Tag Archives: Medazzaland

Out of My Mind (no really!)

On this date in 1997, Duran Duran began filming a video for a little song called “Out of My Mind”.  They had traveled to Prague, and were filming at a castle (Krumlov Castle)…as one does, or at least did! Right?

Here’s a little more “truth” to add to the story.  This is the ONE video from Duran Duran that I genuinely do not know very well. I didn’t even know it existed until a good many years after it was filmed. Out of My Mind is off of Medazzaland, an album that came out just as I was learning how to be a mom. I had no time to pay attention back then, and it wasn’t until much later that I really spent time listening to and appreciating Medazzaland.

I will go so far as to say that I didn’t even realize that Out of My Mind had been a single, or included on the soundtrack for The Saint until far later, much less know the video. (I will accept my award for “biggest loser fan” at any time now) My only reason for sharing this extra info here is simply to show that all of us have our times when Duran Duran just isn’t the highest priority. At this point in 1997, I was struggling just to keep my head above water. I had a newborn, I didn’t know what I was doing, and to be blunt – I felt like I was losing MY mind. So, there you have it!

So, before posting I watched the video again. I think part of the reason I feel so unfamiliar with the video is because, in short – the video is downright creepy in parts. Simon wears facial prosthetics so that he appears to age, Nick is, well…Nick…(that means delightfully wicked), and Warren is Warren…although there’s one part where someone bites his ear and then animated blood appears to drip.  So that’s fun.  In my opinion, the video works very well with the mood of the song, but it is a song (and a video) that I have to be in just the right mood to appreciate.

Check it out again and see what you think!

-R

 

 

 

 

Do you remember Electric Barbarella on the UK Lottery Show?

It is getting to the time of year that I enjoy.  Typically, January is a quiet month for Duran Duran. They’re coming off of a holiday break, perhaps they’re busy, but they aren’t necessarily doing a ton of public performances and press.  So, the dates in history can be somewhat…well…unexciting. Yes, I said it.

However, today is January 30th. On this date in DD history, there are several items of interest, but the one I’ve chosen to highlight is their appearance and performance of Electric Barbarella on the UK Lottery show—particularly because I happen to have found video to share.

Yes, I know I should remain serious about the music, but this wouldn’t be Daily Duranie if I didn’t point out Simons fabulous demonstration of his “Hallucinating Elvis” moves. That alone is worth the time to watch!

1999….was it really that long ago?  In some ways, yes. The lineup alone has changed twice since then (Warren left at the reunion, Andy left after Astronaut). In other ways, they’re still the same guys…and Simon’s dancing has not exactly improved. (It’s getting close to March and I have to get in a fair amount of teasing between now and the time they arrive, otherwise it just wouldn’t seem right!)

Back to business, I don’t know that I’d actually watched this before.  Sometimes, I will stumble upon something that I either haven’t seen, or didn’t pay attention to the first time (!!!), which is an important piece of what makes writing Daily Duranie fun for me. I see and learn new things constantly. That’s one thing about Duran Duran, as prolific as they have been during their career – there is always something new to find, absorb, and learn. I love that! Hopefully, our readers enjoy what we post as much as we enjoy writing it all.

Happy Monday!

-R

 

My Own Way: Album Ranking

Welcome to Monday. It is my first day back after a nearly a week of festivities, and so I’m going to start slow…by doing my own ranking of albums.

In full disclosure, I read diffuser.fm’s take on Duran’s career, as well as Amanda’s, prior to making my own choices. Both gave me a little more to think about, but neither swayed my decisions. I know we’ve done this before, but as Amanda mentioned, I haven’t even considered it since Paper Gods came out.  Why not revisit?

My own countdown is devised so that I mention the album and the reasons for where it sits. Some albums may have a paragraph, others might have a sentence or two. I left Arena off of my list completely as it only has one studio song on it and if I were to rank live albums I would do them all.

I’ve learned that I cannot hem and haw around while I am ranking things or picking favorites. I feel a little like I’m mowing down the field of Duran Duran albums as I go through the process, quickly deciding what should go where and why – but I go with my first instinct, my gut, and don’t look back. I do fine as I begin, but somewhere around #8 I start worrying, but remind myself to go with  my gut. I look back over the list as I’m finishing and realize that for now – today even – it’s how I feel. Tomorrow?  Who knows.  That’s kind of how it’s always been for me as a fan.

Perhaps it’s really gotten to the point that I identify so closely with their career – each album marking a particular point in my own life – that it’s difficult to be objective anymore. I don’t know, but I tried. I’m sure I’m not the first fan to be stumped by ranking albums or picking favorite songs. In fact, I know I’m not!

Thank You

I just never felt they hit their stride here. While some songs, such as Perfect Day or Lay Lady Lay are so silky smooth you can’t help but enjoy them, others, such as 911 is a Joke, make no sense at all.  Then there’s White Lines, which is great live, but on the album it tends to fall flat. I can’t fault the band too much for trying something few other bands of their calibre have done, but it just does not rank high on my list of favorites.

Red Carpet Massacre

Anyone who knows me probably saw this coming, and I’m sorry for being predictable. I don’t think this album can or should be swept under the proverbial carpet and forgotten – because it is how we got here, to this place we all currently occupy. I can certainly see and hear the parallels between this album and Paper Gods. I’m glad they tried out some of the things they learned from RCM over again to get them right.

Pop Trash

I would characterize Pop Trash as the fast food of Duran Duran’s career.  Perhaps fitting? While the album is nowhere near “bad”, I never felt that there was a lot for me to sink my teeth into and devour.  It lacks the depth of some of their other work, which is why it ended up in this place on my list.

Medazzaland

Ah, Medazzaland.  If there were any album that had changed for me over the years since it’s release – it would be this one.  I just didn’t get it when it first came out. In fact, I listened to the album in full one time before shelving it for many years. Lately though, I’ve listened to it, and I’m finally starting to get it. No, I’m still not a fan of the title track (sorry Nick), or Silva Halo, but I do really like Big Bang Generation, Who Do You Think You Are, and Midnight Sun. There’s a lot hiding amongst the shadows on this album, and I think it’s worth a revisit.

Liberty

How can I rank this above Pop Trash or Medazzaland? 2am drives from Hollywood, that’s how.  Our personal experiences shape our listening choices, and for me – that’s why Liberty works. It kept me awake many times during college and beyond, so I’m going with it.

The Wedding Album

I have to admit that I agree with Amanda – while there are two songs on this album that are iconic for Duran Duran, the album as a whole isn’t nearly as impressive as others (which I recognize is tough to do when you’re Duran Duran and have had so many successes).  So it’s not that I think the album is bad – it’s that the band has too many great ones!

Astronaut

Oh yes I did rank this one about The Wedding Album. Please see the line about personal experiences.  For me, this album is all about the Fab Five. I can’t ignore it, I can’t get past that, and it was a dream come true for me. Yes, it’s pop. Sure, there are songs on it that I didn’t love and I still take it personally that they didn’t include Beautiful Colors, Salt in the Rainbow and Virus on it. Even so, I’ll take it.

Notorious

I am pretty sure that at one point or another, I ranked this lower on my list. Again, I didn’t get it. But just a week ago, I pulled the album out and gave it a good listen. What is most remarkable to me about Notorious, is that it came after Rio and Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Those albums were hugely successful. Then they had two band members leave, and rather than sticking with what they knew, they took the opportunity to blaze new territory. It was like deciding to take a giant left turn out of nowhere. As a child, I had little respect for that sort of thing. In fact, I don’t think I really understood.  Even as an adult I sometimes get caught up in what I think DD should be or should sound like – but I’m working on it.

Big Thing

Another album I didn’t really get until adulthood. The first half is as dance music as I’d expect from DD, and the latter is the culmination of some of their finest songwriting moments. The emotion that comes across threw the B side of this album is astounding, and in my opinion, it is the best DD album that no one has really heard.

Paper Gods

Here’s the thing about Paper Gods for me – I like it. I don’t know that I love it, although I’ve tried. It ticks a lot of the boxes for plenty of people, but it is also an album that I really needed to come to terms with. I didn’t fall in instant love, but I would say I’ve grown to respect each song and the work that went into making the album overall. I can’t fault an album that hit top ten, if only for a brief, shining moment.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger

This goes bad to personal experiences for me. This album is my seventh grade wrapped in vinyl. Awkward, sometimes overdone, but still well-loved. Sure, it might not be their best songwriting, but I love it all the same, and that’s why it is near the top of my list. All I have to do is hear the opening notes to Union of the Snake and I’m back on the lawn with my friends at recess, gawking at the latest edition of Tiger Beat. For me, those memories are priceless, and that is what makes music so powerful.

Rio

I know what you all are thinking.  Yes, I really did put Rio third. The trouble is, it could easily be second. Or first. The final three on my list here are probably interchangeable, if not completely tied. I cannot think about Duran Duran without thinking about Rio. If there were ever a reason why Hungry Like the Wolf is played at every single DD show – it is because of Rio. Try as we might, we simply cannot separate Rio (the album) from the band, in the same way that we cannot separate HLTW from them either. I get it. I may not always like it, but I get it. And I respect it.

All You Need is Now

It pains me that the band left this song, and many songs from this album, off of their set list this past year. For me personally, this album is easily as iconic as Rio. It describes the band, and their relationship with their audience, to a T. To think that Duran Duran wrote this album during their third decade together simply blows me away. It is an album that never got it’s justice, and it is still one of my very favorite.

Self-titled Debut

I really don’t think it is all that surprising that one of my favorite albums is the one that started it all for them, and for me. I love the rawness, the lack of expectation, and the realness of the music. There is no ego here, no trying to outdo what has already been done. It is simply music from  a band ready to take it’s place in the world.  This is an album from Duran Duran before they were DURAN DURAN, and it is the most real we’ve ever gotten from them. that is why it remains number one for me.

My choices weren’t all that surprising, but the exercise was fun. I don’t anticipate others to agree with me – in fact, you shouldn’t. We all have had our own journey, and that is what makes it all fun.  I’m no music expert, and I only have my own taste to rely on, so by all means make your own list and have fun with it.

-R

 

 

Medazzaland Facts and Stats

I have to apologize for the lateness of today’s blog.  I have been completely swamped with trying to complete a lot of grading while writing new curriculum.  I hoped to get to this earlier today but…well, you can see how well my plans are going.  Anyway, last weekend, I took time to evaluate the first of the three albums that Duran Duran has released in the month of October.  That album, of course, was Big Thing and that blog you can read here.  Today, I’ll give some facts and statistics about Medazzaland released in 1997.  In later blogs, I’ll look at Astronaut and the albums released in November.

Medazzaland Facts:
Released October 14, 1997 in North America, Japan, Brazil and Argentina but never released physically in Europe.
Produced by TVMania and Syn Pro Tokyo.  (It appears to me then as it was mostly produced by the band.)
There were 12 tracks on the album.

Singles:

  1. Out of My Mind
    Released: 27 March 1997
  2. Electric Barbarella
    Released: 16 September 1997

Peak Chart Position:

  1.  Out of My Mind peaked at #21 in the UK
  2. Electric Barbarella peaked at #52 in the US

Personnel:

As I’m sure you all know, the band at this time was just Simon, Nick and Warren.  A fact that you might not know, though, is that Warren played bass on the tracks that John did not.  Anyway, others filled in to complete the album including:

  • John Taylor – bass (tracks 1, 2, 7, and 11)
  • Steve Alexander – live drums (tracks 1, 2, 5, 7)
  • Anthony J. Resta – live drums (tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), additional production, mixing and programming
  • Dave DiCenso – live drums (track 4)
  • Tim Garland – treated soprano sax solo (track 9)
  • Talvin Singh – tabla and santoor (track 4)
  • Jake Shapiro – cello (track 10)
  • Sally Stapleton – background vocals (track 2)
  • Madeleine Farley – background vocals (track 6)
  • Mayko Cuccurullo – ultra high vocal fx (track 1)

Videos:

They did complete two videos from this album, for both singles:

Out of My Mind:

Electric Barbarella:

EPK (Electronic Press Kit:

Touring:

The Ultra Chrome, Latex and Steel Tour began in November of 1997 in the Northeast United States.  They traveled throughout the US and Canada.  At the end of that tour, they did a tribute show and a special show to launch SKY Digital TV in the UK.  In December 1998, they did the Latest and Greatest Tour in the UK before returning to the US in the fall of 1999.  The end of 1999 saw a mini-tour, Overnight Sensation, in Ireland, the UK, the US, and Chile.  Here are a couple of clips to show off those tours:

Beyond all of these facts, many Duranies have strong feelings about this album.  For many, it represents when John Taylor left the band or when some really stopped paying attention.  For others, it equaled heavy involvement as the band seemed more accessible.  Many loved the experimental music while others have yet to buy a copy or listen to it all the way through.  Next weekend, I’ll share my thoughts on the album.  Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences about the Medazzaland album and era.

-A

Question of the Day: Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yesterday’s poll asked people about the songs from Medazzaland that they saw live in concert.  The songs that the people who participated have not seen live from that album include Who Do You Think You Are, Buried in the Sand, So Long Suicide and Undergoing Treatment.  The rest of the songs have been seen live rarely with the exception of Electric Barbarella.

On that note, which songs off of Pop Trash have you seen live in concert?

Question of the Day: Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The results from yesterday’s poll showed that the people who participated have not seen Crystal Ship or Ball of Confusion from the Thank You album live in concert.  While there were a few people who saw the rest of the songs off that album, there were many people who have seen White Lines live.

Which Songs Have You Seen from the Medazzaland album?

Duranie Homework: RANK POP TRASH!

Last week, I asked people to rank Medazzaland from their least favorite song to their most favorite song.  I now have the results from last week!  Based on the participants’ responses, here is how the fan community ranked the songs off the first album from LEAST favorite to MOST favorite:

  1. Silva Halo
  2. Buried in the Sand
  3. So Long Suicide
  4. Undergoing Treatment
  5. Who Do You Think You Are?
  6. Medazzaland
  7. Michael, You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For
  8. Be My Icon
  9. Midnight Sun
  10. Big Bang Generation
  11. Electric Barbarella
  12. Out of my Mind

Anything surprise you?  I was not surprised to see Out of my Mind and Big Bang Generation near the top but I am surprised that Electric Barbarella wasn’t THE top favorite.  Likewise, I’m surprised that Medazzaland wasn’t the least.  Now, I can’t just let people sit back and enjoy the results.  Oh no, we need to move on!  Here is your new homework assignment!!

Directions:  You will rank the songs off POP TRASH from LEAST favorite to MOST favorite.  Please note:  In order to make your determination, you may need to re-listen to the album one or more times.

The songs that need to be included in your list are:

  • Someone Else Not Me
  • Lava Lamp
  • Playing with Uranium
  • Hallucinating Elvis
  • Starting to Remember
  • Pop Trash Movie
  • Fragment
  • Mars Meets Venus
  • Lady Xanax
  • The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever
  • Kiss Goodbye
  • Last Day on Earth

How to turn in your homework:  Once you have completed your ranking and are ready to turn in your homework, you will need to head over to the Daily Duranie message board.  Specifically, you will post your homework in this thread here: Rank POP TRASH Thread.  Please note:  You may have to register for the boards in order to complete your assignment, if you are not already a member.    Of course, even after you post your assignment, you may want to go back to the thread in order to see others’ homework!  You can compare your homework to others as cheating does not exist for this assignment!

Your assignment is DUE by SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH.

What is your assignment worth?  It is worth being a part of the larger fan community and having YOUR opinion count!  Besides, this is all just for FUN!!!  Another recommendation is not to think TOO MUCH!  Just go with your gut on how you rank the songs!

I will compile all of the results to determine how fans rank the songs off of Thank You.  From there, we will move on to the other albums.  Have fun!

-A