Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Duran Duran Music Gold Package Review

Are you a member of DDM?  If not, do you know what the membership covers?  Duran Duran Music (DDM), the official fan community for Duran Duran, offers two levels of memberships, a silver and a gold.  According to the website here, these levels get fans the following:

The SILVER LEVEL – only $35 per year
12 Months of Exclusives!

– Full Access to the NEW Duran Duran VIP community
– Access to Presale Tickets, tour and show updates, set lists etc. when band is on tour
– VIP Ticket Packages (including amazing seats, exclusive items) when band is on tour
– Exclusive Content JUST for community members including a monthly band audio interview 
– Monthly Contests to win personal items, signed merch, Meet & Greets when band is on tour and more 
– FAN2FAN Features (Personalize and customize your fan site, create your own fan blogs, journals, and photo albums that you can share with other members, participate in forums, and private messaging)
– Communicate and share with other Members 

The gold package offers all of that plus additional merchandise.  The additional merchandise listed below was updated in February.    

GOLD members receive everything in SILVER (a $35 value) PLUS:

– An exclusive NEW T-shirt designed by Patty Palazzo featuring a gold foil design 
– Stylish multi-compartment messenger bag with brand new Duran logo on flap 
– Heavy-duty hard top mouse pad – perfect for home or office 
– Red and black logo’d luggage tag for traveling in style 
– Fridge magnet with new interlocking DD logo
– Executive-style embossed padfolio with interior card slots 
– Executive leather pen with logo’d silver cap 
– Welcome letter from Simon Le Bon 

Since I recently received my package, I thought it would be good to share my review of the merch, in case anyone was thinking about signing up!

New t-shirt:

Gold t-shirt

First, I love the design.  I have to admit that I love most of Patty Palazzo’s designs but there is something that I REALLY like about this one.  Perhaps, I feel like she has captured the Duran essence in that it is ALL about the music.  It isn’t about the band’s looks or anything like that.  It is about the music.  Second, the fact that foil is used is so cool.  It gives the shirt something special.  Lastly, the quality is good as is the size.  I have heard that some people did not like the sizing but it worked well for me.

Messenger Bag:

bag 2

I was really unsure about this.  I had the messenger bag from one of the last gold packages and really liked that one.  At first glance, this one seemed cheap.  The material was thinner, the strap was not as long, and it wasn’t that big.  Yet, I have been using it a lot this last week and I have found it to be very useful.  First, the material is different than the last one.  I suspect that while this material is less thick and provides less padding, this one would be easier to clean.  While the strap doesn’t go as long, it is a perfect length for me.  The same is true with the size.  It fits my laptop perfectly.  I also like that this one can be closed in a more secure fashion than the last one, which was just closed with a tiny piece of velcro at the top.  Lastly, the color scheme is much more my style and I adore this logo.  If this is what they will be going with for DD14, I’m all for it!

Mouse Pad:

mouse pad

I thought this was a strange choice.  While I realize that some people still use desktops and/or a separate mouse with a laptop, I just don’t see a lot of mouse pads being bought and sold.  This particular mouse pad is a nice size with a smooth finish and again that cool logo.  For me personally, this just won’t get as much use as other items in the package simply because I use my laptop a lot more.

Luggage Tag:

luggage tag

This one really made me smile.  As someone who travels to go see shows, I love the idea of having a Duran Duran luggage tag to use!  Let’s hope I have shows to travel for soon enough!  Again, this one keeps with the color scheme of black and red with the same logo.  As you can see by the picture, it is not made with some cheap plastic.  Likewise, it is attached to your luggage with a real buckle.  Quality.

Magnet:

magnet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like magnets.  I like Duran Duran magnets.  I have the magnet from the previous package up.  I also have a magnet I got from going to a Live from London screening in 2005 and the little magnets of the guys from the Astronaut tour.  This one isn’t huge, but decent sized to hold up comics and pictures.

Padfolio:

padfolio

For those not familiar with these, they can hold small notepads, a pen, and other papers and/or business cards.  I use the other one from the AYNIN era package in meetings.  Thus, I looked forward to having another one to use for a different purpose.  This one, like the previous one, does not disappoint.  Again, it has the cool new logo.

Executive Pen:

pen

This pen looks far cooler than the usual pens I use!  I go for cheap, at work, because they typically get used by a student only never to be returned!  The look of the black at the bottom and grey at the top with the logo makes it look sharp!  It has a smooth finish when using it and fits in well in the pad folio.  I thought this was a nice touch!

Welcome Letter:

Welcome letter

In previous packages, there was a letter included.  I was amused that this one was addressed to, “Friend of Duran Duran”.  This kind of thing is fine as long as people are aware that it is just a nice copy and not an original letter.

Overall:

I thought this was a really nice package.  They included a lot of items and loved how well they all went together, in terms of the color scheme and the new logo.  Money well-spent.

-A

 

Today in Duran History – Nottingham 1989

On this date in 1989, Duran Duran played at the Royal Centre in Nottingham, UK.  I don’t have much to say about this show.  Was anyone at this show?  If so, what was the show like?  When I look at the number of tour dates supporting Big Thing, I’m amazed at how many shows they did.  First, the tour started with the Caravan Club Tour where they played smaller clubs in 1988.  Then, a long tour from the end of 1988 to spring of 1989, which was quickly followed by the Big Electric Theatre.  Lastly, the band played a few summer festivals.

-A

 

Question of the Day: April 20, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture QQ

RT-QQ

How Many Shows of the Red Carpet Massacre Tour (Oct. 27, 2007 – Oct. 3, 2010) Did You See?

I am continuing my series of blogs/polls about which tour was the most popular.  Last week, I asked about the All You Need Is Now tour.  If you did not vote, you still can here.  These polls simply ask how many shows you saw.  One aspect of the question that I didn’t think about is the question about canceled shows.  Do those count, people wanted to know?  They had every intention of going but didn’t when those shows weren’t rescheduled.  To me, if you made up the shows at a later date, they shouldn’t count.  If you didn’t, though, they should count.  The Red Carpet Massacre Tour also had canceled shows.  This time, I included that as an option.  If that fits you, I would love for you to comment about how many shows of yours were canceled.

Also, be aware that I included the dates of the Red Carpet Massacre Tour.  According to dd.com, this tour did not start until right before the Broadway run.  Some people might think the fan show in June of 2007 would count since Night Runner was played, but the band’s official site says no.  It wasn’t.  That show was part of the Astronaut tour.  Likewise, the tour ended in 2010, just a couple months before the iTunes release of All You Need Is Now.  With all this being said, how many shows did you attend??

-A

Today in Duran History – Chelsea Lately 2011

On this day in 2011, Simon and Nick appeared on the late night TV talk show, Chelsea Lately.  I included a clip that I found on YouTube.

What did you think of it?  I adored the fact that Simon had no idea about the show.  Even more than that, I really adored that Chelsea was a fan as was her sister, but was still able to be cool around the band.  Of course, Simon makes an interesting statement about how America is the band’s “heartland”.

-A

Question of the Day: April 19, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture HH

RT-HH

 

Gettin’ Busy

I have been on Spring Break this week.  I had been looking forward to this break for what felt like absolute forever.  There were no days off since January and the winter was beyond brutal with frequent snow and cold beyond belief.  To say that I was going a little crazy was an understatement!  If all that wasn’t enough, real life added some extra worries.  The break was supposed to be the medicine to cure my ills or, at least, make me feel better.  I suppose that is what happened to some extent, but it is flying by and my to-do list has barely been touched.  In fact, it has probably grown.  Now, I’m looking for motivation to get started.  I need to get started.  I want to get started.  It seemed to me that this little blog might be a good way to do it.  Putting my list in writing and writing that is public would do two things.  First, it makes them more serious, more needing of a commitment.  Second, I’m hoping that others might push me along when needed!  🙂

Of course, all of that said, you probably won’t want to read about my desire to get my car washed or my need to finish the laundry.  Thus, I’ll keep the list here focused on Daily Duranie related work.  Besides, I figured that a few of you might be interested in an update about our projects!!

1.  Convention 2014–

If anyone was following our individual twitter accounts last night, you might have seen a little discussion about how we are planning for Durandemonium 2014.  We gave a couple of hints about when and where we are hoping to hold it.  I admit that we are in the very early stages in the planning process, which means, of course, that what we hope for in terms of when and where might not work out.  It also means that I have got to get going in contacting venues.  Once I do, that the ball will really be rolling.  For those of you who attended last year, we are definitely planning to keep some elements of that convention, but adding a few others and deleting or changing some aspects that didn’t work out as well as we had hoped.

2.  Our Book–

A lot of people ask us about the status of our book.  Our standard answer is that we are still working.  We are.  That is not a lie.  Book proposals are lengthy as are perfecting citations and bibliographies.  This is where producing a non-fiction work is quite a task.  I have been going back and double checking and verifying each and every quote, source, etc.  Now, beyond that, I’ll also admit that the book gets pushed to the side more often than it should due to real life duties like family obligations and work.  It also gets pushed aside with the blog and the conventions.  The reason is simple.  No deadline for the book.  Nonetheless, we have talked and have a plan! We are hoping to get together this summer to work on nothing else.  The blog will still be done but will be done in advance, which means that there will probably be lots of Duran news during that time frame.  The band will have a sense that it is safe to release information without our loud mouths offering our constant opinions!!!

3.  Blog Related Projects–

We have many coming up.  First, we have a couple of interviews in the works.  We are excited by these and hope that you will be, too.  Second, I will continue on the series of most popular tours.  Please watch this space for polls about your participation!  Lastly, I’m getting ready to do another giant poll like what was done about people’s Top 25 Duran Duran songs.  I really enjoyed finding out what songs people loved, compiling the list and analyzing it.  Again, watch this space.  If that wasn’t enough, we have more to do with the book, Mad World, and a review of the new gold package for Duran Duran Music.

After looking at this complete list of things to do with just this aspect of my life, it is no wonder that I feel the need to get motivated and to get things done!  Wish me (and Rhonda) productivity!

-A

Today in Duran History – Melbourne 1982

On this date in 1982, Duran Duran played at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, Australia.  This show was part of the Rio tour, which actually started in Australia and featured 7 shows there.  Three of those shows were in Melbourne and all of shows in Australia were sold out!  I would love to hear how these shows were from anyone who was there!  Anyone?

Now, for anyone into Duran history, this tour of Australia sticks out as an important one.  It isn’t so much the shows (even though I’m sure they were beyond fabulous) or the fact that they played in Australia for the first time ever, which is super cool.  It is the fact that the band had just finished mixing the Rio album, which would be released in the following month.  Also, significant to Duran history, the band also stopped at a little island off the coast of India known as Sri Lanka to film some videos that you might have seen a time or two (million).  I’m sure that you know those videos (Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer and Lonely in Your Nightmare).

Just imagine.  32 years ago, Duran Duran had just finished the final touches on the Rio album, filmed some of their best and most well known videos and started their first tour of Australia!  Amazing!!!

-A

Question of the Day: April 18, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture Y

RT-Y

If Notorious and Big Thing Could Talk…

by C.K. Shortell

Sometimes, I think Duran Duran albums talk to each other. Specifically, they talk to their predecessor. I remember the first time I listened to The Wedding Album and hearing the line “You rescued me from liberty” in Love Voodoo, and wondering if I was reading too much into the lyric to wonder if Simon wasn’t taking a shot at the last album.  Or the beginning of “Hold Me,” when he starts with “This time…” — somehow I got into my head that “Hold Me” was one of the first songs written for Notorious and that line/ad lib was basically Simon’s way of expressing the uncharted territory the band was in, now down to a trio.  Additionally… all the lyrics to “Still Breathing,” which I took as a declaration against the previous lineup of the band. I can’t prove any of this, it’s just in my head when I listen to these songs and albums.

This topic circles in my head for a few reasons. First, we are between albums. Speculation abounds about the sound of DD14. We know the band never does the same thing twice. We also know that, on AYNIN, they finally felt comfortable “reclaiming” some of that old ground/sound. So what will happen on the next album? In what way will it be a reaction to what they did on AYNIN?

Additionally, Notorious, the album, has been in heavy circulation on my iPod for the last few months. I think there are a lot of parallels between Notorious and All You Need Is Now. Both feature very strong title tracks that will likely be a staple of the band’s live set as long as they continue to tour (I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that the song AYNIN will continue to be featured, but you never know).   Both were heavily anticipated after a pause in the band’s career in which it was uncertain what direction they would take. Both were heavily influenced/co-written by the album’s producer, and both featured a mix of guest musicians on other tracks (and in the case of Notorious, it remains the only Duran album that features the work of both Andy and Warren).

Why do I bring up these parallels? I am trying to draw conclusions about DD14, and I think we might gain insight by understanding the relationship between Notorious and its follow-up, Big Thing.

I’ve always viewed Notorious as being a very solid, “orderly” album, with perfect alignment between the A and B sides, the Hitchcock theme, and the neatly packaged video that tied back to the album artwork. Big Thing is the exact opposite. It’s noisy, disorganized, loud (at least the first half), moody (the second half) and unconventional. Notorious features a virtual all-star cast of guest musicians, including Nile Rodgers, Andy, Warren, and Steve Ferrone, not to mention the album cover featuring super model Christy Turlington. Big Thing boasts no such lineup—it is the truly the first (and ultimately only, as it would turn out) Taylor-Rhodes-LeBon collaboration, with Warren sprinkled in, albeit in a non-writing role.  On Notorious, the songs tend to follow the standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus/outro format, which the exception of Winter Marches On. On Big Thing, it’s the exception when a song follows that format. Notorious is defined by its title track; the song Big Thing mocks itself and the music industry in general, and is probably one of the more forgettable songs on the record.

When John, Nick, and Simon hosted an hour-long countdown of their favorite Duran videos on MTV in 1988, they commented that on Notorious, they were very polite to each other and trying to figure out how to function as a band. Not so during the Big Thing sessions, where “we were all screaming at each other.” This is not surprising. The trio had weathered the uncertainty of the Notorious era; they had put out an album and toured and had success despite the loss of Andy and Roger (of course, they were no longer the biggest band in the world, but at least they knew there was still an audience for their music, albeit a smaller one than before).

So, with that out of the way, they pushed themselves creatively on Big Thing. What resulted was an album of disparate sides: the first consisting mostly of noisy, dance “house” music, and the second slower, moody ballads. Side one featured the hit single “I Don’t Want Your Love,” that is possibly the band’s most underrated and forgotten hit (and one of my personal favorites), and the follow-up single “All She Wants Is” which didn’t chart as well, but did see a lot of club play. The B-side is built around the lush anthem “Land,” one of the longer Duran songs in the catalogue that clocks in at just over six minutes. Preceding it are the haunting “Do You Believe in Shame?” and airy “Palomino.” I remember first listening to Big Thing and strongly disliking the second side, and then about a week later I had a strange tune stuck in my head…and it turned out to be “Palomino.”

Conversely, I did love “Edge of America” the minute I heard it, and still do to this day. And I always have considered “Edge of America” and “Lake Shore Driving” to be one song, even if they have different titles and are on separate tracks. It’s an unconventional way to end Big Thing but it works, as the Nick’s synths and Warren’s guitar bring the proceedings full circle to how the album started.

There are many other details about Big Thing that we could cover (the two different producers, the controversy over the mixes of “Drug” that highly annoyed John, etc.) but those can be left to another blog. The question is, how can Big Thing’s differences from Notorious inform us as to DD14’s differences from AYNIN?

For starters, I suspect that there will be more of a balance between ballads and dance songs on DD14. AYNIN was heavily skewed toward upbeat music (much like Notorious) with several well-placed slower songs to even out the album’s pacing. I think it’s natural for the band to be inclined to write some more moody material after an album as upbeat as AYNIN.

And speaking of the band…by all accounts, it’s just them, just like it was on Big Thing. Or at least it’s more of “just them” than the AYNIN sessions, which included Mark Ronson, Ana Matronic, Kelis, Owen Pallett, and Nick Hodgson, as well as newscaster Nina Hossain. There was a report that Ronson worked with them initially but every quote I’ve read since indicates that it’s just the five (Rhonda says four…because we certainly don’t hear much of Dom being there lately. Just saying..) of them in the studio.

Is this a good thing or not? I think time will tell. Duran has made some tremendous music when they close ranks and keep it “in house”—see Big Thing and The Wedding Album and Astronaut, at least as originally conceived. But therein lies my concern: Duran Duran also seems to make ill advised decisions when there is no outside producer to referee things. (I’m convinced that Ronson or even Timbaland—yes, Timbaland—or any of us, for that matter—would have told them to keep “Beautiful Colours” and “Salt in the Rainbow” on the Astronaut album.  As it was, they went through three producers on that one.)

Do you think I’m reading too much into the relationship between Notorious and Big Thing to infer anything from AYNIN and DD14? And are you worried about the apparent lack of an outside producer tied to this project?

438d2-ckshortellC.K. Shortell is a lifelong Duran Duran fan who lives in the northeast with his wife and two sons, one of whom loves watching concert footage of the band.  When he’s not struggling to explain to a two year old why the guitarist always looks different or just what exactly Nick is doing, C.K. is constantly reminding co-workers and friends that the band never broke up.