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?
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.
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?
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!
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!
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?
Today, there is a new rumor flying around the Duran community surrounding a possible song title on the new album. This would be the 8th song title out of a possible 11, assuming that the rumor is true. Here are the song titles I have heard, at one point or another:
All You Need Is Now
Blame the Machines
King of Nowhere
Leave the Light On
What is the reaction of this latest addition of “Being Followed” as a song title? I don’t know. I haven’t seen much, in terms of a reaction. Most fans are just wishing that they could actually hear the song rather than just the title. I get that. I, too, want, want, want to hear the new stuff now! Until then, why isn’t there more discussion about what the songs could be about? After all, it isn’t like we know exactly what songs like Union of the Snake are about even after listening to it and reading the lyrics for decades. Don’t the fans peculate on that song? What about songs like American Science? The Reflex? Isn’t part of the fan’s fun talking about, analyzing, debating, discussing all things Duran, including having a large chunk of that discussion being about the songs? Well, I think it is!
“Being Followed”: Wow. This song could be about so many things, really. The most obvious topic could be about people/fans stalking the band. That seems too obvious for me, especially since they did something similar with “Be My Icon”. Maybe it is about being an influence to others. I could see that since they are working with Mark Ronson on this album and he is clearly a fan. It must have created an interesting dynamic in the studio.
“Leopard”: This seems to be following in their animal theme, which includes Hungry like the Wolf, Tiger Tiger, Union of the Snake, etc. In many of those cases, the animals seemed to reference instincts in humans that could resemble animal like behaviors. Could this song be similar? Could it be about Simon’s leopard pants that he auditioned for the band in during the fateful meeting in 1980? That would a hoot!
“Leave the Light On”: This obviously reminds me of family and friends who leave home but know that they always have a place to go. Could this be a request that the band has of their fans? As in, the band may be away for awhile but that they would like to always have a place to go to, a place where they will always be home? I like the feel of that as I always feel at home when I listen to them. (I can be such a sappy fan!!)
“King of Nowhere”: This could be about where the band was at, emotionally, career-wise, after being dropped from their last record label and after the lack of success for RCM. They were supposed to be on top after the release of that album and they weren’t. They were in a state of limbo, having to re-examine things, once again.
“Safe”: Honestly, this is the least interesting title to me because it is one word. It could mean safe, as in not dangerous. Playing it safe. It could be about the band staying with a certain musical style in order to appeal to the most people even if it doesn’t grab really them, even if it doesn’t make people feel or think beyond the surface.
“Runway”: This is similar to “Safe” in that it is one word and just leads me to think models, fashion, etc. How very Girls on Film?!
“Blame the Machines”: This seems to connect with “King of Nowhere”. Perhaps, this is how Duran has been trying to figure out how and why they found themselves in the place they did after the lack of success with RCM. Did they blame the record label? The fans? Andy? The musical culture? Radio and other promotional tools? This is the only song that we have heard the lyrics for. Clearly, one of the lines in there indicate that they also blame themselves. This could be a very eye-opening song for the fans paying attention, I think.
“All You Need Is Now”: As the album title as well, this song could be the one that encompasses the overall feeling of the album or feeling of where the band is. It could be as it sounds, a song about embracing the present, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future. Enjoy the moment as the fans enjoy the new material.
What does everyone else think that the songs could be about? I would love to hear other ideas and then we can see how accurate our guesses were when the album finally gets released!