Tag Archives: Simon Le Bon

Past is another country

I’ve been spending part of my morning catching up on the world, which means that yes, I’ve been watching some video from Night at the Park in The Hague this past weekend.

Since I’m reasonably good with sharing and not running with scissors much these days, I will gladly post the link here for all to enjoy.

I have to admit that under normal circumstances – I might click on the video, watch a couple of minutes paying less than half-attention. I rarely allow myself the luxury of just sitting and just watching. Normally I’ll click on the video and listen while I’m doing something else.  The only time I really let myself just watch is when I’m at Amanda’s house – and then I spend my time pouring through her massive DVD archives of videos, interviews, TV appearances and even shows.  I don’t know why that is, but here at home, I just rarely watch, until this morning.

I watched the whole video and found myself smiling through most of it. Even though I’ve seen Notorious in person 5000 times (a slight exaggeration!), I still watched. Even though I know all the words to All You Need is Now and probably can do all of Simon’s moves in my sleep, I still couldn’t help but give a toothy grin when Simon walks over to Dom and sings “Everybody’s gunning for the VIP section; but you’re better up and running in another direction” with him (still a fangirl, yes).  I noticed fellow Duranies on the barricades, smiled at the memory of seeing/meeting those people in person and just enjoyed seeing Duran Duran, even if only by video. You’d swear I hadn’t seen them in years instead of it only being since April.

That’s the thing about Duran Duran. There are times when I start to think that maybe I’m just getting bored of it all, or that life has just moved on and I just need to realize it’s all over, and I’ll see something or I’ll hear a new song, and that old feeling comes right back. My genuine love for the band is undeniable. I can’t imagine my life, even my adult-life, without them in it. I can’t even begin to wonder how bored I’d be without the blog, without Facebook and Twitter, without the plotting and planning for shows and visits.  I look at Simon, John, Nick & Roger and still see the same guys I had (have) wallpapered on my wall in my bedroom (or walk-in-closet).  Seeing Simon smile when he’s singing still makes me smile. Those are the tiny, little moments that I wish I could bottle for myself when I’m feeling down, or just completely out of it.

I read earlier today that the US Ambassador (Matthew Barzun) to the UK invited Duran Duran to play a private event in London to commemorate the 239th anniversary of the Independence of America. While I’m amused by the entire thought (So…the US Ambassador is going to host a big party in the largest private residence in the UK outside of Buckingham Palace to celebrate being independent from where? Oh that’s right…from England…and we’re going to invite a band from that very country to come and play, too. And who is paying for this party? That’s right, US taxpayers. Full. Of. Irony. Brilliant!), I have to admit that one particular note made me stop and think.  The band is planning to play Pressure Off live. Truthfully, my first thought was “Oh, so out of all of the possible places, in front of fans, that they could choose to finally play this song – they’re going to play it in front of a bunch of politicians instead. I did enjoy the spin that DDHQ put on it though, saying that America has always been a great friend to Duran Duran (which is true if I don’t say so myself).  The thing is, at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter where they play the song first. Eventually, we’ll all hear and see it, and I must admit that the very last thing I’m going to be thinking about when I finally see the band on tour is where they chose to debut Pressure Off first.

Nope, I’ll be far too busy dancing, singing, and smiling until my cheeks hurt.

May the fangirl (or fanboy!) within ever reign.

-R

 

 

Question of the Day: Monday, June 22, 2015

So sorry that today’s question is so late!  It took me a long time to organize the new set of questions.  Of course, we had a presale or two today as well, which really messed up the schedule!  Anyway, the ultimate Duran Duran album will be up later as a separate post.

Now, we move on to favorite Duran Duran duo picture!  Today, we start out with AnRo (Andy and Roger) and AnSi (Andy and Simon)!

I Don’t Want Your Love – The Daily Duranie Review

Today we are reviewing “I Don’t Want Your Love”, the second song on  Big Thing and the album’s first single. The song debuted and peaked at #14 in the UK, but did much better throughout Europe, particularly in Italy where it spent 6 weeks (non-consecutively) at #1. In the US, the song also did well, where it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The chart success of the song is evident, but what do a couple of US  fans think?

Rhonda

Musicality/Instrumentation

From the first notes, you can tell this is going to be a big dance track. I very much like the “empty space” between the staccato notes and the way the song opens into a full, bright chorus with deep grooving bass to support the melody, and there just is no mistaking that this is Duran Duran. The guitar solo is gritty and adds just the right amount of texture. This is a song that very much feels like a natural progression from Notorious, keeping the heavy background vocals and even the horns as a hold-over, but still continuing to evolve the sound. The band did right by this song, because it would have been very easy for IDWYL to have gone too far over the edge into club/dance music for my taste. Touches like the bass, the rock guitar solo and the bits of horns help to keep the song from feeling too synthetic and –wait for it — contrived.   🙂

Vocals

I like the vocals on this song because of the effect that Simon puts on them. His slight staccato (tenuto?) in the verse leaves this fantastic silence in between the notes that is really catchy.  I also love the harmonizing because it provides a bit of depth.  Then in the chorus, it is as though the floodgates fully open and you get an incredibly full music/vocal melody that I don’t think you can NOT physically react to by dancing. I’ve tried. Impossible.

Lyrics

There are so many lyrical “hooks” in this song…how can you not love it? The song as a whole though…it’s great writing. I think it’s pretty clear that the song is about a little something-something on the side between two people, really. (Yes, I’m really saying it’s about SEX this time.) Simon is saying that it’s not about “love”…and that whatever this person has to give is OK by him, even if it’s secret.  Some favorite lines? “My obsessive fascination is in your imagination”…”I like noise, cuz I like waking up the house” “The rhythm is the power, to move me, it’s something you control, completely.” Whatever, Simon.  I don’t know how you do what you do, but I love it.

Overall

Confession time – this is not one of my personal favorites, believe it or not. I’d actually forgotten how great the song is, primarily because it’s gotten to the point (for me) when they play it live, I nearly tune it out. That’s the risk when you overplay the songs in your set list that have been in the Top Ten. That said, it’s a great song. Well-balanced between melody and rhythm, fantastic lyrics, a great guitar section that I only WISH they’d allow to happen today, and if you can’t dance to this song…I just don’t know what your problem might be.

Cocktail Rating

4.5 cocktails!4.5 Cocktails

 

Amanda

Musicality/Instrumentation

This is one of those songs that just screams “typical Duran dance/pop” to me.  It feels like what people think of when they think of Duran.  Instrumentation is present, meaning that it isn’t just a bunch of beats but uses actual instruments in order to create the  predominant mood/feeling.  In this case, the mood that is created is an uplifting one, a happy one, a get-up-and-dance one.  A little more than half-way, Warren’s guitars are really present during the bridge of the song, which reminds me of what is done to John’s bass in a much later song, The Valley, on the Red Carpet Massacre album allowing the instrumentation to be placed in the musical spotlight.  During the bridge, the music seems louder and more aggressive and I always wonder the same thing every time I hear it.  Does it fit with the rest of the song?  It isn’t the first time that Duran has had different instruments step into the spotlight during a bridge.  Heck, the song, Rio, features saxophone.  The question is does this particular bridge fit the song?  I can’t imagine something different there and I do like that there is a bridge.  I think that it’s good and provides the necessary contrast.

Vocals

This is an interesting song, vocally.  First of all, the verses are clearly Simon with cool vocals effects.  Then, the chorus feels very full with Simon and backing vocals.  I like that, at times, one of the two backing vocalists (Janiece Jamison or Carole Fredericks) is clearly heard, creating an additional element to the vocals.   The different vocals fit well with the lyrics about a person of two minds or of two love interests.  Overall, I think the vocal style of this song encourages people to sing along and join the party, so to speak.

Lyrics

The lyrics to this song don’t seem super deep or thought provoking.  They don’t create a lot of emotions in me.  That said, I love the lyrics as they are sort of a twist on a regular love song.  The story here is obvious, right.  There is an interest (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) between two people.  One of those people is attached to someone else or can’t completely commit for whatever reason.  Clearly, the narrator isn’t looking for “love”, per se, but some sort of understanding, some sort of affair, some sort of action.  The narrator isn’t looking for a commitment as much as a good time.  I also love the idea that the narrator feels it necessary to explain that this isn’t an obsession…yet, this other person still has an effect on him.  I like that the lyrics don’t tell of a simple love interest or romance.  No, it is about a complex attraction.  While the song could just be your basic pop song, they didn’t just go for the obvious with the lyrics to match.

Overall

Is this song the most sophisticated?  No.  Is it the most intense or most beautiful?  No.  Is the production a bit too slick?  A bit too polished?  Perhaps.  Yet, despite its faults, it is a fun song.  It makes you want to dance and sing along.  While I feel like the song was an attempt at some commercial success and/or radio play, I appreciate that they didn’t stick to some formula about what the song should be about or like.  It still feels very much like Duran, as does each element of the song.

Cocktail Rating

4 cocktails!

4 cocktails rating

 

Duran Duran News: 3/8/15 to 3/15/15

Are you interested in reading all about the latest Duran Duran news from the last week (3/8/15 to 3/15/15)?  If so, read on.  Please note that I summarize official news (as opposed to unconfirmed rumors).

Public Appearances

As mentioned in last week’s summary, Simon was off to India to participate in the Cartier Travel in Style event.  Well, pictures and videos of the event have begun to surface, including this picture posted on Duran’s Facebook:

From Duran's Facebook
From Duran’s Facebook

Nick was also seen out in public this past week.  He attended the Savage Beauty VIP party.  Here is a picture that was posted on Duran Duran Argentina’s Facebook page:

From Duran Duran Argentina's Facebook
From Duran Duran Argentina’s Facebook

Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet, one of Duran’s peers from the early 80s in England, is on tour.  Like many bands and artists, they have a tour program that can be purchased by fans in attendance.  Well, guess who wrote the foreword?  No, it wasn’t Tony Hadley or Martin Kemp.  It was John Taylor!  We all know that John is a very good writer so I’m sure that this foreword is quality!  If that wasn’t enough, Spandau also has a film out entitled “Soul Boys of the Western World.”  Guess which band is featured on that soundtrack?  That’s right.  Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf is on the soundtrack along with other fabulous artists like David Bowie and Kraftwerk.  That soundtrack is coming out this week!

Kiesza

Did you hear that the artist, Kiesza, will be collaborating with Duran Duran on their upcoming album?  DDHQ confirmed that this week.  I covered reactions to this news on the blog post here.

Best Synth Pop Tracks of the 1980s

feckingdeadly.com posted a piece this week on the best synth pop tracks of the 1980s.  Which Duran Duran song do you think made the list?  Make your prediction then go here to see if you were right!

What did I miss?  This week was, generally, rather quiet.  Will next week be more entertaining?  Exciting?  We shall see!

-A

Duran Duran News: 2/22/15 to 3/7/15

It is time to summarize any and all official Duran Duran news for the past two weeks (2/22/15 to 3/7/15).  What all has happened?  It definitely feels like the activity in Duranland is picking up slightly.

Collector’s Corner

February’s Collector Corner focused on tour programs.  You can read all about it here.  What I thought was cool is the historical background surrounding the history of tour programs, in general.  Of course, that isn’t to say that I didn’t appreciate looking at all of the Duran ones!  I have a few tour programs myself and can’t imagine not buying one for the next tour!

Cartier “Travel With Style”

Simon and his wife, Yasmin, will be off to New Delhi, India, soon to participate as judges in an event about cars.  Read about all of the details here.

 Antony Price’s Birthday

Nick hosted a little birthday bash for the famous fashion designer on the 5th at the Blakes Hotel in London.  As many Duranies know, Antony was responsible for quite a few iconic looks of Duran Duran in the early 1980s, including the suits featured in the video for Rio.  I have included a picture here but there are lots more on the official website and on the band’s Facebook page.

Antony Price Birthday 2015

 DDM Contests

If you are a member of DuranDuranMusic, the paid fan community, there are some contests going on.  They are giving away pairs of tickets to the festivals announced “thus far”, including Sonar, Night at the Park, Killarney and Bestival.  For more details, head over to DDM.  Good luck to those who enter!!!

Simon Katy Kafe

The March Katy Kafe came out last week and featured Simon!  Did you catch it?  Maybe, you want to just check out the highlights?  If so, check out Rhonda’s post about it here!

War Child UK Exclusive Pictures

While on the topic of DDM, besides this month’s Katy Kafe, there is another exclusive, which is a gallery of pictures from the band’s War Child UK gig that took place last month.  If you like pictures, I highly recommend checking them out here!

 Charity Auction for Lynch Event

Interested in going VIP for the David Lynch event in Los Angeles on April 1st?  Interested in meeting the band then?  There is a charity auction for you!  Details here!

War Child Portrait

Interested in purchasing the before and after the War Child gig portraits of the band?  If so, read about the War Child Photobook here!

Simon Interview

Simon has been busy!  Not only did he do a Katy Kafe but he also did an interview for BBC.  Want highlights?  I know you do!  Luckily, our friend, Debbie, sent us the scoop here!

#DD14

Beyond the official news, if you were paying close attention to Duran’s Twitter feed last week, you might have seen DDHQ respond that the #DD14, the next Duran album, will be released in September!  Rhonda covered it here.

What did I miss?  I’m sure that I missed something!  If so, please comment below!  Thanks!

-A