Tag Archives: I Don’t Want Your Love

Your Rhythm Is the Power to Move Me

Finally, I am getting to Lyric Day on Friday again!  During the last couple of months, I have found myself pushing Lyric Day to Saturday or Sunday or never.  This week, though, I’m on it!  So, what song popped up when I hit shuffle:  I Don’t Want Your Love.  As soon as I see it, I cannot help but to smile.  Oh, yes, I can use this song!  From there, the lyric I would choose was obvious, to the say the least.

Every time I hear this song, the line, “Your rhythm is the power to move me,” always grabs my attention.  How could it not?  It feels like it screams fandom to me.  It yells Duran Duran fandom, more specifically.  You know, fandom is a funny thing.  I think that being a fan is my blood.  My parents taught me fandom from day one as I watched them be White Sox fans.  Then, I saw my brother obsess over comic books and Star Trek.  I learned that fandom was good.  I even learned to be a Sox and Star Trek fan.  Now, decades later, those fandoms remain.  While I wouldn’t say that my youngest niece is a serious fan, I see some signs that she could be if the right thing grabbed her.  She likes lots of different things and can and does focus on those things in the way a fan would.  For example, for a while, it was Harry Potter then Buffy.  Yet, nothing has really stuck.

In my adult life, I have had some interests that have caught my attention.  Sometimes, those interests have lasted quite a while.  The TV show, Roswell, had my attention for years until I finally let it go.  I adore the X-Files and will get super excited when the next season starts, but those just aren’t the same as that Duran fandom.  The rhythm of being a music fan is just different.  With fandom surrounding TV or books or even movies, it is all about the love of a story or characters.  Most fans of those watch and rematch various scenes that they like.  Perhaps, those fans write fanfic to add to the story or to fill in the gaps.  I can understand all of that.  I, too, have loved specific characters on shows, for example, but the fan fiction train was never for me.  While I enjoying reading some, I couldn’t write it and got tired of reading the same old things.  Therefore, once the show is over or off the air, it is much hard for me to stick with the fandom.  This, of course, is the story of how Roswell died for me.  I didn’t wake up one day and determine that the show sucked.  No, I found that it could no longer keep my attention, no matter how great some of the fan fiction was.

Music fandom has been different for me.  Perhaps, part of the reason that music fandom resonates for me is because it was my first fandom.  While I appreciated those family fandoms, Duran was mine and all mine.  I discovered at a young age that their music moved me. When Duran writes one of those amazing tracks that stay with you long after you listen to it, I fall in love all over again.  Truly, Duran’s music affects me longer and stronger than any show or any book ever has.

Of course, I think that beyond the music itself, which is super strong, is also how I participate in the fandom.  For movie/TV/book fandoms, it feels very passive for me.  When I was into Roswell, for example, I had get togethers with friends but for the most part, I watched clips and read fanfic.  I would go online and dissect all of the little scenes but that was it.  I didn’t do much with it.  My Duran fandom, on the other hand, has motivated me to not only go to as many concerts as possible but also to travel, to write, to blog, to plan events.  The band’s rhythm have motivated me in ways that I could have never imagined.  Sometimes, I think back to when I was a kid watching Duran videos and I just start shaking my head.  Would my 9 year old self believe that thirty years later I would have seen the band a bunch, write about being a fan and more?  Somehow I don’t think so. Yet, it is true.  They have the power to move me and have for a long time.

-A

Brothers and Sisters Let Me Hear It: Big Thing at 29

I was busy waxing nostalgic over past fan conventions yesterday, so I didn’t get to write about Big Thing. The album was released 29 years ago yesterday, which is impossible.

I’m pretty sure Big Thing was the first Duran Duran album I bought on cassette. I slightly cringe as I remember buying and storing it in the creaky, fabric-covered, plastic case I kept on the floor of the front seat in my Suzuki Samurai. I can still remember the sandy feeling the fabric of the suitcase had because I would drive with the top to the Samurai removed for most of the year. The nearly threadbare carpet on the floor of the car caught sand and whatever other grit was blowing through the air as I’d speed along the freeways of southern California. The case and tape, which I still have somewhere in this house, is pretty scratched up. I haven’t tried to play the tape in years, probably not since I traded in the Samurai.  For quite a while, I didn’t have Big Thing on any other playable media in the house, and it wasn’t until I bought the MP3 that I had the chance to listen to the album in its entirety. Not that long ago, I added the vinyl of the album to my collection, along with the remastered CD, so I can fully appreciate its place in history.

When I first listened to Big Thing back in 1988, the album sounded like it had multiple personality disorder. I loved the song “Big Thing” even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what it was about. I liked the difference of the heavy beat to begin the album, but also appreciated the stacked harmonies that made it sound like a Duran Duran song.  “I Don’t Want Your Love” was the song I would sing at the top of my lungs while driving back and forth from Cal State Fullerton during my freshman year. Let’s just say it healed many a wound during that time. It was a tumultuous time for me as I adjusted to college and dorm living.  I wanted and needed recognizable Duran Duran – something that I never felt like I got from Notorious – and at least the first two songs off of Big Thing felt like they were in the right direction.  But from there, the album changed direction, with the club-beat heavy “All She Wants Is”. At the time, the song felt out-of-place, even though it was (and remains) a hit in the ears of many Duranies. But then again, the album completely changes pace completely, with beautifully simple ballads like “Too Late Marlene”, “Do You Believe in Shame”, “Land” and “Palomino”. These are what a friend once characterized as Duran’s watershed moments. Never to be dull, a song like “Drug” was thrown in the mix to throw listeners completely off-kilter, the sudden change always unnerved me. Ending with “Edge of America”, flowing into “Lakeshore Driving”, Duran’s answer to jam-session recording carries out the uncomfortable pacing of the album as the tape abruptly ran out as I would begin to settle into a daydream.

I never could find fault with any one song on the album, although I certainly have my preferences, but as a whole, I never cared for the constant change in direction or personality. Did the band want to go for a club sound? Why was the back half mainly ballad? I can remember not loving the ballads back in the late 80s, as I was more of a guitar-driven hard-rock kind of gal, but they’ve grown on me in years since, as has the entire album.

Big Thing is one of those Duran albums that, for the longest time, I didn’t really count among my favorites. It has grown to be one that I consistently play. I know why Duran Duran looks to “Ordinary World” as the ballad to play live, but I believe that gems like “Palomino” and “Land” have been completely overlooked in the process. There is really no other song I would rather crank up to “10” in my car than “Edge of America”, and I can zone out to “Lakeshore Driving” pretty much anywhere. “Big Thing” is a great song to wake me up, and when I’m feeling melancholy, I tune in to “Do You Believe in Shame”.  What once felt like a personality disorder now feels a lot more like the emotional roller coaster of any week in my life.

Big Thing has not only aged well, the rough transitions have mellowed out, and it plays fantastic at the ripe age of 29. Once again, Duran Duran proves they write to withstand the course of time.  Happy Birthday, Big Thing!

-R