Tag Archives: Duran Duran album tracks

Creating the Best Albums

This week, I finished asking about songs on albums track by track. This series of questions was relatively simple. I asked people to choose between two songs. The songs had the same placement on different albums. For example, Girls on Film is the first song on the first album and Rio is the first song on the second album. Which one makes a better first track? See, simple…well, at least the concept is easy to understand even if the choice is not!

I have done this set of questions before but this time I did it differently. Instead of comparing all first songs then second songs then third, etc, I put the albums into three distinct time periods. The first time period is classic Duran with the Fab Five in the early 80s. Next is the time with Warren that features the albums Notorious through Pop Trash. Lastly, there was the reunion period from Astronaut to the present. Therefore, I only compared the first tracks from each of the three time periods. So, now, I want to show the results. Did the fans end up creating the best album of each of the time periods or did they miss the mark?

Classic Period:

  • Rio
  • Planet Earth
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Careless Memories
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • New Religion
  • Last Chance on the Stairway
  • Save a Prayer
  • The Chauffeur

Warren Era:

  • Notorious
  • I Don’t Want Your Love
  • Skin Trade
  • Serious
  • Hold Me
  • Come Undone
  • Palomino
  • Meet el Presidente
  • Land
  • Proposition
  • The Edge of America
  • Lake Shore Driving
  • Sin of the City

Post-Reunion:

  • All You Need Is Now
  • Want You More
  • What Happens Tomorrow
  • Pressure Off
  • Face for Today
  • Girl Panic
  • What Are the Chances
  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • Chains
  • Mediterranea
  • Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
  • The Universe Alone
  • Planet Roaring
  • Before the Rain
  • Northern Lights
  • On Evil Beach
  • Cinderella Ride

What do you think? Do these make the best albums? Other observations? Here are some of mine. First, there are obviously a lot more songs on the post-reunion list than the classic list. I did not include b-sides but did include bonus or extra tracks. I probably could have included them since bonus tracks act as modern day b-sides. Second, it seems to me that some albums’ songs are listed a lot more than other albums. For example, in the classic period, Rio is the most often represented. There are two songs from the first album and nothing from Seven and the Ragged Tiger. My conclusion is that fans think Rio was the best album of the three. Album representation is more interesting during the Warren years. Notorious and Big Thing both have 4 songs that made the list. The Wedding Album has two and Liberty has 1. There are no songs from Medazzaland and Pop Trash. Do fans think that the song quality decreased as the band went along? These results might say yes. Did the number of fans decrease during that time period so there are less fans now who loved Medazzaland and Pop Trash? Possible. Then, for post-reunion, Paper Gods is represented by 8 tracks, followed closely by All You Need Is Now with 6. Astronaut has a few but no songs from Red Carpet Massacre. One thing that clearly shows with the post-reunion choices is that the bonus tracks from Paper Gods are preferred over the ones for All You Need Is Now. Fascinating.

Overall, the results were not that surprising with a couple of exceptions. The most obvious one is I Don’t Want Your Love over Ordinary World. I also noticed that not every single that did well commercially made it on to the list. Hungry Like the Wolf comes to mind as does a song like the Reflex. So, what do you think of these fan-created albums. Are they solid or would you make some changes? What would be your classic period album? Warren era album? Post reunion album? I would love to know.

-A

Less Is More

I like doing the questions of the day. Sometimes, I struggle to think of topics or questions to ask but for the most part, it is all good. What is the best part about it? No, it isn’t that it doesn’t take long to do. It is more about how it teaches me something about the Duran Duran fan community. I have learned a lot about what Duranies generally love, like and do not enjoy. After years of doing these questions and other assignments, I can pretty accurately predict what fans are going to say about various Duran related topics. For example, I know that fans love Rio more than they love Pop Trash. If they want to listen to a side project, Arcadia is more likely to be chosen over TV Mania. Sometimes, though, the questions help me learn something about Duran Duran. This most recent set of questions is definitely a situation in which I came to some conclusion about Duran’s music that I hadn’t before.

If you are not aware, I have been trying to determine the favorite first track, second track, etc. as I first put up the first song on each album against each other before moving to the second song and so on. I am just about done with this set of questions as most tracks have been picked. The only ones I have left are the songs are the very end of the albums, usually the bonus or extra tracks. As I recognize this, I have to acknowledge that albums are released differently now. In the past, there were no bonus or extra tracks placed on albums. Instead, they would be released as b-sides to singles. Now, we don’t have singles that are released that require an A side with the single itself and a B side that is usually something new.

As I started to look at the results, I began to think about quality over quantity. If you ask fans about which albums they generally like best, they would choose the first three. So, what’s the difference between those first three albums and the most recent ones? Yes, obviously, there are very different, musically. Andy was around then, too. That said, I wonder if we don’t think that those albums are so awesome because they only had 9 tracks. I think a lot of Duranies would say each and every track is awesome. They chose nine amazing tracks for those albums. Now, an album might have 14 to 17 tracks, depending on which deluxe edition you purchase. Are all 14 or 17 tracks amazing? I think many fans would say no. It isn’t that they don’t love the most recent albums. It is more like they love the general feel or adore most of the tracks. But would the albums be improved if they only released the best 9 and then shared the rest later in other means?

Now, of course, I’m aware that there are some fans who are swearing at me as they are reading this. There are some fans who think that each and every track is amazing and are horrified that I dared to suggest that some songs might not be as good as others. Yet, I would still argue that even if you believe that they are all great, some are even more amazing than others. Other fans can acknowledge that Duran pushes themselves to try new things and to ensure that their songs are not just cookie cutter songs. Personally, I love that they do that but I think sometimes they miss the top mark. Yet, of course, when they hit it, they really hit it. There is no one better.

So, here is what I suggest. I would like us, the fans, to pick the best 9 songs from each album. The next set of questions will be just that. I will include every album track as well as every b-side and extra track to begin with. Then, each day we will get rid of one song. Again, this won’t be us determining that some songs are bad…just that they are not great album tracks. They would be better as extra tracks or b-sides. Personally, I look forward to seeing what the fans do with this set of questions!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Results

Our long time project of developing a song list for a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set continues.  The idea was to ask the fans which songs they think should be included in a box set.  The songs would include 7 singles, 7 album tracks, 7 b-sides/demos, 7 live tracks and 7  side/solo projects.  So far, fans have made their choices about the first two categories:  singles and album tracks.  The results are as follows:

Singles:

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Save a Prayer
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Girls on Film
  5. Pressure Off
  6. Rio
  7. New Moon on Monday

Album Tracks:

  1. New Religion
  2. The Chauffeur
  3. Hold Back the Rain
  4. Friends of Mine
  5. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  6. The Seventh Stranger
  7. Paper Gods

Analysis of the Album Tracks:

The album track choices that fans could have voted for included songs from all the albums except for Astronaut, which I discussed last week.  Despite having the possible picks from the entire Duran catalog and history, the final results included 3 songs from Rio, 1 from the 1st album, 1 from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, 1 from All You Need Is Now, and 1 from Paper Gods.  Despite many fans liking or even loving those albums in between the Fab Five era and the post-reunion era, no songs were selected from that huge chunk of material.

Let’s compare the results of the singles in that way.  Which albums were represented?  The 1st album, Rio, the Wedding Album, Paper Gods and Seven and the Ragged Tiger were represented.  Fascinating.  If I were to combine the results of the singles and the album tracks, it appears that Duranies really prefer the early Duran period and the most recent Duran period.  Ordinary World from the Wedding Album is the exception to this rule.

Beyond this, are there any other patterns to the album tracks that were picked?  I notice that many of the album tracks were more artistic in nature other being pop songs.  Songs like the Chauffeur, The Man Who Stole a Leopard, Paper Gods all fit that description.  Even Friends of Mine and New Religion might fit that.  Surrounding those artistic songs is one more upbeat song (Hold Back the Rain) and one ballad (The Seventh Stranger).  The results from the singles were almost the opposite with 5 more upbeat songs and 2 ballads.

What patterns do you think?  What do you think of these choices?  Any predictions for what b-sides/demos will be chosen?  If you haven’t vote for those, go here!

-A

Ultimate Box Set Results: Part 4

Last week, Duranies/fans/readers of this blog voted on which album tracks from the four most recent albums should be considered for a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  As always the results surprise me and interest me as I like to learn about the Duran fan community and  people’s preferences.  I’m fascinated by what songs were the favorites, which ones weren’t chosen at all and what all that shows about the fans’ likes.

Album Tracks Chosen:

The album tracks chosen from the last four albums (Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods) were as follows:

  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • Paper Gods
  • The Valley
  • Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
  • What Are the Chances
  • Mediterranea
  • Before the Rain
  • The Universe Alone

The first thing I notice is that there are no songs chosen from Astronaut.  While some fans chose songs off that album, those songs were not popular overall.  Astronaut’s history is a fascinating one.  I remember when that album came out.  Everyone loved it.  Yet, it has not stood the test of time.  Why is that?  Better albums since then?  Overproduced?  Did they try too hard on it?  Did people’s opinions change after the reunion of the Fab Five changed and Andy left?  Interestingly enough, though, the band still plays Sunrise live whereas they haven’t been playing anything off of All You Need Is Now or Red Carpet Massacre.

Next, I notice that there is only one song off of Red Carpet Massacre, which is the Valley.  Clearly, that album isn’t loved much more than Astronaut is.  The rest of the list has 4 tracks off of All You Need Is Now and 3 songs off of Paper Gods.  What interests me is that the three songs off of Paper Gods are slower, more introspective.  Likewise, most of the songs chosen off of AYNIN are also slower, more artistic in nature.  I will be interested to see how the final album track vote total goes.  Will the album tracks be more artistic while the singles are more mainstream?  We shall see next week!

What Songs Were Not Chosen:

What songs were not chosen by anyone?  There were quite a few, actually!

  • Skin Divers
  • Tricked Out
  • Dirty Great Monster
  • A Diamond in the Mind
  • Return to Now
  • Danceophobia

Earlier in this blog, I acknowledged that the album tracks off of Astronaut were not fan favorites.  Yet, they were favorites of someone.  The same cannot be said for Red Carpet Massacre.  In fact, three tracks were not chosen by anyone.  A lot of people, at the time RCM came out, were excited by the tracks produced by Timbaland.  Now, one of those tracks was left voteless, which was Skin Divers.

I wasn’t surprised that instrumentals were left off people’s lists of album tracks.  In my experience, many people like the instrumentals but they prefer tracks with vocals on them.  Likewise, the song, Danceophobia, has never been a fan favorite for obvious reasons.

What’s Next:

This week, fans will make the final vote for album tracks, which you can do here.  These tracks will be added to the singles that were previously chosen.  Then, we will move on to b-sides/demos.  While we wait for the final vote, does anyone have any predictions?

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 5!

Duranies have been assigned a fun task.  We have been charged to create (on paper) a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  This box set should have 7 singles, 7 album tracks, 7 b-sides/demos, 7 live tracks and 7 side/solo project songs.  So far, the readers of this little blog have chosen the 7 singles.  We have been working on the album tracks.  Over the course of 4 weeks, we have narrowed the possible list of album tracks to just over 28 songs, which was challenging enough.  Now, it is time to pick just 7 from this list.  That’s right, we need to pick 7 songs from this list of favorite album tracks.

I will admit that this is going to be a challenging vote.  I know that it will be challenging for even me.  My only advice is just to go with your gut and pick the songs quickly.  Don’t overthink it.  Good luck.  I know that I look forward to the results.  Then, we get to move on to b-sides and demos, which will probably prove to be challenging as well.

-A

[socialpoll id=”2431834″]

Ultimate Box Set Result: Part 3

Fans have been voting for a few weeks on the album tracks they think should be considered in an Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.  The first part consisted of the first three albums (1st album/Self-titled, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger).  The next one included Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty.  This one focused on the albums before the reunion, including The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash.

After asking questions of fellow fans for years about Duran’s music, I feel like I have a good grasp on what the fans like and don’t like when it comes to Duran’s music.  Generally, fans ignore the albums of Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash, with some exceptions, of course.  Therefore, I didn’t have a clue as to which songs would be chosen from these four albums.  I thought that most of the songs might be from The Wedding Album, considering that it is more of a favorite than the rest.  Nonetheless, the results showed otherwise and provided me much fascination.

Top Songs from The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash:

  1. Love Voodoo
  2. None of the Above
  3. Big Bang Generation
  4. Pop Trash Movie
  5. Playing with Uranium
  6. Breath After Breath
  7. Sin of the City
  8. Watching the Detectives
  9. Mars Meets Venus

Analysis:

The first thing you might notice is that there are 9 songs as opposed to 7.  There were ties.  I am actually surprised that this hasn’t happened before.  Anyway, you also might notice that all 4 albums are represented in that list.  What caught my attention, though, was that song off of Thank You that was chosen was Watching the Detectives.  It wasn’t White Lines that they regularly play live or Perfect Day that Lou Reed claimed the band did a better job on the song than he did.  The other thing I noticed is that a lot of these songs had more of a mid-tempo rather than being  ballads or songs to rock out, too.

If you look at the complete results, you notice that almost all songs were chosen, at least once, with two exceptions.  Both Fragment and Kiss Goodbye were left voteless.  This is probably because they are short, little instrumentals.  That said, there were a number of songs that were only chosen once, including Shotgun, 911 Is a Joke, Success, and Silva Halo.

Status of Box Set:

So far, the fans have chosen the 7 singles that we recommend including on a box set.  Those are:

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Save a Prayer
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Girls on Film
  5. Pressure Off
  6. Rio
  7. New Moon on Monday

The album tracks that are in the running to be chosen are:

  • Friends of Mine
  • New Religion
  • The Chauffeur
  • The Seventh Stranger
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Anyone Out There
  • My Antarctica
  • American Science
  • A Matter of Feeling
  • Hold Me
  • The Edge of America
  • Palomino
  • Vertigo
  • Love Voodoo
  • None of the Above
  • Big Bang Generation
  • Pop Trash Movie
  • Playing with Uranium
  • Breath After Breath
  • Sin of the City
  • Watching the Detectives
  • Mars Meets Venus

This week, we finish picking the possible album tracks by asking people to pick 7 album tracks off of the four albums post reunion.  We would love, love, love for you to participate, if you haven’t yet.  Simply go here and vote for 7 songs that you think should be considered for a box set.  Next week, then, we will take the final vote on album tracks before we move on the rest of the box set (b-sides/demos, live tracks, side/solo project songs).

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 4

I cannot believe that I’m posting this blog so very late.  The day just got away from me.  I slept late, needing to catch up on sleep, then spent about 2 hours on the phone with my sister and niece.  They are coming to visit in a couple of weeks so that my niece can look at a nearby college.  Then, I had to run to a political meeting that lasted almost 4 hours!  Anyway, I apologize.

Last weekend, we paused on the Ultimate Box Set polls in order to cover the shows at Agua Caliente.  Now, that life is returning to boring, old normal, it is time to get back to it.  The idea behind this series of blogs is simple.  The fans are to vote on songs that they wish would be included on a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set, if the band was to do something like this.  So far, the fans have chosen the 7 singles to be included on it.  Then, we picked 7 songs from the first three albums, then 7 songs off the next three album and lastly 7 more songs from the next four albums.  This week, I am asking fans to choose 7 songs from the 4 most recent albums.  These albums are the ones written and recorded after the reunion and include Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods.  Next week, then, we will take the winners of these album tracks and limit them to just 7 songs overall.  It should be a close and challenging vote.  Heck, I suspect this week will be tough.

Without any further ado, please vote on the 7 album tracks that you would like to see included on a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.

[socialpoll id=”2430142″]

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Results Part 2

Today, I continue to share the results of fans choices for Duran Duran’s Ultimate Box Set.  I will also add a little analysis, too, because I like to.  I like figuring out the Duran Fan Community.  (Yes, I’m weird.)  In case you missed the beginning of this, I’ll give a quick summary, this idea was created by my friend, Nat.  The idea is to have the fans pick the songs that should be included on a box set, if something like that would be created.

Singles:

First, we came up with 7 singles that we wanted included in the box set.  They are as follows:

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Save a Prayer
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Girls on Film
  5. Pressure Off
  6. Rio
  7. New Moon on Monday

Album Tracks to Choose From:

Instead of listing the entire catalog of album tracks and force people to choose 7 from ALL of them, I broke down the albums into sets and asked people to choose 7 from each set.  So far, we have completed the first two sets (1st album through Liberty).  Here are the results so far:

  1. Friends of Mine
  2. New Religion
  3. The Chauffeur
  4. The Seventh Stranger
  5. Hold Back the Rain
  6. Lonely in Your Nightmare
  7. Anyone Out There
  8. My Antarctica
  9. American Science
  10. A Matter of Feeling
  11. Hold Me
  12. The Edge of America
  13. Palomino
  14. Vertigo

Once all four sets are completed, then fans will pick the 7 songs from that list of 28.

Analysis:

When I look at the 7 album tracks that were picked from the albums of Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty, I notice that the overwhelming majority of songs came from Notorious.  I could not have predicted that.  In fact, I would have thought that the majority of song would have come from Big Thing.  For example, I am really surprised that Land was not chosen.  I also rarely hear fans rave over the Notorious album.  Obviously, I know that the band plays the title track live and that it generally gets a positive response but…I don’t hear the push for those album tracks.  On the other hand, I was not surprised that Liberty’s album tracks were not selected often.  Liberty is not the most popular album amongst fans.  I didn’t realize that My Antarctica was that popular, however.

Then, when I look at all the album tracks selected so far, I realize that  there is a range from more of the Duran dance tracks like Hold Back the Rain to more of the mid-tempo range like Friends of Mine to more ballads like My Antarctica.  On that sense, I think the fans are doing a good job making sure that all of Duran’s skills and range are shown.  Of course, this may change with the actual vote of album tracks.

For the next couple of weeks, fans will choose album tracks from The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  I would love for as many fans to participate as possible.  After all, the more who do, the more accurate the results.  To vote, go to this blog here!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Part 3

Today, we move on to the next part of our little series of polls.  The goal is to create an “Ultimate Box Set” through fan voting and participating.  In previous weeks, we have chosen the 7 singles fans would want included such a thing and we have chosen 14 album tracks from the first album through Liberty.  This week, we ask fans to choose 7 album tracks from The Wedding Album, Thank You, Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Obviously, there are more tracks to choose from this week since we included one more album.  It just made sense to me to divide up the albums like this.  That means that the final poll on album tracks will include the 4 albums since the reunion.  After that, we will move to live tracks, demos/B-sides and side/solo project songs to complete the box set.

I do want to point out that this poll will be active for 2 weeks as I won’t be creating the next poll until then.  Why is that?  Simple.  Next weekend, I’ll be in California going to see a couple of shows from a band that we might talk and write about a lot.  I figured that more readers would want to hear about the shows over polls such as this.  On that note, happy voting!

-A

[socialpoll id=”2426227″]

Ultimate Box Set: Album Tracks Results Part 1

I like giving homework.  More specifically, I like giving Duran Duran homework.  The teacher in me recognizes that the assignment needs to be “accessible” in order for students, or in this case–fans, to complete it.  The format needs to be friendly and definitely should understand that people are pretty dang busy these days.  Heck, I’m super busy.  You should see my to-do list.  It is ridiculously long and that is just for today!  I digress.

The overall homework was for fans to create their ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.  The criteria includes 7 singles, 7 album tracks, 7 b-sides or demos, 7 live tracks and 7 side or solo project songs.  I presented it and few participated.  I changed the format to be simple polls for each category.  Then, I realized that I need to divide up the album tracks.  There are too many of them!  Here are the results for the first part of the album tracks.  The album tracks were divided into sets.  The first one focused on the first album, Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  Here are the results and my analysis.  Before that, though, I’ll remind everyone about the singles that were chosen:

Singles:

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Save a Prayer
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Girls on Film
  5. Pressure Off
  6. Rio
  7. New Moon on Monday

1st Set of Album Tracks:

  1. Friends of Mine
  2. New Religion
  3. The Chauffeur
  4. The Seventh Stranger
  5. Hold Back the Rain
  6. Lonely in Your Nightmare
  7. Anyone Out There

These 7 tracks will be added to the three other sets that will be determined in future weeks.  From there, fans will chose 7 tracks from 28 total.

Analysis:

I cannot say that I was surprised by these results.  I figured that New Religion would be high on the list as would Friends of Mine and The Chauffeur.  Likewise, there was only one song off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  Again, from every survey we have ever done, that album is clearly not as popular or as loved as the first two.  If I had to look at one song that surprised me, that song would be  Anyone Out There.  I might have guessed for a song like Sound of Thunder or Last Chance on the Stairway to take that last spot.  Alas, Anyone Out There took it.

Now, this week, fans get to pick 7 songs off of the next three albums:  Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty.  I have some idea of the songs that might be chosen but…I suspect there will be more surprises.  Have you participated yet?  If not, go here!

-A