Tag Archives: Live from London

Arena Anniversary and Live Albums

On this date in 1984, Duran Duran’s live album, Arena, was released.        This, of course, makes me think of my connection to the album and the other live albums of theirs.  I also give my little fantasy for live albums in the future.

Arena

This album was the first live album for Duran.  It captured the Sing Blue Silver Tour of 1984 and included the sentence, “recorded live around the world” on the sleeve.  This is unlike most live albums, which are recorded at one specific show.  Of course, we also know that the album featured one new track, Wild Boys.  Around the same time, Arena, An Absurd Notion, DVD was released along with Into the Arena board game.  Indeed, fans had a lot of material to watch, listen, and buy in late 1984!

I remember receiving this album for Christmas in 1984.  That year also marked the first walkman for me.  From what I recall, all of the kids in my family got walkmans that year.  For me, this meant that I could use the headphones while I listened to my brand new copy of Arena.  The family’s record player was located in the dining room portion of our living room/dining room combo.  I have distinct memories of sitting on a dining room chair, listening and pouring over the lyrics.  While I knew all of the songs (except for Wild Boys), I was fascinated by what changes took place, lyrically, from the original recording to these live versions.  Even as a kid, I analyzed everything Duran!

Looking back on Arena, I can now acknowledge both the positive and negative aspects of the live album.  It obviously featured a lot of the band’s hits, including Is There Something I Should Know, Planet Earth, Hungry like the Wolf, and Save a Prayer.  Yet, it wasn’t until the reissue of 2004 that Girls on Film and Rio were included.  It also included some fan favorites that weren’t hits, but were well loved like New Religion and Careless Memories.  Still, many other songs seemed to be missing.  I recall being surprised that the Reflex was left off since it was such a huge hit in 1984.  It is a rather short album in comparison to the 90 minute sets that they commonly then.  The main criticism about the album, though, is that it was simply too polished.  It lacked the feel of a live album.  I cannot disagree, which is, perhaps, why I don’t tend to play this one much.  I have heard far better bootlegs of that tour, which seem to capture the feeling of that era more.

Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind

Since Arena was released, fans have enjoyed two other live albums, Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind.  Live from London focused on the reunion of the Fab Five and came out 20 years after Arena.  During that time, I loved to listen to this one as it had all the great hits and really made me feel as if I was there at the concert.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that it also came with a tremendous live show DVD and a lengthy documentary about the band’s history and the reunion.  What more could a fan want?!  It didn’t hurt that I also got to see the concert in a movie theater with lots of other Duranies.  While it wasn’t a live show, it wasn’t the next best thing!

Truly, I didn’t think it could get any better until A Diamond in the Mind came out.  This one, released in 2012, focused on the All You Need Is Now era.  In 2004 and 2005, I couldn’t imagine a better time in Duranland, but by 2011 and 2012, I knew that the AYNIN era made me even happier.  During Astronaut, I went to a bunch of shows and had an amazing time.  Yet, AYNIN came at a time that my fandom needed a shot of energy and pure Duran-ness.  That album and tour gave me more than a shot.  They gave me lots more as Rhonda and I started this blog and began to plan meet-ups.  It also featured a couple of trips to the UK, which will always be special.  Like Live from London, I was also able to see the DVD part in a movie theater with other Duranies as part of Durandemonium, our little Duranie convention in 2013.

Hopes for Future Live Albums/DVDs

Ideally, I would love a live album and DVD for each album cycle.  I know that the show at the Budokan in Japan will air in Japan on December 10th.  Hopefully, maybe, possibly, this will be made available elsewhere after that?!  I, for one, would love it.

Another idea that I would love if the band would consider would be to record all of their live shows.  They could either make them available for purchase or include them in VIP packages.  For me, I would love to have every show I have been to available to listen to after the fact.  They would bring back lots of good memories.

What about the rest of you?  What do you think of the Duran’s live albums?  What would you like them to do in the future?

-A

Live From London, 2005. Do you remember?

On this date in 2005, the concert film, Live from London, was released.  This was filmed during the series of the five sold out shows at Wembley Arena in April of 2004.

I remember a couple of very basic things about this DVD.  First of all, I haven’t watched the video in a very long time. After Diamond in the Mind was released, I suspect I just sat this one aside.  Second, the deluxe version came with 3D glasses. While a bit blasé at this point, I thought it was super cool at the time. Don’t ask me what songs could be viewed with the glasses, which only serves to reiterate my first point.

The manga video for “Ordinary World” was also included, and I also remember that with the deluxe version I have, there were quite a bit of extras, such as interviews. I love having those, maybe even a bit more than the concert itself.

More than just about anything else, I remember what it was like to be a fan at this point in 2005. I’d already seen the band in Chicago earlier that year, as well as gone to Vegas to see them perform in Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children at the MGM Grand. I was still a neophyte when it came to the fan community, though. I had a very small group of friends, and was incredibly naive about the way things work. To me, the song “Everything is Awesome”, while not a favorite, is pretty appropriate to describe my feeling in 2005. The weekend I spent in Las Vegas for the Agassi show served as the beginning of my eyes really being opened to typical Duranie behavior, but even that was minuscule to what I would witness in coming years, both good and bad.

When I think back on the Live from London DVD, I can’t really say I’d be willing to go back. I see a lot of Duranies proclaiming 2005 to be a great time to be a Duranie, and it was. I had a lot of fun, and I appreciate the memory of everything feeling bright, fresh, and new. I couldn’t be standing where I am right now without those experiences. At the same time, I appreciate the present. While fandom is different now, I have seen too much to go back. I think that’s where I might be different from a lot of fans—I like seeing the fan community from this angle. Sure, there are a lot of cracks. It’s not all shiny or pristine, but that’s OK. I’ll describe it this way: diamonds are beautiful. When they are cut precisely and have zero flaws, they are sparkly and reflect the light perfectly. They are also incredibly boring to study under a microscope when they’re like that – which is almost never, I might add. There’s nothing much to see. A diamond with imperfections is still stunningly beautiful – but under a microscope they are far more interesting to look at, study, and learn from.

I’m going to go look for my Live from London DVD. It’s time for a refresher!

-R

We Danced, We Laughed, We Chatted!

I’m not going to be around much tomorrow, so I’m writing this on Sunday night.  With any luck, I am going to be at a day spa, relaxing and “balancing my qi”…as my youngest likes to say.  There will be no dancing on the valentine for me tomorrow…hopefully just some lavender-scented bliss.

Every once in a while, I tend to get so caught up in the motor that runs Daily Duranie (and my house) that I actually forget to BE a fan. I forget to take time to stop and smell the roses much beyond the occasional “listen to Paper Gods” in the car. That bugs me, too, because here I am, trying to write a blog about what it is really like to be a fan, and yet sometimes I am hard pressed to even know what to say!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that being a DD fan is drudgery. Far, far from it. It’s the peripheral stuff. You know….life: taking the kids to school, trying to put together a lesson here at home. Catching up on Twitter only to find that a couple of friends had a fantastic (and yet way way way over my head) conversation about a group I know next-to-nothing about, but very much want to learn. I catch DDHQ posting a question about favorite lyrics from Paper Gods…and my mind goes completely blank. (I truly sat back and had to think for a few minutes. “What in the hell is ON that album anyway???”) In the interim I realize I’ve shot away 30 minutes that I should have been reading my world history textbook in order to teach a lesson to my son. There’s not much time for watching videos. For laughing. For enjoying being a fan.

This (school) year seems a bit worse than previous ones as far as time goes, likely because I’ve taken on some added responsibilities by deciding to homeschool my very youngest. Sometimes I question my sanity with that decision. (like right now in this moment) Even so, I miss feeling like I can sit around and chat with my friends on Twitter or Facebook…or even on our message boards without facing some pinnacle of crisis later in the week for not spending that 30 minutes doing one of the other 10,000 things I was supposed to do during that time. I am sure I’m not alone.

That’s why last night was so precious. I was able to spend four beautiful hours just watching videos and chatting with friends, both old and new, on the Daily Duranie boards. We have a “shout box” built into the boards, which acts as a chatroom – and it’s open all the time. (I noticed a few people saying they couldn’t find the shout box – when you get to the message boards, scroll all the way down to the bottom and it’s there.) We made it into a party, called it “Dancing on the Valentine” and even gave it a theme drink. (because why not?) We made up a video playlist and hung out watching videos and chatting. I can’t even tell you how much I needed a night like that. That’s the  thing about Daily Duranie, we do this as much for ourselves as we do everyone else.

It isn’t ever very hard to remember why I became a fan. I’ve been told that this blog shows just how much love Amanda and I have for the band, even underneath all the blogs where we’re kicking their asses about one thing or another. It’s just that sometimes, I forget to actually be one.

Then there are the friendships. Oh, the friendships. It is easily the best part for me…I love seeing fans find other fans, connect and build a friendship. Hosting chats and online (and in-person) parties brings people together. Giving fans a place to meet and cultivate friendships begins to grow a loyal community, so anything that I can think of to make that happen is exactly what we’re going to do next.

Hosting chats isn’t exactly in my comfort zone. I’m really more of the type to sit back with my beverage and watch the scene unfold in person. You’re far more likely to find me in a dark corner talking to one person at a time than in the middle of a crowd. But, when it comes to Daily Duranie, somehow…I find a way to make it happen. And really, I need those moments.

Even more? I loved watching a lot of videos from Live in London, or smiling at the video for What Happens Tomorrow. I even saw clips I hadn’t seen before (there are a lot out there!!), like the band covering Starman, or the interview they did with Howard Stern back in 2006 (or something like that). In fact, I’m hoping to squeeze in a few more videos before bed tonight. (don’t tell anyone!)

Those moments, however far and few in between, renew my spirit and rejuvenate my fandom.  I hope they do the same for you, and that if you missed our little party last night, that when we announce the next one, you’ll find your way to hang out with us.

-R

This Week in Duranland – October 20, 2014 to October 26, 2014

It is Sunday!  It is time to recap the week!  As always, please let me know if I missed anything!

“Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack featuring “Kingdom” with Simon Le Bon and Charli XCX
Lorde has curated the soundtrack for The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay, Pt. 1.  This soundtrack will feature none other than Duran’s very own Simon Le Bon.  Simon has teamed up with Charli XCX to do a song called “Kingdom”.  This soundtrack is due out on November 17th.  For all the details, check out the press release and this blog post.  You can also read an article on billboard.com.

October Collector’s Corner
This month on dd.com, the collector’s corner focuses on Simon and all of his different projects outside of Duran Duran.  If you are someone who is a big Simon fan or someone who wants to know the complete history of the band, I recommend checking it out here.

Live from London
Can you believe that it has been 9 years since Live from London was released?  I was very lucky to be able to go see this live concert in the movie theater, which I wrote about here.

Unstaged
Apparently, Unstaged is now available on DVD in Australia.  Has anyone in Australia purchased it?  I would love a review!

DJ Roger
Apparently, Roger did a little DJ gig at a charity event for the Duke of Edinburgh in London.  This organization focuses on young people from 14 to 24 to help them gain the necessary skills for work and life.  I would head to Duran’s Facebook page to see a picture of Roger at work!

Ask Katy
Have you checked out the Ask Katy questions on dd.com lately?  See what was asked about songs from Seven and the Ragged Tiger being played live and the band’s response here.

Making Patterns Rhyme: a tribute to Duran Duran
Did you see that the entire 22 track album is available for pre-order on iTunes?  It is available October 28th!

John Taylor Supporting Henley Recovery Cafe
John was in the news this week for supporting the recovery and peer support program of the Henley Recovery Cafe as he visited and shared his experiences in recovery.

Yasmin’s Birthday Surprise
Check out the band’s Facebook page to see a picture of Simon and Yasmin at Yasmin’s Surprise Birthday Party!  We wish her a happy one!

Next week should be a busy one with the release of the tribute album and Duran Duran in Austin!  Until then…

-A

Today in Duran History – Wembley 2004

On today’s date in 2004, Duran Duran played Wembley Arena in London, UK.  They played Wembley Arena five nights during this period in 2004: April 13, April 14, April 24 and then April 30 and May 1st.  I hear they sold the place out….

As you might recall, the band released a little DVD aptly named Live from London, which was recorded at Wembley during these shows… and if memory serves, there may have been a few theatre screenings of this DVD scattered across the US to celebrate it’s release.  Duran Duran on a big screen?  YES.

We should really do all that again, don’t you think??

-R