Category Archives: Record labels

Duran Duran History – Capitol Records

Duran Duran history for January 26 reminds us that much of the time – we get rumors and “possible” news from many other sources than just the band. On this date in 1998, Billboard runs a story that claims Duran Duran will be leaving Capitol records, but of course (and I’ll bet you can guess the ending to this little tale…) the report is unconfirmed by either party.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m looking forward to some rumors about CONCERT DATES…especially since the band has been particularly stingy with not sharing even the slightest of snippets from their new album…at this point I’d be delighted to mull over the possibilities of tour dates, maybe the name of the artist who is working on the cover…perhaps even some new band photos…I’ll take anything!! (But I’m not desperate, you see…)


When the hanging dust is clearing from the air…

I wouldn’t be doing my job as conscientious observer and fan of Duran Duran if I didn’t mention that Parlophone Records was sold off to Warner Music for a paltry $744 million dollars in a deal that was made public late last week.

Let’s see if I can connect the dots here: Parlophone was owned by EMI, which was forced to sell off some of its assets after it was acquired by Universal. EMI, as all good Duranies should know, owns…or rather owned Duran Duran’s early catalog. Early as in: you know all of those remasters that came out in the past several years? Parlophone Label Group, for those who are sticking with me here – is where that early Duran Duran catalog resided within the EMI family.  Well, resided…until last week. Did I lose anybody yet?

Interestingly enough, the deal with Warner beat out similar offerings by Simon Fuller (the founder of American Idol) and Chris Blackwell, who is the founder of Island Records. This means that the Duran Duran catalog – the music you and I know and love – is now owned by Warner.

I’m still trying to decide just how not-excited I am by this news. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being excited…where am I??

For one, I’m very sad about EMI. They were really the only label in the entire world that was at one time smart enough to sign The Beatles. I’m not the only blogger saying that of course, but facts are facts and I’m a big Beatles fan. Once upon a time, none other than Decca Records rejected The Beatles, saying they didn’t think they’d be relevant. That is an excellent example of the brilliance behind record labels at work right there. I know that in more recent years EMI lacked the brilliance they once had…but I suppose my sadness has more to do with wistful nostalgia than anything else. I just want to know who is going to sign the good music, and I think that based on the past several years, it’s a fair question to ask.

I know Warner pretty well from some limited, yet lasting impressions they made upon me back during the days I was working with Clear Static. Let’s just say I had some experience with the masterminds running that operation, and the experience was far less than mind blowing at the time. I have to be honest though, I highly doubt they are any different than any other label in this moment. No one knows how to make the industry work, and until these labels figure out that attempting to force-feed the public doesn’t really work – especially now that the entire world is at our fingertips, I don’t anticipate the process really changing; nor do I expect that sales will somehow grow and prosper. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto…but the Wizard still thinks he knows how to fool us all. Sadly.

So the questions I have are both complex and simple: What will happen to Duran Duran?  We know where their catalog will live, but how will any of that affect current or future operations for the band? If you listened to the January Katy Kafe, you know that at least one member of the band – that would be John Taylor – wants to be back signed with a label, and he did mention that he’d like to be with the same label as most of their catalog. I can understand that business reasons for wanting everything in one place. Even if you have no experience in the music industry at all – just the very idea that everything is housed in one location should make sense, right? The only problem is that yes, it’s Warner Music. How much faith will they have in the band if they sign them, and how much homogenizing will they insist upon the band for their future albums?

I really believe the only people who can truly answer my questions is the band. Will they really be signed by Warner? Will they really give up their own free will in order to do a lot less work (that we fans probably never see or realize) to get the album promoted and sold?  Would Warner really do that much better of a job promoting – and is that really going to make a difference?

For me personally, it comes down to the music. I want to see the band be supported and encouraged to own the space that is rightfully theirs as opposed to forcing a square peg in a round hole. If a label…ANY label…can do that, I’m all for whatever the band desires. The question of ability and desire remains unanswered, at least for now.


I Miss My MTV

I’ve just started reading another book – I Want My MTV by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum.  I’ve had it on my iPad to read for a while now, and I’m finally just getting to it.  It’s one of those books that I felt like I needed to be in the right frame of mind to read, primarily because MTV completely shaped my teenage years, and like a lot of the MTV generation – I’m completely PISSED that it’s gone to hell in a handbasket.  I’m not just nostalgic, I’m annoyed that it’s been watered down and ruined.

Not sure if anyone has noticed yet because it might be difficult to tell, (that’s sarcasm right there) but I’m pretty damn opinionated.  🙂  In particular, I have strong opinions on the music industry.  It’s frustrating to be a fan (and not just of Duran Duran, but of music in general) and see what has happened since the 1980’s. It’s not just about the labels failing, or about the fact that radio plays crappy music 24 hours a day, or even about the lack of record sales….it’s not just about any one specific thing.  It’s the whole lot!  The way I see it, all of those things, plus a plethora of others that I don’t dare even get into for fear I’ll end up writing an entire book in one blog post, fell down like dominoes. One on top of the other, and the real pisser being that each thing: sales, radio, labels, etc. all depend to some degree on one another to make it all work.  (work WELL, that is)  I could write volumes and volumes just from the fan perspective.

So, while reading this book, and I’m only up to about chapter 4 at this point, I find myself highlighting and making a LOT of notes that may or may not end up in my own book or my own blog some day.  I’d really love to write something about how MTV changed me as a person, and make no mistake, it did.  I used to be fairly obedient and boring before August 1, 1981 came along!  The one item I come back to, over and over again (aside from the chapter on Girls on Film, because it’s still funny to read about those guys falling all over themselves while making the video)…is that MTV woke up a sleepy recording industry.

I had to think about that for a long while yesterday.  In August of 1981 I was 10 years old…I didn’t turn 11 until November, but I was going into junior high school that year.  (we started junior high in 6th grade)  I have very few memories of music before MTV.  If that’s not dating myself, I just don’t know!  I can remember The Beach Boys being played in my house quite often (hence my name: Rhonda), Elvis was my parents favorite (thank god they went with Rhonda…), and as for me – I seem to recall Shaun Cassidy, a bunch of Disney records, and Rick Springfield before Duran Duran came along.  Oh, I also remember the year I received a clock radio alarm for Christmas.  It seemed like every single morning “My Sharona” by the Knack was being played as my alarm went off.  I still jump up in some sort of sick Pavlovian response when I hear the familiar chords.  My point being of course that I didn’t realize the music industry was really failing much at the time – but at 10, who pays that much attention?  All I do remember is that at some point on or around August 1st of that year, I found MTV.

According to the book, “MTV did a lot for record labels, helping to revive a slumping industry, but it was bands who benefitted most.” (page 17)  I wouldn’t dare argue against that, especially since as part of their audience, MTV introduced me to bands that I would have never heard of otherwise, particularly the more obscure British artists that I grew accustomed to love during the first few years of MTV’s existence.  In a lot of ways, I really feel that this is where the beginning of radio’s real failing.  While those radio guys were busily playing Top 40, MTV dared to break beyond those boundaries – whether by design or by fault – giving this not-yet-a-teenager much more to think about than Michael Jackson, The Police, or Madonna. My eyes became increasingly widened to just how much talent there was in the world, and I soaked it up like a water-starved sponge.

In turn, I bought records.  Oh boy did I buy records.  My garage plays constant witness to the buying that I did back in the 80’s, and that I’m still doing now as a blatant attempt to own “all the vinyl in the world”.  (Ok, it’s an exaggeration…but one entire wall from top to bottom in our garage is covered with shelves of vinyl….and not all the buying was done by me!)  So yes, I really do believe that MTV helped both label and band.

I stopped watching MTV with any kind of regularity the year I started college.  That was in Fall of 1988 for those of you counting. (I stopped.  It’s too depressing.)  I know we had cable in my dorm at Cal State Fullerton, but I was too busy….studying (in case my mom is reading)….or socializing (the reality) to watch much.  By that time, my favorites had started to fade, and by 1992, MTV had changed significantly.  No more was it videos 24/7…there was a new show in town called The Real World, which was trashy at best to begin with and sunk deeper into dumpsville as time wore on.  I gave up on MTV completely after that, and my own “golden era” had ended.

What I do wonder, sometimes aloud when I’m busily talking to myself (no one else really listens and my youngest doesn’t know much music beyond Duran Duran….she’s a huge fan at 3 and a half!), is just how much different the industry would be today if MTV had stayed their course.  It wasn’t just The Real World that changed things though.  I think the real changes came almost immediately with MTV, as they do with nearly anything.  Lets be honest, the goal of MTV was always to make money.  It’s a business, it’s what is done, and we should recognize that up front.  MTV desperately needed to sell advertising to keep going – by some accounts MTV lost almost 50 million dollars before it ever made a dime, and my assertion is that MTV was only pure during that period where they were losing money.  Funny how making money will do that.  Prior to that point, they only had to answer to themselves, and it didn’t matter how much the on-air talent screwed up or rubbed their noses on air.  They could play the videos they wished (actually, they could ONLY play the videos they were able to obtain, which were precious few for quite some time!), and during that time I saw plenty of fantastic, tasty obscurities I’d have never seen otherwise.  So for me, that time was golden and pure.  After they started selling that ad space, that’s when they started having to answer for themselves, and to labels…and to corporations, and once again we’re back to the men in suits being able to tell the rest of us what music is good, and what music is awful…and that music doesn’t need to have a place on MTV at all.  “MTV created the video music industry, then abandoned it, leaving behind a trail of tears -disgruntled music-video fans have stamped the phrase ‘MTV sucks’ and ‘Bring back music videos’ all over the comments pages of YouTube.” (page 20)

Here’s the funny thing: a lot of those statements are probably mine.  If video did so well to SELL records, to make bands famous, to change the industry – why on earth aren’t we still using it??  YouTube is great because I can go on there at any time of day and find the videos I want to watch….but the reality is, I would much rather watch Reach up for the Sunrise, or The Reflex….or even the video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller on my big TV.  I miss my MTV.  I liked being surprised by the little gems they’d pull out, I enjoyed watching Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman and little Martha Quinn.  I liked yelling “I’ve seen this stupid video 50,000 times – play something else for a damn change!!!”  when they’d play “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, or better yet “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!  (I love both bands so spare me the hate mail…I’m sick of Hungry Like the Wolf, as well.  Did I mention that?)  Those things are what made MTV.

I don’t know for sure what really changed MTV into the watered down kool-aide it is today.  As I’ve said numerous times, I’m just a fan who happened to grow up during the 80’s. Maybe my generation just grew up, and they didn’t know what to show us anymore.  Maybe rap really did become king and the only viable videos were those showing mostly unclad women, baggy jeans, baseball caps and cars.  I’ve read that every great idea for video has already been done so it got boring.  I call BS on that one.  I think it’s more to do with the fact that no one wants to work hard anymore.  No one wants to be unique or creative when you can just dress up any wanna-be-Britney, Kanye, Justin or Beyonce and put them in front of a camera and microphone and get a hit, thanks to autotune, smoke and some mirrors.  That isn’t to say that those people don’t have talent, but their uniqueness certainly gets lost in the shuffle.  That’s MUCH easier than taking the time to properly market a band that already has their own sound, actually plays their instruments, knows how to entertain, yet can’t be categorized in any one specific “box” on some sort of marketing tally sheet for the execs to see.  Fast food music rules the airwaves.  Every time I hear a new artist that actually has talent, or a band that actually plays their own instruments and doesn’t rely on production and autotune, I hold on to a little hope.

Once again, the very people who run the industry just don’t get it.  It’s not just about any one thing, although I really do believe that MTV (or the loss of the “music video” portion of MTV) has quite a bit to do with why the industry continues to flounder and fail.   One definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting different results each time….

maybe that’s the real problem.  The industry is insane.


Album Updates (or lack thereof…)

We have a new banner to our blog, to the right of this entry.  Duran Duran’s official site as well as their twitter account has been advertising the new banners with the album release date being March 21/March 22.  What is interesting to me is not that this is the magical date, but the fact that there has been no official announcement made about the album beyond these banners.  (There seems to be a theme lately in my blog posts, doesn’t it?!)  I wonder why.  Clearly, the date is set, if they are encouraging people to use the banners.  They want those dates out there for promotional purposes.  So, why hasn’t there been a full page press release on!  The only clue I have relates to the track listing of the album.

The track listing in the UK is as follows for the deluxe edition, according to Amazon UK is:
Track Listings
 1 All You Need Is Now
 2 Blame The Machines
 3 Being Followed
 4 Leave A Light On
 5 Safe (in the heat of the moment)
 6 Girl Panic!
 7 Diamond In The Mind
 8 The Man Who Stole A Leopard
 9 Other Peoples Lives
 10 Mediterranea
 11 Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
 12 Runway Runaway
 13 Return To Now
 14 Before The Rain
 15 Networker
 16 All You Need Is Now Youth Kills Mix

The track listing for the deluxe edition on Amazon US is:
1.  All You Need Is Now
2.  Blame the Machines
3.  Being Followed
4.  Leave a Light On
5.  Safe
6.  Girl Panic!
7.  Diamond in the Mind
8.  The Man Who Stole A Leopard
9.  Other Peoples Lives
10.  Mediterranea
11.  Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
12.  Runway Runaway
13.  Return to Now
14.  Before the Rain
15.  Networker Nation (bonus track)

Obviously, both editions have a lot in common but there are some differences.  First, the UK version still has the record label being Tape Modern whereas the US one has S-Curve Records.  Interesting.  I’m not sure what that means, if anything.  Could it mean that they are only doing the distribution deal in the US?  I wonder what the rest of the world looks like, in terms of label.  The track listing is basically the same except for 2 little differences.  The UK version has an additional song, a mix of All You Need Is Now by Youth Kills, that the US doesn’t have at all.  The bonus track is on both but with a slightly different name.  For the US, it is Networker Nation and, for the UK, it is just Networker.  I wonder why.  Are they still trying to decide on the final name?  If so, they better hurry as that release date is just over a month away.  Then, what happened to the idea of having many different versions with different tracks on each of these different versions?  Did they not finish enough songs?  Did they decide to stick with 2 basic editions, one with a DVD and one without?  If so, why? 

According to my calculations, there is at least 5 new songs on the physical release.  Of course, there are many speculations that Diamond in the Mind and Return to Now are just different versions of All You Need Is Now.  If so, are they giving us enough new material to make the physical album worth it?  It is for me, but, then again, I have purchased an album for just one additional song before.  Plus, of course, that the deluxe edition comes with a DVD of some footage or another.  I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be.  I guess I could assume it would have the video for AYNIN and maybe what used to be called the album’s EPK.  As for the rest, I don’t have a clue.  Live footage?  Promo activities?  Other videos?  Your guess is as good as mine. 

Now, some fans have expressed concern over these new songs.  Their worry has to do with two things:  1.  Album flow and 2.  Quality of these songs.  It is absolutely true that many, many fans love AYNIN the way it is.  We have gotten used to it being as it is with Runway Runaway following TMWSAL.  Will new songs interrupt that?  I don’t know.  It is impossible to say, in my opinion, until these songs have been heard.  For me, it will absolutely depend on the quality of them.  If they are quality songs that were written and recorded like the rest of the album, I would suspect that they will fit in just fine.  If they weren’t, then, I think there is reason to be concerned.  It seems to me that they continue to work on some of these bonus songs.  Will they be the same if Ronson wasn’t there?  I’m hopeful.  I’m always hopeful when it comes to Duran.  You would think that I wouldn’t be after some of the not-so-great moves that they have done over the years, but what can I say.  I’m a fan.  Still.  Thus, I prefer to think that these songs are going to be on the same quality as the original 9.  Then, March 22nd is a day that I will really be looking forward to!!!



A strange occurrence seems to take place within fandoms in that rumors said so often are believed to be true.  Lately, I have seen a number of rumors or assumptions written about on Duran message boards in which most, if not all, of the posters give as fact.  One example is the rumor regarding Duran Duran’s record label.  For some time now, we have heard that Duran Duran is going with EMI for the actual physical release of All You Need Is Now.  They released the download version themselves through TapeModern but that they have gone with a major label for the physical release in either February or March, depending on which of those rumors you believe.  Of course, the label has been one that has been debated since word got out that Sony/Epic dropped them after the lack of success with Red Carpet Massacre.  Since then, there has been many different labels mentioned, including using UMG for distribution.  The one that everyone keeps coming back to, for whatever reasons, is EMI.  Will I acknowledge that it is possible?  Of course.  Like many other fans, I heard Mark Ronson claim that the snippet of Being Followed that he played on his radio show was property of Capitol Records (Capitol and EMI are the same).  I have also read the rumors over and over again from various sources.  I also heard John Taylor praise EMI’s efforts in regards to the remastered editions that have come out and heard his statements on Katy Kafes saying that he thinks it would be good, from a business point of view, to have all the catalog together.  Yet, there has been no official announcement.  This fact hasn’t stopped people from talking about it as such, though.  Some fans seem to believe that the lack of an actual date for the physical album or that it is being moved back to March is because of EMI.  Others have claimed the same about lack of tour dates.  Obviously, these people may be right but what I find interesting is that they are just making these statements like they are a given when, in reality, they are just presuming the rumor is true. 

Another assumption is in regards to the videos for AYNIN.  A few months ago, on some interview, there was an announcement that the band plans to release a video for each track of the album.  Many people, including myself, were terribly thrilled with this idea.  Again, many people believed that these videos might be included on the DVD part of the deluxe edition of AYNIN.  There are so many assumptions within that one belief.  Yes, I do believe that there was a statement regarding a deluxe version of the album as part of the official press release.  Yes, in many cases including the last two albums, they have featured DVDs.  Are we sure this will the same?  Did I not read something carefully enough?  (This, of course, is ALWAYS possible!)  Then, did they say that the videos would be included?  Did I miss that, too?  Personally, I think it is very likely that we will get a DVD with the deluxe copy.  Will it have all of the videos on it?  I doubt it.  They would have to do a lot of videos in a short amount of time for an album coming out in February or even March.  Is it possible for AYNIN, the video, to be on it, if there is one?  Sure.  That video is already complete.  Then, a contest enters the picture.  This contest, which was advertised on the band’s official website, is for people to make videos of all of the tracks on AYNIN, including for the title track that the band already finished.  Many fans have taken this contest to mean that these will be the videos for the album and that the band isn’t doing anymore.  They also then assume that they will be what is included in the deluxe version.  Wow.  Again, there are assumptions on top of assumptions there.  How will the video deal play out?  I don’t have a clue. 

I admit that these rumors or assumptions might absolutely be correct.  Maybe I don’t like them.  Maybe I want to keep them in the not-yet-confirmed category because then I don’t have deal with my feelings about them.  Perhaps, I’m the one in denial.  Sure.  That is possible.  What is also possible, though, is that people are drawing a whole bunch of conclusions here.  It will be interesting to see as time goes on which, if any, of these are proved to be true.


Rumor Frustration

There are times when the Duran world is quiet and then there are other times when there is something happening everyday.  Now, we are in between the two.  It isn’t exactly quiet but we are still all in wait mode.  Yet, this waiting is filled with rumors galore.  It seems that there is a new rumor each day.  There are so many rumors, in fact, that it is tough to figure out what all is being speculated.  Right now, Duranland is filled with discussions regarding what songs will be featured on the physical release of the album, when and where Duran will play on tour, the status of their websites, and which record label will actually release and distribute the new album.  While I’m thrilled that the message boards and conversations with my friends are filled with discussions regarding these rumors, I know that the authors of this blog are getting sick of them.

Obviously, part of our annoyance about the various pieces of gossip is that we want to know all of this now!  We definitely want to know which record label they are going with for sure, in order to just be able to learn the news, react, make our prediction on how it will turn out for the band and move on.  As far as tour dates go, clearly, we crave knowing the exact dates and locations in order to begin plotting.  Until we know these, we don’t know how many shows we will be able to go, what kind of travel arrangements we will need to make, where and how to get tickets, etc.  On a personal note, typically, tours are when we get together in person so we would like to know how long we will have to wait before seeing each other again.  Yet, this desire to know everything immediately doesn’t explain our annoyance completely.
I am wondering why there are so many secrets regarding all of these and more.  Why can’t the band share this information with us now?  What would happen if we knew the official record label?  Would that make us buy fewer copies?  Would that stop them from getting the promotional opportunities they hope and need to have?  How would that hurt the fan base?  As far as touring goes, I understand that they might not be able to give specifics like, “On April 9th, they are playing in city A,” because they might still be working out all of the details.  That said, can’t they tell us, for sure, that they will be playing in x country between date A and date B?  What harm would that do?  Would that stop us from buying tickets or going to the shows?  Yes, obviously, any and all information is met with possible criticism and praise from the fans. Yes, the possible negative statements would last longer if information was revealed sooner rather than later.  Yet, I would like to believe that the fans could take any and all information.  We are capable of learning the truth and dealing with it.  We have done it before and do it again.  
Thus, I’m asking, begging, pleading the band to provide us with more information.  Until then, I’m going to sit in frustration and annoyance and that can’t be good for anyone.

A Field Trip

Today Amanda & myself are going on a little field trip with two friends of ours to see Duran’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For those who aren’t aware, their star is just outside of the doors to Capitol Records.  We briefly considered walking on in to Capitol and requesting that they confirm the rumors about whether or not the album is to be released on their label…but then shelved that idea in contemplation of doing a little “construction work” outside of Capitol…

we’re not doing that either, so please don’t send the cops for us.  🙂

Last night, we watched three Duran Duran concerts – one was Working for the Skin Trade, the show that was included with the remastered Big Thing package, and then Budokan from 2003.  Those shows included some of the best and worst of Duran’s history, but still very much a part of their history; the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  By going to the star today, we’re acknowledging their history, but also the fact that the band has had quite an impact on popular culture and music, despite (or in spite!)  of their not-so-glamorous or not-so-proud moments.

-A & R

Being Followed

Sometimes, it is good to be blogging late!  As many in the Duranie world know, Mark Ronson played about a minute and a half snippet of Duran Duran’s song, “Being Followed” tonight!  For Duranies, there is NOTHING more exciting than experiencing Duranie alerts like this!  The only thing better than hearing a new song or part of a new song is having a tour announced!

After listening to the snippet and seeing many fans react to it, I am thrilled to report that pretty much EVERYONE LOVES what they heard!  My initial reaction in hearing the first five seconds was how fabulous it is to hear solid instrumentation that Duran is famous for!  I loved hearing John’s bass so clearly, especially since he was barely on the previous album.  Then, in typical Duran fashion, the other instruments joined in!  Many fans have referenced previous Duran songs like the early “Faster Than Light”, the classic “New Religion” and one of my favorites, “Hold Back the Rain”.  Once the lyrics begin, I focused in to catch as many words as I could.  Here are some of the lyrics I noticed:  “To the voyeur, seated in the darkened room…Paranoia-the only valid point of view…I’m not alone, being followed, someone’s always watching what we do, never alone, I’m in the shadows, I dream things I don’t want you to know.”  While I will always miss some of the cryptic lyrics of the first few albums, these non-cryptic lyrics entertained me.  Are they speaking of their own personal experiences of being famous?  Is it really more about a peeping Tom sort of thing?  I tend to think of the former, especially with the line, “Someone’s always watching what WE do.”  We-as in more than one, as in the band.  Overall, this song feels like Duran to me.  I definitely can’t wait to hear the whole thing and to hear this one at a show because I believe it will be really fabulous live!

Beyond the song, Mark Ronson also gave us a couple of other clues in regards to the plans for this album.  Initially, when introducing it, he said that he believed that the album will be out by the end of the year.  This matches with the latest rumors about a potential Christmas release.  The other, probably more interesting statement, was one that he made when talking over the song.  On the second play, he said, “Exclusive property of Capitol Records.”  Does this mean that they do have a deal with Capitol again?  Ah…let that speculation continue! 

No worry from me about when the album is actually released or how right on as I’m beyond thrilled by this snippet and hopeful that this album will be exactly what the Duranie community needs!  What is your reaction?


Tell Us What You Know!

Just when I think the day is going to be quiet – a little subtle change appears on the horizon that brings on a small rain shower.

If anyone has been watching, the space under Label has remained fairly blank for while on the band’s myspace and facebook pages, then very quietly it was filled – I’m not sure if it happened this morning or last night, but it now has a name listed.  “Tapemodern”.  I’m going to be up front and honest, this blog isn’t really going to be about the label “announcement” – I’ll leave that to other perfectly capable folks to mull over.  What I am more curious about is the reaction AFTER noticing that space being filled with a name.

One of The Daily Duranie’s fellow bloggers took to her blog this morning, announcing the small change.  You can read it here .  Even more fascinating than the label itself (which really isn’t huge news if you’ve been paying any kind of attention for the last year or so) are the comments AFTER the blog.  Immediately folks jumped on Nathan Stack, who is the handler of the bands myspace and facebook pages.  They wanted to know where he got his information, and Nathan – ever so carefully, I might add, sidestepped the real question. (clearly he’s been learning – good on him!) That’s when another person commented, as anonymous as the first, that Nathan was being coy and evasive and that he should just tell us where he got his information – or if he was just following the bosses orders and wasn’t told why.

Upon reading the comments – I had this clear vision:  Nathan tied to a chair in a small dark room with a single light bulb hanging down from the ceiling.  Someone from the Gestapo standing in front of him, whip in hand, demanding answers.  “Tell us vat you know!”

Really people?  This is our fandom???  One tiny bit of news that isn’t really THAT huge and we’re going to be like the Gestapo to get answers?  One person even commented that if Nathan really changed the label name – that he should know the answers and at least be able to verify whether it’s true or not.  It almost infers that  #1 – Nathan might not have been the one to change the label name, and #2 – that if he did change it and doesn’t know why, than maybe it’s just rumor.   I suppose it’s possible that someone else went onto the accounts – whether that was because they had authority to do so or because the account was hacked as a joke and changed the label – but I kind of doubt that.  Why bother??  So I’ll go out on a limb and say that if it’s on their myspace and facebook, it’s highly likely that it’s their label.   That said, I don’t believe Nathan or anyone else on Duran’s staff is responsible or required to explain themselves to the fan community.  I just can’t quite get over that we’ve gotten to the point where we’re going to question EVERYTHING – even their own facebook and myspace pages – simply because we all know that a fellow fan runs those pages, as if that makes them fair game for bullying.  It doesn’t.

Even more fascinating is the “why”.  Why do we as fans feel it’s our “right” to know everything, and I do mean everything, as soon as it happens?  I’m just like the rest of you, I sit in very anxious anticipation for the next album.  I can’t wait to see them on tour.  I have posters hanging in my closet.  (wait….I probably didn’t need to mention that…. ;D)  Yet I don’t know when it became my right to know exactly what they are doing and why.  I think that at the end of the day, I have to trust that the band has a pretty good idea of what they’re doing and how the business works, even if I don’t always agree with their choices.  They probably wouldn’t agree with many of mine…so we’re good on that one.  In all due time, we’ll find out what made them decide to go with Tapemodern (*coughs* Nick *coughs*), and why there are still listings of UMG distributing a single for them on December 14th.

This whole morning/afternoon has reminded me of the UCLA Internet Symposium that John spoke at this same time last year.  During his speech, he spoke of how Twitter, Facebook and other social mediums have brought the fans so much closer – there’s not nearly the same sort of separation as there was when he was young.  This is true.  He talked about the anticipation he would have over getting specific albums after seeing his favorite bands live, because that was the only way at the time that you could continue to feel that connection after leaving a show.  Nowadays, the line between privacy and public life is so blurred that a lot of that anticipation is lost – which is one reason (out of many I am certain) that John chooses not to participate in those social mediums.  I would venture to guess that “back in the day”, the band could have (and did) switch labels without noticing so much as a ripple of commotion in the fandom.  In present time, we often find out about such things well before the band even intends to announce them, and yet ALL of us (this blogger included) continue to question why the band openly chooses – so it seems – to put up such a brick wall between themselves and their fans, whether that brick wall is perceived, misunderstood, or otherwise.

I think that much of the answer to that question can be found in this blog, on the bands facebook and myspace pages, and on our message boards.


Download vs. Actual Hard Copy

A new rumor has been posted on various message boards and on Gimme a Wristband.  This rumor came via Duran’s makeup artist.  According to this person, Duran’s album will be released through a download version in December and actual hard copy in January.  This, if it is true, is fascinating.

The first question I have is in regards to a record label.  Does Duran have one?  If so, which one?  Was this idea of two separate releases their idea or Duran’s?  What is the logic behind it?  Why does there need to be a month in between?  I, obviously, don’t have any answers to these questions.  I’m sure that, in time, all information will be shared.  Until then, I’m going to continue to speculate.  Maybe they do have a record label and one that wanted it just released via downloading as this would cost less for them and might move more “units”.  I could see Duran, specifically Nick arguing for a hard copy release.  After all, they have always been all about the packaging.  Of course, I could be all wrong.  Maybe the band is releasing it on their own.  They don’t want to wait for the hard copies to be pressed so they will release earlier via downloading.  (Yeah, I’m being super kind about the band’s desire to please the fans in this fashion!)

Assuming this rumor is true (big assumption, I know!), I, for one, am glad that they plan on releasing hard copies.  I can’t imagine not being able to hold a new Duran album in my hands.  What would it be like to not look through the lyrics?  I don’t know that I could survive not seeing the new cover.  If these things were missing, it would be like missing an essential part of Duran.  After all, they have always been about the visual as well the musical.