I’m late in the response about last week’s “Change our mind” challenge about Come Undone being overrated. The arguments disproving the premise focused mostly on other tracks that people believe fit the definition for overrated. The song most brought up was Ordinary World. Our participants called it “boring” and “overplayed.” I found myself nodding along as I read. I agree that it is overplayed and boring. Come Undone can fit that same description, however. It is played at literally every single show. Perhaps, then, there could be more appreciation for it, if it had a break. That said, the adjective boring might still apply. Have you watched John Taylor during that song? He literally moves right in front of Roger and never moves. Boring. That said, I understand where people are coming from when they say that the song is “beautiful” or a quality song.
What I found more interesting in the response to the original prompt is how many other songs were listed as more overrated, including but not limited to New Religion, The Man Who Stole a Leopard, Hold Back the Rain, the Chauffeur and more. I’m willing to bet that the idea that those songs are overrated would shock many fans as many of those tracks are fan favorites. This really just proves the point that one person’s favorite might be another’s idea of a song that is overrated. This fan community is nothing if not diverse in its thinking.
Are you familiar with the YouTube channel Ms.Mojo? It is a channel that likes to have countdowns of pretty much everything pop culture. I have seen it pop up most often when it comes to TV shows, movies or actors but the other day YouTube recommended the Top 10 Duran Duran songs. Well, then. I’m a sucker for Top 10 lists, especially when it comes to Duran so I figured I would give it a try. Unsurprisingly, I had some opinions about the choices.
Before I dive into the choices, I do appreciate that the channel not only counts down from 10 but also includes honorable mentions and some information about the song. In this case, they made the list based on “fan favorites” and commercial success. I wish I knew what they meant by fan favorites. Who did they ask? I suspect that the responses might be different if they questioned the readers of this blog, for example. On that note, let’s begin.
The honorable mentions were New Religion, Notorious, Out of my Mind, The Chauffeur, and Union of the Snake. Overall, I thought the honorable mentions were solid. In particular, I was pleased to see Out of my Mind on the list because there are so many albums and songs from the less popular eras that get ignored but should not.
Number 10: Planet Earth
The argument here is that the song showcased both the combination of new wave and synth pop. It was also a Top 20 UK hit. It is my personal favorite song so I’m glad that it is on the list.
Number 9: Come Undone
Ms.Mojo referred to Come Undone as an alternative rock sound with male and female vocals. Of course, it also did well commercially. Now, you all know that I’m not the biggest fan of this song but I was not surprised that this made the list.
Number 8: A View to a Kill
This song will almost always be featured on top 10 lists like this forever due to being the only number one James Bond theme song. The channel described the song as a mix between rock and new wave. This was a song that I loved as a kid but have not loved as much as I have gotten older.
Number 7: Ordinary World
I would have been shocked if this wasn’t on the list. It is probably one of the Duran’s most well-known songs. While there are times that I am tired of the song, I cannot deny the quality.
Number 6: Wild Boys
Honestly, I was surprised that this one made the list. While I think it is fun live, it doesn’t tend to grab critical acclaim.
Number 5: The Reflex
Like Ordinary World, this song will always be on lists like this because it was their first number one song. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned how it was a layered track.
Number 4: Girls on Film
After mentioning that this is a new wave dance song, the rest of the focus was on the video. As we all know, there are two versions, a clean one and a x-rated version. They mentioned that there was some BDSM in the naughty version. Hmm…really?
Number 3: Rio
According to Ms. Mojo, the song represents the 80s with the video and the “driving bassline and synthesize hooks”. This one really is a fan favorite that is also well-known to the general public.
Number 2: Save a Prayer
I love how this song was described as creating an atmosphere of taking a journey to a foreign and beautiful place. I completely agree. I would have a hard time arguing against this one.
Number 1: Hungry Like the Wolf
As I watched the video of this countdown, I realized that HLTW would be the number one song before this video popped up. My reaction, “Oh geez.” The channel explained that the song was the one to put the band on the map in terms of commercial success and it shows the band’s musical chemistry. I suppose all of that is true.
So, what do the rest of you think? Is this a good list? Would you make some changes? If you look at the comments, there were lots of songs mentioned that could have been included but weren’t, including New Moon on Monday and Is There Something I Should Know? I get why they chose what they did but, obviously, I would not have used the commercial success to determine the list.
Finally, I can present the Top 10 Most Representative Duran Duran Songs! A little over a month ago I assigned some homework. The assignment seemed simple on the surface: provide the list of the top 10 most representative Duran Duran songs. The list did not need to be in any sort of order and the list could contain any Duran song, including singles, album tracks, demos, covers, etc People could also include side or solo project songs. To make a long story short, after people turned in their homework, I could not pull out a list of ten songs. There were too many ties. Thus, I did a couple of different polls to finally differentiate the ten songs. Here are the results. In sharing the songs, I went with live versions of the songs, if available.
Save a Prayer
Is There Something I Should Know
Hungry Like the Wolf
The Man Who Stole a Leopard
hSo there it is. What do you think? Any surprises? Is there any element of Duran Duran that the fans missed?
Rhonda and I have been writing this blog for a long time. It has become a part of us and our daily lives. I think it is fair to say that we have learned a lot over the course of these eight plus years. I certainly know more about myself and about fandom from writing and researching. Through the years, I also have a greater understanding of our fan community. Generally, whenever we post a blog or there is Duran news, I know what the reaction is going to be. Part of any reaction, of course, is that the community is truly diverse in its opinions about everything Duran from the music to video to live performances and more. Whenever I post a daily poll/question, I now have an idea of what the results will be. While I know how varied the opinions are, I also recognize the general pattern. For example, Duranies prefer the early songs and albums over the late 90s ones. Of course, there are exceptions but the results from various polls are consistent.
While I have learned quite a bit about fans’ preferences, every once in awhile, I ask something that I’m not sure what people will say. Typically, these questions are outside of the box in that they aren’t about the music or videos or lyrics or something else equally as common. The top 10 most representative songs turned out to be a bit unpredictable. While some of the choices make total sense to me, but there is something that is surprising me a lot. After I assigned the homework, I was able to determine the 5 most representative songs easily as many people had chosen them. So keeping up the desire for democracy, I did a poll to choose the last five from ones that people had suggested.
This brings me to today. Guess what? There are four songs that are clear winners. They should be added to the Top 10 list but we have a tie for the last slot. What should I do? Should I flip a coin? Should I make the last decision? Both of those options feel terrible to me. So, I made a final poll to determine the last song that best represents Duran Duran. Then, finally next Sunday, I will share the entire list. On that note, here’s the poll:
A few weeks ago, I assigned some homework. This task seemed simple on the surface but made for a challenge for many Duranies. The assignment consisted of listing the top 10 most representative songs of Duran Duran. These songs could include any Duran song, even if it was a demo, cover or even side/solo project song. The results, as always, were fascinating as many different songs were listed. 48 different songs were included, in fact. Out of those 48 songs, 5 rose to the surface as many people chose them. They are as follows:
Save a Prayer
Interestingly enough, the remaining five songs were not obvious as there were many songs listed that tied by a number of participants. Here’s where you all come in. Help pick those last five tracks by selecting the five songs on the following poll that YOU think best represents Duran Duran!
Next week, then, I’ll announce the 10 songs that best represent Duran Duran! I look forward to the final results and I thank everyone who has participated so far and all of you who will help finish the assignments!
I was not planning on giving out a new homework assignment anytime soon. After all, I have minimal time to “grade” the homework that would get turned in. Yet, an idea that popped into my head that wouldn’t be pushed down. It started after I bought my plane ticket for the Vegas shows as I wondered what some people who don’t know about my Duranie-ness would think of this. Would they know Duran Duran? Would they GET it? While I doubt that I could really explain my fandom in any sort of easy fashion, I wondered if I couldn’t share some of their music. If I picked the right songs, could non-Duran Duran fans get the full scope of their musical genius? Could they understand why hearing their music live would be a top notch experience?
As I thought all this, I attempted to push it to the side to give feedback on campaign speeches, to grade a few more essays and to check in with the parents about how my mom’s cold is. But the idea kept coming back. Every time my brain pondered the upcoming shows, the ideas was there once again. I’m giving up. I’m surrendering. I’m waving the white flag. Finally, I’m just going to embrace it through a homework assignment. The goal is for all of you to ponder Duran Duran songs to non-Duran fans. Maybe this idea can haunt all of you, too! Ha!
Your task is to create a list of 10 Duran Duran songs that would capture their musical genius. Think of a person who has not heard any Duran Duran music. What songs would you play to introduce the band to this newbie? What songs might convince a person that they should fall in love with the band’s music, too?
What songs are allowed? I will allow any. They could be album tracks, singles, b-sides, bonus tracks, covers or demos. Heck, I don’t care if you include songs from side or solo projects. That said, it might be not so easy to narrow it to 10 but I recognize that non-fans might only have the patience for 10 tracks. So, you need to be able to sell the band as quickly as possible.
The assignment is due three weeks from today, February 2nd. Normally, I like to give a month but I think it is quite poetic to have the list due on the date that Duran released their very first single in Planet Earth. Plus, I think this is one assignment that people can overthink. I see it now. People will come up with a tentative list then check it a second time to make changes before doing it again and again, etc. At some point, you have to just call it done.
As always, you can turn your assignment in by sending it in an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through Facebook message or through DM on Twitter. Once everyone has turned in their assignments, I will compile the list to see what songs were chosen to be included most often, at the very least.
About a month ago, I assigned you all homework. This assignment was relatively easy as I asked each of you to send me a list of twenty Duran songs that are not needed. A lot of people sent in lists, which was great fun to read and to calculate. Most people seemed to enjoy the idea as they understood that this task was not to criticize Duran Duran but to have fun with their vast catalog. Of course, some questioned my fandom by asking about this, but I don’t need to prove my love. I do it everyday here. Anyways, on to the results!
First of all, I could not limit the results to 20. There were too many ties. I could have stopped the list at 15 or go up to 24. I opted for the latter. Second, there were a lot of songs listed, 111 songs to be exact. They represent ALL the albums. Some were album tracks while others were b-sides, demos, etc. What also fascinated me as I went through the results was the idea that one person’s throwaway song might be someone else’s favorite. For example, the song Planet Roaring made it onto a list. While that person might think it is not necessary, I know other people who love it. (I do, in fact.) Now, I’m not saying that to criticize any of the choices but to show how diverse the fanbase’s tastes are, which I think is cool. What might be interesting is to compare this list with those songs who made it on the Top 40. Were there any songs in the Top 40 list that fans thought were not only top 40 material but ones that don’t need to exist period? What about the songs that didn’t make it on either list? Are there many of those? What does that tell us about Duran fans? Questions I suspect that I might explore in later blogs.
24 Duran Duran That Are Not Needed:
The results here are given in most frequently included to least:
Read My Lips
Can You Deal With It
Yo Bad Azizi
Breath After Breath
All Along the Water
Taste the Summer
She’s Too Much
So Long Suicide
As you can tell by the results that there were some albums that produced a lot of songs that Duranies feel are not needed. For example, there are a number of tracks off of Red Carpet Massacre and Pop Trash.
What do you think of this list? Were you surprised by any? Were you expecting different tracks? How did your list compare?
Directions: Your task is to create a list of 20 songs that Duran Duran does not need in their catalog. We all know that Duran has many, many, many exceptional songs. In fact, they have so many that they could afford to get rid of a few without any impact on their greatness. Am I right? (If you don’t agree, just don’t participate. I’m just doing this for fun.) I’m thinking of songs that you might skip over or would not miss if they were not there. These songs might be not bad…they just aren’t as awesome as the rest. So, on that note, you can include any song from any album with a few exceptions:
You cannot include any songs that originally written or performed by someone other than Duran Duran (no cover songs)
You cannot include any live tracks or songs performed live on the album
You cannot include any song from any solo or side project of Duran Duran (this means no Power Station, Arcadia, The Devils, TV Mania, Neurotic Outsiders, Simon solo, John solo, Dom solo and more).
What does songs that we do not need mean? That is up to your interpretation. Could it be the worst songs, in your opinion? Sure. Could it be the ones musically that they missed the mark? Of course. Could it include the least meaningful lyrics? Absolutely. You may take into consideration commercial success of the songs. You may think about ones that fans dismiss or don’t like. Perhaps, your list will include just the ones that you personally are not fond of or ones you are sick of. It is up to you.
Do not feel pressure to include songs from each album. It is acceptable to pick only from a few albums or from all of them.
Your assignment just needs to include the list of 20 tracks that Duran could survive without. Normally, I would encourage you to put them in some sort of order but that feels icky bad. While you do not need to include an explanation of why you chose the songs you did, if you would like to include that as well, that is acceptable.
How You Turn in Your Assignment:
Due: Sunday, December 16 (one month from yesterday!)
How: You may turn in your assignment in a variety of ways:
Send your list to our email: email@example.com
Send your list to our twitter
Send your list to our facebook
DO NOT share it publicly. We would like to look at the results and blog about them first. Then, we would welcome each participant sharing. That said, please share this assignment widely. The more Duranies the better in order to produce a solid list. Yes, ideally, we would have a list of the top 40 Duran Duran tracks as decided by Duranies rather than an author from a magazine.
P.S. Some people have asked me to share all of the songs that people included in the last assignments about Top 40 tracks. Here is the list in alphabetical order (I think I got most of them!):
About a month ago, I assigned some homework. This assignment asked Duran Duran fans to give us a list of what they think are the 40 best Duran songs. Thankfully, we got a number of responses. Many felt that this assignment was a challenge, which I agree with! It took me awhile to get it done, too! I offered the opportunity to put the songs in order from best to least best and some took me up on that. Many did not, claiming that it was too tough. Therefore, I just simply recorded which songs were chosen rather than where in the list the songs were. If people want to redo their lists in order, that’s cool. I would be happy to compile the results once again.
Before I share the results, there are a few other comments I need to make. Some fans chose to include which versions they liked best. I totally admire that but since only a few did that, I opted to just put those under the album version of the song. By the time I was done listing all of the songs mentioned, I had 147 different songs listed. What this tells me is that Duran Duran’s catalog and quality of songs is huge! It isn’t just that they have 5 or 10 songs that people think are awesome but literally hundreds. That is impressive, in and of itself! Now, on to the results:
Top 40 Duran Duran Songs:
I Don’t Want Your Love / The Universe Alone / What Happens Tomorrow / All She Wants Is / Tiger Tiger / Tel Aviv / Finest Hour / Someone Else Not Me / Vertigo
Night Boat / Union of the Snake / Winter Marches On / Last Chance on the Stairway / My Own Way / Anyone Out There / My Antarctica / Hungry Like the Wolf
Pressure Off / Late Bar / Girls on Film
Notorious / Sunrise / Lonely in Your Nightmare / Serious / Before the Rain / The Edge of America / The Man Who Stole a Leopard
Is There Something I Should Know / The Reflex / Wild Boys / All You Need Is Now / Hold Back the Rain / Ordinary World
A View to a Kill / Do You Believe in Shame / Out of my Mind / Friends of Mine / Save a Prayer / Sound of Thunder
Secret Oktober / The Seventh Stranger / Come Undone
Careless Memories / New Moon on Monday
Planet Earth / Rio / New Religion
Obviously, there were a number of ties in terms of how many times the songs were included in people’s lists. I also noticed that a lot of the songs were singles and ones that are often played live. Interestingly enough, the only album not represented in this list is Red Carpet Massacre. Many people listed songs from that album but just not enough to be included in the top 40.
What do you all think of the list? Anything surprise you? Are there songs that you thought for sure would be there that weren’t or vice versa? I enjoyed “grading” this homework even though it took me longer than I expected. I have an idea for another Duranie homework assignment, if people are interested. Just let me know!
I apologize for the lateness of the blog. I could comment about my very lengthy to do list or my previous commitments of today and yesterday to provide justification. While all of those things are true, it is more about not being in the right headspace to write a decent blog. I had hoped that my mood would improve over the day but no such luck. When I’m in a frame of mind like I am, I often turn to music. Not surprising, I turn to Duran.
When people think of Duran Duran’s music, the feel good songs of Rio or the Reflex come to mind. Maybe, others think of songs that have an artistic twist like the Chauffeur or the Man Who Stole a Leopard. Obviously, all of those are worthy song choices. Not only are they worthy, but, often when I play them they take my mind off of what is bothering me. They often make me feel better. Yet, today, I am choosing to go a different route. I want to embrace those songs that discuss real life, real world and the issues that humanity must deal with. Here my playlist for the day:
The Edge of America
Ball of Confusion
I’m sure that there are plenty more songs that deal with real world issues in Duran’s catalog. I, for one, am super glad that there are songs for every situation and every emotion. It speaks to the band’s range and quality. As a fan, I love how their music can make me feel good when I need it but also shed light on all aspects of humanity when I need that, too.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!