Category Archives: songs

Duranie Homework: 20 Not Needed Songs

Assignment:  20 Duran Duran That Are Not Needed

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:

  1. Send your list to our email:  dailyduranie@gmail.com
  2. Send your list to our twitter
  3. 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.

-A

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!):

  • All Along the Water
  • All She Wants Is
  • All You Need Is Now
  • A Matter of Fact
  • A Matter of Feeling
  • American Science
  • Anyone Out There
  • Astronaut
  • A View to a Kill
  • Beautiful Colours
  • Bedroom Toys
  • Before the Rain
  • Be My Icon
  • Being Followed
  • Big Bang Generation
  • Big Thing
  • Box Full O Honey
  • Breath After Breath
  • Buried in the Sand
  • Burning the Ground
  • Butterfly Girl
  • Can You Deal with It
  • Careless Memories
  • Chains
  • Change the Skyline
  • The Chauffeur
  • Cinderella Ride
  • Come Undone
  • Cracks in the Pavement
  • Cry Baby Cry
  • Danceophobia
  • Do You Believe in Shame
  • Drowning Man
  • The Edge of America
  • Electric Barbarella
  • Face For Today
  • Faith in This Colour
  • Fallen Angel
  • Falling Down
  • Faster Than Light
  • Finest Hour
  • First Impression
  • Friends of Mine
  • Girl Panic
  • Girls on Film
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • Hold Me
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • I Believe/All I Need To Know
  • I Don’t Want Your Love
  • Is There Something I Should Know
  • I Take the Dice
  • Khanada
  • Lady Xanax
  • Lake Shore Driving
  • Land
  • Last Chance on the Stairway
  • Last Day on Earth
  • Last Man Standing
  • Last Night in the City
  • Late Bar
  • Leave a Light On
  • Like an Angel
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Love Voodoo
  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • Mars Meets Venue
  • Mediterranea
  • Meet el Presidente
  • Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For
  • My Antarctica
  • My Own Way
  • Networker Nation
  • New Moon on Monday
  • New Religion
  • Nice
  • Night Boat
  • Night Runner
  • None of the Above
  • Northern Lights
  • Notorious
  • Of Crime and Passion
  • One of Those Days
  • Only in Dreams
  • Ordinary World
  • Out of my Mind
  • Palomino
  • Paper Gods
  • Planet Earth
  • Planet Roaring
  • Point of No Return
  • Pop Trash Movie
  • Pressure Off
  • Pretty Ones
  • Proposition
  • Read My Lips
  • Red Carpet Massacre
  • The Reflex
  • Rio
  • Runway Runaway
  • Safe
  • Salt in the Rainbow
  • Save a Prayer
  • The Seventh Stranger
  • Shadows on Your Side
  • Secret Oktober
  • Serious
  • She’s Too Much
  • Sinner or Saint
  • Sin of the City
  • Skin Divers
  • Skin Trade
  • Someone Else Not Me
  • Sound of Thunder
  • Starting to Remember
  • Still Breathing
  • The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset Garage
  • Taste the Summer
  • Tel Aviv
  • Tempted
  • Tiger Tiger
  • Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
  • Too Late Marlene
  • Too Much Information
  • To the Shore
  • Tricked Out
  • UMF
  • Union of the Snake
  • The Universe Alone
  • Valentine Stones
  • The Valley
  • Vertigo
  • Violence of Summer
  • Virus
  • We Need You
  • What Are the Chances
  • What Happens Tomorrow
  • Wild Boys
  • Winter Marches On
  • Yo Bad Azizi
  • You Kill Me with Silence

 

Top 40 Duran Duran Songs

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:

  1.  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

  2.  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

  3.  Pressure Off / Late Bar / Girls on Film

  4.  Notorious / Sunrise / Lonely in Your Nightmare / Serious / Before the Rain / The Edge of America / The Man Who Stole a Leopard

  5.  Is There Something I Should Know / The Reflex / Wild Boys / All You Need Is Now / Hold Back the Rain / Ordinary World

  6.  A View to a Kill / Do You Believe in Shame / Out of my Mind / Friends of Mine / Save a Prayer / Sound of Thunder

  7.  Secret Oktober / The Seventh Stranger / Come Undone

  8.  Careless Memories / New Moon on Monday

  9.  Planet Earth / Rio / New Religion

  1.  The Chauffeur

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!

-A

Here Beside the News

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

Paper Gods

Ball of Confusion

Drowing Man

Finest Hour

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.

-A

Duranie Homework: Top 40 Tracks

Name ___________________________

Assignment:  Duran Duran’s Top 40 Tracks

Directions:  Your task is to create a list of the Top 40 Duran Duran tracks or songs much like the one included in the Classic Pop  Special Edition:  40th Anniversary.  These songs may 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 “Top Tracks” mean?  That is up to your interpretation.  Could it be the best songs, in your opinion?  Sure.  Could it be the best musically?  Of course.  Could it include the most meaningful lyrics?  Absolutely.  You may take into consideration commercial success of the songs.  You may think about fan favorites or ones that have the most critical acclaim.  Perhaps, your list will include just the ones that you personally love.  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 Top 40 tracks.  If you are interested in extra points, please order your list from best (number 1) to least best (number 40).  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, October 28 (one month from today!)

How:  You may turn in your assignment in a variety of ways:

  1. Send your list to our email:  dailyduranie@gmail.com
  2. Send your list to our twitter
  3. 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 of top 40 tracks.  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.

-A

Trampled but Still Breathing and Reaching for the Sunrise!

Good morning, everyone! (It’s still morning in California!)

This is going to be a crazy week, and I feel compelled to share. I don’t know what anyone else did over the weekend,  but I rebuilt part of our back patio cover, alongside my husband and son. This morning, every part of my body is loudly reminding me that I am no longer a teenager.  I’m very thankful that at the last-minute, my husband decided to hire a painting company instead of going with the original plan to do it all ourselves (a task beginning this morning, as I type).  Today it’s only the outside being washed and painted, but tomorrow they’ll be prepping inside for similar treatment. Not a single wall is to be spared, and we’re going with the popular millennial color choice of “minimalist grey” to clean and update the inside of the house. We’ve hired a realtor, and within the next couple of weeks the house will be on the market. Writing the blog continues to be my source of refuge, particularly during the insanity of this moving process!

I love some of the questions that DDHQ has posed to the community over social media lately. While some of them allow me to answer within a second or two, others challenge me to really think. Today’s question nearly has me stumped.

“Of all the FIRST and LAST songs on Duran Duran albums, which opener and closer do you think make for the most powerful combined listening experience?”

Initially, all I could think about was that I hadn’t yet had my standard cup of coffee and that this question was far too deep for a Monday morning. Or at least my Monday morning.  I also was envious, because it is a great question, and I wish I’d thought of it myself so that we could have used it for Daily Duranie!

It is generally easier for me to consider the most recent album – in this case Paper Gods – because I’ve been listening to it for the past few years. So my knee jerk reaction was to say “Paper Gods” and “Universe Alone. The thing is, if I were in charge, I’d put “Before The Rain” as the opener and “Universe Alone” as the closer.  Not that I don’t like “Paper Gods”, but I personally feel that “Before The Rain” is a stronger song (For me.  Perhaps not so for you, but for me.), and  would have been an outstanding opener for any album. Granted,  “Before the Rain” and “Universe Alone” are on two completely different albums, and “Before the Rain” wasn’t even an opener!

The best news in this case, is of course, that I’m not in charge.

So I’m back at square one. I have to go back and actually look at all of the albums now, which is both pathetic (shouldn’t I know this offhand by now?) and also diligent. (if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right!)

Right off the bat, there are album openers/closers that I discarded. I’m not going to say which ones, but for me, there are albums that just don’t seem to have strong openers or strong closers…or maybe an album has a strong opener but not a strong closer, or vice versa. I’ll be honest, I found this to be the case more often than not at the beginning of their career as opposed to more recently. Whether this is because I have a serious lack in good judgment (!!!) or because the band has gotten better about the song order of their albums is hard to say. (both??)

For me, the answer to this question does not have a lot to do with whether or not I “like” an album. After all, I love the albums of the 1980s, but song order never entered into that. (For me) One of my strongest contenders would be the opener “The Valley” and the closer “Last Man Standing” because I always felt that both of those songs were strong, and even conveyed where the band stood in that moment, and yet Red Carpet Massacre is not one of my more beloved Duran Duran albums.

For me, it comes down to three:

“[Reach Up for the] Sunrise” and “Still Breathing”

“Big Thing” and “Lakeshore Driving”

“The Valley” and “Last Man Standing”

Of these three, I struggle at first, thinking I must pick a favorite. In the midst of my short reverie, I realize that the question isn’t about my favorite, but what is the strongest opener and closer for an album. When I think about that, I think the choice is clear – “Sunrise” and “Still Breathing”.  Aside from maybe “Rio”, I really can’t think of a Duran Duran song written that conveys more joy.  It is a very strong opener, and in my mind, “Still Breathing” is a strong, introspective way to close an album. The song isn’t incredibly loud, but it is powerful in meaning, and even musically – I think the word I’m looking for is “stoic”.  No, it’s not world-ending in the same way that “The Universe Alone” might be, but I have to love that the band chose to end an album meant to signify the reunification of the fab five with a song titled “Still Breathing”. As they were then, as they are now. And so are we.

-R

Interpretations of Only in Dreams

If you have been reading this blog for awhile now, you might remember a series of blogs that I did that focused on interpreting something Duran Duran did, usually a song but sometimes a video.  I haven’t done a blog like that for a long time so I figured that I’m long overdue.  In fact, I have not done any of the songs off Paper Gods and that album came out over two years now.  I’m clearly slacking.  Thus, to get back into this series, I thought about which song would make a good one to interpret, to figure out.  As soon as I thought about the track listing, I knew that I had to cover the song, Only in Dreams.

To remind everyone about the lyrics to the song, here they are:

Only in Dreams

Only in dreams girl am I part of your world
My heart it screams or so it seems
Only in dreams

Only in my - in my dreams - only in my dreams
Repeat

Only in dreams girl where my crime goes unheard
What does it mean to fly the scene?
Only in dreams girl

There's a vampire in the limousine
Sun's going down like a symphony
She keeps a guard up while her nails are wet
I don't want to wake up

Only in dreams I'm in dopamine time
It's in my genes, it get's extreme
Only in dreams

How did I dream you? You're the queen of steel dunes
Look what you done - my colours run
When ever you come too

There's a vampire in the limousine
Sun's going down like a symphony
She keeps a guard up while her nails are wet
I don't want to wake up

Only in my - in my dreams - only in my dreams

There's a vampire in the limousine
Sun's going down like a symphony
She keeps a guard up while her nails are wet
I don't want to wake up

On the rooftop we can feel the drop
She bathes in the moon while the shadows watch
I should be nervous but my eyes forget
I don't want to wake up
I'm not gonna wake up

Only in my - in my dreams - only in my dreams
Don't want to wake up
... dreams

The song starts with the line, “Only in dreams girl am I a part of your world.”  Hmm…before I go even further, this seems like a fantasy.  In the first real verse, the song mentions a “crime that is unheard” and the phrase “to fly the scene”.  What could the scene be?  Could it be that the scene is being a part of a social circle, a group of people?  Where and how would a crime fit into that?  I wonder if the fantasy is the crime?  Hmm…

The chorus talks about a vampire in a limo, a woman keeping her guard up, not wanting to wake up.  What about the next verse?  “It’s in my genes.  It gets extreme”.  Then, there is the repeated line of “not wanting to wake up.”

Okay.  I admit it.  This isn’t easy to interpret, for sure.  A lot of the lines seem to be not connected, at all.  That said, when I listen to this song, I cannot help but feel like it is about fandom.  Could the fantasy be about being connected to the subject of one’s fandom, to our idol?  Being a part of your idol’s world?  If that is part of a dream, I wouldn’t want to wake up either.  I feel like fandom is in my genes.  I’ll go a step further.  The line about the vampire in the limo reminds me of how some fans refer to Nick as a “vampire” of sorts and he certainly might ride in a limo.

Could the subject of the fantasy be a woman?  “She bathes in moonlight while the shadows watch.”  Could this fantasy be mysterious?  The sun is going down after all.  Could it be about being drawn to someone mysterious or other-worldly?  Sure.

So, if I had to guess, the song is probably more about being attracted to a mysterious woman and having the fantasy of meeting her.  That theory fits more of the lyrics, but I really like my theory that it is about fandom.  After all, the night time imagery seems right since a lot of fan activities like concerts happen at night.  Celebrities ride in limos.  Plus, if fandom is a fantasy, a dream, then I know that I don’t want to wake up.

Okay, people, what do the rest of you think?  What is the song Only in Dreams all about?

-A

Blame the Machines: An Interpretation

Today’s lyric day search resulted in the song, Blame the Machines, one of the album tracks off of All You Need Is Now.  As soon as I saw this song on the screen, I knew that I had to do “lyric day” in a different way.  Instead of picking just one lyric to apply to my own life, I thought I would discuss this song as a whole.  In fact, I might treat it like I did with many other Duran songs in which I think about what it might mean.

Let’s start with the official meaning.  How has the band described what this song is all about?  According to the Duran wikia:

“The song is based on a news story from Germany about a man who followed his satellite navigation device and ended up driving the wrong way on the autobahn. The song is a commentary on how reliant the world has become on technology, always assuming that the machines will be right.

The style of music has a hint of early band material and includes British newscaster Nina Hossain singing the sat-nav vocals.

Band comments
Simon:
This started off sounding like a Black Sabbath song but then got tempered by the keyboards – which is always what gives us our particular blend.
John:
The title came from one of Nick’s and my silly games, the idea being, “What would we call our offshoot electro ensemble?” The answer was “Blame The Machines”, which Mark loved. The lyric idea followed on from that, basing it on a story in the Herald Tribune about a German driver who was killed when his GPS sent him the wrong way up a freeway off-ramp.”

I have no reason to doubt this meaning.  It seems totally logical to me.  I could see someone blindly following a GPS up the wrong ramp on a freeway, absolutely.  I personally know how messed those can be.  I remember back to 2008 when Rhonda and I were in Atlantic City and my GPS that I lovingly called, Abigail, tried to direct us to drive on the boardwalk.  Yep, it wanted us to drive on the beach.  So, this story seems very plausible.  Could the lyrics, though, be about something else?  It is not that I doubt the band–more like that it could have multiple meanings or that it could be interpreted differently.

Let’s focus in on the word machine.  According to Google, one definition is:  “an efficient and well-organized group of powerful people.”  Hmm…A well-organized group of powerful people?  So, if I was a member of Duran, what would a well-organized group of powerful people be?  The first thought that popped in my head focused in on the music industry.  Maybe record label people or music industry people like those who control radio play.  Could Duran blame them for something?  It wouldn’t be the first time since they basically did that openly with a song like Too Much Information.  Could they blame the music or record industry people for not experiencing the same level of commercial success as they had in the past?  Again, I think yes.

If I dive into the lyrics even further, do they apply to this idea?

I’m driving up the Autobahn
Losing my way as the night gets long
The headlights shining in my face
Scream out the danger of this place

Obviously, there are lines that definitely support the GPS story.  Yet, “losing my way as the night gets long” could apply to my theory, too, after all I bet that Duran has made some choices that they might consider “losing their way” in order to try to get that machine’s approval or to follow the directions of someone who part of the machine.  Thus, the music industry could scream out danger.

And now there’s no way home
This love affair is ended
I should have known
When I bought into the dream
So like your solid soul
To leave me lost and stranded
I blame myself
And I blame the machines

Would someone really have a love affair with a GPS?  I’m not sure about that.  Could a band be in love with the commercial success that the music industry machine promises?  Sure.  Could that machine leave them behind, lost?  Possible.  I cannot help but think about the fact that Duran was in between labels during this time frame and that things did not go particularly well with Sony/Epic. That adds something interesting.

I’m flying blind
I’m speeding through
I hate to think
I’ve been fooled by you
An interactive nightmare show
Which never ends
It just goes on and on
And on and on

The line during this verse that grabs my attention is “I hate to think I’ve been fooled by you.”  Could they, at some point in their careers, think that the machine has fooled them?  That seems pretty logical, if you think about  it.  Interactive is a fascinating adjective.  Is a GPS interactive?  I don’t remember that.  Could dealing with music machine members bring interaction?  I would say yes on that.

Then, last but not least is the voice of the GPS saying,

“And now, turn left I have control
You are not required to think at all
Everything we hear
(Goes on and on)
Everything we see
Everything we love
(Goes on and on)
Everything we feel
Everything we want
(Goes on and on)
Everything we do
(And on)
Everywhere we go
(And on)
Everything we know
(And on)”

One could definitely argue that a GPS could be given control.  Yet, could it also be about the music industry machine being in control?  That would make sense to me.

Overall, it seems to me that this song could be exactly what it sounds like–a situation in which someone followed bad GPS directions while driving.  On the other hand, it could be about something else like the music industry machine.  I think it show the genius of Duran lyrics in that they could be about multiple ideas and it is up to us as listeners to interpret for ourselves.  On that note, how have you interpreted the lyrics to this song?

-A

Haunted By…

Any idea what our most looked at blog has been?  My goodness…at this point, we have over 4,000 blog posts.  So what would be the most “popular” of sorts???  Was it one that shared big news about a tour or a new album?  Nope.  Was it one that focuses on some controversial topic within fandom or our fandom?  It is not.  Could it have been the interview with Dom Brown?  That would be a good guess but…alas, it is not.  No, the most viewed blog post is the one I wrote about the interpretations of the Reflex.  My reaction to this?  Oh, for the love of Pete…

Let me give some background.  For awhile I was writing blogs that analyzed and/or offered interpretations of certain Duran songs.  Some of these songs were ones that I had been thinking about and others were suggestions from our readers.  It became obvious that I could not ignore one of Duran’s most successful singles and one that is often discussed in interviews.  I can think of countless times that the band, most specifically Simon, has been asked about what the song means.  So, I need what I had to do and looked up the interpretations online then went through the lyrics to determine if the various interpretations were possible or likely.  All of this was done on this blog here.   Since the blog was posted almost 5 years ago to the day, we have had a ton of people look at it.  We still get comments on it.

Now, looking back, was it smart of me to do that blog?  Was it a good idea to really look at that song?  I don’t know.  I’m not ashamed of the blog post.  A part of me really enjoys looking at theories and lyrics and trying to analyze them and always will.  But should I have done that with this song?  I don’t know.  I have seen interviews in which John Taylor has indicated that it is a good thing that the lyrics continue to be discussed like a poem would.  Maybe so.  Yet, I see Simon appeared to be slightly annoyed or frustrated when the topic comes up.  Is it because he feels embarrassed about them?  I suspect not.  I wonder if his feelings are similar to mine when I see the hits on this post or new comments.

I am always glad when someone comes to the blog for whatever purpose.  I am proud of all that Rhonda and I have written over the past 7 years.  Likewise, I’m hopeful that one blog post might lead to more searching on the site or having someone subscribe to check in daily.  I’m sure Simon feels the same way with the same hope that someone into the Reflex will lead to listening to lots more Duran.  That said, it doesn’t always lead to that.  There isn’t always more searching on the blog or new dedicated readers.  If I had to focus on one point, I would emphasis that there is a lot more here on the Daily Duranie besides talking about the Reflex just like there is a lot more to Duran than the song or a lot more to Simon’s lyrics.

So, if you have come to search for the meaning of the Reflex, that’s great.  Please, though, take some time to look around at other interpretations or other blogs.  Consider subscribing.  Come back more often.  We have lots more to offer.

-A

Songs for Intellectuals

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, an intellectual is:  1.  of or relating to the intellect or its use rather than by emotion or experience or 2. given to study, reflection and speculation.  The other day, John Taylor mentioned this term in the band’s oral history of the Rio album.  In that oral history, he stated that The Chauffeur is that album’s song for intellectuals.  He also mentioned about how a friend of his said that every album needs a song for those thinking people.

Anyone who knows me is not surprised to find out that this got me thinking.  (How intellectual of me!)  I cannot deny that I like to think, study, reflect, analyze or however you want to say it.  My parents are to blame as I grew up in a household in which vacations meant museum visits, dinner discussions included current events and basic knowledge, and daily activities involved reading or looking up information.  Therefore, this thinking, speculating thing is part of my DNA.  Intellectual might be going a bit far but I do like to think.

So, what did I think John’s statement regarding The Chauffeur?  What did I think about this idea that every album needs a song for intellectuals?  First, if there is a song for intellectuals on Rio, I agree that it must be The Chauffeur.  While I think the lyrics on many of the songs on that album are fascinating and make me think, the lyrics for The Chauffeur are definitely more poetic than the rest.  Because of this, one might spend more time thinking about what Simon is trying to say and why.  Those lyrics are definitely less straight forward than say Save a Prayer.  Second, do I think that every album needs a song for intellectuals?  Need is obviously the key word there.  Would an album be less good, have less quality without a thinking person’s song?  I’m not sure about that.  Would Rio not be as good if say the song, “Like an Angel” was included instead of The Chauffeur?  The quality might decline a little but that is based on the quality of the song as opposed to intellectual vs. not.  That said, I do love, love, love the songs that make me think.  It is one thing that I really do appreciate about Duran.  While Duran is a lot of fun on the surface, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.  They often make me think with almost every song, video, etc. they do.

If Duran really has followed this philosophy, can we pick out the intellectual song in each album?  When did they start this?  Are there some albums that might have more than one?

Does the first album have one?  If so, I might have to say that Friends of Mine might be more intellectual than the rest.  Yet, at the same time, it fits with the rest of the album.  It doesn’t stand out in the way The Chauffeur does on Rio.  Hmm…What about Seven and the Ragged Tiger?  Is there one on there?  A lot of the lyrics do make me think as they are not obvious about what they are about.  If that is the criteria, then, maybe The Reflex?  Union of the Snake?  Again, I’m not sure those really fit the idea that they are for intellectuals.  What about Notorious?  Winter Marches On?  Ugh.  I think I suck at trying to figure this out!!!

Maybe, I’ll have better luck in the late 80s/90s albums?  I think The Edge of America might fit in the criteria for intellectual song.  What does the edge mean?  Why is there is anger?  The lyrics are not that poetic or obscure.  Yet, the song makes me think.  Nothing pops out for me for Liberty.  The Wedding Album’s intellectual song could be Too Much Information as it might make people consider the role of media.  Breath After Breath is very much a different type of song.  Could that be it?  Could they both be??  Medazzaland might have a bunch since the entire album feels very different.  In fact, it might be easier to pick the songs that are more obvious than the opposite.  I’m not sure about Pop Trash.  Ugh.

Post reunion albums are not really any easier to determine the intellectual songs for.  For Astronaut, I might pick Finest Hour.  While the lyrics could be applied to many situations, it has a connection to Churchill and his speech during World War II.  It makes my historian brain think then.  Red Carpet Massacre is interesting.  There are definitely non-intellectual songs on that album, including the ones produced by Timbaland.  That said, there are songs, like Red Carpet Massacre, that seem to be about one thing but could be about something else.  I bet All You Need Is Now has two:  The Man Who Stole a Leopard and Before the Rain.  For Paper Gods, is it the title track?  Only in Dreams?  Both?

Clearly, the answers are not obvious AT ALL.  I made some guesses but I really have no idea if any of songs I considered are ones that the band would consider.  Maybe, all of you have different ideas about which songs are the ones for intellectuals.  Perhaps, what we should do is figure out actual criteria and then consider each album.  What do all of you think?!  Come on, intellectuals, let me hear from you!

-A

On a different note, I want to wish all mother’s a Happy Mother’s Day!

Look where we are: what three DD songs sum up their career?

Every once in a while, DDHQ will ask a question that gets me thinking. Today became one of those days when they asked fans what three songs best represents Duran Duran’s sound.

First of all, I didn’t ever answer the question. My intentions were good, but life got in the way, and I didn’t even think about it again until late in the afternoon.

Second, where do I even begin?! Not only is there a large catalog of music to consider, but the styles are as varied as their hairstyles. If I take the question seriously, I suppose the best place to begin is, well…the beginning.  🙂

I think the first album must display the humble beginnings of this band. That music is what led them, creatively speaking, in a forward direction from the Rum Runner. That said, I think one song has to come from there. The question is, which one?

My heart says Friends of Mine, but that’s more of a favorite than it is anything else. Next would be Planet Earth, but is that MY beginning (as a fan) or the band’s, I am not sure. So then I think about Girls on Film. It isn’t my favorite off of the album, but it does display their ingenuity (camera clicks), and I think of the bass line along with the keyboards and guitar…and it does add up to quintessential Duran Duran from that period. So, I’ll go with Girls on Film.

The next song is tougher for me, because when I listen to Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger,  Notorious, Big Thing, or Liberty…every single album changes enormously. Not enough to where I’d say “that’s not Duran Duran”, but I think you all know what I mean. Personnel changes, style changes…but it is all still Duran Duran at heart. So where do I go from here?

I think I have to go for the obvious, which is a little painful…but it’s honest: Ordinary World. I would have EASILY preferred Rio, or even Hungry Like the Wolf on some days (!!), but then I’m ignoring a very important part of their history. I believe Ordinary World is the turning point, the apex when the band collectively decided to keep going and give it their all, whether as the Fab Five,  Fantastic Four, or Terrific Three….not that I don’t think they did it before then, I just mean, it all came together beautifully, in that moment.

So that leaves one. Goodness. I could have easily done this in five songs. Four songs seems tough, but three? ACK!  One song. Ok. So again, I’m struggling with the changes in sound. Sure, Astronaut brings us back to the Fab Five and Sunrise would have been an easy pick, except that it’s now 2017. We’ve had a few remarkably different albums since then. What song defines their sound best?  Do I pick something off of Paper Gods because it’s most recent? Do I pick from All You Need is Now because it’s a fan favorite? What about Red Carpet Massacre, where does that album fit?

I’m going to work through this the only way I know how – train of thought writing. (which ought to be interesting…) Astronaut was the album, or so I thought, because it brought the band full circle. When I think of the song Sunrise, it brings me right back to all the promise of the Fab Five returning. The trouble is, that didn’t last, and I don’t think it’s a fair representation of their sound.  Then there’s Red Carpet Massacre. Out of all the Duran albums, this sounds the least like anything else they’ve done. That doesn’t make it bad, just not quite what I think represents DD.  That brings me to All You Need is now and Paper Gods. On one hand, All You Need is Now is like the first part of DD’s career revisited. It is comfortable (for me), but there weren’t a ton of surprises, and I didn’t feel like it was innovative…but I loved it right away and still do. Paper Gods has been a different journey. While it’s forward-thinking, it’s still very much the Duran Duran I know and love. In a lot of ways the album feels and sounds very much like the story of DD’s career. When I listen to only a song or two, I feel like I’ve only heard a single conversation. It is the one DD album I own that I listen to from start to finish without skipping around, which is different. I think that’s why it is hard for me to pick a single song and say “Yep, that is the ONE song that tells it all.”  Instead, I find myself thinking about the bonus material. Planet Roaring tells the story of how I feel to be a fan, and if there is any one song that is 100% complete Duran Duran on that album (although it’s only a bonus), it is this one.  My problem with picking it is simply no one knows about it but fans.

Earlier today I perused the replies from other fans on the original post. The one thing I noticed, overwhelmingly, was that fans mainly chose hits, or in other words…songs that can be found on many a set list.

I don’t think that’s an accident. In fact, I would imagine that when the band sits down to think about what they’re going to play on tour, they consider songs that appropriately culminate their career. After all, they are picking a handful of songs that walk (or dance) an audience through their entire career.  It’s kind of like Duran 101 when you go to a show! Duran Duran wants to pick songs that an audience knows.  That’s why choices like Secret Oktober, Fallen Angel or even Virus don’t get played. No one knows them, and as much as it pains me to say, I get it. I don’t love it, but I get it.

So what to do about that third song? The rebel in me says to just go for it and pick Planet Roaring because in my heart, it’s the one song that should be on the main album that isn’t. My head tells me that I should be more methodical. I hate that, so tonight I’m going with my head for two out of the three choices, and my heart for the third. (Two out of three isn’t bad!)

Girls on Film

Ordinary World

Planet Roaring

I’m curious though, what did you pick? My choices aren’t necessarily the best or even the right ones – they’re just what I picked tonight (I’m writing this on Monday night!), and I cannot guarantee I’d pick them again tomorrow.  I’m sure that not one of you would pick the same as me, so it’s your turn…what would you choose!

-R