Today marks the second to last blog about the Classic Pop magazine special edition for Duran Duran’s 40th Anniversary. In this blog, I’ll cover two articles: The Mark of Greatness and Swimming Against the Tide. The first one focuses on the 2010s including the band’s work with Mark Ronson while the second one is all about Stephen Duffy, the guy who could have been lead singer.
The Mark of Greatness:
Right away, this article made me think. The author describes how All You Need Is Now made a lot of fans happy in 2011 bu that Paper Gods helped to “turn the heads of those youngsters.” Interesting. How do they know that? What evidence will be shared, I wondered. Of course, I love Paper Gods but…I am not sure that I see a lot of kids or younger adults into it.
The article describes the making of AYNIN with the band meeting with Mark ahead of time to discuss the vision for the project. This got me wondering. Is that not the case of the rest of the albums? I have always heard/read about how the band goes into the studio and jams until something rises to the surface. That system seems the opposite of having a vision. Which is better? I, for one, loved how AYNIN turned out so maybe planning is?
According to the article, that vision went so far with All You Need Is Now that Ronson had created rules that were stuck to the walls of the studio in order for the band to follow them. I had never heard that before but I have to admit that the image makes me smile. No matter how experienced, people need reminders. Mark claimed that he was a “mouthpiece for 10 million Duran Duran fans.” He definitely was for me, which I will always be grateful!
Of course, the rest of the album discussion surrounding AYNIN included a song by song description with all of the various contributions from Kelis to Nina Hossain and more. I will tell you this much. Reading about All You Need Is Now definitely made me want to put that album on and listen to it. I remembered how amazing an album it really is (at least in my opinion!).
The article does touch on promotional activities including the band’s appearance for One Night Only in the UK to Unstaged, a concert film produced by David Lynch. It does mention about how the tour stopped in the summer of 2011 due to Simon’s vocal loss but then matter-of-factly states that the tour resumed in November (I think actually was October) like it was no big deal. Maybe, in hindsight, it seems like no big deal but it was huge to those of us who lived through that time. I know that I was not the only one worried that Simon had lost his voice for good and that Duran would be done.
From there, the article goes into the making of Paper Gods. That said, the vast majority of this piece surrounded AYNIN. Is Paper Gods too soon? Historians might say so but music journalists? Not sure on that one. Likewise, I’m not sure that the article proved that millennials really bought into Paper Gods. Some did, for sure. Many? I don’t know.
Swimming Against the Tide…:
This article did what I expected it to do. It gave a little background about Stephen Duffy then dived into information about the Devils before describing some of his various projects over the years. I, for one, haven’t listened to a lot of his work. How about the rest of you? Have you listened to his stuff? What do you think of it?
In the article, he makes reference to the 40th anniversary. I wonder if he and other former members would be included. Now, Stephen Duffy is not very controversial but what about the ones that are? Then, I wonder about how they would be included or should be. It will be interesting to watch.