Category Archives: Pop Trash

Today in Duran History – Pop Trash

On this date in 2000, the album, Pop Trash, was released in the United States.  14 years ago!!!  Pop Trash is an album that is not frequently talked about within the fan community.  Why do you think that is?  Fans don’t think the songs are worthy?  They didn’t like the album as a whole?  Perhaps, people didn’t like the line-up at the time (Simon, Nick and Warren)?  Yet, as soon as I type this, I am certain that we will receive comments from fans who absolutely love Pop Trash.  I’m curious to hear why they love it and also why they think it is an album that is often dismissed within the fan community.

No matter the level of popularity of the album, I thought it might be fun to take another look at the album for it’s anniversary.

Pop Trash

The track listing for the album was as follows:

 

  • “Someone Else Not Me”
  • “Lava Lamp”
  • “Playing with Uranium”
  • “Hallucinating Elvis”
  • “Starting to Remember”
  • “Pop Trash Movie”
  • “Fragment”
  • “Mars Meets Venus”
  • “Lady Xanax”
  • “The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever”
  • “Kiss Goodbye”
  • “Last Day on Earth”

There were a few bonus tracks as well for some international releases, including the song, “Someone Else Not Me” in both French and Spanish and a song called “Prototypes”.  The album featured one single, universally, “Someone Else Not Me”, which peaked at number 53 in the UK but did not chart in the US.  Japan saw an additional single in “Last Day on Earth” and “Playing with Uranium” was supposed to be a single in Italy, according to the album’s wikipedia page.  There was a video made for “Someone Else Not Me”, which was significant in that it was the first made entirely with flash animation.

Some other fun facts include:

-Released on Hollywood Records

-It was the only Duran album that John Taylor was not involved at all in the writing and recording process

-Produced by TV Mania in association with Syn Productions

-Pop Trash Movie was originally written by Nick and Warren and recorded first by Blondie

On this day, on this anniversary, I invite all of you to put the album on for, perhaps, the first time or for the one millionth time then tell us what you think about it.  Happy Anniversary Pop Trash!

-A

 

 

How Many Shows of the Up Close and Personal Tour (February 27, 2001 — June 22, 2001) Did You See?

This is the next part of my continuing series about Duran Duran tours and fans’ participation in them.  We are moving backwards in time and are now asking about the 2001 Up Close and Personal Tour, which lasted from February to June of 2001.  It was the second tour after the release of Pop Trash.  To see the official list of dates, go to the complete tour list on dd.com here.

If you haven’t participated in the previous polls, click on the following titles to do so.  The more people who participate, the more we find out about Duran fans.

Reunion Tour

Astronaut Tour

Red Carpet Massacre Tour

All You Need Is Now Tour

How Old Were You the First Time You Saw Duran Live

Which Was Your First Duran Tour

-A

Today in Duran History – Atlanta 2001

On this day in 2001, Duran Duran played at the House of Blues at Center Stage in Atlanta.  This was one of the five shows that Duran Duran played there in a row.  Once again, I can’t help but to say that this sounds like a fan’s dream.  Who wouldn’t love to go see them five nights in a row without having to travel?!?  Probably, the only thing that I would change is the venue.  It isn’t that I don’t like the House of Blues.  It is more about general admission (GA).  I am definitely not a fan of that.  I don’t like having to worry about when to line up, fighting for personal space once you are in the venue, not being able to leave to go to the bathroom without losing your spot, etc.  While GA is not as bad as a festival show, it isn’t much better, in my world!

On a related note, I have been thinking a lot about Duran Duran concerts.  I’m sure that it is a sign of me missing them a great deal as well as me needing a big distraction.  Anyway, yesterday, I asked the question about when people first saw Duran Duran live.  I will look at the answers I got and discuss those in a blog, at some point.  Then, I will ask how old people were at their first show.  Lastly, a couple of weeks ago, one of our favorite readers and guest bloggers mentioned how varied the set lists were during this 2001 Pop Trash tour.  It made me wonder.  Is he right?  How many different songs were on those set lists?  How many different songs have been on set lists for other tours?  I will try to find that information as well.  I suspect all of these future blogs will show a lot about Duran fans and about Duran shows.  I look forward to them all.

-A

Today in Duran History – Orlando 2001

On this day in 2001, Duran Duran played at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida.  During this tour, the band often played at the House of Blues in whatever city they were touring.  What else is interesting about this tour is that they would often play in the same city, same venue two or three nights in a row.  For example, they played the House of Blues in Orlando on March 9th and March 10th.  Later, they moved to play another House of Blues in Atlanta on March 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.  In this sense, they played almost a small residency in each city.

While I did not see the band during this tour, I have to admit that this type of touring really appeals to me and would have some definite advantages for the band.  As someone who likes to see multiple shows on any tour, I would love to be able to pick a place to travel to, stay there long enough to actually see the sites and go to many shows.  Throughout my years as a Duranie, I have been to a few places that I feel like I have barely been to because I was only there for one day.  For example, during the winter 2008 tour, I was in Atlantic City less than 24 hours as I had a show in a different place the day before and the day after.  I would have liked to have been there longer but I wasn’t missing a show!!  I would also imagine that they might be good for the band as they wouldn’t have to travel as much or as frequently.  That would have to make touring easier and less exhausting.  Of course, on the down side, they might not hit as many cities, which could be tough on those fans who cannot travel.

What do you think?  Which is the better way for them to tour?  Multiple cities every week or mini residency in one city?

-A

Today in Duran History – Last Day on Earth

On this date in 2000, Last Day on Earth was released as a single in Japan.  As far as I know, it was only released as a single there and marked only the second single off the Pop Trash album with Someone Else Not Me being the first.  I wonder why they decided to release this song only in Japan.  Anyone know?  As for the song itself, it is a track off Pop Trash that I do enjoy and really seems to fit the Duran philosophy of living in the moment since this song asks what you would do if this was the last day left.  It is all about the idea of seizing the moment and living one’s life fully each and everyday.  The same philosophy  was more recently heard in the song, All You Need Is Now.

Like All You Need Is Now, it is a song that often opened up the band’s shows on the Pop Trash tour.  Here is a live clip of it here:

This particular clip was recorded at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.

What does everyone think of this song?  What do you think of this live performance?

-A

To be a fly on the wall…

I have to admit that there are times when I really do wish I were a fly on the wall.

My Daily Duranie partner-in-crime posed a question today on Facebook and Twitter about what moment in the band’s career did fans think was the most challenging. There were many different answers given, from when Roger & Andy left the first time up until Simon losing his voice last year. Some felt that the worst time was when they wrote Red Carpet Massacre, others felt it was during and after the Pop Trash album and just prior to the reunion. Still others felt it was when Andy left the second time before the Sears Center Show in Chicago, 2006.

The beauty of this question is that none of us really know the answer, and I think that at least in part, if we asked the band this question, the answer would most certainly change depending on whom and when we ask.

The ambiguity is at least partially derived from the point of view of the person answering. For example, what I feel might have been the band’s most challenging moments may not be the same answer for what the band itself might feel was the most challenging moment. Our perception as fans is likely to be far, far different from what really took place. A fantastic example of this is when Andy Taylor left the band after the reunion in 2006. So many fans took the news as almost certain death to the band, and yet whenever I read interviews from the band about that period of time, I never get the feeling that it was quite as pivotal of a moment. They just continued on. Naturally, I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, and I know as well as anyone else that the band is going to always put their best foot forward during an interview, so we might never know the truth of the situation, we only know what our perception allows.

That’s why sometimes, I really wish I were a fly on the wall. I don’t have the faintest idea what the band would consider to be their most challenging moment, but I’d love to find out!

People have commented that we don’t typically answer our own questions. This is true, although I do give my own answer through my personal Facebook account from time to time. After giving the topic some thought, I feel as though the most challenging period for the band might have been during the Pop Trash album, up until just prior to the reunion. I say that because as I recall, Simon had a lot of trouble with the writing on Pop Trash. Based on some articles I’ve read and interviews I’ve seen, the band seemed pretty fragmented, and I dare say that they were hanging on by threads. I really feel as though if the reunion had not happened, that might have been the end for Duran Duran. Good thing that didn’t happen!

So I leave you with another question – what was your OWN most challenging moment as a fan? This one is a toughie for me personally. I could pick moments like when I simply stopped paying attention, like during and after college. I could easily say it was when Red Carpet Massacre was released. I felt personally affronted by the complete lack of heart and soul the album had.  I felt as though the band was giving their fans the big “F” you – they didn’t want their long time fans at all, they were after younger ones and we just didn’t matter anymore. I swear I could have gone to therapy after that album came out…but no, even that wasn’t as difficult as last May for me.

I wish I could be more noble and say it was also during Pop Trash. It sounds so much smarter, academic and way less fangirl-like to say that I could hear the fragmentation in the music and it pained me to see the band unraveling like that. Troubling as it may seem, I didn’t even notice. I just knew it wasn’t quite their best work and it felt very forced overall.  The truth is, out of all of my years as a Duran fan – it was last May through until I saw the band in Valley Center that proved to be my most challenging time as a fan. Going to the UK last year and being completely denied shows was the biggest slap in the fact I’ve ever had as a fan. I still think back on that time and I’m shocked it all happened. I mean, how do you plan something like that for months on end and come out the other side with nothing? The best part of course was that even though Amanda and I were completely devastated on the inside, we didn’t dare lash out on the blog, as much as we might have liked to do so at least at first. We had to keep the brave face and dig deep to find empathy. Then we were outside the rehearsal studio the day that Simon had to come to terms with the rest of the band as to just how severe this voice-loss really was, I have never seen the band look so ashen-faced in my life. That was truly gut-wrenching. I felt like I was watching the funeral of the band at that point, which was why you never once saw a cross word from us on the blog. I still have friends that feel like they have post-tramautic stress from that trip. My own therapy came when I saw them play live in Valley Center, and I’ll never ever forget the first 90 seconds of the show when I couldn’t even look at Simon. I really couldn’t. I don’t do the whole crying thing, and I’m so stubborn that there was NO way I was going to lose it in front of the band.  No way. When I finally did get the nerve to look up, it was Dom that winked at me – and I’m  sure he had no idea what was going on with me, but in that second, I finally felt like we might all survive fairly unscathed. How’s that for some fangirl moments?!?

An early Good Friday and Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and to everyone else, I hope you have a fantastic spring weekend. On a very personal note, my 17th wedding anniversary is on Sunday – yes, the timing is kind of funny this year. I don’t really know what to say about that except that with each year, I’m more and more shocked. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m surprised we’ve lasted so long, or that we’re really old enough to have been married that long. Then I look at the three kids we have and realize that we really are that old. Smacked in the face by reality once again! *gasp* Speaking of children, I’m very excited to welcome home my oldest tomorrow morning. She went to go visit my sister in Chicago for the week. She visited a couple universities that she’s interested in applying (I’m really hoping she ends up going to college out there so that it’s another tally in the column of “reasons we should move back to the midwest”), and spent the week checking out where she spent the first 8 months of her life. It was her first flight without us and a big trip alone. I can’t wait to have her home. It’s amazing how quiet our house has become…

-R

What Makes Duran?!

This past week as part of the Would You Rather daily game I asked people which era they would like to return to and why.  I avoided giving too many parameters in order to allow people to pick one era over the other for whatever reason(s).  In fact, I would be curious to see those reasons when given.  Some obviously picked an era for what was taking place in their own personal lives.  Others chose era that meant something to them as fans.  Still others picked due to the music.  I was expecting these types of reasons.  Yesterday’s question had to do with Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  This was a similar question to one posed earlier about which album people preferred and they had the same choices.  In both situations, I ran across a similar answer that went something like this:  “I don’t know.  I don’t have those albums or I haven’t heard those albums.”  So, what’s the deal with the Medazzaland and Pop Trash eras that warrant this response? 

On one hand, these responses make sense.  Neither Medazzaland nor Pop Trash were very popular eras for the band.  In fact, these albums weren’t released in as many countries and the number of copies were quite small.  Duranland was not a very popular place then.  On top of the lack of sales, small production numbers, and loss of general popularity, many of us were at busy points in our lives.  Most of the original Duranies are now mid-30s to mid-40s.  The late 90s were a time that many of us were busy starting careers, starting families or both.  Personally, I was graduating college, starting my career and beginning graduate school.  I didn’t have the time or the money to follow any fandom.  Thus, there are many reasons why people weren’t paying attention to Duran from 1997-2001.  We were busy and they weren’t very popular.  Yet, like many people, I went back and got those albums after the fact.  Many people obviously have not.  Why not?  Even if they couldn’t buy them in stores, in this day and age, most songs are readily available to purchase through online providers like iTunes or are readily available to listen to on sites like youtube.  So, if the music is available, why is there still a percentage of fans who don’t seek out the music from that era?

From 1997-2001, Duran Duran was at a strange point in their careers.  1997 saw the last of the three Taylors leave when John left the band early that year.  This left Simon, Nick and Warren.  In terms of writing, from everything I have heard and read, Simon wasn’t doing super well with writing lyrics and many songs were written by only Nick and Warren.  I have also heard and seen interviews in which Simon talks about how badly he missed John and how he felt like the life of the band was fading away.  Is this what the fans saw?  Is this what the fans felt?  Could they feel this shift in writing?  Could they feel Simon’s unhappiness?  Or was it something personal?  Did the band no longer look and feel like Duran Duran? 

It seems to me that there have been many discussions within Duranland about whether or not Duran Duran could continue without one of the band members.  In this past year, many fans have come to the conclusion that Duran wouldn’t be Duran without Simon since he is the voice of the band.  This, of course, was reinforced by the band’s forced cancellation of shows when Simon injured his vocal cords.  The shows could not and did not continue without Simon.  Then, of course, the band was forced to cancel dates in 2008 when Nick was stuck somewhere in Latin America trying to recover from an ear infection.  Even 2005 saw the cancellation of some dates when Roger broke his foot.  Does that indicate that those members are essential?  I don’t know.  The band managed to continue for quite some time with Roger and, even, John.  On the other side of the coin, they did put Dom in whenever Andy was unavailable.  It seems to me that the fanbase never questions if the Notorious era was Duran Duran.  There is also little question about whether or not the Wedding Album was Duran Duran.  While people might say that Medazzaland and Pop Trash were Duran, actions say otherwise.  Was the loss of John Taylor too much?  Did that tip the balance over to it no longer being and feeling like Duran?  Was John then more essential than Roger or Andy?  Is Roger now essential?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  It just seems to me that many people did not feel like it was real Duran Duran during 1997-2001.  The reason could be that the band wasn’t the band without John Taylor.  He could be the big factor.  The other factor could be that writing piece.

Do Medazzaland and Pop Trash sound and feel like Duran Duran?  Obviously, every fan is going to have a different answer to that.  Some might say that they do.  Others might say that they don’t, at all.  Some might say that some songs do and some don’t.  No matter the answer, I think most of us can acknowledge that things were different now that the writing was frequently done with just Nick and Warren.  I know that I really liked the tug of war that seemed to take place between Nick, on one side, and Andy, on the other.  This musical tension often resulted in really amazing music.  This musical tension wasn’t the same after the Fab 5 split in the 1980s yet there were many great songs that came out from 1986-1997.    Yet, to many fans, Medazzaland is still very different from the Wedding Album.  Did John help to create some of that musical tension?  I don’t know.  It just seems to many fans that something was lost, musically, when John left. 

So, let’s take an informal survey.  Did you get Medazzaland and Pop Trash when they came out?  Why or why not?  Did you get them or hear them years later?  Why or why not?  Did these albums sound and feel like Duran to you?  Maybe after getting feedback from all of you I would know what the deal is with those two albums and I would know what really is needed to make Duran Duran…Duran Duran.

-A