Tag Archives: Rio

Duranie Homework: Rank Rio!

Last week, I asked people to rank the first album from their least favorite song to their most favorite song.  I had a number of people participate (although I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have more)!  Despite a bit of a debate about the addition of Is There Something I Should Know since it was not on the original UK version, I do have the results!  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. Tel Aviv
  2. Girls on Film
  3. Is There Something I Should Know
  4. To the Shore
  5. Anyone Out There
  6. Friends of Mine
  7. Night Boat
  8. Sound of Thunder
  9. Planet Earth
  10. Careless Memories

Anything surprise you?  I was not surprised to see Careless Memories at the top as it often ranks high in other polling and tasks we have done.  The same is true with Planet Earth.  I was surprised, though, to see Night Boat as high as it is!  I certainly would have expected Friends of Mine to be higher.  Perhaps, Night Boat is a track, then, that Duran should bust out and do!!  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 RIO 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:

  • Rio
  • My Own Way
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • New Religion
  • Last Chance on the Stairway
  • Save a Prayer
  • The Chauffeur

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 RIO 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 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12TH.

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 Rio.  From there, we will move on to the other 12 albums.  Have fun!

-A

How Beautiful the Closing Down

Listening to Paper Gods, I am struck by how strongly the album ends. Has any Duran Duran album closed with a stronger trio of songs than Butterfly Girl, Only in Dreams, and The Universe Alone? Very few, when I actually sat down and thought about it. Why does it matter? Duran Duran album sequencing provides insight into how the band views their own material. Sure, Simon will say he can no more compare the songs to his children and avoid picking favorites, but the running order does not lie. A band is not going to bury their favorite song in the middle of an album.

Let’s look at Duran Duran album sequencing through the back catalog and see where Paper Gods stacks up. As usual, these rankings reflect my opinion and not those of Daily Duranie, Simon Willescroft, Rob Sheffield, Georgie Davies, or the man who stole a leopard (is he still in prison? Maybe he got out for good behavior?)

Tier One: My favorites

Duran Duran: Sound of Thunder/Friends of Mine/Tel Aviv

The gold standard.  Admittedly, these songs don’t just end the album, they represent nearly half of it since there were only 9 tracks to begin with. But I’m going to stick with my 3 song criteria to be consistent. Tel Aviv is my favorite “instrumental” in the band’s catalogue, even though it does have vocals. Friends of Mine and Sound of Thunder are classic Duran songs that have stood the test of time.

Paper Gods: Butterfly Girl/Only in Dreams/The Universe Alone

Yes, after going through the entire catalogue, I think we have the 2nd best ending to a Duran album. Butterfly Girl could be a single; it’s fast-paced, funky fun. If Notorious and Runway Runaway had a child, it would be Butterfly Girl. Then, we get the two funk ballads to close things out. (I don’t know what else to call them). I am a fan of the power ballads like What are the Chances, but I can only handle so many of those. I think Duran struck the right balance with Only in Dreams and The Universe Alone, building the synths and orchestral beginnings around the funky core of each song. It’s a really powerful way to end the album.

Medazzaland: Midnight Sun/So Long Suicide/Undergoing Treatment

Blasphemy, to rank this album’s ending so high! What can I say? I love all three songs. Undergoing Treatment has one of the more clever Duran lyrics and its funky acoustic vibe is a nice contrast to the mournful Midnight Sun (yes, the demo version is better, but the album cut is still great) and the driving rock ballad So Long Suicide.

AYNIN: Too Bad You’re So Beautiful/Runway Runaway/Before the Rain

Runway Runaway is still my favorite song off of AYNIN, five years later. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and subversive at the same time; an upbeat song evoking images of child leaving home, moving on to adulthood. And if Runway Runaway is #1 for me off AYNIN, than Too Bad You’re So Beautiful is a close second. Another bitingly clever lyric about dating while musically harkening back to Hold Back the Rain. Speaking of rain…Before the Rain really grew on me after hearing it live. All in all, an extremely strong ending sequence. (Note: I am not counting instrumentals in this analysis, thus the exclusion of “Return to Now,” which, truth be told, I am largely indifferent to.)

Tier Two: Very Strong

Rio: Last Chance on the Stairway/Save a Prayer/The Chauffeur

I am not a fan of The Chauffeur, but I recognize it’s a great and classic Duran song, and a fitting ending to Rio. Last Chance was my favorite song off the album growing up, and obviously Save a Prayer is classic. This would be top-tier (and probably is for most of you reading) but for my feelings about The Chauffeur.

Duran Duran (The Wedding Album): Shelter/To Whom it May Concern/Sin of the City

This is a strong way to end an album. I’ve always felt Shelter could have been a single, and I enjoy the guitar driven songs like Sin of the City and To Whom It May Concern. But…I’ve never particularly liked the lyrics to To Whom It May Concern (I get it, it’s about a lawyer they fired). I’ve always felt like that music was wasted with those lyrics…and similarly, I wish Sin of the City was shorter and all of the extraneous non-musical parts were stripped out. Again, I realize that it’s Duran Duran, they’re an art band, but sometimes those extra sounds work (e.g. fireworks in New Moon) and sometimes they don’t.

SATRT: Shadows on Your Side/Tiger Tiger/Seventh Stranger

The weak link here, for me, is Tiger Tiger. Otherwise, I might rank this as highly as the debut album’s ending sequence. The Seventh Stranger is one of my all time favorite Duran ballads (and would probably rank as my favorite album-closing song), and Shadows on Your Side might be my favorite song off the entire album. Tiger Tiger is fine, but I think its appeal for me is more one of sentiment (it takes me back to 1983! It’s the opening to As the Lights Go Down!) than of actual musical quality, as compared to the rest of the catalogue. That being said, I still put the ending sequence to SATRT in the upper half of Duran albums.

Best of the rest

Big Thing: Land/Flute Interlude/Edge of America/Lake Shore Driving

I don’t dislike any of these songs, but if I’m comparing them to the rest of the catalogue, they don’t hold up. I do think the ending works in context of the Big Thing album. Lake Shore Driving is as explosive an ending to a Duran album there is, as if all of the pent-up energy from the acoustic/mellow b-side of the album finally finds its release. Again, nothing bad here, but I’m not going to rank these songs, as a group, ahead of many of the other aforementioned album closing trios.

Liberty: Can You Deal With It/Venice Drowning/Downtown

These three songs are emblematic of the entire album. They are not necessarily bad (especially when you listen to John Taylor’s version of Can You Deal With It), but something went horribly wrong in production. They would probably sound good live. Venice Drowning’s lyrics are especially tough (I think it was the Rolling Stone review that called out this song and I was hard-pressed to disagree).

Pop Trash: Lady Xanax/The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever/Kiss Goodbye/Last Day on Earth

The problem here is that we have the closest Duran has ever come to a country song wedged between an excellent ballad and one of the best, most guitar-driven and edgiest songs the band has ever written. I’m just not a fan of The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever, the minute-long guitar solo at the end notwithstanding. I also think Kiss Goodbye/Last Day on Earth would have worked better as the album’s opening track, not the closer, with Lady Xanax closing out the proceedings.

RCM: She’s Too Much/Dirty Great Monster/Last Man Standing

The highlight here is She’s Too Much, one of the more underappreciated cuts off RCM. I don’t necessarily dislike the other two songs, but I don’t think they are especially memorable, either. I did think Last Man Standing was cool to see live, as each member left the stage as the song wound down to just the drums (similar to what U2 did when they would close a set with “40.”) If Cry Baby Cry were an actual album track and not an extra, then RCM would rank higher.

Astronaut: One of Those Days/Point of No Return/Still Breathing 

This will get me some hate mail, I’m sure. Let me be positive: I love One of Those Days, it’s one of my favorites on Astronaut. And if I’m in the right mood, I do enjoy Still Breathing, even though I’ve always interpreted it as Simon’s credo about the 90’s lineup. Which is difficult for me because I love that era of Duran, even though it had to end. Overall, Duran has set the bar very high with their ballads, and I don’t think the two that end Astronaut hold up well. Just an opinion…now, had some of the discarded tracks been used, we’d have a different story (e.g. “TV vs. Radio” has closing track written all over it and would have been an amazing way to end Astronaut).

Notorious: Meet El Presidente/Winter Marches On/Proposition 

Meet El Presidente is my least favorite song on the album, so for as much as I love Proposition, that’s hard to overcome. I am lukewarm on Winter Marches On, but it at least feels like an album-ending song.

Thank You: Thank You/Drive By/I Wanna Take You Higher Again 

I don’t even like including Thank You in these types of rankings, since they aren’t Duran Duran songs. Except for Drive By. See my comments above about The Chauffeur.

So what do you think of my rankings? Are they paper-thin? What did I get right? And more importantly, where did I go wrong?  (I know, I know: I must have a case of Chauffeurophobia…!)

-CK

Countdown to Paper Gods – Ten!!!

TEN DAYS (and I mean it this time!)

We are really and truly almost to the glorious end of this seemingly never-ending wait, people!!!  In ten days, we will all be clamoring around our respective CD players, computers, phones, car stereos, etc and listening to an entire album filled with brand new Duran Duran music. Can you believe it?!?

Personally, I am chomping at the bit to discuss the album, gain insights from others, contemplate lyrics and marvel at the band’s career. I’m looking forward to reading and hearing what everyone thinks of the new music, and naturally – I’m very excited about the upcoming shows and tour, too!

Until then, Amanda and I have daily delights for anxious fans to partake in order to pass the time, and today we suggest watching videos!!

Rather than posting every video the band has done here or assuming everybody has that kind of time, I suggest watching your favorites from within each era, so that’s what I have done here for your viewing enjoyment!
Note that these are not necessarily my favorite…but I chose them purely based on what I wanted to watch today!

Happy watching!!  Only ten more days to go!!

-R

Ways to survive until Paper Gods: 11 days and counting!

Eleven days to go!

Now that we’re down to mere days before Paper Gods drops and we celebrate, I can’t believe we’re finally here. (Just imagine how the band must feel!) There were moments during the past three years that I would secretly (or not so) share my worries with Amanda.  “Do you really think they’re ever going to finish this album?”  or “What if they never say anything and just fade away forever?”  While it seemed like the recording might never be completed, that was nothing compared to the virtual “radio silence” we were getting on social media. After a period of time when it seemed as though the band actually wanted to connect with fans, we were left with almost nothing.

Unfortunately, that seems to be an ongoing issue with no end in sight. Sad for those of us who enjoyed seeing them…but for the band, perhaps it’s a necessity for sanity. As someone who has occasionally seen the less-behaved side of fandom, I can understand even if I don’t always like it. The point being, we were starved on many fronts, and after feeling like we’ve been crawling through the Sahara desert for many, many, months….we’re near relief!

Amanda and I have been trying to celebrate these last several days by creating a sort of calendar of “tasks” for each day. If you’ve been following along, we suggested listening to a Duran album per day, starting with the first album, moving on to Rio yesterday, which would mean Seven and the Ragged Tiger today.  Perhaps you can listen while you complete today’s task – adding your own personal countdown clock to the release of Paper Gods to social media!  

This can be as simple as copying and pasting the little countdown post that the band has been doing on Facebook, doing something like I did for Daily Duranie (it’s in our left-hand side bar, and if you click it, you’ll be sent to the Duran Duran store to preorder your own copy of Paper Gods!), or even doing your own. The one I created for this site was done through a “plug-in” for WordPress (another word for app, really), and while I would love to make it all fancy with the Paper Gods coloring and design – I am no web designer. So, we’re sticking with the basics.

I encourage everyone to get in on the act – create your own countdown clock and post it! If you make one that you’d like to show off, feel free to post it to our Daily Duranie Facebook page (if you haven’t already liked our page – check out the link in the sidebar and LIKE us!) There are even apps right in Facebook that let you make one, or you can create your own online and have fun with it!  Let your Duran Duran flag fly!

Here are a couple of websites for countdown clocks:

time and date

Powr

web countdown

Or just run a search for “customizable countdown clock” like I did.

I’m off to go give a listen to Seven and the Ragged Tiger…

Eleven short days, my friends.  Eleven days!

-R