In the last couple of days, Duran has been posting about how they are filming the video for Girl Panic in London on June 6th and 7th. They have included some details, including the director’s name, the location being a posh hotel in central London and that supermodels are being flown in. These details all sound very Duran Duran. You would think that this would excite the fan base but not so much. Some people are confused by the choice of Girl Panic. Others question the importance of videos all together, especially Duran Duran videos. Both are fair points, I think.
I remember learning about Duran’s musical history as a kid. It seemed really easy to follow and understand the pattern. There would be a single and a video to go with it. Most albums had about three singles, on average. The songs would be played on the radio and the video would be played on MTV and other video shows. Now, this pattern doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, which is why the fan base reacts as cynically as they do. People knew that All You Need is Now was the first single of the album. The song was released on a different day than the album and could be downloaded independently. Then, of course, the video soon followed after that. This felt like the regular pattern for Duran, the pattern that we are all used to and comfortable with because that is what it has been like for the past 30 years or so. Then, there were statements about how Girl Panic was the second single. Okay. Everyone seemed okay with that. Yet, there was no video to follow or accompany this second single. Of course, neither song received much, if any, airplay, from what I have heard. While the video for AYNIN was played at least once on VH1. Then, we heard or read tweets from John about how they were releasing Leave a Light on as a single. Okay. Does this mean that it became the second single or the third? Then, strangely enough, we hear about the video shoot for Girl Panic. Huh? What’s really the second single? If Girl Panic was the second single, how come they waited so long to do the video shoot? While I suspect that they had this planned for awhile to go in between the UK tour and the Europe tour, could they really not find a time before this? Then, of course, some people question the purpose of videos at all.
Fans have wondered what the point of doing videos is for Duran. MTV doesn’t exist as it once did. Yes, VH1 shows videos but it isn’t like it used to be. Generally, videos are shown early in the morning only. Kids are not glued to these video channels like I once was. Of course, now we have youtube. That certainly isn’t the same either. I don’t know how many people go to youtube and just browse. Even if they do, what would make the random person land on a Duran clip. I think it is much more common for people to go to youtube and type in something specific. People have the choice of what to watch. That wasn’t really the case with MTV. We had to watch every video that came on if we wanted to watch videos. We were a captive audience. We could not just pick and choose which video to watch. This is why I know a ton of 80s songs, including the ones that I can’t stand. I doubt that kids could today say the same thing about current music. So, why would Duran film a new video? They aren’t going to get played a bunch of times each day on MTV. Maybe it will be on VH1 a couple of times but nothing significant. Will it get enough hits on youtube? I doubt it. Of course, one thing that must be acknowledged here is the purpose of videos to begin with. They are promotional pieces, a way to get people interested in buying the album. Will the Girl Panic video be able to do that? I doubt it. I would love to say and think differently, but I have to live in reality (at least some of the time!).
Based on this change of pattern and lack of actual promotion, I should be against them making a new video. Yet, I’m not. Why? I’m a Duranie and part of that means that I love their videos and am excited about seeing a new one. Of course, Rhonda and I will review this new video like we did for AYNIN. It was always so exciting to see a new clip when I was a kid and I still have that feeling now. Therefore, rationally, I might acknowledge that it probably won’t do much, especially if Girl Panic really isn’t the current or next single. Yet, emotionally, I’m all for it. I want to get excited and squee when there is a cute shot of one of the boys. I want to see what creative idea they came up with! I also really like the song so I look forward to seeing how they matched the visuals with the song.
Thus, if I am to interpret the reaction to this news, it has everything to do with our history as being Duran fans. Some fans are annoyed because things have changed both with how singles are announced and when as well as the role of videos. Others of us are still excited by seeing a new video. Of course, a big issue is that I’m just thrilled that they are continuing to do work. This gives me hope that everything will be okay with Duran and Simon, specifically. This week I will be glued to their Facebook and twitter to see if other details are released and to see how Simon is doing. Then, I will get excited to see the finished product as well!!!
I always have found it interesting when I hear/read statements talking about how Duran Duran exhibits Margaret Thatcher politics in the 1980s. I honestly have no idea what they thought of her or how they voted. I have often wondered where that assumption has come from and the only thing I can figure out is that people took Duran’s videos as reality. They believed that Duran really did live on big, beautiful yachts and drank champagne everyday. Obviously, Duran had plenty of money then and seemed to live a very glamorous life. Does that mean that they would support more Conservative politics? Who knows? Who cares? It certainly didn’t matter to us fans during the 1980s as those videos and images meant something different to many of us. Yes, they did show wealth and luxury but they also showed a world VERY different from the one we experienced. For many of us, these video clips allowed us to escape for a few minutes as we were transformed to their world of glamour. Now, of course, we attempt to reach the same type of escape by touring.
One element of touring that I love the most is the lifestyle I lead for that day(s). When I go to a Duran show, I must travel. I have never attended a Duran show where I live. Now, they have come to my city but it was in 1984 and that was before I lived here. Thus, I always have to go somewhere to see a show. It may be a close city, which I can get to in a couple of hours, or it could require a plane ride. Nonetheless, Duran shows mean that I get out of town, which is always a good thing. It is nice to get out of town and let it all go. Then, typically, a show always means that I get to stay in a hotel and, if I’m lucky, a half way decent one. (I am spoiled on this front!) Obviously, staying in a hotel is very different than staying at home. Of course, the show is (with any luck) a perfect two hours of escape. Let me ask you, fellow fans, do you ever think about your problems when you are watching a good Duran show? I don’t. Every problem seems to melt away, at least for a little bit! Then, if things go well, the escape continues after the show by whatever my friends and I do, whether it is going to a club or just hanging out in a nearby bar. In many cases, after show times means having a ton of fun by hanging and partying with my friends and fellow fans.
I long for this escape right now. I would love to have a show tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have to deal with reality for a bit longer. Perhaps, this will just make me appreciate this escape even more when it does come!
A strange occurrence seems to take place within fandoms in that rumors said so often are believed to be true. Lately, I have seen a number of rumors or assumptions written about on Duran message boards in which most, if not all, of the posters give as fact. One example is the rumor regarding Duran Duran’s record label. For some time now, we have heard that Duran Duran is going with EMI for the actual physical release of All You Need Is Now. They released the download version themselves through TapeModern but that they have gone with a major label for the physical release in either February or March, depending on which of those rumors you believe. Of course, the label has been one that has been debated since word got out that Sony/Epic dropped them after the lack of success with Red Carpet Massacre. Since then, there has been many different labels mentioned, including using UMG for distribution. The one that everyone keeps coming back to, for whatever reasons, is EMI. Will I acknowledge that it is possible? Of course. Like many other fans, I heard Mark Ronson claim that the snippet of Being Followed that he played on his radio show was property of Capitol Records (Capitol and EMI are the same). I have also read the rumors over and over again from various sources. I also heard John Taylor praise EMI’s efforts in regards to the remastered editions that have come out and heard his statements on Katy Kafes saying that he thinks it would be good, from a business point of view, to have all the catalog together. Yet, there has been no official announcement. This fact hasn’t stopped people from talking about it as such, though. Some fans seem to believe that the lack of an actual date for the physical album or that it is being moved back to March is because of EMI. Others have claimed the same about lack of tour dates. Obviously, these people may be right but what I find interesting is that they are just making these statements like they are a given when, in reality, they are just presuming the rumor is true.
Another assumption is in regards to the videos for AYNIN. A few months ago, on some interview, there was an announcement that the band plans to release a video for each track of the album. Many people, including myself, were terribly thrilled with this idea. Again, many people believed that these videos might be included on the DVD part of the deluxe edition of AYNIN. There are so many assumptions within that one belief. Yes, I do believe that there was a statement regarding a deluxe version of the album as part of the official press release. Yes, in many cases including the last two albums, they have featured DVDs. Are we sure this will the same? Did I not read something carefully enough? (This, of course, is ALWAYS possible!) Then, did they say that the videos would be included? Did I miss that, too? Personally, I think it is very likely that we will get a DVD with the deluxe copy. Will it have all of the videos on it? I doubt it. They would have to do a lot of videos in a short amount of time for an album coming out in February or even March. Is it possible for AYNIN, the video, to be on it, if there is one? Sure. That video is already complete. Then, a contest enters the picture. This contest, which was advertised on the band’s official website, is for people to make videos of all of the tracks on AYNIN, including for the title track that the band already finished. Many fans have taken this contest to mean that these will be the videos for the album and that the band isn’t doing anymore. They also then assume that they will be what is included in the deluxe version. Wow. Again, there are assumptions on top of assumptions there. How will the video deal play out? I don’t have a clue.
I admit that these rumors or assumptions might absolutely be correct. Maybe I don’t like them. Maybe I want to keep them in the not-yet-confirmed category because then I don’t have deal with my feelings about them. Perhaps, I’m the one in denial. Sure. That is possible. What is also possible, though, is that people are drawing a whole bunch of conclusions here. It will be interesting to see as time goes on which, if any, of these are proved to be true.
Now that we are done with the reviewing the album, we thought it would be logical to turn towards the video that came out on the same day as the album.
I have to admit it didn’t take much for me to *squee* out loud that day as it was such an exciting day for all Duranies! Thus, I had to watch it a number of times to really get all of the little details (oh, how I suffer for the sake of this blog!). The first thing that I noticed was that the video seems shaky in the beginning and at the end. There might be a couple of other little moments of shakiness but generally it is clearly shaky at the very beginning and at the very end. After I got over feeling a bit motion sick, I wondered why they would choose that. What significance does it have? Yes, it could just be a little cool addition to the video but I tend to think that there is more to it. Could it be that, if you are living in the present, appreciating the “now”, things are clear? There is decisiveness and strength for those who live in the now and the beginning and the end represent the past and the future. Perhaps. I also noticed that the video began as it ended with the empty stage. Thinking about how the song represents a message from the band to the fans. Could this shot be part of that message? The band isn’t always here and won’t always be around. I liked that it came full circle.
There were many other larger elements to notice. A few of these parts included the use of color, the use of words, the archival footage from the reunion through RCM days, and the inclusion of the 3 young people dressed in New Romantic clothing. I believe that all of these pieces definitely make the video a little bit more special than a simple performance video. Obviously, the video is mostly filmed in black and white with flashes of color. I believe that these flashes of color along with the use of words, especially the word, “now”, are used to grab our attention. Isn’t that part of what the song is trying to say? We shouldn’t just go through the motions of life but really embrace the present. Don’t we all need to be reminded to do that? I did find it interesting that the only other words I saw beyond the title or the word “now” was the phrase: “Act Now.” Stronger message than just a simple “Now.” Again, we must take action, rather than be passive. Then, there is the footage from the reunion on. Obviously, this is supposed to remind us of the good parts of the past and where Duran has come from. I loved it in the sense that I felt like I had experienced all of that with them, in a way. I am left wondering why didn’t use any footage earlier than that time period. Didn’t the music that they want us to stay with start decades before? It just seemed like they wanted to use what footage they had. It was more convenient or something. Yet, they did add these younger people going together to a club to have a good time. They were dressed as new romantics of the early 1980s, but were clearly in current times based on their use of cell phones. I thought they were a nice touch as a means to show that it is possible to embrace what was good about the past (in this case-fashion and hairstyles) while living in the moment (as evidenced by the make out session!). I did wonder if this bit was a smidge too obvious.
Beyond the larger elements were some smaller details that got my attention as well. I noticed, of course, that shoes seemed to be featured a lot. No clue on that one. I also spotted both Mark Ronson and Ana Matronic. I liked Nick’s trip to the cemetery and definitely felt like that added some weight to the message as did the end with a shot of the band (including Dom! Yay!) all together and then gone. I loved the outside shots and wished that there were more of them. I loved that John seemed to be laughing a lot throughout the shoot! Who didn’t adore the JoSi?! The band looked fabulous and HAPPY. The performance seemed solid and definitely needed to be in a video that speaks about music.
Overall, I think the video is fun. The elements that give it more meaning (the kids, the use of color and words, the band footage, the cemetery, the performance) all fit but do seem a bit obvious. I wished that there had been more footage of the rest of the guys in their location shot like Nick’s. Perhaps, they didn’t fit but I still would have loved to have seen them. The important thing, really, is that they seem like they are having fun, which means a LOT to me!
I have to say that I really looked forward to the release of this video. Serious anticipation!! I felt that with the content of the song, there would be much to “say” in video form, and the band (and Director Nick Egan) didn’t disappoint.
I noticed that the video opened and closed with the familiar film “shake”….as in film like from a film reel. (you youngsters out there that are younger than say, 30 probably wouldn’t pick up on why they’d done that…I won’t hold it against you.) I also recognized that the video opened and closed with an empty set. I don’t even want to THINK about what that could mean, metaphorically, so I choose not to chat about it. My first thoughts of the video is that I really like the idea of the lion’s share of it being in black and white – it’s very visually appealing, especially with the tin foil background. I also feel that it’s very much in Nick Egan’s “style” of direction given his past work with Duran Duran. The band looks terrific, and I really would like to own Simon’s boots. A similar pair, of course. 🙂
My favorite part of the video are the trio that are dressed straight from the 80’s (those were good fashion times and I love their hair!), yet they are using their electronic gadgets straight from 2010. Honest-to-whatever-you-believe-in, I’d swear they could easily pass as Duranies…on our good fashion days. ;D It’s as though they’re living in the moment, yet they still love the music from the past. Don’t we all??? I really loved the brief flashes of the band from previous, yet still fairly recent times (although I have to question why they didn’t use pictures from further back), and of course the word images of “Now What” and “Go Now”, along with other short sayings throughout really carry the entire message of the song through the video. I personally did not care for Nick’s little stroll through a cemetery – again, it’s that dark side I don’t even want to consider. (I know it’s there, but I don’t wanna think about it. Too busy enjoying the NOW!) I understand the point though, I do.
I love that they incorporated Dom into the video, I know that point is probably controversial with a lot of fans, but the fact is – he was listed as a writer for the song and obviously played guitar, so it’s not a stretch to include him. They caught moments of the band laughing and enjoying the moment as well, which was a welcome sight – it’s been a long time since I really felt the band looked relaxed, happy and enjoying themselves. They should be proud!!
Overall, I really enjoyed the video. I’m not at all sure that video has the same power it once had in the 80’s – but with the popularity of youtube and other video websites, it may be about finding how to really use the video to benefit the band more than it is about whether or not to actually do one. It’s an interesting road to be on these days, and I’m happy to see that the band is willing to try to find their own niche….or reclaim it, actually!
With that, as of tomorrow we’ll be returning to our usual Daily Duranie blogs. I know that both Amanda and myself look forward to complaining about the lack of information regarding upcoming tour dates, the excitement of an upcoming tour, the joys of seeing the band live, and the happiness of celebrating our fandom with the rest of the fan base. See you tomorrow!
Duranies are dying with anticipation for the video for “All You Need Is Now.” This anticipation has been building over the last few weeks. First, Nick mentioned in an interview that the band plans on doing videos for every track on the album. Some of the videos will feature the band and some not but they felt like video was return to what it once was. Then, there was an announcement on dd.com about how Nick Egan was directing the video. As with anything else in the Duranie community, there was a mixed reaction to this piece of news. Some liked it as they liked the previous videos he directed, including Perfect Day, White Lines and Ordinary World. Others were nervous about the choice. Then, the anticipation increased ten-fold during this weekend as there were many tweets from the band and their manager about the actual shoot. We have learned that the band is filming at Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and at a cemetery in London. They also let us know that the video shoot went well as it was completed over what seemed like a two day period. Then, we saw the pictures from the shoot on the official website this morning!
The pictures have resulted in quite a bit of excitement and *squeeing* by the fans. First, the guys really do look fabulous in them. I know that many fans are drooling over a close up of Nick that shows off his beautiful eyes. Others are fanning themselves after seeing a picture with John, Roger and Dom. Second, the pictures have provided us with some idea of what the video could look like. The band all seem to be wearing long, dark coats of a certain, almost military style. It is clear that both John and Nick are sporting dark eyeliner (of which I approve of!). The video itself seems to feature both a band performance as well as outdoor scenes. The band performance seems to be in a room with aluminum foil or something like it on the walls. The one truly thrilling part of what I have seen by the performance shot is that Roger’s drum kit is already showing the D from the new logo. This shows in a big way that the era of RCM is over and a new era has begun! Lastly, we have also learned that Dom Brown is also in the video. While this makes many fans happy, including the authors of this blog, it has caused other fans some displeasure as they think that there should not be any non-official members unless all of them are included. I’m surprised by this reaction because Dom, from my understanding, is a writing member of this album AND was in the video for Falling Down.
So, when is this lovely video coming out? Some have suggested that it would be great to come out at the same time as the song does on the 14th. That would be great but, as always, I try to prepare myself for a longer wait. No matter when it comes out, I hope that it is as interesting as Falling Down was and I look forward to offering my thoughts here.
Last night, a couple friends of ours were watching old Duran footage and posting about it on facebook. They watched As the Lights Go Down, which is basically a concert from 1984 with some weird imagery thrown in for good measure, and videos, including the fan favorite of New Moon on Monday. I have to admit in being jealous in not being there with them. Of course, I have my own copies that I could watch everyday. I don’t because it isn’t the same as watching Duran with other Duranies. When Duranies watch together, we are allowed to *squee* at the same shots, laugh at the silly Simon dance moves, make fun of the cheesy “special effects” and comment about why the stuff was and still is so great.
Thinking about these videos bring me back to happier times. I think about when that footage was fresh (1984) and what it was like to watch them for the first time. I remember how I could not get enough and watched as much as I could over and over and over again, thanks to the magic of the VCR or of the constant reairing on MTV or Friday Night Videos. I am also reminded of the reunion in the earlier years of this decade when Duranies came out of their Duranie closets to once again admit that they love this British band. At that time, old footage was played and replayed as we were all excited to find others who loved as we loved. It built up our excitement about what the new album with all five members was going to sound like or how the next tour would be. I think all of us, whether we admitted it or not, felt that we had the chance to experience 1984 not as the children or teens that we were but as the adults that we are now. This meant that we could follow the band to as many shows as possible within our means and have a very good time while doing it. Now, life in the fan community isn’t as rosy or as positive. We have come back to reality, somewhat, as we have witnessed Andy leave again and an album that left many Duranies wondering.
As we sit and wait for the next album and tour, I cannot help but to hope for a little bit of that 1984 or 2004 magic. I wish for excitement and positive energy. I long for moments of *squeeing* at the band members and feeling like I was part of something with a bright future.
Did you know that on this date in 1984, Nick and Simon were presenters for the MTV Video Music Awards? I suppose nowadays they just call them the VMA’s… In any case, that got me thinking about how MY world has really changed. Back in 1984, video was truly king. I could come home from school and watch Richard Blade – on TV no less – hosting Video One. It was on at 3pm where I lived and it was the most important part of my day. I LOVED videos, because they brought the song to life. Sure, a lot of the time the video had almost nothing to do with the song whatsoever – but somehow the idea of relating pictures/images to music resonated with not just me, but my entire generation. There aren’t many songs from the 1980’s (alternative music) that I can listen to without picturing the video in my head, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one out there that can relate.
As a Duran Duran fan, I know that video was HUGE to the band. Duran Duran have truly made the most of their career in large part due to their constant attention to their image – video was an outstanding way to broadcast that image worldwide. In all my time as a fan, I’ve yet to run across a fellow fan of Duran Duran who hasn’t spent many hours in front of their TV watching and re-watching their videos, squealing in delight as their personal favorite flashes on the screen. It was a big part of what made following the band so fun. We could see and hear them everywhere: on the radio, on TV for interviews, video shows, MTV, in magazines and even books. I suppose to some extent it was hard to avoid them, and yet maybe that was the point.
Personally, I think they are having a difficult time adjusting without it. Yes, I know they made videos for Reach up for the Sunrise, What Happens Tomorrow and most recently – Falling Down. How many within the general public know that? Go ahead, consider that briefly. I’ll wait……. most likely no one but fans have really seen videos made by the band within the last 10 years. A fact that pains me to admit. Videos certainly lack the importance they had back in the 80’s, and yet *I* absolutely squealed in delight when I saw Sunrise for the first time. I don’t really know that a video has that same effect on someone in the golden 13-25 age bracket that the record labels love. My own 13 year old is typically less-than-impressed by videos, to be sure. That fact makes me incredibly sad, but the truth is – this generation doesn’t really NEED video. They have access to more information, images, music and people than any of us ever had back when we were teenagers. The internet is up and running 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week…with all of that going on, there’s no time or interest for a video shot in a fantasy location. I try my best to explain to my daughter what she’s missing out on – there really is nothing better than watching John Taylor strapped to a car on late night television – then she whips out her smart phone and before I know it she’s showing me what some young icon from her generation has sent out from Twitter as a status update. She tells me that fantasy is great, but getting real messages from her favorites feels like a real connection, because she can answer her back and possibly even get a message in return. Is that really all there is to it for kids today? I don’t know…for me it’s a far cry from watching Roger Taylor in New Moon on Monday, or Simon in the Arcadia video for Election Day. I’ll take the fantasy, thank you!
Without video as a major marketing and promotional tool, I believe bands like Duran Duran really are having to relearn the biz, and it appears that the learning curve is gigantic. Not only do they have the challenge of becoming/remaining relevant to a generation that weren’t even around in the 80’s, they also have to learn to work within the digital world. No longer is video king – it’s now the internet that is king.
In some ways, YouTube has become the MTV of today – with independent, unknown directors. YouTube is fascinating – you can find a video on almost anything there. People create their own, bands upload their official videos, and all of it is available for any one else to see. As a “dangerouslycloseto40-something”, the fact that I have so much information at my fingertips is both handy and frightening. There is a lot out there that I never wanted to know much about, OR see….yet the younger generation has a huge appetite for all of it. They want no barrier between themselves and their celebrity favorites (music or otherwise), they want no fantasy, and they crave instant gratification. Will a band like Duran Duran be able to evolve enough to remain relevant, or will they simply fade into the background and become the muzak for my own generation? (I’ve already heard them several times at the grocery store – but thank goodness it’s been the original that’s been played, not the muzak version!!)
I feel the need to go put Greatest in the DVD player and watch it full volume on the big screen….