Category Archives: songs

Ho Ho Holiday Rush

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to feel the holiday panic. A week from today my sister arrives, and after that it will likely be a whirlwind through New Years. Every year I hope to make this time relaxing, and every year I fail miserably. This week is crunch week for my family because it’s the last week of school for my oldest, my middle kid is trying to finish some writing projects to turn in next week for home school, and my youngest is just trying to keep up. She is very excited, then very exhausted, and in turn very grumpy. It is time to slow down, yet time seems to be speeding up!

Today’s blog is going to be rather short out of basic necessity, but I ask you a timely question. Let’s pretend the band is Santa. (Ok, just so we’re clear, I am NOT suggesting you should attempt to climb on any one of their laps the next time you see them…boundaries…boundaries would be good here.) If you could ask the band for anything – what would you ask?

Would it be something music related – for example you might ask that the next album be similar in style to say, Pop Trash or even Medazzaland.  Perhaps you’re ready for another album like Notorious or even Red Carpet Massacre. Or maybe you’d ask them to play a specific song in a set list for a show?  Maybe you’d ask for a re-do of a specific concert?  Even better – you’d ask them to go a specific city on a tour.  How about giving them an entire list of cities for a tour!

Perhaps music isn’t your thing. You want something more personal. (Again, remove thy self from gutter….) I always hear of people asking them for a hug when they meet. Maybe you want a picture with a band member or two. Coffee and conversation? Musical advice for those musicians amongst us?

Maybe the answer is that you’d ask for nothing at all….and you’d be happy with whatever 2013 brings. That’s probably the noblest answer, but highly unlikely for this crowd, and quite honestly – this is all in good fun anyway!

What would *I* ask for? Truthfully, I would probably ask them to include a few more of the obscurities on the set list should they play some shows this year. Songs that I’ve mentioned here before about a zillion times. It’s funny because when I think of songs, my mind immediately goes back to the beginnings of Duran Duran, but the fact is there are many songs even from recent albums that simply don’t get played. Oh, to narrow it down for this moment…. Let me go with a list of top 5:

1. Late Bar
2. Secret Oktober
3. Last Chance on the Stairway
4. Make Me Smile
5. The Edge of America  (I hear a big time guitar jam coming….)

So really, what would you ask?  Just for fun!  

-R

Album Favorites!

As I am sure many/most/all of you know, we do a “daily” question on our facebook and on twitter.  The question is usually a this or that type question.  For quite awhile now, we have been doing a poll of sorts about songs on the albums.  Thus, we simply ask, “This song or that?”  In reality, this has been a bracket of sorts with losing songs being eliminated until we get the favorite song per album.  Because Duran has such a large catalog and so many songs, this process of going through each and every album has taken quite a while.  Yet, finally, today we have the results, of our friends/followers collective album favorites.  We will present them here with clips for everyone to enjoy!

Duran Duran (self-titled) winner:  Careless Memories

Clip is from the Chichester Festival in 1981 (November 30, 1981)


Rio winner:  New Religion

Clip is from Hammersmith ’82 (November 16, 1982)

Seven and the Ragged Tiger winner:  The Seventh Stranger

Clip is from As the Lights Go Down (Spring 1984)

Non-album tracks winner:  Wild Boys

Clip is from the Montreux Pop Festival (May 10, 1985)
Notorious winner:  Vertigo

 
Clip is from Working for the Skin Trade (1987-1988)

Big Thing winner:  Do You Believe in Shame?

Clip is from Seoul, South Korea (February 11, 1989)

Liberty winner:  Serious 

Clip is from Italian TV (1990)

Wedding Album winner:  Come Undone

Clip is from MTV’s Unplugged (November 17, 1993)

Thank You winner:  White Lines

Clip is from a live broadcast (1995)

Medazzaland winner:  Out of my Mind

Clip is from Greatest:  Live at Wembly 1998 (December 21, 1998)

Pop Trash winner:  Someone Else Not Me

Clip is from Italy (2000)

Astronaut winner:  Sunrise

Clip is from Live from London (Wembly Arena Spring 2004)

Red Carpet Massacre winner:  The Valley

Clip is from Songbook (January 28, 2009)

All You Need is Now winner:  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

Clip from A Diamond in the Mind (December 16, 2011)

On that note, I did want to acknowledge the runner ups.  They are in order from the first album to the most recent album:  Sound of Thunder, The Chauffeur, Of Crime and Passion, A View to a Kill, Winter Marches On, I Don’t Want Your Love, First Impression, Ordinary World, Thank You, Midnight Sun, Last Day on Earth, Chains, She’s Too Much and Too Bad You’re So Beautiful.  Now, many of you might be wondering what we will be doing next.  First, I plan to have the winners battle each other so that we know the order of album favorites.  After that, I will be asking about b-sides.  Perhaps, I will look into demos.  Then, of course, we have a ton of songs left with the various side and solo projects (Power Station, Arcadia, Neurotic Outsides, The Devils, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, and Simon LeBon).  As always, I have enjoyed seeing which songs people prefer and look forward to the ones to come!

-A

Musical Peer Pressure?

I love asking daily questions on Facebook and Twitter.  While I love reading the results, I also love that they provide me insight into our fan community.  It leads me to see patterns of thoughts and behaviors.  Do my observations show that there is a Duranie culture?  Defining culture as I do with my 7th grade students, culture is a way of life based on similar beliefs and customs.  Do we have similar beliefs?  I think we do.  From what I have seen with the daily questions, we definitely do have similar beliefs, especially when it comes to Duran Duran songs.  (Notice the word I used was similar, not the same.)

In case you aren’t following us on Twitter or aren’t friends with us on Facebook (you should be if you aren’t, by the way!), we have been doing brackets with songs on the albums.  What this means is that I put two songs against each other.  The song with the most votes win and continues on to go against a different song until a song defeats all of the rest of the songs on that album.  Eventually, we will have those album winners challenge other album winners.  Looking at the results, I am amazed how frequently the collective community really likes certain songs.  When those songs have been asked about, the vote is not at all close unless a beloved song goes up against another song in the very loved by most people category.  Of course, it isn’t surprising that there are some songs that everyone seems to love.  What is surprising is that these beloved songs are rarely the singles or songs that the general public knows Duran for, at least for the first few albums.   It is almost like the fan culture has embraced some more obscure songs as the best ones.  Let me give some examples.

As of this blog, we are in the Liberty album.  Some of the hit songs that were kicked off and kicked off easily, for the most part, included Girls on Film, Hungry Like the Wolf, the Reflex, Notorious, and more.  Instead, we were left with songs like Friends of Mine, Careless Memories, New Religion, the Chauffeur, Of Crime and Passion, the Seventh Stranger, Vertigo and more.  I wonder how many less-than-hardcore fans would know any of these songs.  This leads me to further questions.  Is this an example of us thinking that these more obscure songs are really better?  Are they really better?  Perhaps, it is a situation where we, as a whole community, seem to hate the singles.  If so, why?  Is it really about quality or about being overplayed?  Are we simply sick of these hits but that we loved them at one time?  Maybe, these album tracks show off the Duran sound better to us.  I don’t know.  What do you the rest of you think?

Then, for me, I always wonder if there is peer pressure for hardcore fans to pick the lesser known songs.  Would a hardcore fan be thought less of, if s/he thought that HLTW was the best song ever?  Of course, I realize that this system of voting isn’t perfect.  I don’t offer any real guidelines.  People don’t know if they are picking songs they like the best or the ones that they think might be great songs, in terms of the songwriting.  Our fan community is a tough and strong one, though.  Maybe we, collectively, have discussed songs so much that there is a consensus about how good or bad a song is.  I see this in the voting, too.  For example, today was Hothead vs. Serious.  Obviously, Serious is winning…by a landslide.  I think a number of us could have guessed this result. 

So, fellow fans, I am asking you.  Why do fans pick the more obscure album tracks over the single?  Is it because they are higher quality, because we are sick of the hits, or because we have collectively discussed and decided that some songs are better?  Maybe I should do a survey of that!

-A

Winners so far:
1st album-Careless Memories
Rio-New Religion
Seven and the Ragged Tiger-The Seventh Stranger
Wild Boys
Notorious:  Vertigo

Guest Blog: Perfect

By Krissie Richardson

The other day, I was driving home from work, listening to a mix CD I’d made of my most favorite songs by Robert Palmer.  I’ve been a serious fan of his since the first Power Station album, and his death left a little hole in my musical soul.  The first song on the disc is “True Love” from the “Rhythm and Blues” album, and I found myself driving down I-75, singing along at the top of my lungs with tears rolling down my face.  It wasn’t grief over Robert’s passing, but rather that the song, in my musical opinion, is perfect.  Not “good”, not one loaded with memories and emotional attachment, but one that is so perfectly written and executed it moves me to tears.  There’s not a single note I would change, nothing in the arrangement or mix that irks me, not a single goofy lyric.  It’s just simply so perfect it moves me to tears with its beauty.
I had a good laugh at myself, realizing what I must look like to other drivers.  Thinking about it, I realized there are a handful of other songs in this perfect category, and they have the exact same effect on me.  “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is the most perfect of perfect – it’s the song that, to me, is the end-all be-all of music.  “Rendez-Vous IV” by Jean-Michel Jarre, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, and “The Golden Age” by Beck all fall into the realm of perfect, too.  I can’t listen to them with strangers for fear of being committed into the nearest padded room.
As I went over my list, I realized that was no Duran Duran included on it.  That fact hit me like a punch to the diaphragm.  I’ve been a Duran Duran fan since I was 10 years old – three quarters of my life, for those doing the math.  For a long time, my fandom was my life – I worked not to keep a roof over my head, but rather to travel the world following Duran and/or John’s various solo projects.  I have multiple DD tattoos, half the stamps in my passport are there only because of Duran shows, I’ve helped to run fanzines and fan conventions.  I identify myself as an American first, a Duranie second, and everything else doesn’t much matter.
How could it be that Duran Duran music doesn’t move me as much as other music?  What in the world could have happened to me that the band I’ve built a fair portion of my life around just doesn’t move me like other artists can and do?
My hypothesis is that there are two reasons for this.  First, I think that just because a band is your favorite doesn’t mean they make the music that reaches you the most, and sometimes artists that aren’t your favorite manage to grab a hold of your soul with a song or two.  Take Beck as an example from my life.  I like some of Beck’s work, but his “Sea Change” album is by far my favorite of his catalog.  It’s a complete departure from the rest of his work, and his hard-core fans view it like we look at “Thank You”.  The first time I heard it, the very first song put me straight into tears with how perfect it is.  The rest of the album is hit and miss, but “The Golden Age” moves me to this day.  Beck probably wouldn’t appear on my top 10 favorite artists list, probably not even the top 20, but in that one song he created a moment where we understand each other implicitly.
Perhaps that discontinuity is why the music can be so powerful.  It’s completely unexpected.
The second reason is more interesting, and harder to understand.  I’ve come to believe that fandoms grow and change, almost like separate personalities.  My love of Duran Duran has changed from youthful lust to musical obsession to an all-consuming passion to a comfortable hobby.  I’ve evolved in my fandom, or rather my fandom has evolved around me.  I’m such a different person than I was in 1995, when I got heavily involved in “the scene”.  I’m different from who I was when I got out in 1999.  I don’t even reside in the same universe as the person I was at the reunion and during the planning and execution of the Friends of Mine convention.  It’s only logical that my passions would be different as well – in some ways it surprises me more that any of my interests remain the same as they were “before”.
I’ve come to think that Duran Duran may not be my favorite band anymore.  My Duran Duran fandom is my favorite (and I have many, across many interests), though.  I don’t think it’s contradictory to say it like that, either.  I do lots of different things that involve fandom, like sporting events and sci-fi cons as well as Duran Duran shows and fan gatherings.  The Duran events are still my favorite, but not because of the band.  Instead, it’s because of the friendships I’ve made because of Duran Duran.  Rhonda, Amanda, and many other people make my life better because of the friends they are to me, and we would have never met one another if not for Duran Duran.  I wouldn’t have heard of Robert Palmer, a man who was able to reach me so deeply with his music my life would be less without it, if it weren’t for Duran Duran.
So even though there isn’t a Duran Duran song yet that reaches me as deeply as a select few songs by other artists, my fandom is an entirely different animal than it was at any other point in my life, and is probably more important to me now.  The friendships and experiences I’ve had as a Duranie are themselves perfect, and are vastly more meaningful that what album I choose to put into the player first.

Krissie is originally from Ann Arbor, MI but currently resides in central Kentucky.  She is an almost life-long Duranie who spent several years as a co-board member of theICON in the mid to late 90s.  With over 70 Duran Duran shows and at least 10 Duran Duran fan conventions under her belt, you might have already met her.  At the moment, she is finishing her BS in computer science at Eastern Kentucky University.  Along with her extremely patient husband, Don, and her two 80 pound lapdogs, BJ and Bear, she is eagerly anticipating what adventures await after graduation!

Song Meanings

This week, as part of the Would You Rather Game, I started to ask people about their preferences between two songs.  Right now, I’m picking songs that are on the same album and ones that seem similar.  I am not putting a ballad against a fast song, for example.  I might, at some point, but not yet.  I have enjoyed this game immensely.  I like learning about what other Duranies think.  It is cool to have something that people can talk about each day, I think.  In fact, one of the things that I think is super cool about Duran is how much there really is to talk about.  Even if the band ended tomorrow, our discussions can continue for years, even decades to come.  Part of the reason that there is so much to talk about is, of course, that it is a band.  It isn’t about one person, but many.  On top of that, their musical catalog is quite extensive now.  They have released many, many albums, including the songs that I’m asking people to choose between.  While I like to find out which song is more popular, what is more interesting to me is the reasons that people give.  The reasons vary but one that I have seen a number of times is the history behind the songs.  I, then, started to think about whether or not the song history impacts my opinions and I have to say that it does.

This part of the game started with two album tracks off the self-titled first album:  Sound of Thunder and Friends of Mine.  It seemed that most people preferred Friends of Mine.  Yet, when thinking about Duran Duran, Sound of Thunder has a more significant history.  I’m sure that I’m not telling anyone anything new but it was the very first song that the Fab 5 wrote together.  The legend has it that the band wrote the song as soon as Simon came and auditioned.  On top of that, I remember reading, maybe in an Ask Katy question, that Sound of Thunder captured the sound that they hoped to create.  After all, Duran Duran was designed to be a combination of punk and disco, right?  I have heard that John wanted to combine the sounds of Chic’s Good Times with the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant.  Apparently, they thought that Sound of Thunder did that the best.  As for Friends of Mine, I do know that Georgie Davis is a real person who was sentenced to prison and recently got out, I might add.  Yet, that story doesn’t strike me as much as Duran’s first song or the perfect combination of influences does.  Thus, in terms of sentimental value, Sound of Thunder wins the competition, hands down.  What do you think, Duranies?  Would you still vote on Friends of Mine?  Obviously, that’s cool if you would.  You might just think that the song sounds better. 

Then, yesterday, I asked about Last Chance on the Stairway and Hold Back the Rain.  Many people talked about how Hold Back the Rain was played at a gig where it was actually raining.  Some mentioned about how NASA used it in the hopes of keeping a storm away in order for the space shuttle to land.  Yet, a few more mentioned about Simon wrote the song about John.  Here’s a clip from a documentary that explains the story:
   

 Like the story behind Sound of Thunder, as a Duranie, I can’t ignore it.  It tells so much about the band.  It shows how much Simon cares about John.  It shows how far John Taylor has come.  It shows what life must have been like for them at this time with the partying and the women.  This history, this feeling speaks to me.  Of course, many people have personal connections to Duran songs.  Memories, feelings become attached to songs.  I can’t help but to think of touring life whenever I hear this song.  Specifically, the lyrics:  “No time for worry cause we’re on the roam again”.  For me, then, the personal connection combined with the Duran history puts this song way at the top of my list of favorites.  Of course, I think it sounds good as well!  😉

Maybe, my desire to know the story behind the song is strange.  Perhaps, I’m the only one who cares about stuff like this.  After all, I do have a history degree so I do tend to think about what is historically important.  Obviously, in my opinion, both Sound of Thunder and Hold Back the Rain are important to the Duran story.  What do you think?  Do you think the story behind a song matters?  How much does it matter?  Does it change the way you view a song?  Does it change how much you like or don’t like a song?  Then, do you think these two songs are important in understanding Duran Duran?  

-A

Personal Meanings

Music is a powerful force to many people, including myself.  Like many of you, I’m sure, music has always provided a kind of soundtrack to my life.  I have songs that will always mean something to me because they captured how I was feeling at a specific time in my life.  Obviously, in many cases, that soundtrack has included quite a bit of Duran Duran.  (Shocking, isn’t it?!  😀 ) Today, I was reminded of the power some songs have, for me.  This morning, I had coffee with a woman who is involved in a political group that I’m the leader for.  The goal of this morning’s meeting was to get this woman to become more active in my group.  We had a good conversation and much of the beginning focused on current affairs both locally and nationally.  The end of the conversation took a turn, however, as she discussed a family member who is reaching the end of his life.  I was instantly brought back to a recent time in my life.  As this woman was talking about her family member, I was thinking about my grandmother and my cat, both of whom passed away in December.  Those feelings of grief were brought up to the surface in such a deep and profound way.  After I left her, I drove over to my mother’s as I felt it necessary to be with her.  As I stood in my mother’s kitchen, I was reminded of a moment that took place this past December as we were both grieving.  This moment took place a few days after the digital version of All You Need Is Now was released.  I was playing the album for her as I had done with all of their previous albums since I became a fan in 1984.  We got to the song, Before the Rain, which seemed to fit our current state of being as we struggled with our losses.  From that moment forward, that song has represented grief to me.  Interestingly enough, a few days later, my family and I traveled to attend my grandmother’s funeral.  The song seemed fitting there, too, as it was raining while my brother, cousins, father, uncle and I carried her casket over to her final resting place.  Now, I highly doubt that my meaning for the song matches the intent of the lyrics.  Yet, I do appreciate how Duran’s lyrics are typically open to interpretation as many of us can and have done what I have done with Before the Rain.  We have added our own personal meaning to songs.

Another song that seems fitting today is Finest Hour.  This song, I’m sure, has meant many things to many people.  I remember hearing an interview in which Simon talked about how the lyrics refer to a speech given during World War II, expressing how Britain’s participation in attempting to defeat Hitler would be their “finest hour”, no matter the end result.  After hearing that interview, I have always connected “fight” to that song.  Obviously, the song could be used to talk about any kind of fight.  A personal battle or a political battle.  Today has also seen my political side come out in full force as my rights have seemingly come under attack by the leader of my state and more.  Instead of rolling over and giving up, I am doing what I need to do in order to stand up for myself and others like me.  I am fighting.  I may not get what I want but I know that I will still be proud of how I will battle.  Thus, Finest Hour fits my current mood.  I will “take back the life that I want to lead”.  Everyone can be sure of that.

I appreciate that Duran Duran has been there during life’s little moments, like today’s political and work related battles, and they have been there for big moments like losing a loved one.  For that, I can’t thank them enough as these songs have allowed me a chance to feel more deeply and they have pushed me into action.  I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one who can say these things about their music.  I’m sure that most Duranies out there have songs that represent their moments, their lives.  No crappy presale and no political ideology and no setback can take that away from any of us. 

-A

Setlist Wishes

Last night, I showed Songbook to a friend of mine.  For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, it was a show that aired in the UK, in January of 2009, in which the band discussed making certain songs and performed those same songs live.  Well, the second song happened to be Late Bar, which is one of the Daily Duranie’s favorites.  Both Rhonda and I LOVE the song and would absolutely love, love, love, love to hear it live.  We thought we might have a chance during the summer of 2009 as they played it once during the US’s mini tour, but not at the shows we were at.  Huge disappointment.  Anyway, this got me thinking about the songs I have seen live, the songs I hope to see live and the songs I hope never to see live again (or at least for a few years or more!). 

I openly admit that I’m a big Duranie dork.  I am.  I am such a dork that I have a list of every single song I have seen Duran perform live.  This list not only includes which songs but how many times I have seen the songs performed.  The songs I have seen the most, which are probably not hard to guess, are:  Ordinary World, Girls on Film, Rio, Sunrise and Wild Boys.  Now, I’m fortunate in that I generally like those songs.  Unfortunately, there are a ton of songs that come close to those top 5 and some of them I am sick of.  These songs are:  Hungry Like the Wolf, A View to a Kill, and Come Undone.  I can just imagine that some of you will instantly disagree with me as one or more of these songs might be your favorites.  I get that.  I know that I would be bummed if they stopped playing Planet Earth.  This brings me to a larger argument.  How in the world do they come up with the setlist?  How can they please all of us diehard fans with our different favorites and please those people who have come to the shows just to hear the hits?  I don’t think there is an easy answer there.  I hear many fans complain about how the setlists are always the same and are always the greatest hits.  I understand that, but I know that I have been at many shows where it seems like only half of the people there know non-singles and songs from 1988 or later.  It is a problem.

One thing Duran can do is simply include more and more hidden gems from their back catalog.  I know that some of the songs that I have loved the most live are songs like Hold Back the Rain, New Religion, Sound of Thunder, Friends of Mine, Serious, Is There Something I Should Know? and more.  These are songs that they have played live but not to the same amount as the previously mentioned songs above (at least at the shows I have been to).  I have also loved more obscure choices like hearing Election Day live for the first time a couple of years ago.  (Can I put in a plug for Late Bar again????)  I have been lucky enough to hear two albums (Rio and Red Carpet Massacre) entirely and would love to finish other albums.  Now, of course, Duran has to also balance the new songs as well.  Like many Duranies out there, I want to hear them all!  I know that I will be incredibly disappointed if I don’t get to hear The Man Who Stole a Leopard or Girl Panic.  What about the songs from the last couple of albums?  Will we hear anything from Astronaut and Red Carpet Massacre?  I suspect that we won’t hear many, but if I could choose a couple, I would choose Sunrise and Red Carpet Massacre (the song). 

What about the rest of you?  How do you think Duran could make everyone happy at a show with the setlist?  What songs would you love to hear that you haven’t?   

-A

It’s Monday – are you awake out there?!?

If you’re anything like me…or Garfield (my favorite cartoon character)…you hate Mondays.  I despise them, mainly because each Monday, I feel as though I’m being thrust back into reality with brute force.  It’s insanity in my house as we race to get kids to school, a husband to work, laundry, groceries, and catching back up with “life” on the computer.  Granted, I could probably make this weekly adjustment easier on myself by grocery shopping over the weekend, or doing laundry another day besides Monday, and if I actually spent time on Sunday night looking at my email or catching up on the weekend’s worth of Duran Duran news, I might even have a blog in mind for Monday morning.

Well, THIS weekend, I did all of that.  I did laundry on Sunday, for crying out loud.  I didn’t grocery shop – let’s not be hasty here – but I did get prepared.  I even read the boards briefly yesterday afternoon, and I even had a blog in mind for this morning.  What I didn’t take into account, of course, was the band.

What is it “they” say about the Best Laid Plans??

After the initial Monday morning rush to get everyone out the door, I sat down to the computer with a nice cup of coffee and the beauty of a blog topic in my mind.  It took all of 30 seconds to blast me from a relaxing zen-like calm, to feelings of near panic – and not just because the flooring people showed up to my house and started making enough noise to wake the dead.    Today on Facebook and Twitter, the band announced an early surprise – “it’s really all you need”.  Upon further investigation, it is pretty clear that the release date for the single has been moved up to Wednesday!

Of course, this is fantastic news for the fans.  We have been waiting for what feels like a lifetime (actually in my case, it has been – my youngest is 2!) for the new material to surface, and I honestly can’t wait to hear it!  All of the teasing snippets and reading how Mark Ronson believes this is the best thing the band has done in 20 years will be coming to an end. (well, maybe Mark will continue saying that, but soon we’ll have our own opportunity to weigh in!)  Wednesday is only two days away!

This is also an exciting time for our blog.  The Daily Duranie has always been about the fans, first and foremost.  Yes, we share news.  Yes, we might even gush a bit.  We also make sure to cover all of topics from a fans point of view as opposed to that of a journalist – and those topics can be anything from lyrical content, to art, to issues that go on within our fan base.  In addition to that, it is the intention of Amanda and I to give our own take on the music, since that’s what brought us to Duran Duran to begin with.  Sure, they don’t hurt my eyes to look at them….but the music really IS what’s between us.   Our plans are to take a deeper look at each individual song (beginning with All You Need Is Now) and each album as a whole.  We hope you stay with us, and we invite you to weigh in with your own thoughts and comments as we go along this journey!

-R

Soundtrack of My Life

I have been a Duranie for most of my life.  In fact, I became an official one at the very young age of 8.  Since then, Duran has always been the background music, the soundtrack of my life.  Some of their songs have inspired me to act, others have made me think about things in a new way, and still others really seem to capture my emotions.  I’m sure that some of the songs that have really touched me, emotionally, are the exact same ones that have touched other fans and others, not so much.

Ordinary World is probably the most classic example of an emotionally touching Duran song.  I’m sure that many fans throughout the years have listened to that song to help them through the process of grief over a lost loved one.  I know that I have put that song on whenever I want to feel both the loss of someone or something as well as optimism for the future.  After a rough week, emotionally, I turned to this song once again.  It helped me to remember that no matter how tough things are now, time heals. 

There are a couple of other more ballad type songs that have expressed my feelings in regards to work, which are Chains and One of Those Days.  When I’m not hanging out in the Duran world, I’m busy teaching as well as thinking and worrying about my students.  Those two songs always remind me that some days are not positive at work but that I’m still committed and hopeful that the future will be better because of my actions.  Once I’m in a more positive frame of mind, What Happens Tomorrow is usually played because I need to be reminded that things will be okay in the end.  🙂

Of course, there are songs that always bring me back to some extremely fun times in my life!  I can’t help but to smile when hearing a song like Late Bar!  How many really fun times have I had with my fellow Duranies at a bar, late at night?  Hold Back the Rain and Astronaut always make me think of touring.  The former one makes me think of that because of the line about how there is “no time to worry, we’re on the roam again.”  Certainly, one of the things I like best about touring is traveling and not stressing about daily tasks.  It is just about fun.  Likewise, Astronaut captures the feeling of being at a show with the line, “There is nothing gonna ace this.”

As I read the boards and see fans’ reactions to the new snippet, I keep thinking about how these new songs could fill a void in the soundtrack of my life and in other people’s.  Maybe they will capture some serious changes that will take place in my day-to-day existence.  Perhaps, they will remind me of both good and bad times I have had.  I hope that they will be able to express a part of me that I cannot.  Truly, one thing that I have always appreciated about Duran’s songs is how they can be interpreted in different ways.  While the songs I listed above mean something to me, they might not mean the same thing to others.  I suspect that every fan has Duran songs that really hit home for them.  Maybe some of them are like mine.  Maybe they are different.  No matter if they are the same or different, I would love to know what they are for you, fellow Duranie, and why!

-A

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?

-A