, I love when alerts like this come out!  I get excited for what is coming and love that other fans do, too!!

-A

King of Nowhere

So there it is…the new album title.  The news broke yesterday via an MTV blog, seen here.  Overall, great news for Duranies who are chomping at the bit for new music.

That leaves me to ponder over the album title, just a bit.  Without hearing the whole album it’s a little difficult to ascertain the reasoning behind choosing this song as the album title.  (I believe at this point I’ve heard 3 snippets of songs, although don’t quote me on that because I am honestly not positive.   Hey, I’m a mom – I lose count!)  However, I do have some early ideas.

Ultimately, we know that the title comes from a song on the album – as if it were that easy.  I know a lot of Duranies that take everything the band does at complete face value and never bother to look a little deeper – but that’s not my nature, and I’m certainly not going to be doing that in my blog.  The fact is, the band rarely does things that should be taken completely at face value – just like Simon’s lyrics truly are RARELY just about sex.  Yes, I realize that’s the party line answer he’s come up for giving whenever someone asks him about his lyrics.  That’s just the point though – it’s his pat answer because as Simon has said, approximately half a million times in interviews at this point, he doesn’t explain his lyrics – they are up to the listener to decide what they mean to his or her own self.  Quite frankly, I’m still amazed when I go on message boards and someone will ask what such and such song is about – only to be told by another brilliant Duranie that it’s about sex, because that’s what Simon said in _______ interview many years back.  It makes me both sad for the person who asked the question because they are only getting about 1/5 of the truth (and probably a whole lot less depending upon the song!), and annoyed at the person who answered.

In my mind, the album title is extremely telling about the state of affairs after the band finished up promoting what I consider to be one of their weaker albums, Red Carpet Massacre.   I realize that not everyone is going to agree with that statement, but the fact is – it did not do well on ANY front.  Musically, the album truly lacked a sense of balance.  Lyrically, I felt as though the album was written much differently than any of their other work.  Simon has some beautiful lines throughout the album, but as a whole many of the song lyrics felt very rushed and not polished.  Definitely not up to the caliber that I know Simon is capable of writing.  Yes, it was to be a “dance” album of sorts, but the way it was recorded and mixed made it seem as though there were no live instruments used in the production.  It truly could have been Simon and a synthesizer/beat box in a recording booth somewhere, and it would have sounded very much the same.  That’s all fine and good, change is great, and experimentation is what has set Duran Duran apart from the droves over the years and I continue to champion and applaud that – with one exception:  this is very much meant to be a 5 piece effort, and it is a shame that Timbaland had absolutely no idea how to record the band as such.  He did them a sincere injustice, as did their label for allowing it to happen.   With that in mind, when the band went on tour to promote the album, I think they were all very much aware of the uphill battle they had in front of them to convince their fans that it was still Duran Duran, and not Timbaland, that mattered.  Truth be told, some fans seemed to love RCM, and while I don’t agree, I can see how they might enjoy the updated sound.

Imagine what Duran Duran was working through at the time and you may see where I am going with my assessment of the title.  They had just come back from supporting Astronaut, their first effort with the original 5 since SATRT (Seven and the Ragged Tiger).  While the album itself may have not had nearly as much success as Rio, SATRT or their first album – they were indeed filling very large venues on tour.  Amazing what a reunion tour will do.  I can see how they may have started to believe they were on top of the world again.  They even played Madison Square Garden in New York again – a fantastic feat for an 80’s band!  I know from everything I’ve read that they went back into the studio in earnest to do another album, and from all indications at the time, they seemed to feel that Reportage was going to be the album their fans wanted.  As we all know, that album that has not seen the light of day, and it was announced Andy Taylor left the band once again.  Try as they might, the band cannot really convince me that they didn’t feel SOME sort of let down when that happened. I know that as a fan, it knocked me for a loop even though I knew it was coming.  Then of course, we all know they worked with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake to write and record Red Carpet Massacre.

My assertion is that the band went from feeling on top of the world, to feeling very much on the bottom of it, and that’s where the title comes from.  King of Nowhere.  Some might say – “how can you say that, you haven’t even heard the song!”  That’s true, I haven’t.  Then again, Red Carpet Massacre and Astronaut weren’t album titles purely because of the content of the song.  They were titles because they captured an overall feeling at the time.  Again, it’s up to us as fans to decide what that means for ourselves.  I look forward to reading what other Duranies think!

-R

 

Should they tour now or later?

Last night, I saw a new “rumor” posted on the Duran Duran Message Board about Duran playing a show in South Africa in October.  Interestingly enough, there is also a thread on the fan community board about whether or not the band should tour now or after the new album has been released.  This thread includes a poll so that Duranies can indicate their preference.  Surprisingly, only about two-third of the Duranies who answered wanted them to tour now.  I don’t think this would have been the case a few years ago.  2006 is a good example.  It was right after an extremely heavy touring year and in between albums.  People were excited to go see them at any of the dates during the fall of that year, even though no new music would be played.  What is different now?  Perhaps, the fans burned themselves out by all of the shows they went to.  Maybe, they are interested in other bands.  Their lives might be filled with other things right now.  Maybe they really do just want new music as they are sick of the setlist always being the same.  Obviously, there can be a variety of reasons for people to not jump at the chance of shows right now.

The Duranies who indicated that they wanted shows now, new music or not, often expressed what was experienced earlier in the week on this blog.  There is something special about a Duran show, especially when the band is “on”.  For the authors of this blog, good Duran shows provide a high like no other.  The shows can provide two hours of non-stop singing, screaming, dancing, laughing and, if you are really lucky, a moment or two of interaction with a band member or two.  Of course, I have often said that Duran shows are like 3 shows in one (preshow meeting, show itself and post show fun with your close friends).  Shows give us a chance to meet other fans or see people we haven’t seen in a long time, which usually happens in a preshow get together or dinner.  After the show, while on the high, we find fun wherever we can.  ;D  The whole experience can be summed by a quote from the song Astronaut, “There is nothing gonna ace this.” 

I would love to see Duran play a show or two in South Africa.  I realize that I would not be able to attend those shows as they are too far away but they would give me hope that they would be coming closer to me before too long, new music or not!

-A

Careless Memories

Last night, a couple friends of ours were watching old Duran footage and posting about it on facebook.  They watched As the Lights Go Down, which is basically a concert from 1984 with some weird imagery thrown in for good measure, and videos, including the fan favorite of New Moon on Monday.  I have to admit in being jealous in not being there with them.  Of course, I have my own copies that I could watch everyday.  I don’t because it isn’t the same as watching Duran with other Duranies.  When Duranies watch together, we are allowed to *squee* at the same shots, laugh at the silly Simon dance moves, make fun of the cheesy “special effects” and comment about why the stuff was and still is so great. 

Thinking about these videos bring me back to happier times.  I think about when that footage was fresh (1984) and what it was like to watch them for the first time.  I remember how I could not get enough and watched as much as I could over and over and over again, thanks to the magic of the VCR or of the constant reairing on MTV or Friday Night Videos.  I am also reminded of the reunion in the earlier years of this decade when Duranies came out of their Duranie closets to once again admit that they love this British band.  At that time, old footage was played and replayed as we were all excited to find others who loved as we loved.  It built up our excitement about what the new album with all five members was going to sound like or how the next tour would be.  I think all of us, whether we admitted it or not, felt that we had the chance to experience 1984 not as the children or teens that we were but as the adults that we are now.  This meant that we could follow the band to as many shows as possible within our means and have a very good time while doing it.  Now, life in the fan community isn’t as rosy or as positive.  We have come back to reality, somewhat, as we have witnessed Andy leave again and an album that left many Duranies wondering. 

As we sit and wait for the next album and tour, I cannot help but to hope for a little bit of that 1984 or 2004 magic.  I wish for excitement and positive energy.  I long for moments of *squeeing* at the band members and feeling like I was part of something with a bright future.

-A

Our background and logo!

We are very fortunate to have access to a fabulous artist, my mother, who has created both our background image and our logo.  Lucky for me, she has always been someone who has supported my love of Duran Duran.  I have even caught her singing along at times!  I think she, especially, appreciates the song, “Notorious.”  🙂

When I gave her the task of creating our images, she was dubious.  She did not think that she would be able to capture what we hoped.  Yet, as always, she has not only met my expectations but exceeded them.  When I explained what we were looking for, the idea was completely influenced by Duran and things that have and will always remind us of them.  I wonder if other Duranies will be able to see what we see by our artwork.  I wonder if Duran Duran would be able to!  I suspect that they would, at the very least, appreciate it.

One thing I have always admired about the band was their connection to art with Nick and his photography and John with his graphic arts.  They have not only been friends with artists like Andy Warhol, personally, but have sought out ways to support artists and to include art in their work.  While I, like most Duranies, get frustrated by the time it takes for Duran to actually produce something (cd, documentary film, t-shirt logos, etc.), I am confident that they have taken PLENTY of time (and more!) to make sure that the product looks good, visually!  For example, while many in the Duran community did not necessarily like the album, Red Carpet Massacre, musically, I did not hear anyone complain about the package.  Of course, the solid packaging also helps to sell their products.  I know many people, myself included, bought Red Carpet Massacre on vinyl simply because of the cool look to it.  The actual vinyl was red!  How cool is that?!  That said, I’m fully expecting this upcoming album to be at least as visually stunning as the last album and the album before that and the album before that…
-A

Is Anybody HUNGRY?

I think I’ve possibly sunk to a new low in using a line from my least favorite Duran Duran song ever as a title.

That said, my point in using that line was to bring up touring, or in this case – a lack thereof!!  Yesterday it was announced by duranduran.com that they are going to be doing two UK dates with Mark Ronson, the producer of their next album which is still being mixed at the time of this writing.  After cursing briefly, I thought about how long it had been since I last saw them.  You would think it had been 12 years based on how much I’ve complained recently, but the truth is – I last saw them in July of 2009.  Yes, that was just last year, and yes, I DO realize that I could probably get therapy for this affliction that I seem to have.

The truth of the matter is, touring is like my drug.  I’m completely addicted to it as long as the music is good and the crowds are supportive.  I’ve been to shows where the crickets in the building have been louder than the audience on hand, and those shows can take the wind out of you like nothing else.  I’ve also been to shows where the audience has been so wicked crazy for more that the pure rush I get out of just standing there almost brings me to tears at the end of the night when the band leaves the stage.  I walk out of the venue with enough energy to keep me going the rest of the night into the following morning – which I HAVE done before – and I’m ready for more the next night.  It’s those shows that keep me coming back for more.  It’s a high like none other that I’ve ever experienced, and I’m happy to say that it is a Duran Duran show where I’ve had that high the most often.  The interesting part of this whole equation is that it is absolutely not every single Duran Duran show where I get that incredible rush or high.  I’ve walked out of some Duran Duran shows almost completely deflated, and some others – I’ve just felt “eh”.  So, that makes the chase even more interesting, and even more so like an addiction.  When you first take a narcotic for the first time, regardless of what it is – it takes very little to make its effect known, and typically the high is so great, that every single time an addict chooses to take drugs again and go after that high – they are truly chasing after the same high they experienced the very first time they took the drug. It may take more of that drug to create the same experience, and it’s likely even more frustrating when the high isn’t as intense.  For me, this silly band provides the exact same experience. So, when it’s been over a year without a decent show in sight – keeping in mind that I have been to a couple good concerts since my last Duran Duran show – asking if anyone is a little hungry almost seems like a tease!

Today I ventured over to the fan community to see the boards and read what’s been going on, and it appears that I’m not the only one chomping at the bit for a Duran Duran show.  There are more than a few that would love even ONE show to go to, and naturally – most of us are here in the good old US of A, where the band is NOT doing shows with Mark Ronson.  Of course, I don’t think anyone really faults the band for playing the UK and we certainly don’t blame the UK fans for being excited – they should be!  I just think we want our turn.  Over, and over and over again like the truly addicted folks we are.

Following up to Rio

On one of the boards I am a member of, there has been some discussion lately about the album that Duran Duran is currently working on with Mark Ronson.  Many things have been covered, but one sticking point that seems to keep popping up is that the album has been billed by Ronson himself as “The follow up to Rio”.  To be fair, the band hasn’t downplayed the comment, but I don’t think they’ve discounted it either.

The funny thing about that comment is not so much that I personally believe it to be relatively impossible, but that the entire Duranie community is up in arms over the idea.  I can just imagine what the band must be thinking as they peruse the internet… (and yes, I’m assuming they actually have the time and interest to see what we’re talking about.  Hey – it’s my blog today, my fantasy – just deal with it!)  they probably figured that by having Mark Ronson say at every possible moment that the album is a follow up to Rio that fans would automatically flock in anticipation.  What they are forgetting though, is that we’re DURANIES.  We (as a community) don’t react the way most people might think, and let’s be honest, I’m not sure that there is anything the band could possibly announce or do that would make all of us happy.  Even the very thought of the reunion of all 5 original members was met with scrutiny by some.  Rather than being excited by the possibility of the new album, especially after the outcry by many within the community to return to their roots, Duranies are completely pissed that Ronson would dare utter such words….and CONTINUE to utter them at every possible opportunity.

Why is that?  Collectively, why are we so resistant to the idea of following up Rio?   I have a few ideas:

1. To many within the community, Rio is the end-all.  It is the album that encompasses the band as a whole.  Image-wise, Rio is what many picture when they think of Duran Duran.  Yachts, champagne, Anthony Price suits….and possibly the picture of John throwing Andy off of the yacht.  😉   If in fact you buy into the idea that Rio was the pinnacle of Duran Duran’s career, nothing could possibly be on the same pedestal of this album.

2. Are they setting themselves up for certain failure by even saying it’s the follow up?  Let’s face it – most albums are created during a moment in time (even if it takes years for the album itself to be completed).  How can a band recreate that moment enough to even explore taking the album one step further to create a sequel?  It’s not likely to happen.   The band line-up isn’t even the same, and even IF you’re not a big Andy fan at this point, I don’t know many Duranies that would argue with the fact that it took all 5 of them to create the beauty that we know to be Rio.  That’s not the case this time around.  It seems incredibly ballsy to simply announce that it’s the follow up to Rio just because it leaves everyone in the community with a certain idea in their head as to what that might sound like.  A lofty goal, indeed.

3. If in fact this album IS the follow-up to Rio, what is all of that between Rio and this album?  A huge detour??  Some of the bands finest work can be found during that in between period, and you don’t even have to be a Duranie to recognize them.  To name a few obvious choices: Notorious, Ordinary World, and Come Undone…and to name a few more of my own personal favorites: Secret Oktober, Fallen Angel, Serious, Finest Hour, Land, Too Late Marlene, Virus, and even Red Carpet Massacre.   In this authors opinion, any and ALL of those songs are indeed follow ups to Rio.  Why?  Each one of those songs came later in their career, and by that definition – they all did in fact follow up to Rio!  Why wouldn’t the band continue to evolve musically from Rio?  Even if the music evolved in a direction that some of us didn’t always enjoy – they didn’t play it safe and stick to the same formula for each album, and I dare assert that there would be even less fans left if they had.

Lastly, Duranies have gotten quite tired of the way the band chooses certain talking points for each album.  Red Carpet Massacre included much about Timbaland and that the album was a dance album.  I myself got to the point where I could recite Nick’s “speech” whenever he was interviewed about what RCM was going to sound like.  The trouble, from what I’ve noticed, is that very few Duranies are really listening to the “spin” the band tends to give each album.  Even I come away from most interviews and album updates rolling my eyes.  I suppose it’s really unfair to the band in some respects because we’re dying (no really, we are at this point) for information about the album – but yet when they try to tell us, I think most people are sick of being fed the party line.  If Nick asked me what *I* want to hear – I’d tell them that I want each of them to look me in the eye (the camera) and tell the truth.  How is THIS album different? What does it feel like when they play the songs?  How excited are they (or aren’t they) to play it for us?  Did they have a rough time creating the songs, lyrics, etc.

Mostly, what I think Duran Duran needs to realize, is that they aren’t dealing with 12 year old girls (and guys) anymore.  We’re all at least nearing 40 by now (well, the large majority of us anyway), and musically speaking, we’re not an uneducated lot.  The “party line” isn’t going to work for us because we’re not going to buy it.  Why?  Well, I think at 12, we all were more than ready to accept the fantasy.  We all wanted to live like Rio, didn’t we?  Now at 40-something, we’ve had quite a life already.  We get that it’s not all sunshine and roses, and I think we all know the band is aging.  We can pretend it’s not happening, but what good is that really doing anyone?  Sit down and TALK to us about the band, about the album, about trying to find a label again, and why they aren’t ready to give up yet.  If the band just did that – no holds barred – I think that after we all picked ourselves up off of the floor, they might just find that there’s even more of us coming back to listen and support.