Duran Duran history for March 16 – on this date in 1999, Capitol Records/EMI releases Strange Behaviour on CD, containing mixes of songs from “Planet Earth” to “Drowning Man”, many of which had never been released prior. -R
Duran Duran history for December 30th takes us back to just prior to the release of Thank You. On this date in 1994, John Taylor reports that the release of Thank You was being held up by the record company because of Lay Lady Lay. This song was released as a single only in Italy (Capitol released “White Lines” as the first single in the US, and EMI in the rest of the world released “Perfect Day” as the first single – and both territories used the other song as the second), but in researching this topic, it is also clear that the song was a favorite of the band. Nick Rhodes comments that the would have liked to have this song released as a second single, although he did appreciate “Perfect Day”.
What say you – would “Lay Lady Lay” have made a better follow-up single? Hindsight being 20/20 and all…
Duran Duran history for today takes us all on a little whirlwind vacation away from the holiday madness to Mediterranea. On this date in 2010, Duran Duran released a special FREE iTunes “one-day download only” entitled From Mediterranea With Love. This 3-Track EP was release only for several European countries, and included Mediterranea, (Reach Up For The) Sunrise (live), and Ordinary World (live).
Not that I’m complaining, but apparently the rest of the world did not get love that Christmas. We must have been naughty. 😀 (Let’s face it, I probably was!) -R
Our plan was simple. Get the CD and review the packaging today. I started panicking a little yesterday because the pre-order didn’t get here – normally when I pre-order from Amazon, I get the CD the day before it comes out. I love that about Amazon. Well, this time I didn’t order from Amazon. I ordered from a company that is sending me a signed copy of the deluxe version (we all know who that is, but because I’m not happy with said company at the moment – I’m not advertising for them.), and although they claim to have sent it – it’s not in my mailbox as of yet. So, my backup plan was to go to Best Buy and pick up another deluxe copy because it has songs on it that my other copy won’t have. Whose brilliant idea was that, anyway? Show yourself and prepare to be flogged! I called Best Buy last night, knowing a contact at a local store that would set one aside and hook me up. Well, that contact told me that his store, as well as the other local store I frequent – sent their copies back. Their stores have very limited shelf space, and in his words “Duran Duran just doesn’t sell.” I was surprised mainly because this is a Best Buy exclusive. You’d think that the store would at least carry a couple of copies, if for no other reason than to say they tried! This morning I got up, promptly noted that I was A. Feverish B. Probably dying or at the very least dizzy from an inner ear issue, oh and C. Realized that it was release day and I had nothing to look at, listen to, hold or even use as a coaster if it sucked. (I’m kidding about that last part. For THIS album, anyway.) I got up, prayed a shower would warm me up and make me feel human…and got on with my morning.
At this point, I checked Facebook, cursed at the hundreds of others that had their CD (Because for today at least, this is the way I am. I’m weak, annoyed, and damn it – everyone should love me.) and posted my Best Buy debacle. I then got several text messages and a phone call from Amanda letting me know that her Best Buy must be in the Duran Duran PRIDELANDS because there are 18 freaking copies at her store. Of course there are. She’s kind enough to pick me up one, (which is fair play because I have her signed one coming to my house – then I’ll be forwarding it on to her) but both of us agree that I really should make the 25 minute drive to Best Buy, preferably one that I didn’t check stock with last night, and see if they’ve got anything. So off I go.
I get to Best Buy, wait outside for 5 minutes because they open at 10am (keep in mind that time is ticking away here – my youngest is in preschool for the morning. I have approximately 2 and a half hours of “me” – HA don’t I wish!!! – time before I go pick her up.), and promptly at 10, go in with the half dozen other crazy people that needed to be there when the store opens. I briefly considered that perhaps I wasn’t the only Duran Duran fan wanting their newly minted copy of All You Need Is Now, then I realized that my cold drugs were kicking in so obviously I wasn’t thinking clearly. I went into the store, and on the way back to the CD section I was asked three separate times if I needed help. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t say yes – but I didn’t. I figured it would be fairly easy to find a new release, especially of a band as auspicious as Duran Duran. Of course I’d find it! Amanda said there were like 18 copies at her store! This is Orange County California – there should be at least that many! Well, first I looked in the regular CD section. They not only had nothing, they didn’t even have a nice little divider card with their name on it. That’s when I started getting nervous. Then I went to the New Release “showy” racks at the front of the department. Let’s see – they had The Strokes, Kanye West, Taylor Swift (that damn album isn’t even NEW anymore!!!), and a whole bunch of others that I don’t care about. No Duran Duran. So then I start looking for someone to ask. There isn’t a blue shirt to be found. Where in the hell did they all go?!? That’s when I started thinking it was a conspiracy. Obviously. So, I finally get pissed off and go up to Customer Service. The woman behind the counter says “Oh yeah, I’ve seen it. I remember looking at it and saying ‘Wow – I didn’t even know they were still together!'” I take a deep breath, mainly so I don’t unleash on the poor girl. She must sense my annoyance because she immediately goes on a hunt for it, stopping at three tables and then saying “Oh, you know what, it must still be in the back!” She goes to the back, comes out and tells me they don’t have it. I say “Yeah, see that’s fine except your little website says you do, so I wonder where it is?” I even tell her all about how it’s a Best Buy exclusive,and that it’s got two songs on it that you can’t get anywhere else, and that I need to write a blog about it…TODAY. Then she starts apologizing. She finds two other guys to help her and at this point there are 3 blue shirts crawling around on the floor looking through every single shelving rack that was out, on the hunt for Duran Duran (I swear I could say a quote from Barbarella here….but I will refrain.) Finally and triumphantly she shouts with glee “I found them!!”, and there in her hands are not one, but two copies of the album. She then told me that they only got the Best Buy exclusive version, not the regular album – but the deluxe, and that I am going to be buying one of the two copies they will ever get in stock, because their store won’t re-order. “Duran Duran just doesn’t sell.”, she tells me.
At this point, I’m leaning up against a shelf, trying to steady myself because I can tell my fever is back up and running again. I go and buy the copy, being congratulated by the clerk for making them find the album, and I run out of the store – ready to listen to all of the songs to my hearts content. FINALLY.
I’ve listened to most of the album at this point, and I’m looking over the packaging with a fine tooth comb. Later as I am gripping a box of kleenex, my blankie (yes, I have a blankie – it’s an afghan that my grandma crocheted for me when I was about 4 and went into the hospital to have my tonsils out) and a pillow – I will watch the DVD. Tomorrow, I will comment.
Until then, have fun finding the CD. I do have plenty to say about this release and the various “exclusive deluxe copies that you can’t buy anywhere else!”, but I’ve decided that until I can think clearly – I’ll wait to comment. I’m at least that kind….sometimes.
First of all, I am positive that the goings-on in my own personal life (and those of friends) has taken some of the fun out of the anticipation. There’s hardly enough time to talk to friends and catch up on the day to day insanity much less take the time to obsess what every last new music snippet really means for the new album! I know that as far as I’m concerned, I don’t even spend much time on the message boards anymore – I try to check in when I can, and I miss the times when it took precedence. I just need more hours added to the day, I think.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, I don’t notice much excitement for the new material even when I *do* visit the message boards. Most people aren’t talking about the CD release, they’re talking about the tour, or up until recently, the lack of announced tour dates. I have to say that this reminds me very much of when [Reach up for the] Sunrise was first released. It was the first new Duran Duran song that was released by the original 5 band members in 20 years, and so it made a huge splash with the fan base. People were talking about the band and the excitement was infectious within the community. That first release was on an album soundtrack for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and naturally that was just the first taste of what lay ahead for the fans, and the band. A few months later, Astronaut was released, and once again, Sunrise was released as a single. This was a completely different version of Sunrise, but you know – we’d already heard the song. Sure, it was different, but it was still very much the same. There wasn’t enough of a difference to make it “brand spanking new”, and I just don’t think the single resonated with the fan base, or the radio, because it felt like more of an afterthought, or a continuation of something we’d already heard once. As much as I hate to say it, I do have similar concerns for this new album. Many fans think they’ve already heard most of the album, and the rest of us aren’t really sure what we’re going to be getting!
As far as I understand, there are two versions of the album coming out – the regular CD, and then a deluxe version. This is where I’m finding confusion because each time I see information listed for the album(s) – it’s a different damn list of songs. Not only that, but I refer back to an article that quoted Wendy Laister as saying that they were working with retailers to offer different versions to different retailers, which leaves me wondering what in the heck I should be buying. Do I order the deluxe version through Amazon? Do I order both the regular and deluxe versions so that way I can have all of the new songs? Will I get all of the new songs through Amazon or do I need to go hunting to find out who else has different copies? What about that DVD – what’s going to be on that? Is it stuff I’ve already seen?? For me, this isn’t about the money – I don’t care about that, but I’m going to be honest – I don’t need 14 copies of the same album. I’d buy them and never complain if they were all different, but I’m going to be furious if I buy several different copies and find out they’re all pretty much the same…. It’s just very difficult to know what we’re getting, and I think that confusion has added to the lack of excitement in some ways.
Which leads me to something else – why would the band decide to put more than one interlude or remix to All You Need Is Now on the album? Why not put those out on a separate CD, because not all of us are slaves to the remixes or even love them. Personally, I like new songs. I don’t want 4 different versions of the same song on the album. That said, I have a pretty extensive collection (what Duranie doesn’t???) of night versions and other remixes over the years, and I do like them – just not when an album is being sold to me as all new material when it really isn’t. Make sense?
Oh sure, I could talk all about the lost momentum with the release being handled like this – but the truth is, I don’t need to do that. I want this to work out beautifully for the band because they deserve at least that. I want this album to be fantastic, which I’m sure it will be as soon as March 22nd gets here (for the US – the rest of you will have it a day earlier and yes, I’m envious.), and we’re all listening to songs we haven’t heard before along with 9 songs that have already permanently inked themselves into the soundtrack of my life. I want to be excited and overjoyed with the idea of getting a new album in just a couple short weeks, it just feels like I’ve already done that for about 4 months now.
The track listing in the UK is as follows for the deluxe edition, according to Amazon UK is:
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
11 Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
12 Runway Runaway
13 Return To Now
14 Before The Rain
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
6. Girl Panic!
7. Diamond in the Mind
8. The Man Who Stole A Leopard
9. Other Peoples Lives
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!!!
Today, a news article in Variety magazine was released with some updated news about the band and their upcoming tour. You can read the article here.
Once again, Durantime rears it’s head, complete with bed-head hair and the remnants of last night’s makeup underneath it’s eyes. Clearly, it’s been a wild-ride thus far. In reading the news, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that in December, the plan was to release early February, then mid-to late February, then March…and now late March. I’m sure that there are many reasons behind the release date that someone like me, someone who is just a fan, would not even begin to understand. That said, the point of our blog is to examine the news from the point of view of the fan. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. Like it or not, the fans are the lifeblood to the longevity of the band. If we’re excited about something, that certainly isn’t a bad thing. The converse also holds true, however. If the fans aren’t on board – it’s tough to make headway. I’m not trying to make the fans appear to be an unstoppable force (although one glimpse of us at a show and perhaps that would seem to be the case!), but I am saying that we’re a team with the band. It truly is teamwork that keeps the band going, and really – that keeps US going as fans. So, with that in mind, I forge ahead.
My first thought upon reading the news of the day is that it’s already been quite a while since the digital version was released, and as far as I can tell – our excitement has already began to simmer down. I think that’s natural, and in this day and age with electronic media – what at one point took an entire month to cycle (as in a magazine), now takes days. Information flows so quickly that we consume it and go on to the next thing in a blink of an eye. This gives anyone, any band, much more of a challenge to continue to remain new, fresh and relevant; momentum can be gained and lost overnight. I think that’s really the energy behind Twitter and even Facebook to some extent, and if bands and artists don’t learn how to use it, well – they lose it. This is where my concern lies with Duran Duran. The “public” has already heard the new single. They have a decent portion (appetizer or otherwise) of the new album. Sure, sales were good that first week – I’m not really sure how they’re doing now but I have to imagine they’ve weakened since then, and that’s OK. That said, now there’s a real wait on our hands until late March…and let’s be honest…it could easily be late April, as happens in Durantime. (imagine if they had decided to withhold everything until then? As my friend Jessica mentioned today – MUTINY!)
I have to ask – how is that going to help them? They had real momentum in December. It would have been very easy to continue to capitalize on that by doing a select number of shows, MANY more interviews, etc. Instead it would seem as though there was a slight hiccup or misstep in the planning process, and now we’ve got this huge gap of time. Make no mistake, 3 and a half or four months between the release of digital material and the actual physical CD is a LONG time. I’ve seen artists have their work released, distributed, and sent BACK to the distributor in that amount of time. (not kidding there) It’s a gamble, to be sure. I know they are putting new unheard material on the physical album, the packaging is supposed to be very cool, etc etc. It all makes me think back to (Reach up for the) Sunrise off of Astronaut. Here was the first single from the original 5 members in over 20 years. It was released as a single off of the Queer Eye soundtrack – a different version, yes. Then, in what I feel was a very risky move – it was released as the single off of the bands own album in yet another version. Did it gain attention? Nope. Not even from fans – we’d already heard it. Been there, done that, so to speak. I have some concerns that this album is going to garner the same sort of attention, or lack thereof. Of course, there were many other issues present with Astronaut, and I’m sure one can find a myriad of reasons why the album didn’t do as well as it should have commercially – MY point is simply that once the fans have heard it and consumed it – we move on quickly.
Then there is/are the sheer lack of dates. We’ve got what appears to be about 2 months and some before the album drops – I read tweets each day from the band saying that they’re working on bass, keys, vocals for the bonus material – and while that’s exciting, what would really fill the time between now and the album dropping are shows. That’s right, shows. You want to keep the fans attention? Play some shows. Yeah, it would require work. Yeah, it would be a pain in the butt to get it all together, but it would keep our interest, and the band might even get some new attention from new fans too. Of course, they could already be planning shows, I have no idea. There are rumors of some UK dates in February (seems to me that those should already have been announced or else they’re totally behind the 8-ball…), but otherwise, I’ve heard of nothing.
I suppose one could say that the wait increases demand. I would say in return that you’re playing an awfully risky game. Fans are fickle, and the last album should have proven that without a doubt. Sorry to those of you diehard RCM fans out there, but a lot of fans simply gave up on the band after that album was released. So now other bands are starting to announce tours for the spring/summer, and people who might have thought about going to Duran shows are starting to consider other bands – and trust me when I say that most people do not have the money to do it all. Recession…United States…banks failing all over the world…any of that ringing a bell with anyone? I just don’t feel that Duran Duran is in the position to play that game and win.
For all of the downer news, however – there is always some good. For instance, the CD/vinyl will have 14 tracks (if you’re counting, that means we haven’t heard at least 4 or 5 of them, depending upon whether Mediterranea is included), and according to their management, they are looking at doing specific packaging and extras for specific retailers, which means plenty of versions to buy. I suppose that could be deemed as bad news – but for me, I want it all and I’m not ashamed of that. We know that they’ll eventually announce tour dates, because they are planning a tour in April (hurry up April!), and in time – all of this waiting will be a distant memory. Heck, if they wait long enough – I’ll probably forget all about it! (memory isn’t what it used to be!)
I suppose that some will say I’m impatient (no, really?), and some will say I’m negative. (listen, even if the glass is half empty – there’s still vodka left in there, how is that not positive?!?) That’s OK. I’m positive most of the time, I try to see the good in the band, and there’s plenty of that to see. It’s just very hard not to notice the missteps at times, and ANY fan should be able to recognize that. I still love them all and really, the bottom line here is that if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t mention any of it. For that matter, I wouldn’t blog.