How many different versions of Astronaut do you own? I can’t even answer that myself – a lot of them are packed away, but I know I must have a few. I’ve got a couple of copies of the regular CD that I bought at midnight at Virgin Records in Hollywood. I also remember buying this special CD – it was a dual sided CD if I remember right (did those ever really catch on??)—and it had 7.1 surround sound. I can’t remember what was on the other side, though. Was it a DVD?? I really need to go find it and look. Anyway, I liked that CD because I could actually hear Andy’s guitar (which is another blog for another day), and because it was unlike anything I’d seen before.
But on this date back in 2004, Duran Duran released the limited edition double vinyl of Astronaut. I have a copy, and it is signed by all five members. I’m particularly proud of it because it’s the one thing I have signed by the original five members of Duran Duran, and for a long time – it was the only thing I had signed, period. I can remember periodically sitting and staring at that vinyl from time to time. It was one of those moments where afterwards, you wonder if it really did happen. I can tell you that back when I was just a kid listening to Rio, never did it occur to me that one day I’d actually meet them. That just seemed like something out of a fairy tale, and admittedly it felt a little that way when it happened.
Seems like a great day to take out that double vinyl album and spend a little time thinking back on 2004. For me, Astronaut helped to mark the beginning of the community aspect of fandom. I had just gone to my first convention, and everything felt bright and new. Astronaut was a new beginning for Duran Duran, and I’m happy to spend a little time thinking back on that time today.