Category Archives: videos

Reading the PIctures

Today marks the end of the set of daily questions about Duran Duran’s various DVDs. First, I asked about who had various releases before deciding which one fans like best. This got me thinking. Has Duran Duran produced all the DVDs they should have? What about music videos? Did they make enough of those? Are there songs that they should have made videos for?

DVDs that weren’t released but should have been

The first one that comes to mind, of course, is Drama Americana. According to Duran’s wiki, “Drama Americana is an unreleased Duran Duran 64 minute documentary film, directed by Gavin Elder. The documentary was filmed during the US leg of The Astronaut Tour in 2005, and Nick Rhodes said on Katy’s Kafe (March 2009) that the product is now finished and confessed he’s very pleased with the title.” I know that the Astronaut Tour was super exciting for me so I would love, love, love to see this. I have to wonder if it was never released because Andy left. There is a trailer on YouTube.

What about the Live at the Budokan from the Paper Gods Tour? We know that one was done since it aired somewhere (Japan, maybe? I cannot remember.) I’m all for live performances, especially for tours that I saw. This way I would have something to watch to remind me what those shows were like (besides my faulty memory!) You can see it on YouTube but I would love to have an actual copy with all the cool packaging, etc.

Besides the ones that we know have been created, should there be other ones and if so, what? Personally, I would have loved a DVD for each tour. Duran already has quite a few with Live at Hammersmith ’82 (for the Rio tour), As the Lights Go Down (Sing Blue Silver Tour of ’84), Working for the Skin Trade (’87), Live in Milan (for the Big Thing era of ’89), Live from London for the reunion of 2004, and A Diamond in the Mind for All You Need Is Now (2011). So, I could argue that we need one for the all the rest of the 1990s. What about that Broadway run that I mentioned yesterday? That would be a cool way to showcase the Red Carpet Massacre Tour.

What about other documentaries? I, for one, loved the Classic Albums one about the making of the Rio album. I know that they have done some DVD features for more recent albums that act in that way in which we get a little behind the scenes of the writing and recording tracks on an album. I wish we had something like that for Paper Gods, actually. One documentary possibility that I think would be super cool would be if they captured the writing and recording process. I just would love to be a fly on the wall to see and hear how it is really done. After all, I don’t think we ever really know what something is like until we see it for ourselves, especially one’s job. (It is a big pet peeve of mine as everyone in the world thinks they know what it is like to be a teacher (my job) because everyone has gone to school. Wrong.)

Videos that should have been made

Similarly to DVDs, Duran Duran has created a ton of videos. I love so many of them and could only imagine that I would love more, if they had done more. Of course, to be realistic, they cannot do one of each and every song. So, I would have to pick and choose which songs are most deserving of a video. What criteria would I use? The songs that would create the best images or visuals? The songs that fans love the most? Songs that are the best representatives of an era or a particular sound? I don’t have any easy answers. Even tougher, what if I gave a limit? What if I could only request 5 more videos? What would I choose and why?

The first song that popped in my head was Before the Rain. Not only do I love the song but I think the lyrics are amazing. I would love to see what the band would come up with for a video. In concert, they used some images of military and historical images, which I thought was cool. Could it be something like the video for New Moon on Monday? Wouldn’t that be amazing? The next song that I thought about would be Hold Back the Rain. It is a favorite of mine. That said, the Rio album already has a ton of videos for it. On top of it, maybe they wouldn’t want to do that since it was a song that Simon wrote for John. What about a song like Planet Roaring? It could be a love letter of sorts to the fans or the connection that the band has to their fans. Again, I would have to think that would be pretty awesome.

Clearly, picking songs that should have videos made is not that easy of a task. The more I think about it, the more difficult it is. What about the rest of you? What would you choose and why?

-A

Valentines Day 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. For many, this is not a favorite day. Personally, I have a “strong dislike”/love relationship with this holiday. To begin with, I don’t think we need a day set aside to tell people we love them – because we should already be doing that each and every day. Also, I don’t really enjoy setting people I know up to fail – and this holiday sort of does that for some reason. I also don’t think we need to remind single people that they’re in fact, single. They already know. This stupid day is sort of “in your face” about that, isn’t it? It’s obnoxious. However, I have children, and I have enjoyed spoiling them on occasion. I only have one at home now, and so today – she’s getting some treats.

So for the rest of us, whether you’re single, in a relationship, it’s complicated, or married (and isn’t it ALL complicated from time to time??), I figure we should treat ourselves. I mean, why not?

Last night for example, I watched Live from London. Now, that might not sound like much, but I hadn’t really watched it in years! I think Amanda and I sometimes include some of it when we do a video party online, but when that’s going on I have a hard time paying full attention to the video. So last night, I watched.

I cannot tell a lie – it was really nice seeing Andy on that stage with the band. Though I am well aware of the band’s working relationship over the years, there is just something about that guy with the music. Much of it was his. He wrote it, and he owned it. But even the music he didn’t originally write, he unabashedly made his own. (Whether people like the way he plays it or not… Andy doesn’t give a crap. He plays the way he wants.) There’s a confidence there and a sense of ownership that felt right.

Now, I realize that some of you are thinking, “But Rhonda, what about Dom?” Yeah, yeah…I know. The thing is, you can appreciate everyone who is has been involved with this band for what they bring to the stage. Andy’s swagger and “IDGAF-what-you-think” confidence, Warren’s artistry, Dom’s expertise as a studio musician and friendliness. All of it has brought us to present day. I was overjoyed, and even a little wistful, to see Andy’s larger-than-life picture onstage during the Miami show when the band played Seventh Stranger. I will be every bit as proud and excited to see Dom on stage next Friday.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Live from London last night. Fifteen years or so gave me a little different of a perspective. I still had chills when the band walked to the front of the stage while a track of heartbeats played. I remembered how that felt when I was in third row at the AllState Arena in Chicago. I noticed how different the band looked – their hair far spikier, and sure – they were a little younger. (as was I…) I noted how some of the songs were arranged the tiniest bit differently for that tour, which was interesting to hear. It also seemed like the whole production and staging felt a lot less choreographed than the Paper Gods shows.

I am hoping to get some time to watch a few more videos today. I feel like it’s time for another Sing Blue Silver viewing, but also maybe time for some YouTube searching for videos from Miami. At any rate – I hope everyone takes a little time to treat themselves today. You’re worth it!

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!

-R

Movement is Unstoppable. Welcome to the Edge

The Edge of America

This is a song that has always sent shivers (the good kind) down my spine, as I consider each word.  The words and music are as robust now as they were when written. Up until today, there’s been no video for the song.  I’ve always wondered if it was a missed opportunity.

I don’t need to consider that possibility any longer. Today, Duran Duran released the video for The Edge of America. A song that was included on their 1988 album, Big Thing. Some things need very few words, and little fanfare to make them powerful. They simply stand on their own, creating their own energy.

In today’s world of music videos, very few have the kind of power to change or challenge someone’s thinking. I just don’t feel there’s that same positive push of boundaries as there might have been in the past. This video for The Edge of America is remarkably different. It is not one that folks might cheer over in the same way they would for The Reflex, or even All You Need is Now—after all, the band does not even make an appearance in it—but it absolutely should make one think.  David Medina, the genius behind the work, should be incredibly proud.

There is so much I could make commentary on, but there was one thing – well, two things really – that blew me away when I watched the video. The first was that this song is hundreds of times more powerful and timely now than it was when the album was released – even without a video, and now – we even have that. The second is how incredibly proud I am of them.

I am well-aware that the video does have its implications, and that there are likely some who have plenty to say in response. In this moment, talking is OK. Listening is even better. Some might say it is time to do more listening.

Purity is impossible. Movement is unstoppable.”

-R

 

New Moon on Monday Video Geography

Well, hello there, Monday! I wish I could say I was happier to see you. Alas…

I know that there’s a birthday coming up later this week. Right now, I’ve got my own birthday boy with his own monster-sized birthday to celebrate. I also have entirely too much school paperwork, and teaching to do today. The Katy Kafe with Simon will need to wait until a bit later, unfortunately.

HOWEVER, I do have a treat to share. I don’t really know what it is about October, but I tend to associate New Moon on Monday with October, or just Autumn in general.  I listen to Seven and the Ragged Tiger quite often, right along with my Union of the Snake/Secret Oktober single. (naturally!!) I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit the little town in France where the video for New Moon on Monday was filmed (I know a few of you out there have had the good fortune to explore Noyers). It is one place of many on my bucket list, and I’ve always been a bit curious about what it might really look like, aside from the “Hollywood magic” they use during filming.

Imagine my delight as I checked our messages this morning and noticed that our friend Jason had sent us a link to Revolutions Per Minute, a blog hosted by Hard Rock (as in Hard Rock Cafe).  Not only is the post topic New Moon on Monday, it was authored by Jason himself! Click on the heading below to open the link!

New Moon on Monday Video Geography

As Jason instructs, his article begins with the video, because “some of you (all of you?) may not have seen it in a few years.” Of course I watched the video. It’s easily been a week or two since my last viewing and I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten the expression on Roger’s face as he passes out his propaganda, or the way the band looks as they’re dancing at the end. Due diligence, you know??

From there, Jason takes the video apart, deconstructing the scenes and finding current day photos to show how each locale currently appears. I loved it, since it is the closest I’m likely to come to Noyers until I’m finished paying for college…and paying off the loans for college!  (Good times!!) For those of us with all the wanderlust in the world and no way to fund it, his post gives us the tiniest glimpse behind-the-scenes into a beloved, iconic Duran Duran video.

Video geography, indeed.

Take a look and enjoy!  Thanks for sharing it with us, Jason!!

-R

 

 

Everybody, Everywhere, Feel It In The Air

Do you know what Duran Duran was doing on this date in 2015?  They were filming the video for “Pressure Off” at Black Island Studios in London!

The video for “Pressure Off” is stylistic and modern, filmed in black and white. I like its simplicity and the stark black and white look. Nick’s thick black eyeliner, that damn leather jacket John’s wearing as he slowly unzips the sleeve, Simon’s mirrored aviator shades, and Roger’s super white grin at the end are huge checkmarks in my “Yes!” column. Combine those scenes with appearances by Nile and Janelle Monae in what I think has to be the most effective use of guest artists in a video, and “Pressure Off” is a big winner.

I love the whimsical side of the video, too. I am absolutely not the only Duranie to laugh at John mouthing the good old “F**k you” at the very beginning. That was my first indicator that this video lived up to it’s name! The magic of editing helped us see John upside down, and the weightless jumps into space for Nick and Simon (thank you, slo-mo). The carefree jumping paired with Nick’s seriousness makes me laugh.  At one point, John even throws his guitar, and it seems to just hang in the air. There are times I’d like to throw this laptop in the same way. actually.  The smiles and camera stare-downs also remind me that this band has a great sense of humor. I miss it!

I like the way the video is black and white, and yet the live performance of this song on tour was quite the opposite. The band wore vibrant colors in one way or another, and the confetti cannon spread a rainbow of joy throughout the venue. I’m sure the intention wasn’t to be the opposite of the video, but it is something I’ve thought about. Either way, I can’t help but smile and feel jubilant. (the edge goes to the live show for that, but even the video makes me happy)

Rather that read my gushing, why don’t you take another look? It had been a while since I watched it last, and I have to admit that seeing it today made me a little less weary of getting back into homeschool mode…

…speaking of which, I’ve got some teaching to do. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

 

-R

Video Popularity

What would you say is Duran Duran’s most popular video?  I bet many of you would pick something from the 1980s, from the peak of the band’s popularity.  How would you determine the most popular?  Could that be decided via a poll of everyone in the world with a question about which videos have been seen?  What about a question about favorite video?  Perhaps, one could research which videos won awards?  Clearly, the question is more complex than what it might first appear.

This question of popularity is one that I have been thinking about for awhile.  It started when our questions of the day began to focus on the videos.  For those polls, I always go over to YouTube to include the video for people to watch if they needed, wanted to determine their choice.  I have to admit that I’m sometimes surprised by the number of views various videos have had.  Which Duran video do you think has had the most number of views?  Again, you might say one from the 80s, but which one?  Hungry Like the Wolf?  Rio?  The Reflex?  Let me share the number of views as of today, in order of most viewed.

Meet el Presidente:  147,000
Last Night in the City:  207,000
Night Boat:  218,000
Falling Down:  223,000
Femme Fatale:  237,000
Someone Else Not Me:  294,000
Violence of Summer:  295,000
Out of my Mind:  307,000
Breath After Breath:  359,000
White Lines:  417,000
Too Much Information:  426,000
My Own Way:  436,000
Lonely in Your Nightmare:  461,000
A View to a Kill:  472,000
Do You Believe in Shame:  509,000
Burning the Ground:  524,000
Sunrise:  554,000
Perfect Day:  690,000
Careless Memories:  702,000
All You Need Is Now:  829,000
Friends of Mine:  898,000
What Happens Tomorrow:  919,000
Skin Trade:  1.2 Million
The Chauffeur:  1.3 Million
Electric Barbarella:  1.3 Million
I Don’t Want Your Love:  1.5 Million
All She Wants Is:  1.5 Million
Serious:  2.1 Million
Is There Something I Should Know:  3.8 Million
Pressure Off:  3.9 Million
Union of the Snake:  4 Million
Girls on Film:  4.9 Million 
New Moon on Monday:  5.5 Million
Planet Earth:  5.7 Million
Notorious:  7.6 Million
Girl Panic:  7.6 Million
Wild Boys:  12 Million
Rio:  17 Million
The Reflex:  18 Million
Save a Prayer:  35 Million
Hungry Like the Wolf:  43 Million
Ordinary World:  64 Million
Come Undone:  67 Million

Anything surprising to you?  I know that I was surprised that the videos from the Wedding Album were more popular than videos from Rio.  I tend to think of the videos from 1982 as being the standard Duran videos, the ones that most come to mind when people mention Duran Duran.  Interestingly enough, Girl Panic has a lot of views, more so than many from the 1980s.  It is definitely the most viewed of the post-reunion time period.

Then, I wonder what would these totals look like if YouTube had been around in the 1980s.  I am willing to bet that the views would be a ton more.  After all, when these videos came out, many of us would watch MTV for hours just hoping that a Duran video would come on.  Then, many of us bought the Video Album that came out in 1983 just to watch the videos whenever we wanted.

There is a part of me that really wishes that all of the video views would be a lot more than they are.  Maybe that is why I include them for each of the questions of the day.  After all, I suspect that many of us don’t need to watch the videos to determine which video has a better looking band member.  So, why does popularity matter?  It doesn’t really, of course, but as a fan, I think everyone should love Duran as much as I do.

-A

Rio goes gold, 1983

Do you know what happened on this date in 1983?

Rio went Gold.

That means by this date in 1983, that little album with the recognizably Nagel cover had sold 500,000 copies. 500,000 people or so, snatched up that vinyl, or cassette. (did they have 8-track too??) I still have my original copy and remember buying it. Do you?

I’m a little surprised that my copy still works. I would have thought that with the number of times I played it – over and over again – that by now the grooves would have widened and been completely worn out. I loved that album from the very moment I heard the opening “backwards sounding” rush of notes all coming together to transport me away to a completely different world. Escapism at its best.

To this day, some of my favorite songs and videos are from that album. So for this Throwback Thursday, I’m going to spend some time gleefully skipping down a memory lane dipped in gold!

I couldn’t find a full-length clip of Last Chance on the Stairway (dammit, why hasn’t someone else done it for me?!) but I did find a couple of the electroset version they did….and this is the longest:

Happy listening and viewing!

-R

 

PS – Happy March!!!

 

 

I light my torch and wave It – video for New Moon filmed 34 years ago!

Not even gonna lie, I love to light my torch and wave it for the New Moon on Monday.

This darn song. It got me from the very first listen. The video certainly did NOTHING to stop me as it was filmed in France on this day in 1984.

Yes, I know the band apparently hates this video. “The dancing” they say. Oh please, Simon. We see you and Mr. “Danceophobia-arms” John Taylor at every single show. Yes, the dancing. We love you for it.

I. Love. It.

Naturally, it’s not JUST the video. I adore the anthemic nature of the song. It is like a giant “call to arms” for all Duran fans.

(note to band: Planet Roaring could have TOTALLY been the follow-up. I’m sad you missed the opportunity to send the song blazing at every single show. Alas…I’ll get over it. Eventually.)

I did love every single second of singing New Moon on Monday at the top of my lungs on the Paper Gods tour, though. There was something very special about hearing the absolute roar go up from the crowd when Sunrise would morph into New Moon. It woke the crowd up as we were transported back to 1984. I felt my teenage energy bursting at the seams, and I just know that the crowd must have been glowing for the band every single night when they’d sing this song. So sure, I’m going to watch the video today. I need no excuse, but anytime I can celebrate another year of my torch being lit because of this song and video in my life, I’ll do it!

-R

Electric Barbarella finishes filming in 1997

I feel free!  Summer may now begin! Now that the graduation festivities are over and I have another high school graduate on my hands, I’m ready.

It felt really good to see Gavin cross the stage and get his diploma on Saturday, and I’m really thankful that most of my family was there to see it, including my brother-in-law, who spent quite a bit of time in the hospital recently. He’s doing really well though, and we have great hopes that he’ll receive the bone marrow transplant he needs in the coming months. Until then, we treasure whatever time we have together.

Next on the summer “fun” list is Gavin’s 18th birthday, and then 4th of July, which is my favorite holiday, and then I pick Amanda up from the airport for an extended weekend of fun and road tripping to the bay area. I’m excited to see the shows, but I’m also really looking forward to not being in a hurry to get from one place to the next. We are leaving early enough to have time to ourselves, and the same holds true for on the way home. I am hoping it will feel like a real getaway rather than a race, even though the two shows are GA.  We may be waiting in line, but hopefully we will be amongst friends and have a good time chatting the weekend away. I’m not going to think much beyond that because I want to savor every moment.

So, for today – I have a moment in history to think about. On this date in 1997, filming for video for “Electric Barbarella” was completed.

I never really fell in love with this video, and I think it’s one of the pieces that really tends to stir up a fair amount of controversy amongst fans. The woman is a robot, looks an awful lot like Barbie, and the song lyrics are enough to make you wonder just what is meant by the song. Is it all just for fun, or is there another message?

-R

 

Happy “Unofficial” beginning of Summer

Today is Memorial Day in the US, a holiday to remember those who served and fought for our freedom. Additionally, it marks the “unofficial” beginning of Summer (although as I understand, the weather is not cooperating well for many in the US today).  So many people on social media like to admonish everyone else into remembering the true reason for this day off from work and school.  Personally, I think it’s good to do both – remember why we have the holiday, and enjoy the fact that we DO have this day off work.  Balance is good. Since this blog reaches out to many more people besides those in the US, I am focusing on the beginnings of summer, today.

My husband is home from work today, and rather than relaxing or lounging by a pool or on the beach, we’ve got a project going in the backyard that I need to finish. So, I’ve decided that the best way to remember this day is with a video or two.  Enjoy!

When I think of summer, I think of Rio. I can’t help it. The sun, the beautiful water, the boat… it’s obvious!

I don’t know why, but I also think of Save a Prayer. Maybe it’s because I know it was filmed in an exotic locale. I don’t know, but I’m going with it today….

I have a specific memory about Violence of Summer that requires I post this, and it involves singing along with it at 2am as I’m driving home from the Key Club in LA. And yes, it WAS summer (or at least the weather felt that way!).  Oh yeah, and the name…. Obvious!

One last one, although there are many more I could choose…and that is Sunrise. The sun, the sun, the sun.  I love it.

Enjoy your day, I know I will!

-R