Tag Archives: Duran Duran Fan Community

Ultimate Box Set: Demos

I apologize that today’s blog is so late.  My to-do list is pretty overwhelming today and I have been trying to get through my list as quickly as possible.  As I promised yesterday, I will post the poll to allow people to vote on which demos they think should be considered on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  Just a reminder that this box set is just for fun and we have no ability to make it happen (although I wish we did!).  After the poll, I will share the results from last week’s one on b-sides as well as give my thoughts about those results.

On that note, let’s vote on which demos should be considered to be included on Duran’s Ultimate Box Set.  If you need to hear those demos to vote, I refer you to yesterday’s blog here.

B-Side Results Part 2:

The b-sides that people thought should be considered for the box set include:

  1. Planet Roaring
  2. Northern Lights
  3. Virus
  4. Fallen Angel
  5. Cinderella Ride
  6. Cry Baby Cry
  7. Valentine Stones

Last week focused on b-sides from the Wedding Album to the band’s most recent release.  What do I notice about the results?  Most of them are from Paper Gods.  Then, there is one from Red Carpet Massacre and one from Astronaut.  Perhaps, this is an indication of which album is more popular or which era is more of a fan favorite.  It could also be showing that now-a-days those extra tracks are more important than they were during the late 1990s.  What do think of those results?

Next weekend, we will then pick 7 songs from the 14 b-sides people thought should be considered as well as the 7 demos from this week.   Happy Voting!!!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: B-Sides Results Part 1

It is Sunday!  This means that it is time for me to provide a little analysis on last week’s vote about the Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.  So far, we (the fans) have picked singles and album tracks.  We are working on the 3rd category:  B-Sides/Demos.  I divide the category into three parts:  B-Sides through Liberty, B-Sides after Liberty and Demos.

Here are the results so far:

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

B-Sides in the running:

  1. Secret Oktober
  2. Late Bar
  3. Faster Than Light
  4. (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile
  5. I Believe/All I Need to Know
  6. Khanada
  7. Like an Angel

Analysis:

The first thing I noticed when looking at the results was that every b-side through Liberty was chosen at least once.  That said, the vast majority of votes did not include b-sides from Liberty.  Fans chose mostly b-sides from the early 1980s rather than from the middle to late 1980s.

I’m not surprised by that.  For one thing, I bet more fans are familiar with those b-sides.  How many Duranies don’t know Secret Oktober?  Even if you never bought singles or didn’t buy the box set, most Duranies I know have seen Sing Blue Silver and that song played as the credits rolled.  On the same note, I suspect that there were b-sides from Liberty like Throb that not as many Duranies even know.  It is hard to vote for a song that you don’t even know.

On top of just being more familiar with those early tracks, it seems to me that Duran worried more about the quality of the b-sides in the early 1980s.  They knew that fans might buy singles if the b-side offered something new and fabulous.  By the late 1980s, the industry was changing.  There were far fewer people even buying singles in any format.  Now, of course, b-sides are more like those extra tracks on CDs.  Based on that, I’m willing to bet that next week’s results show this pattern again with the most popular b-sides being the more recent ones released as extra tracks.  Speaking of next week, if you want to vote, then go here!  Happy voting!

-A

Ultimate Box Set: B-Sides Part 2

This weekend, we continue our task to create the ultimate Duran Duran box set.  While Rhonda and I think that we could come up with a pretty great list of songs that fit each category (singles, album tracks, b-sides/demos, live tracks and side/solo projects), we thought it would be more fun to have all the fans participate!  So far, fans chose singles and album tracks.  Last week, we started on b-sides/demos and realized that there were too many to choose from all at once!  Therefore, we split up the b-sides/demos into parts.

We started with the first 18 b-sides.  Today, we will finish with the last 18 b-sides.  Next week, then, we start tackling demos!  After we have decreased the choices to 21, then we vote for 7 total.

Enough of my usual, boring intro.  You all know the drill by now.  It is time to vote!

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: B-Sides Part 1

A few months ago, we started a fun little task around here.  We asked that Duranies everywhere vote to develop a Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  This box set will contain 7 singles, 7 album tracks, 7 b-sides/demos, 7 live tracks and 7 side/solo project songs.  Through weeks of voting, the 7 singles have been chosen as have the 7 album tracks.  Now is the time to move on to b-sides and demos.  This section proved a bit more difficult for me to develop.  I’m pretty confident in my Duran knowledge.  Yet, I had to do some additional research to create the complete list of b-sides and demos.  I’m willing to bet that I missed a few (probably MORE than a few!).

In doing my research, I discovered that there are a lot more b-sides than what I originally thought.  Here’s the thing.  Back in the day, as much as I hate that phrase, b-sides were literally located on the back of singles, 45s, whatever you want to call them.  In recent decades, there are no 45s.  Instead, b-sides have morphed into extra tracks.  Therefore, I put all extra songs into the b-side category.  This meant that the b-sides number more than 30.  Wow.  I didn’t think that I could chose just 7 from all of the 30+ b-sides.  Then, if I added demos, the list grows even bigger.  EEK!

Therefore, much like I did with the album tracks, I split the list.  The poll here has about 18 or so b-sides.  Next week, I’ll do a poll of the rest of the b-sides.  Two weeks from now, it will be the demos before I combine the results into one poll.  On that note, here is the poll for half of the b-sides.  Like always, pick 7 of them.  Unlike always, I left an option to add one, in case I forget a song.  That said, generally, these b-sides are from the 80s.  Next week, I’ll ask about the later ones.

On that note, vote away, people!  Have fun!

-A

 

It’s Too Much Information for Me

Lately, this blog has been anything but controversial.  At least, my posts have been very bland, very vanilla.  It is not that I’m against anything controversial or am afraid of dicey topics or commentary.  After all, I teach social studies, specifically United States History, which is filled with topics that can result in differing, passionate or even angry responses.  Likewise, I have worked on the ground on political campaigns.  This means that I have talked to members of the public on the behalf of the candidate and some of the public are not always kind.  Therefore, my avoidance of controversy is not due to fear.

Over the course of this blog, Rhonda and I haven’t avoided controversy.  We have tackled some of the tougher issues within fandom and within Duran Duran fandom, specifically.  Some examples include discussion around the stigma that female fans receive, the lack of respect for Duran Duran as a band, how DDHQ runs things like presales and the fan community, social status, fans going after fans, competition, etc.  Many of these topics that I mentioned caused a heck of a lot of feedback, both positive and negative.  A lot of fans did not appreciate some of our commentary or conclusions.  Some even, perhaps, felt attacked and came after us as a result.

Despite some of the horribly negative reactions those blogs led to, I do not regret writing them.  I learned a LOT about fandom and about our fan community through the process.  Really, that was the a big part of writing some of those dicey blog posts.  I wanted to learn what makes fans really tick as I knew what makes me tick but I didn’t know about others.  In reality, I felt like I had to push some buttons to get a full picture, to fully understand.  On top of that, I hoped that bringing up tough subjects could help.  By getting some of the worse aspects of our fandom out in the open where we could discuss, question, and eventually change those aspects.  At least that is what I hoped.  While I can’t say that I was super successful, I know I tried.

Now, though, I am not motivated to bring up new controversies.  While I have seen various postings, articles, etc. about Duran as a band or one or more band members this week, I am opting not to bring them here.  As I stated earlier, it isn’t because I’m afraid of negative feedback.  I just see no purpose.  It would not help me understand fandom any better and it definitely wouldn’t help bring the fan community together.  More than that, though, it would do harm.  Negative postings or articles won’t help the band succeed or do better.  I don’t believe that all press is good press.  Maybe that works with some artists, at some points in their career but I don’t want that for Duran now in 2017.  I want the press surrounding them to be about their amazing live performances or about their incredible songwriting and superhuman longevity.

For me, personally, my fandom recently has been renewed.  It wasn’t like I had fallen from the band or had lost love for them but I wasn’t getting excited with them either.  I just felt comfortable in my fandom.  Now, I feel both comfortable and comforted with and by my fandom.  On top of that, I also feel that giddiness, that excitement, that sense of fun that fandom should bring.  Why talk about anything that will kill those feelings for me?  Right now, I need my fandom to be my happy place, my safe place.  If I chose to bring a meaningless controversial topic over here, I threaten the joy that surrounds my Duranieness.

That said, I recognize that controversy means more page views, more outreach on social media.  It equals more traffic to our blog, and to our social media accounts.  Yet, that isn’t why I’m here doing this.  It isn’t to be popular or to be cool or to have the best or most interesting Duran news.  No, I’m here to express and to understand my fandom and others’ fandom.  We are here to try to bring the fan community together and to give fans a safe place to express their feelings and thoughts.  If that means that we skip over some topic of another, I’m okay with that.

-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

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.

-A