Tag Archives: Singles

What is the function of a single in 2018?

My “Day in Duran History” desk calendar reminds me that on this day in 2011, BB2 announced that “Girl Panic” was the next single off of All You Need is Now.

Although I am the first to admit my memory isn’t what it used to be, I do remember hearing that “Girl Panic” would be the next single. I found that fascinating because up until that point, I hadn’t heard “All You Need is Now” more than a couple of times on the radio, if at all. I didn’t really understand the point of naming a single, unless of course we were talking about the physical release of a single – like on a 45. Sure, I’m dating myself here, but I really didn’t see the point, particularly if land-based radio wasn’t going to play anything the band released anyway.  I did buy the vinyl single, and like everyone else I waited on pins and needles for the video. But beyond that, I never quite got the necessity of the single.

My questions about singles lingered on through the release of Paper Gods, although on second thought I wonder if it’s simply that I have the wrong expectations in my head for what a “single” really means. Take “Pressure Off” for example. I never once heard the song played on any of the radio stations in Southern California. Not once. I didn’t hear about it being played anywhere, either. I don’t remember any kind of physical release, CD, vinyl, or otherwise for it…so what’s the point?

On the other hand, I know LA radio pretty well. In this market, there really isn’t a station that plays a genre that lends itself to recent Duran Duran. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard “Rio”, “Girls on Film”, “Ordinary World”, “Come Undone” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” on at least three, if not four stations in my area. It is rare that I can get into my car and drive the whole way home from work (45 minutes on a bad day) without hearing one of the above songs played. That said, as far as LA radio is concerned, Duran Duran hasn’t released even one song since 1993.  I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go into a full diatribe on that kind of stupidity, so I won’t.

I do have to ask though – what is the point behind putting out a single these days? Is it beneficial for Spotify? For subscription services like Sirius XM? What about internet radio? Does a band really need to release singles? I suppose that leads me to the question of an album, too. Are albums still necessary?

I know that recently Nick suggested that perhaps the studio time the band has casually thrown around in mention during their Katy Kafe wouldn’t necessarily lead to a full album. He’s said similar things in the past. I can’t say I’ve liked the idea enough to shout from the rooftops about it. I’m a big fan of full albums, myself. I like the idea of a complete story being told through music. I hate the idea of losing that format.

Are albums really any more necessary today than singles? I’m not sure.  Let’s not confuse this with whether we want more albums and singles. Rather, let’s consider their necessity and usefulness in this current business model and market.

-R

 

 

Duran Singles: US vs. UK

About a month ago, I wrote a blog here where I compared and analyzed the fans’ ranking of Duran Duran singles to their actual chart position (in the US).  While people were interested in the results, they were also interested in how the fans’ ranking compared to the UK charts.  After all, Duran Duran is from the UK and we know that their chart success there was different.  While I absolutely plan on comparing the fans’ result to the UK charts, I also want to take the time to really compare the UK charts to the US charts.

Single                               Chart Peak in US                        Chart Peak in UK

All She Wants Is                22                                                    9

All You Need Is Now       Did not chart                            Unknown

A View to a Kill                  1                                                        2

Burning the Ground      Did not chart                               31

Careless Memories        Did not chart                               37

Come Undone                   7                                                         13

Do You Believe in Shame   72                                               30

Electric Barbarella          52                                                      23

Falling Down                     Did not chart                               52

Girls on Film                       Did not chart                               5

Girl Panic                             Did not chart                               Unknown

Hungry Like the Wolf    3                                                         5

I Don’t Want Your Love   4                                                      14

Is There Something…       4                                                       1

Meet el Presidente           70                                                     24

My Own Way                       Did not chart                             14

New Moon on Monday    10                                                   9

Notorious                                 2                                                      7

Ordinary World                   3                                                       6

Out of my Mind                  Did not chart                             21

Perfect Day                           Did not chart                             28

Planet Earth                          Did not chart                             12

The Reflex                              1                                                       1

Rio                                              14                                                     9

Save a Prayer                        16                                                    2

Serious                                     Did not chart                            48

Skin Trade                                39                                                  22

Someone Else Not Me    Did not chart                            54

Sunrise                                       89                                                  5

Too Much Information      45                                                 35

Union of the Snake             3                                                     3

Violence of Summer         64                                                    20

What Happens Tomorrow  Did not chart                      11

White Lines                           Did not chart                             17

Wild Boys                               2                                                      2

While I knew that Duran had a lot more success in the UK for the singles accompanying their first album, I didn’t realize how successful those reunion singles were in the UK.  Here in the US, Duran Duran couldn’t get played on a radio station no matter what in 2004.  I distinctly remember how much The Killers were getting played during the Astronaut era but Duran couldn’t get played.  I didn’t get it.  I still don’t.  Musically, there isn’t much difference between the two bands.  Why play one and not the other?  Is it the age thing?  What does this say about America versus the UK?

Across the board, the UK has been MUCH, MUCH kinder to Duran Duran.  For example, there are a number of songs that charted in the UK that didn’t here.  Likewise, the ones that charted in both places tended to do better there than here.  In fact, the only songs that Duran did better in the US were:  Ordinary World (3 vs. 6–still very close results), Notorious (2 vs. 7–still close), I Don’t Want Your Love (4 vs. 14—Hmmm…), Hungry Like the Wolf (3 vs. 5–super close), Come Undone (7 vs. 13–close), and A View to a Kill (1 vs. 2).  Thus, the only times that Duran did better in the US was when they had a super successful hit on BOTH sides of the Atlantic.  There has never been a song that has been successful in the US that hasn’t been successful in the UK.  The only song that really surprised me, in terms of its success was I Don’t Want Your Love.  I’m surprised that it did that well since it followed Meet el Presidente, which went no where.  That said, I do remember it getting played quite a bit on MTV.  I wish I also had the number of times the video was played on MTV to  compare.  That would be super fascinating.

So, what  jumps out at you?  What did you learn?

-A

Today in Duran History – Sunrise

On this date in 2004 (TEN years ago), Sunrise was released as a single.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I won’t ever forget when I heard this song for the first time.  I knew that they were back.  Duran Duran was back.  It made the reunion really real for me.  It seemed so fitting on so many levels.  I still love the song today and always look forward to seeing it live.  What did the rest of you think of this song when you first heard it?

I leave you with a link to the video:

Sunrise

 

 

Analysis of the Ranking of the Singles

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog, which listed the results of how the fans (at least those who participated!) rank Duran Duran’s singles with one being the favorite and 35 being the least favorite of their singles.  To read that entire blog, go here.  On that post, I promised that I would take some time to analyze the results.  What did the results say about the preferences of the fans?  How did those results compare with how the singles actually did in the US charts, according to Billboard?  Let’s start there.

Single                               Chart Peak                             How Fans Ranked

All She Wants Is                22                                                    28th

All You Need Is Now       Did not chart                             3rd

A View to a Kill                  1                                                        14th

Burning the Ground      Did not chart                               30th

Careless Memories        Did not chart                               8th

Come Undone                   7                                                         13th

Do You Believe in Shame   72                                               15th

Electric Barbarella          52                                                      32nd

Falling Down                     Did not chart                               27th

Girls on Film                       Did not chart                               6th

Girl Panic                             Did not chart                               16th

Hungry Like the Wolf    3                                                         17th

I Don’t Want Your Love   4                                                      22nd

Is There Something…       4                                                       11th

Meet el Presidente           70                                                     35th

My Own Way                       Did not chart                             25th

New Moon on Monday    10                                                   12th

Notorious                                 2                                                      18th

Ordinary World                   3                                                       5th

Out of my Mind                  Did not chart                             29th

Perfect Day                           Did not chart                             24th

Planet Earth                          Did not chart                              1st

The Reflex                              1                                                       7th

Rio                                              14                                                     4th

Save a Prayer                        16                                                    2nd

Serious                                     Did not chart                            25th

Skin Trade                                39                                                  30th

Someone Else Not Me    Did not chart                            34th

Sunrise                                       89                                                  9th

Too Much Information      45                                                 20th

Union of the Snake             3                                                     19th

Violence of Summer         64                                                    33rd

What Happens Tomorrow  Did not chart                      23rd

White Lines                           Did not chart                             21st

Wild Boys                               2                                                      9th

So, how did we compare?  Were the numbers ones our favorites?   Duran’s two number hits here were A View to a Kill and the Reflex.  AVTAK was only in the top 40th percentile for us, the FANS.  When I say percentile, it means that it is higher than 40% of the rest of the singles.  Clearly, that single isn’t a big fan favorite.  What about the Reflex?  That did much better.  It was in the 20th percentile.  Still, there were others that the fans seemed to think should have been big hits.  What about the rest of those songs who made it to the top 5 on Billboard charts:  Wild Boys (26%tile), Union of the Snake (54%tile), Ordinary World (14%tile), Notorious (51%tile), ITSISK (31%tile), IDWYL (63%tile), and HLTW (49%tile).  Based on that, the only singles that we feel deserve their fabulous chart success are the Reflex and Ordinary World.  (Obviously, we would love for all Duran singles to be hits, right?  I know that.  My point here is that the singles that were loved by everyone weren’t necessarily our favorites!)

Instead, the fans think that Planet Earth, Save a Prayer, All You Need Is Now, Rio and Girls on Film should have also done extremely well in the charts.  Some of those didn’t even chart at all, including Planet Earth, All You Need Is Now and Girls on Film.  In the case of those two off the first album, they were released before Duran Duran got real airplay or video play here in the States.  All You Need Is Now, unfortunately, was released in an era in which Duran can’t seem to get chart success for anything!

What does this all show?  Simple.  Chart success does not equal what fans love.  At times, fans have loved the songs that have done well.  At other times, the preferences go for songs that have never fared well or did not even make it onto the charts at all!  Obviously, if Duranies made these decisions, their chart success history would look very, very different.

-A

The Daily Duranie Ranking of the Singles

Last week, I revealed the results of this month’s Duranie homework in which I asked fans to take the list of the 35 most common Duran Duran singles and rank them in order from least favorite to most favorite.  Then, I compiled the results in order to get the fan community’s overall ranking of the singles.  The least favorite singles from the fans were Meet el Presidente, Someone Else Not Me and Violence of Summer.  The favorites were All You Need Is Now, Save a Prayer and Planet Earth.  To see the complete list in order, go to the post here.  This week, I will reveal how WE ranked the singles.  Then, you can compare our lists to each other.  You can examine how similar we were or how different we were.  Likewise, you can also compare our lists to the final list or even to your personal list.  Before I post the lists, it is important to note that both Rhonda and myself completed the homework assignment quickly.  We didn’t take a lot of time, in order to not overthink.  This means, of course, that if we were to complete the task today, they might be very different.

Rhonda’s list from least favorite to most favorite:

All She Wants Is
Meet el Presidente
My Own Way
Out of my Mind
Skin Trade
Someone Else Not Me
Electric Barbarella
I Don’t Want Your Love
Do You Believe in Shame?
A View to a Kill
Burning the Ground
Ordinary World
Hungry Like the Wolf
Wild Boys
What Happens Tomorrow
Notorious
Perfect Day
Falling Down
Come Undone
Save a Prayer
Union of the Snake
White Lines
Girl Panic
Violence of Summer
Girls on Film
The Reflex
Too Much Information
Serious
New Moon on Monday
Planet Earth
Sunrise
Rio
Careless Memories
Is There Something I Should Know?
All You Need Is Now

 Amanda’s List from Least to Most Favorite:

Come Undone
Electric Barbarella
Meet el Presidente
Skin Trade
Burning the Ground
Someone Else Not Me
Ordinary World
Violence of Summer
A View to a Kill
All She Wants Is
Falling Down
Hungry Like the Wolf
What Happens Tomorrow
My Own Way
Notorious
Do You Believe in Shame?
Perfect Day
Union of the Snake
Serious
Girl Panic
Is There Something I Should Know?
Girls on Film
The Reflex
I Don’t Want Your Love
Out of my Mind
White Lines
Too Much Information
Rio
Save a Prayer
New Moon on Monday
Sunrise
Wild Boys
All You Need Is Now
Careless Memories
Planet Earth

What do you think?  Any surprises?  How similar are we?  Well, next week, I’ll take some time to analyze the results of the overall ranking.

-A