Tag Archives: Duran Duran Fan Community

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Projects Part 5

In the last few weeks, our Saturday polls have focused on side projects.  The idea is to pick 7 songs from various side and solo projects each week until we have asked about all of them.  Then, we will have one final poll to pick the 7 side and solo project songs that Duranies believe should be included on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  So far, we have asked about Power Station, Arcadia, The Devils, TV Mania, Neurotic Outsiders, Dom Brown, and Freebass.

Last week, we started asking about John Taylor’s songs.  Instead of asking about all of John’s songs, I split his long list of songs in half to make it more manageable.  The songs of John’s that people picked last week were:

John Taylor:

  • I Do What I Do
  • Feelings Are Good
  • Always Wrong
  • Anon
  • Don’t Talk Much
  • Losing You
  • Look Homeward Angel
  • Silent Skin
  • Lovers Afternoon

The rest of the possible side/solo project songs are:

Power Station:

  • Some Like It Hot
  • Get It On/Bang a Gong
  • Communication
  • Murderess
  • Harvest for the World
  • Still in Your Heart
  • She Can Rock It

Neurotic Outsiders:

  • Feelings Are Good

Arcadia:

  • Election Day
  • The Promise
  • Goodbye Is Forever
  • The Flame
  • El Diablo
  • Lady Ice
  • Keep Me in the Dark

Dom Brown:

  • Amazing
  • Day Turned Black
  • Crocodile Tears
  • Changing
  • Chocolate Fever

Freebass:

  • Love Is Like Oxygen

This week, then, we will finish voting on John Taylor’s solo songs.  Before you vote, here is a playlist of many of the songs on this poll.  I put as many of John’s songs that I could find on the playlist.  Now, go listen, vote and have fun!  Which of these 7 songs of John’s should be considered for the Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set?

-A

 

Duran’s Peak Live Performances

Lately, our daily questions/polls have focused on Duran’s live performances.  Specifically, people have picked which version of a song they like better.  The versions are live performances from different tours.  We have asked about New Religion, Careless Memories and the Chauffeur.  Interestingly enough, for each song, fans who participate in our daily questions have stated that the 1984 Sing Blue Silver version of these songs are the best.  This has made me think.  Was Duran really better live in 1984?  Were the arrangements better?  If so, what does that say about the band?  If not, what does that say about the fans?

1984 was the height of Duranmania.  They were selling out stadiums worldwide and had songs and albums at the top of the charts.  Most would agree that they were the most popular band in the world at that time.  Their concerts were often filled with teenage girls who spent a LOT of the time screaming, from everything I read.  I have also read/seen many interviews in which the band discussed the “wall of sound” that was created from the screaming crowd.  Watch the video below and hear the band talk about this about 7 minutes in:

Now, in fairness, I did not see Duran Duran in 1984.  I’m sure that I would have thought that they were amazing then!  But, would they be better then than now?  Would the 30 years after that not make them better, in terms of their musicianship and performance?  Did their live performances peak over 30 years ago?!?  Listen to what Nick said in 2005 about 1 minute into this clip:

Duran would argue that their live performances are better now.  That said, I’ll play devil’s advocate.  In 1984, they were younger and had more energy.  Perhaps, that energy would make their performance more entertaining.  I could see that.  Yet, when I think of live performances, I do want the songs to be entertaining and fun, but I also want the music to be played well.  

Let me try an experiment.  I’m going to put videos of Careless Memories from 1984 and then from 2004.  Just listen to them.  Do not watch them.  Then, tell me which version you like better.  Both of them are from official videos, too, to ensure that the sound quality is decent on both.

In thinking about this question, when did Duran play better live, I think about my own career.  Just yesterday, I was asked to meet with a bunch of soon-to-be-teachers.  While I appreciated their enthusiasm and their idealism, I liked that they wanted me there as someone with experience.  While I might not be as energetic as I once was as a teacher, I know that I’m a better teacher now than I was when I first started.  Experience matters.

Personally, I would hate to believe that the best days of my career were in the past, when I first started.  I would imagine that Duran would hate that, too.  I’m willing to bet that Duran gets a lot of questions in reference to their “heyday” and how they “peaked” in their mid-20s.  I’m sure that’s frustrating and that they would prefer to think that they are at their best right now.  After all, if they were at their best in the mid 80s, then why continue now?

I’m sure that the fans who are voting for the 1984 Sing Blue Silver Tour versions of the songs don’t mean all this.  They are just thinking that they loved that time period.  Sing Blue Silver and As the Lights Go Down bring back nothing but fond memories of a band that they fell in love with.  I guess, for me, while I loved the band then, I love them differently and more now.  Maybe it is the fan in me that actually believes that they are better now, too.

-A

10 Years Ago: The Fan Only Show

Ten years ago, yesterday, Duran Duran played at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  This concert was open only to paid members of DuranDuranMusic, the band’s official fan community.  This show took place during the writing and recording of Red Carpet Massacre.  In some ways, I feel like this show was just a year or two ago, but, in other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago.  I learned a lot about the Duran Duran fan community.  On top of that, it represents not only that time period but also marks a dividing line in my personal fandom.

In 2007, a lot of Duranies were members of DuranDuranMusic.  The message board was busy all day and all night.  Threads had pages and pages of posts.  Posters had thousands of post counts.  Whenever anyone went to those boards, it was clear which fans were friends with each other and even, I dare say, which groups were more popular than others.  In saying that, I’m not criticizing anyone–just giving my observation.  When the band announced this fan only show, I felt nothing but excitement and determination to get there.  The fan community advertised the event as special, one time only.  Most fans I know desperately wanted to be there because  it seemed to be so special.  I was no different.

While my group was no where near popular or even known by many other fans, I still wanted to be a part of it.  Did I think that popularity within the fan community was tied, at least to some extent, to how many shows people went to?  Sure did.  I remember watching other fans in 2005 and 2006 going to tons of shows and they always seemed to have these amazing stories of their experiences.  I felt certain that attending this fan only show would provide me with my own story, so to speak.

I did have a story of sorts.  It focused on our sad attempt at getting VIP tickets.  My group, at that time, included Rhonda and myself and a friend of ours.  We needed three tickets.  The tickets were distributed by lottery.  When the results came up, two of us got regular general admission and the other got VIP floor.  Through trading and much communication with other fans, we were able to score three VIP balcony seats.  No, they were not as good as VIP floor.  Yet, we took what we could get.

Then, on the night of the show, we learned that many fans think that wearing the band’s t-shirt to a show is uncool as we got many unfriendly looks as we walked by.  We also learned that fans don’t always stick together after a show with many groups going off on their own despite any promises to get together afterwards.  This, of course, was all on top of a show that left a lot desired, which we have blogged about many times.  No matter one’s opinion about the show or about the album, it was clear that all was not happy in Duranland.  For our friend, it proved too much.  The fun had left her fandom.  She went to one more show but that was it.

After that show, things changed for me.  I chose to hold on to the fandom with every ounce of strength I could muster.  My friend, as stated earlier, left.  I wasn’t happy necessarily within Duranland as I saw flaws in the album and felt like it was unDuranlike.  I also recognized that others in the fan community didn’t see that.  Tensions were high and arguments were frequent.  I thought for sure that I would be the only one remaining as Rhonda not only struggled with RCM but also had a lot of real life stuff to contend with.  Thus, I did what I needed to go to get through it.

I went back to New York City to see one of the shows on Broadway.  (I went to the second night, the one in which Donald Trump was there.  Yippee.)  I needed to give the band a chance to fix what went wrong at the fan show.  They had to show me that they were going to put all of themselves into this new album cycle.  The performance at that show did just that and gave me strength to make it through the rest of the very divisive Red Carpet Massacre era.

Overall, the fan show ended the first part of my adult fandom.  The innocence I had for the fan community and for the band seemed to end.  Lucky for me, the strength of my friendship and my love for the band kept me in the fight until a new era dawned.

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Projects Part 4

This week, we continue to tackle the side and solo project songs for the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  So far, we have picked out songs by Power Station, Neurotic Outsiders, Arcadia, The Devils, TV Mania, Dom Brown and Freebass.  We have two solo projects to go:  John and Simon.  This week as promised we will focus on John Taylor’s solo work.  Originally, I thought I would be able to list all of John’s songs and have people pick out the 7 that should be considered for the box set.  That won’t work, though, as John has a ton of songs.  He has too many for just one poll.  Therefore, this week we will look at half of his songs and next week we will do the other half.

Before I list the poll, I do want to do two other things.  First, I want to share the songs under consideration for this category.  Then, as many of John’s songs that I could find will be posted here.  You can listen before you vote!

Side/Solo Project Songs Under Consideration:

Power Station:

  • Some Like It Hot
  • Get It On/Bang a Gong
  • Communication
  • Murderess
  • Harvest for the World
  • Still in Your Heart
  • She Can Rock It

Neurotic Outsiders:

  • Feelings Are Good

Arcadia:

  • Election Day
  • The Promise
  • Goodbye Is Forever
  • The Flame
  • El Diablo
  • Lady Ice
  • Keep Me in the Dark

Dom Brown:

  • Amazing
  • Day Turned Black
  • Crocodile Tears
  • Changing
  • Chocolate Fever

Freebass:

  • Love Is Like Oxygen

Now, here’s a little playlist that I put together of some of John’s solo work.  It does not include every song on the poll but a lot of them.

On that note, you should be ready to vote!  Which 7 John Taylor songs should be considered for the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set?  Please note that I Do What I Do is spelled wrong on the poll.  I apologize.

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Projects Part 3

This week, we continue on with our polls surrounding side/solo project songs that fans feel should be considered for the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  The goal is to pick 7 songs each week until the readers have gone through all of the various Duran related side and solo projects before having a final vote.  So far, songs have been picked from Power Station, Neurotic Outsiders, Arcadia, The Devils and TV Mania.  This week, we will tackle both Dom Brown and Freebass.

Before I attach the poll, I have to say something about these two projects.  Dom Brown, Duran’s current guitar player, has done work on his own.  In fact, he has released two solo albums, “Touch the Flames” and “Between the Lines”.  If that was not enough, he has a blues band, Blue to Brown, with his father that also resulted in an album.  If you haven’t heard these albums, I highly recommend them and can be purchased on Dom’s official site.   Normally, when I have done these polls, I have put up YouTube playlists to provide the opportunity to hear the songs before voting.  Unfortunately, there are only a handful available.  I will post the ones I found:

I can provide even less about Freebass.  According to the Duran Duran Wikia  page, Freebass was formed in 1997 by Roger Taylor and Marco Silver in Birmingham.  An album was recorded and the band’s only single is “Love Is Like Oxygen“, a cover of a song done by the British band group, Sweet, was released in January of 1998.  At the same time, the band broke up.  Marco Silver continued on and is now using the name, Free Bass Inc.  You can hear “Love Is Like Oxygen” by clicking the link above.  I will include the other songs on the album on the poll, but lack means of providing all of you a chance to hear them.  I apologize.  If someone knows where/how I could share, please let me know.

Before I get to voting, let’s take a look at what side/solo projects remain in consideration so far:

Power Station:

  • Some Like It Hot
  • Get It On/Bang a Gong
  • Communication
  • Murderess
  • Harvest for the World
  • Still in Your Heart
  • She Can Rock It

Neurotic Outsiders:

  • Feelings Are Good

Arcadia:

  • Election Day
  • The Promise
  • Goodbye Is Forever
  • The Flame
  • El Diablo
  • Lady Ic
  • Keep Me in the Dark

Now, it is time to vote on which Dom Brown and/or Freebass songs should be considered for the Ultimate Box Set.  Vote here:

-A

 

Ultimate Box Set: Side Projects Part 2

It is Saturday, which means that it is time for our weekly poll relating to the creation of the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  So far, the participants have chosen singles, album tracks, b-sides/demos, and live songs.  Now, we are working on which side/solo project songs should be considered.  Instead of tackling the enormous list all at once, we are breaking them into manageable chunks.  Last week, we started with Power Station and Neurotic Outsiders.  The songs most picked by the fans voting were:

Power Station:

  1. Some Like It Hot
  2. Get It On/Bang a Gong
  3. Communication
  4. Murderess
  5. Harvest for the World
  6. Still In Your Heart
  7. She Can Rock It

Neurotic Outsiders:

  1. Feelings Are Good

I allowed for 8 songs rather than the usual 7 because there was a tie between She Can Rock It and Still In Your Heart.

This week, we vote on the songs from the side projects that Nick Rhodes was involved in.  These include Arcadia, The Devils and TV Mania.

If you want to hear these projects again, here are some YouTube playlists:

Arcadia:

The Devils:

TV Mania:

Now that you have familiarized or re-familiarized yourself with these songs, it is time to vote!

Ultimate Box Set: Live Tracks Analysis

Last week, Duran Duran fans selected the seven songs they think would best represent Duran’s live performances.  This selection was part of a series of polls to create the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  So far the box set includes the following:

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/Demos:

  1. Secret Oktober
  2. Late Bar
  3. Beautiful Colours
  4. I Believe/All I Need to Know
  5. Salt in the Rainbow
  6. Planet Roaring
  7. Faster Than Light
  8. (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile

Now, we can add the following set of songs.

Live Tracks:

  1. New Religion
  2. Careless Memories
  3. The Chauffeur
  4. Rio
  5. Wild Boys
  6. White Lines
  7. Planet Earth

So, what do I think about these songs?  Was anything surprising?  I have to admit that I wasn’t terribly surprised by any of the songs chosen.  As I stated in yesterday’s blog, it is interesting to note that many of these songs are played at every or almost every show (Rio, Wild Boys, White Lines and Planet Earth).  I would say that the band is more likely to bust out Careless Memories and the Chauffeur over New Religion.  In fact, I don’t think they have played New Religion live since 2008.  Interesting to note that Roger Taylor recently stated that he thinks they should put both New Religion and the Chauffeur into the setlist.  I, for one, would love that.

In looking at this list, I cannot help but notice two other aspects.  First, none of these songs would be considered ballads.  While the Chauffeur is a slower tempo, it does not fit the description of a ballad.  Most of the songs chosen have a lot of energy, in fact.  Perhaps, fans believe that the songs that are the most exciting are also the best live.  The other aspect that I noticed when I examined the list is that for the most part they are all from the early part of Duran’s career.  The only exception is White Lines.

When I personally think of these songs live, my thoughts gravitate to the fact that many of these songs feature JoSi, including Wild Boys, Planet Earth, and Careless Memories.  Some of these songs also featured some audience participation, including White Lines, Planet Earth, and Rio.  What about the rest of you?  What do the rest of you notice about this list?

From here, we will work on side/solo project songs that should be included.  One person has recommended including 12 inch remixes.  What do the rest of you think about that?  Is that a good addition to a box set?  While you are thinking about that question, make sure you have voted here for the Power Station and Neurotic Outsiders songs that should be considered.

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Projects Part 1

The Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set finally reaches the last category.  Since winter, fans/readers of this blog have voted on singles, album tracks, b-sides/demos, and live tracks.  Now, we begin voting on the last type of Duran song to be included in our box set.  This category really isn’t Duran but songs written and recorded as part of a side project or by a member on his own.  Before I get into how I will split up this last category, let’s look at which live songs were chosen.

After starting with the 50 most often songs played live, we narrowed down the choices to 35 then 21 before picking 7.  Here are the winners:

  1. New Religion
  2. Careless Memories
  3. The Chauffeur
  4. Rio
  5. Wild Boys
  6. White Lines
  7. Planet Earth

If you notice, many of those songs are played at the majority of shows, including Rio, Wild Boys, White Lines and Planet Earth.  Although, that last song was notably absent at some spring shows!  Anyway, I’m sure that there will be some fans who read this blog and participate in these fun polls who will want to determine which version/arrangement of these live tracks should be included.  I agree.    Yet, I will do those polls as part of our daily questions.  I’ll have to determine how many different live versions exist for each one, but that voting should be fun.

Meanwhile, we move on to the side/solo projects.  Clearly, this category is a large one with many bands (Power Station, Arcadia, Neurotic Outsiders, The Devils, TV Mania, Freebass, etc.) as well as solo songs by Simon, John, and Dom.  Here’s the deal.  I considered including Andy and Warren’s projects but opted not to for two reasons.  First, I needed to limit the category somehow and, second, I decided to stick to current members only.

Like other massive categories, I didn’t want to include all songs by all side/solo projects all at once.  Talk about overwhelming!  Therefore, I had to break them up, somehow.  My plan is to stick to similar projects while attempting to balance the number of songs.  Thus, this week we will start with Power Station and Neurotic Outsiders.  Both projects featured John Taylor and had more of a rock style.  In case, you aren’t familiar with these projects, I will help on that front.  I have put together YouTube playlists to help.

Here’s Power Station:

Here’s Neurotic Outsiders:

Now, hopefully, you are all ready to pick the 7 songs out of the list that should be considered for the side/solo project songs on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set!  Let’s vote:

-A

Electric Barbarella over Sunrise??

I enjoy setting up the question of the day on this blog because I like doing the polls myself and I learn from them.  This week, I noticed an interesting result.  As probably most of you know we have been asking about video preferences.  While we had asked this question before, we haven’t done so since the most recent videos from Paper Gods came out.  Generally, I feel like I have a sense of which videos Duranies prefer.  For example, I expect New Moon on Monday to be popular based on previous surveys, word of mouth, etc.  Earlier this week, I asked which video people preferred between Sunrise and Electric Barbarella,  Interestingly enough, Electric Barbarella won by a LOT.  In fact, more people voted in that poll than the rest of the week’s combined.  What’s up with that and which video do I prefer and why?

Do Duranies really prefer the video for Electric Barbarella over the video for Sunrise?  I’m not really sure despite the result of the poll.  Obviously, the verdict was decided by the people who voted and not all Duranies vote on this site.  If I asked again, I wonder if I would get the same result.  What if I asked in a different way or with different fans?  What if I went to Facebook groups and asked or busted out the question on message boards?  Anyway, I have to wonder why we had so many more votes that day and why for Electric Barbarella.

Let’s take a moment to watch that video before I add my thoughts about this video:

All right, I’m just going to say it.  I don’t like this video.  I might even go so far as to say that I really dislike it.  It is definitely one of my least favorite Duran Duran videos.  (Don’t send hate mail.  I can be a fan and not like one video.)  I won’t lie.  It isn’t even a favorite song of mine.  While I appreciated the connection to Barbarella and to the band’s history, it isn’t enough for me.  Some of you might say that my dislike for both the song and video probably has something to do with the lack of John Taylor.  I’m sure that you might be somewhat right.  That said, I like Out of my Mind (the song mostly) and that doesn’t have John.

While the song doesn’t cut it for me, the video is WAY worse.  If this was the only video that I saw from Duran, I would not be a fan.  First of all, the video is too predictable.  It feels to me that it is follows the song too precisely.  The viewer isn’t forced to think or ponder anything as it is all spelled out.  I’m also not a fan of the premise.  Here’s a “woman” that can be bought and then directed to do whatever via a remote control.  Of course, I realize that it is a “robot”.  Still, the message is too close to objectification of women and that makes me uncomfortable.  Some of you might be pointing out that Duran often uses women in their videos.  That’s true.  I don’t find most of those women to be seen as objects.  The woman of Rio, for example, holds the power over the guys.  Even the women of the Chauffeur aren’t objects. One might even argue that they don’t need men at all.  Some might say that the models of Girls on Film show how awful models in real life can be treated.  I think the use of women and how they are shown can be explained, for the most part, in their videos except for Electric Barbarella.

Sunrise is very different.  Let’s watch that video to compare:

As you might imagine, I really like this one.  I don’t know that I would say that it is one of my ultimate favorites but I enjoy the heck out of it.  I love that the focus is the band.  It tells the story of each member traveling to come back together.  The storyline is not obvious but fits not only the song but what was happening with the band at the time.      Yes, I also appreciate that it featured the Fab Five, too.  It wasn’t just Simon, Nick and Warren like Electric Barbarella.  It also captures a part of the band’s history with the reunion.

I have a few questions remaining.  First, am I the only one who likes the Sunrise video over Electric Barbarella?  Am I the only one who finds the video for Electric Barbarella a little distasteful?  Then, if I am not the only one who prefers Sunrise, what do you make of the vote showing a vast majority favoring the other?  I guess one thing is true.  The Duran Duran fan community never ceases to amaze me or make me think.

-A

Ultimate Box Set: Live Songs FINAL Vote!

Fans of Duran Duran Live, this blog post is for you!  As dedicated readers know, we have been working on creating an Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set from fan preferences.  Fans have chosen 7 singles, 7 album tracks and 7 b-sides/demos.  Now, we need to make our final selection of best live songs to capture the quality of Duran’s live performances.  We began this task by  listing the 50 most often played songs and asked people to choose their 7 favorite live songs.  Then, we eliminated the 15 songs chosen the least, leaving 35 songs left.  After that, we did the same thing again decreasing the list to a more manageable 21.

Today begins the week long chance to pick the 7 live songs that will be included in our imaginary Ultimate Box Set.  When voting, people might consider which songs capture the band’s live performance.  Perhaps, one might think about songs that sounds so much better live.  No matter what criteria you use to cast your votes, I wish you some fun.  My advice:  Don’t think too much.  If you do, it will be next to possible to actually choose!  I, for one, look forward to the results and analyzing those next week!

-A