Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Today in Duran History – Berlin 1982

On this date, Duran Duran played at Sektor in Berlin, West Germany.  Was anyone there?  Did anyone see this show?

What makes this show significant in my mind is that it is the last show before Duran Duran had to cancel 6 shows.  Why did they have to cancel shows?  For those of you who read John Taylor’s autobiography, you know the story.  For the rest of you, I’ll try to summarize here quickly.  The band arrived in Munich, ready to continue their tour.  That night, the band went to a concert and later to a club.  The night took a turn for the worse as Roger was been involved in a fight.  If that wasn’t enough, John, in a fit of rage, punched the glass light fixture and cut his hand, badly.  The band, then, was forced to cancel the rest of the German dates.  For shows scheduled after Germany, they brought in a bass player to play John’s parts.  Obviously, this was a pretty significant lowlight for the band and John, in particular.  I, for one, am just glad that everyone, including John could bounce back.

-A

Question of the Day: Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture F

NRF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Shows of the 1st Half of the Rio Tour (April 15 – July 27, 1982) Did You See?

This week, in the continuing series about Duran tour participation, I am asking about the first half of the Rio Tour.  This tour was split into two parts as the band stepped away from their tour to support Blondie.  This part tour took place between April 15 and July 27, 1982 and took place in Australia, Japan, the US, and Canada.  As always, I refer you to the band’s official website for all the specific dates and locations, which you can see here.

If you missed any of the previous polls about other more tours, the links can be found below:

Blondie Support Tour (August 2, 1982 to August 21, 1982)

Rio Part 2 and 83 One Off Shows (September 23, 1982 to July 23, 1983)

Sing Blue Silver (November 12, 1983 to April 17, 1984)

The Strange Behaviour Tour (March 16, 1987 to August 10, 1987)

David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour (August 12, 1987 to January 15, 1988)

Nine City Caravan Tour (October 19 to November 4, 1988)

Big Live Tour (November 11, 1988 to March 4, 1989)

Big Electric Theatre Tour (March 10, 1989 to April 26, 1989)

June 30, 1989 to February 21, 1993 dates

The first half of the Dilate Your Mind Tour (March 4, 1993 to May 9, 1993)

No Ordinary Tour (May 13, 1993 to December 10, 1993)

The second half of the Dilate Your Mind Tour (December 1993 to April 1994

The Thank You Tour (February 1995 to May 1995)

The Radio Festival Tour (May 1995 to November 1997)

The Ultra Chrome Latex and Steel Tour (Nov. 1997 to Oct. 1998)

The Latest and Greatest Tour (Dec. 1998)

Let It Flow Tour (Aug. to Oct. 1999)

Overnight Sensation Tour (Dec. 1999 to July 2000)

Pop Trash Tour (July 2000 to Feb. 2001)

The Up Close and Personal Tour (Feb. 2001 to June 2001)

The Reunion Tour (July 2003 to Dec. 2004)

The Astronaut Tour (Jan. 2005 to July 2007)

The Red Carpet Massacre Tour (Oct. 2007 to Oct. 2010)

All You Need Is Now Tour (Feb. 2011 to Aug. 2012)

How Old Were You When You First Saw Duran Live?

Which Tour Did You See Duran Play for the First Time?

Today in Duran History – Birmingham CD Signing

On this date in 2004, Duran Duran held a CD signing party at the HMV in Birmingham.  What were they signing?  They were signing copies of Sunrise (thanks for the correction, UK friends), of course!  They held a few of these for this album and did, at least, one for Red Carpet Massacre in 2008.  I am not sure why they don’t do more.  They are able to sell more albums that way, as attendees typically need to buy a copy in order to attend, in order to have something to get signed.  Then, it is a quick and controlled way for many fans to be able to have a moment or two of face-to-face time with their favorite band.  Positive interactions with the band, or any celebrity of choice, tend to reinforce fandom!!

Was anyone at this particular signing?  Anyone want to share their story?  I know that there are scenes of this signing on the Astronaut Dual Disc but it isn’t the same as hearing from fans who were there!  So, if you were there, start talking!

-A

Question of the Day: Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture CC

NRCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A View to a Kill — The Daily Duranie Review

We continue to move on with our reviews.  This week, we are tackling the song, A View to a Kill.  As we all know, this song was written for the James Bond movie with the same name.  Commercially, this song did very well as it hit the top of the charts.  Do we think it deserved this success or could it have been better?  Read and find out!

Rhonda’s Review:

Musicality/Instrumentation: The one thing that has always struck me about this particular song is how well elements of the original Bond theme were woven throughout this song. It’s not as though it’s an in-your-face copy of the James Bond theme, and perhaps you wouldn’t even notice or recognize it if you weren’t listening for them, but there are elements layered throughout the song as part of the supporting framework. The instrumentation seems to be that that not any one instrument has the highlight for any extended period of time. The band used the guitar as more of a rhythm guitar than a straight-up lead-which has always been typical of the band, you can hear the intricate bass line just underneath, synth is used for atmospheric effect and for the loud accents in the chorus, the drums are there but have a slight mute effect to them so they aren’t at the top of the mix.

Vocals: When I listen to this song, I have to wonder why it was written so closely to the top of Simon’s vocal range during the chorus. You can hear the strain even in this studio recording, which has the advantage of technology to fix.  Things you wonder….  But as I sit and listen, as much as I think the song could have been written in a different key,  I appreciate the inflection in Simon’s vocals between verses and chorus. I don’t know how many fans really recognize the talent Simon has for setting the tone with his vocals. And, if anyone wants a good example: listen to this song and then go and listen to any song by the band Offspring. Then you go thank Simon for bringing a little emotion to his vocals.

Lyrics: The one thing I can say about lyrics in this case is that I have no idea what they’re about…but they definitely sound James Bond-ish. “Dance into the fire, that fatal kiss is all we need.” It conjures up images of mystery, spies, and all the goodness that is Bond. Unlike every other Duran song, I’ve never really sat and tried to understand the lyrics to this one. I suppose I’ve always immediately attributed them to the Bond movie and left them at that.

Overall: I think that the source of pride in this song is that it’s a Bond theme, and the only one, that went to #1. It gets regular play at gigs, and at this point I think it sounds incredibly tired live.  When you’re standing in the audience for this one, you can feel the energy getting sucked out of the room – and to me it feels very much like the obligatory “We have to play it because it went to #1”.  Here’s the deal band: “You don’t have to play ANYTHING. It’s YOUR gig.  Play what you want. You’ve got a huge catalog. USE IT.”  So what if people don’t hear this song??  They can come back to another show when you do want to play it and hear it with much more energy.  Our review though, should be shaped solely by the album version.  I think that the more significant problems I hear for this song lie in the vocals, but I blame instrumentation for that as well. The song was written so that the chorus is just barely within (or outside) Simon’s range. You can hear it even in the album version (even though it has been auto-tuned), and it’s not a case where Simon’s voice is straining for effect.  It’s poorly written in that regard, and I suspect much of that was due to internal friction and inflexibility. If there was ever a sign of times to come, you need look no further than the music.  The innovation is there, the ingenuity with using elements of the Bond theme throughout really works well, but the vocals really draw my attention and I realize that all was not necessarily well within the band.

Cocktail Rating:  Three cocktails!

3 cocktails

Amanda’s Review:

Musicality/Instrumentation:  I loved this song as a kid.  Who didn’t love this song in 1985?  I loved the brash, catch-your-attention beginning.  I loved the pounding, in-your-face keyboards.  I loved that the keyboards were so clear that it seemed you could play each note and chord along with Nick on your air keyboard (strangely enough, that doesn’t have the same ring as air guitar!).  Then, of course, the guitars are noticeable along with the drums that lay that foundation.  That said, Nick’s keyboards are in the spotlight, regularly.  It feels like they work to remind us all that this was for a movie and not just any movie but for James Bond.  The chorus is worthy of note as it is full of everything from bass, keyboards, horns, etc.  To say that it is full of sound is an understatement.  When I was young, it seemed so lively, so full of energy.  Now, I almost wonder if there isn’t too much, on one level, and not enough on another.  I’ll explain.  When I listen closely, it feels like too much.  Too loud.  Yet, live, lately, to me, it has felt tired.  The band does not seem to have much energy when they play it.  It has gone in the opposite direction of Wild Boys, in my opinion.  Wild Boys seems to always get people excited live and A View to a Kill feels like a yawn.

Vocals:  *sigh*  My comments regarding the vocals of this song won’t come as a surprise.  Frankly, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone who saw Duran’s performance of this song during Live Aid in 1985.  Simon’s vocals here make me nervous.  More specifically, the range of his vocals make me nervous.  While Simon doesn’t have many “bum” notes, he obviously did that infamous day and I always think that he could again every single time I hear this song.  It always me hold my breath a little.  The only time I have felt comfortable with the vocals is when they have done the song in combination with the b-side, That Fatal Kiss.  During those times, it starts off slower and at a lower range.  Perhaps, my nervousness over the vocals has had great affect on my enjoyment of this song, especially live.

Lyrics:  One of my favorite introductions to any song is when Nick introduced this song on VH1’s Storytellers.  In his introduction, he said how appreciative they were that they got a title like “A View to a Kill” to work with as opposed to Octopussy.  Thus, they had something decent to start from.  How did they do?  The lyrics definitely have a Duran spin to them, including lines like:  “That fatal kiss” and “Dance into the fire” during the chorus.  I think Simon wrote the best lyrics that he could for a situation where he has to write something to fit a title.  That said, the lyrics don’t speak to me in any way.  They don’t make me think or feel something.  Perhaps, because the song is tied to a movie, they shouldn’t.  Nonetheless, this is the measure I use to determine the greatness of lyrics.

Overall:  I want to love this song.  It brings me back to a pivotal summer in my childhood.  It reminds me that Duran had huge chart success and made one memorable Bond song.  I like it but it isn’t one that I love.  Those vocals make me nervous and the instrumentation feels too much to me.  Instead of the song gaining energy live, it always feels lifeless to me and I always wonder the same thing.  “I wonder if they only play this one because it was a number one and they think that they have to play it.”  It has become a song that I stop jamming out and take pictures.  I have wondered if part of the problem was the co-writing of John Barry, but I don’t think so.  Is it over production?  Maybe that enters the picture somewhat.  After all, one of my criticisms is that the wall of sound coming at me is a bit overwhelming.  Perhaps, it is the focus on matching the Bond spirit.

Cocktail Rating:  2.5 cocktails!

3a186-twohalfglasses

Duran Singles: US vs. UK

About a month ago, I wrote a blog here where I compared and analyzed the fans’ ranking of Duran Duran singles to their actual chart position (in the US).  While people were interested in the results, they were also interested in how the fans’ ranking compared to the UK charts.  After all, Duran Duran is from the UK and we know that their chart success there was different.  While I absolutely plan on comparing the fans’ result to the UK charts, I also want to take the time to really compare the UK charts to the US charts.

Single                               Chart Peak in US                        Chart Peak in UK

All She Wants Is                22                                                    9

All You Need Is Now       Did not chart                            Unknown

A View to a Kill                  1                                                        2

Burning the Ground      Did not chart                               31

Careless Memories        Did not chart                               37

Come Undone                   7                                                         13

Do You Believe in Shame   72                                               30

Electric Barbarella          52                                                      23

Falling Down                     Did not chart                               52

Girls on Film                       Did not chart                               5

Girl Panic                             Did not chart                               Unknown

Hungry Like the Wolf    3                                                         5

I Don’t Want Your Love   4                                                      14

Is There Something…       4                                                       1

Meet el Presidente           70                                                     24

My Own Way                       Did not chart                             14

New Moon on Monday    10                                                   9

Notorious                                 2                                                      7

Ordinary World                   3                                                       6

Out of my Mind                  Did not chart                             21

Perfect Day                           Did not chart                             28

Planet Earth                          Did not chart                             12

The Reflex                              1                                                       1

Rio                                              14                                                     9

Save a Prayer                        16                                                    2

Serious                                     Did not chart                            48

Skin Trade                                39                                                  22

Someone Else Not Me    Did not chart                            54

Sunrise                                       89                                                  5

Too Much Information      45                                                 35

Union of the Snake             3                                                     3

Violence of Summer         64                                                    20

What Happens Tomorrow  Did not chart                      11

White Lines                           Did not chart                             17

Wild Boys                               2                                                      2

While I knew that Duran had a lot more success in the UK for the singles accompanying their first album, I didn’t realize how successful those reunion singles were in the UK.  Here in the US, Duran Duran couldn’t get played on a radio station no matter what in 2004.  I distinctly remember how much The Killers were getting played during the Astronaut era but Duran couldn’t get played.  I didn’t get it.  I still don’t.  Musically, there isn’t much difference between the two bands.  Why play one and not the other?  Is it the age thing?  What does this say about America versus the UK?

Across the board, the UK has been MUCH, MUCH kinder to Duran Duran.  For example, there are a number of songs that charted in the UK that didn’t here.  Likewise, the ones that charted in both places tended to do better there than here.  In fact, the only songs that Duran did better in the US were:  Ordinary World (3 vs. 6–still very close results), Notorious (2 vs. 7–still close), I Don’t Want Your Love (4 vs. 14—Hmmm…), Hungry Like the Wolf (3 vs. 5–super close), Come Undone (7 vs. 13–close), and A View to a Kill (1 vs. 2).  Thus, the only times that Duran did better in the US was when they had a super successful hit on BOTH sides of the Atlantic.  There has never been a song that has been successful in the US that hasn’t been successful in the UK.  The only song that really surprised me, in terms of its success was I Don’t Want Your Love.  I’m surprised that it did that well since it followed Meet el Presidente, which went no where.  That said, I do remember it getting played quite a bit on MTV.  I wish I also had the number of times the video was played on MTV to  compare.  That would be super fascinating.

So, what  jumps out at you?  What did you learn?

-A

Today in Duran History – John Taylor 1999

On this date in 1999, John Taylor Terroristen played at Yucatan in Santa Barbara.  During that time, John played a number of solo gigs with many being in California.  Was anyone there?  I wonder what the set list was.  One thing that I always appreciated when I did see set lists of his is how he played a lot of his new, solo music but wasn’t afraid to bust out a Duran tune or two.  Now, he might change things a bit but he embraced his past.  Here is an example:

What do you think of his version of this Duran classic?

-A

Question of the Day: Friday, October 3, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture AA

NRAA

Today in Duran History – Carnival

On today’s date in 1982, Carnival broke the Top 100 (#98) in the US, being the first Duran album to do so. Once I was older and realized that the Kershenbaum mixes on Carnival were slightly different than the original, I sat down and really listened to both. I was surprised at how subtle the changes were, and yet that somehow made all the difference when it came to radio play in the US.  Anyone else??

Just recently, duranduran.com featured a Collectors Corner regarding Carnival. You can check that out here.

-R