Tag Archives: A Diamond in the Mind

A Diamond on the Mind on PBS

Has anyone checked out A Diamond on the Mind on PBS yet? My local PBS channel aired it last night. After a busy day campaigning for local candidates, I planned on sitting on the couch, grading and reading for work. I figured putting A Diamond in the Mind on would provide a great soundtrack, allowing me to be productive and focused. Well, it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped.

I turned the channel at about 9 pm, with grading pen in hand. I soon realized that I had no idea what the format of this airing would be. Would they just show the whole concert? Would there be commercials? I remembered hearing or reading about how new interviews with Simon and Nick would be part of it. I decided not to worry about it and got to work.

The concert started with Planet Earth, A View to a Kill and The Reflex. Right away, I recognized that this was not the regular order of songs during the All You Need Is Now Tour. No, the shows began with Before the Rain. My immediate reaction to this realization was hardcore eye-rolling. Really? Are we just going to air the “hits”? Is that how this was going to go? Why?!? Then, the PBS people popped up to start talking about making a pledge. Who were these PBS people? Women. Are they assuming that women watching would relate to these women talking? Do they think that only women are watching? I’m not sure but it did make me wonder. Then, if that was not bad enough, they commented that the viewers should contribute because PBS is not our parents’ PBS but ours. Duran Duran is our music, the music for our generation. If we want to see music like this on the channel, we need to donate. Now, of course, PBS included some gifts for people’s contribution. One level had a 10 song CD (not sure what songs were included–probably the hits). The next had a DVD copy of A Diamond in the Mind and the CD. Finally, someone could get both of those along with Classic Hits: Rio and Mad World (book by Lori Majewski about 80s hits).

As I saw this sales pitch over and over again, I found myself cringing over and over again. First of all, I have never felt so old in my life. Are we really at the age that our music is acceptable to those who are middle-aged and old? I tend to think of PBS performers to be boring and unchallenging. It isn’t threatening, generally. I don’t really want Duran Duran to be in the camp. I appreciate that PBS is trying to broaden their usual audience and even that they offered some Duran items. Of course, those items did not make me jump since I already have the items they offered. It is the thought that counts, right?

Beyond showing mostly the hits and offering some Duran products, they also featured an interview with Simon and Nick. While I always appreciate interviews, I found myself a bit frustrated that the focus was on the past. There were a lot of questions about Rio or other famous songs from their past, including A View to a Kill and Ordinary World. While I get that they think the majority of the audience would want to focus on the songs that they know, I wish that there were questions about what the band is doing now. Wouldn’t the fans who only know of 80s and 90s Duran want to know that the band is still around? Couldn’t PBS advertise Duran as much as Duran was used to advertise them? I don’t think I heard anything about the concert we were watching even. Sigh.

At the end of the night, I did not get much grading done. I found myself distracted by this PBS viewing. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?


Question of the Day: Friday, October 25, 2019

Yesterday’s winner: Live from London

Which video is better: Live at Hammersmith ’82 or A Diamond in the Mind?

Coming Soon
Which Video Is Better?
Live ay Hammersmith '82
A Diamond in the Mind

Question of the Day: Thursday, October 17, 2019

86% of our participants own A Diamond in the Mind while 14% do not.

What about Unstaged?

Coming Soon
Do You Own Unstaged?

Question of the Day: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

61% of our participants own Live at Hammersmith ’82 and 39% do not.

What about A Diamond in the Mind?

Coming Soon
Do You Own A Diamond in the Mind?

Arena Anniversary and Live Albums

On this date in 1984, Duran Duran’s live album, Arena, was released.        This, of course, makes me think of my connection to the album and the other live albums of theirs.  I also give my little fantasy for live albums in the future.


This album was the first live album for Duran.  It captured the Sing Blue Silver Tour of 1984 and included the sentence, “recorded live around the world” on the sleeve.  This is unlike most live albums, which are recorded at one specific show.  Of course, we also know that the album featured one new track, Wild Boys.  Around the same time, Arena, An Absurd Notion, DVD was released along with Into the Arena board game.  Indeed, fans had a lot of material to watch, listen, and buy in late 1984!

I remember receiving this album for Christmas in 1984.  That year also marked the first walkman for me.  From what I recall, all of the kids in my family got walkmans that year.  For me, this meant that I could use the headphones while I listened to my brand new copy of Arena.  The family’s record player was located in the dining room portion of our living room/dining room combo.  I have distinct memories of sitting on a dining room chair, listening and pouring over the lyrics.  While I knew all of the songs (except for Wild Boys), I was fascinated by what changes took place, lyrically, from the original recording to these live versions.  Even as a kid, I analyzed everything Duran!

Looking back on Arena, I can now acknowledge both the positive and negative aspects of the live album.  It obviously featured a lot of the band’s hits, including Is There Something I Should Know, Planet Earth, Hungry like the Wolf, and Save a Prayer.  Yet, it wasn’t until the reissue of 2004 that Girls on Film and Rio were included.  It also included some fan favorites that weren’t hits, but were well loved like New Religion and Careless Memories.  Still, many other songs seemed to be missing.  I recall being surprised that the Reflex was left off since it was such a huge hit in 1984.  It is a rather short album in comparison to the 90 minute sets that they commonly then.  The main criticism about the album, though, is that it was simply too polished.  It lacked the feel of a live album.  I cannot disagree, which is, perhaps, why I don’t tend to play this one much.  I have heard far better bootlegs of that tour, which seem to capture the feeling of that era more.

Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind

Since Arena was released, fans have enjoyed two other live albums, Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind.  Live from London focused on the reunion of the Fab Five and came out 20 years after Arena.  During that time, I loved to listen to this one as it had all the great hits and really made me feel as if I was there at the concert.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that it also came with a tremendous live show DVD and a lengthy documentary about the band’s history and the reunion.  What more could a fan want?!  It didn’t hurt that I also got to see the concert in a movie theater with lots of other Duranies.  While it wasn’t a live show, it wasn’t the next best thing!

Truly, I didn’t think it could get any better until A Diamond in the Mind came out.  This one, released in 2012, focused on the All You Need Is Now era.  In 2004 and 2005, I couldn’t imagine a better time in Duranland, but by 2011 and 2012, I knew that the AYNIN era made me even happier.  During Astronaut, I went to a bunch of shows and had an amazing time.  Yet, AYNIN came at a time that my fandom needed a shot of energy and pure Duran-ness.  That album and tour gave me more than a shot.  They gave me lots more as Rhonda and I started this blog and began to plan meet-ups.  It also featured a couple of trips to the UK, which will always be special.  Like Live from London, I was also able to see the DVD part in a movie theater with other Duranies as part of Durandemonium, our little Duranie convention in 2013.

Hopes for Future Live Albums/DVDs

Ideally, I would love a live album and DVD for each album cycle.  I know that the show at the Budokan in Japan will air in Japan on December 10th.  Hopefully, maybe, possibly, this will be made available elsewhere after that?!  I, for one, would love it.

Another idea that I would love if the band would consider would be to record all of their live shows.  They could either make them available for purchase or include them in VIP packages.  For me, I would love to have every show I have been to available to listen to after the fact.  They would bring back lots of good memories.

What about the rest of you?  What do you think of the Duran’s live albums?  What would you like them to do in the future?