Tag Archives: The Reflex

Haunted By…

Any idea what our most looked at blog has been?  My goodness…at this point, we have over 4,000 blog posts.  So what would be the most “popular” of sorts???  Was it one that shared big news about a tour or a new album?  Nope.  Was it one that focuses on some controversial topic within fandom or our fandom?  It is not.  Could it have been the interview with Dom Brown?  That would be a good guess but…alas, it is not.  No, the most viewed blog post is the one I wrote about the interpretations of the Reflex.  My reaction to this?  Oh, for the love of Pete…

Let me give some background.  For awhile I was writing blogs that analyzed and/or offered interpretations of certain Duran songs.  Some of these songs were ones that I had been thinking about and others were suggestions from our readers.  It became obvious that I could not ignore one of Duran’s most successful singles and one that is often discussed in interviews.  I can think of countless times that the band, most specifically Simon, has been asked about what the song means.  So, I need what I had to do and looked up the interpretations online then went through the lyrics to determine if the various interpretations were possible or likely.  All of this was done on this blog here.   Since the blog was posted almost 5 years ago to the day, we have had a ton of people look at it.  We still get comments on it.

Now, looking back, was it smart of me to do that blog?  Was it a good idea to really look at that song?  I don’t know.  I’m not ashamed of the blog post.  A part of me really enjoys looking at theories and lyrics and trying to analyze them and always will.  But should I have done that with this song?  I don’t know.  I have seen interviews in which John Taylor has indicated that it is a good thing that the lyrics continue to be discussed like a poem would.  Maybe so.  Yet, I see Simon appeared to be slightly annoyed or frustrated when the topic comes up.  Is it because he feels embarrassed about them?  I suspect not.  I wonder if his feelings are similar to mine when I see the hits on this post or new comments.

I am always glad when someone comes to the blog for whatever purpose.  I am proud of all that Rhonda and I have written over the past 7 years.  Likewise, I’m hopeful that one blog post might lead to more searching on the site or having someone subscribe to check in daily.  I’m sure Simon feels the same way with the same hope that someone into the Reflex will lead to listening to lots more Duran.  That said, it doesn’t always lead to that.  There isn’t always more searching on the blog or new dedicated readers.  If I had to focus on one point, I would emphasis that there is a lot more here on the Daily Duranie besides talking about the Reflex just like there is a lot more to Duran than the song or a lot more to Simon’s lyrics.

So, if you have come to search for the meaning of the Reflex, that’s great.  Please, though, take some time to look around at other interpretations or other blogs.  Consider subscribing.  Come back more often.  We have lots more to offer.

-A

Words, Playing Me…

I have been thinking about lyrics a lot lately.  I think it started from this set of questions of the day we have been doing.  First, we ask our readers which song has the best lyrics per album.  (We are starting Liberty, by the way!)  Then, we ask people to pick THE best lyric or line from the song that they determined had the best lyrics overall.  Eventually, we will compare all of the favorite lyrics.  Beyond the question of the day, I have also been listening to the new Killers album and trying to bond with it.  One song, in particular, has caught my attention due to the lyrics.  The song is Rut and it definitely fits how I have been feeling at/with work.  Lines like, “I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up” or “I’ve done my best defending but the punches are starting to land” make me feel as if someone is putting my feelings into words.  This personal connection to the lyrics have made me want to listen to the song a lot.

When I think back to my lifetime of listening to music, I recognize that the importance of lyrics has grown on me.  When I think back to falling for Duran, I think of songs like Save a Prayer and the Reflex.  When I think about those songs, lyrically, they make me laugh.  Save a Prayer is obviously about a one-night stand–something that my 9 year old self could not relate or connect to!  The Reflex, on the other hand, just seemed silly to me as a kid.  That song’s lyrics, though, are ones that people still seek understanding of.  In fact, our most viewed blog post of all time is the one where I pondered what the heck the Reflex is really all about.  I know that I did not connect to the song in 1984 because of the lyrics, no matter what I thought they meant.  No, in 1984, it was all about whether or not the chorus was catchy and the video showed cute guys.

Yet, now, when I think about the Duran songs that I have connected with, I think of the ones that captured something in its lyrics that I can relate to.  The first song that comes to my mind about that is Before the Rain.  The verse that spoke to me in 2010 was this one:  Little pin-pricks
And how my ears bleed
On the bomb ticks that is my heartbeat
In every life-flash
In every car crash
I hear the silence waiting to fall

Why did it speak to me?  In December of 2010, I had to say good-bye to a beloved pet, Othello, and then 10 days later, I said good-bye to my grandma, my lone living grandparent.  My heartbeat felt the pain of the silence that follows death and I connected with it deeply.  To me, it spoke of grief.  Is that what the song is about?  I doubt it but there was enough there that made me feel like I was not alone in my grief–that someone else understood.

The same thing is true with Duran’s latest album, Paper Gods.  I remember listening through it a few times before I really tuned into the lyrics.  The song that caught my attention then?  Last Night in the City, believe it or not, the exact opposite of Before the Rain.  The lyrics described exactly what touring means and is like to me.  It is where we get connected, whether that connection is with the band and the fans or with fans to fans.  What is funny is that Rhonda connected with the lyrics around the same time.  I have fond memories of a text message exchange one evening as we traded favorite lyrics back and forth and talked about not only what they could mean but, more importantly, but how and why they spoke to us.  It was at that moment that I knew that I could and would bond with that album.

What about the rest of you?  How much do lyrics matter?  Do the lyrics need to speak to you in order to  love a song?  Likewise, if a song’s lyrics are silly, can you still bond with the tune?

-A

I’ve Been a Fan For How Long???!?

Last Sunday, Duran Duran celebrated a little anniversary.  The Reflex  was released 33 years ago that day.  33?!  Rhonda often talks about how she cannot believe that this song or this album was released decades ago and I’m right there with her.  In this case, this anniversary represents my personal anniversary.  I mark it as the date that I became a fan, a Duranie.  33 years ago.  I work with teachers who are younger than that.

Anyway, why does this particular song represent my embrace of Duranie-ness?  Simple.  While I remember liking many of their songs and videos before this one, the Reflex pushed me over the edge into obsession.  I couldn’t get enough.  I had to watch each time that the video played.  In fact, whenever I saw the video I had to call my best friend at the time and vice versa.  At our sleepovers, we were glued to Friday Night Videos and MTV in hopes that it would air.  We saw it so often that we learned all the moves.  In fact, I think I have a picture of my friend doing one of Simon’s classic dance moves.

When I think back to my childhood and doing things like memorizing moves or rewinding videotapes in order to pause when John Taylor turns to the camera, I can’t help but sit shaking my head a bit.  It is not that I think we did anything wrong or that we demonstrated our fandom in an obnoxious way.  It is more like I wish I could go back in time to see how I experienced my fandom then.  I have memories of it and some of them are very vivid, including the ones I shared here.  Part of me wishes that I could go back to that time when that love for Duran was so new and so amazing.

I always think of new fandom as being like that  “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship when you can’t get enough and no wrong is done.  It feels perfect.  As an adult, I now see the imperfections of both the band, the fans and even myself.  That flawless image cannot remain, just like it never does in a relationship either.  No one is perfect and fandom is not either.

The other part of myself wants to give some insight to the young, almost 9 year old me.  I want to warn, almost, the younger version of me about how media and others will criticize Duran Duran.  They will attempt to be the thumbtacks to my fandom balloon.  Perhaps, I would explain how as time goes on, changes happen.  Bands evolve and experience change.  Some of it will sting a bit but that the heart of Duran Duran will continue to beat on for decades.  I would want to ensure my younger self that I’m not wrong for becoming a Duranie.  Some points I might make include about their staying power and about the fabulous songs they wrote and performed after the current Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.

Beyond the band, I might point out where fandom took me personally.  Maybe, I would talk about the states and countries I have visited just to see the band live or about all of the friends I have made as a result.  Then, if my younger self handled all of that, I might share the fact that I have written a daily blog with my best friend about being a Duran fan for years.  Many years.

What do I think my younger self would say to all of this?  I imagine that I wouldn’t be shocked that the band has been around for decades.  I might laugh and say something like, “Of course they will be around!  Duh!”  As far the concert going goes, my 9 year old self would have struggled with that more.  After all, at that point, I hadn’t attended a single concert.  I could imagine that I would have questions and a couple of exclamations!  “Do you dance like the audience did in the Reflex?  Do you sing along?  What is it like to breath the same air as them?  I probably would pass out if I was anywhere near them.  Is John as cute as he looks?”  Then, my older self could blow my younger self’s mind when I tell her/me about how I have pictures of the band, that I have spoken to them and seen them up close.

As far as the blog goes, my younger self definitely would have been confused by that idea.  After all, I would not know anything about the internet for another decade.  Overall, though, I think I would have been in awe.  Jealous.  I would have been excited to grow up and have the experiences I shared.  After this conversation, the adult me, the real me might have remembered the feeling of pure joy and innocence that exists in brand new fandom.  Then, I will think about the love that can and does grow over time.  It isn’t despite the imperfections but because of them.  Fandom isn’t perfect and either is the band.  What it is, though, is mine.  I don’t mean that in a possessive, I’m the only one sort of way.  Just that Duran is a part of me, part of my history and always will be. Maybe, someday, I’ll be writing about my 43rd or 53rd anniversary of being a Duranie.  That might be just as cool as talking to my younger self.

-A

My Seven and the Ragged Tiger Story

Last weekend, I blogged about Duran Duran’s third studio album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, which you can read here.   In that blog, I listed the facts of the album, including who was on it, the singles, the videos and more.  While that certainly provides the Duran Duran history, it does not describe how fans felt about that album.  Thus, I wanted to take time to share my story, my feelings about the album.  Then, I invite all of you to share your stories, too!

In 1983, I turned 8.  I lived in the suburbs of Chicago where I had everything that I could hope for, including a best friend and activities to keep us busy.  When my best friend and I hung out together, we always had the radio on, most specifically B96, the Top 40 radio station.  If we were in the “TV room”, then MTV played in the background.  For some reason, both of us preferred to have something on in the background while we played “store” or whatever else we did for fun.

As all of you know, both radio and MTV frequently played Duran Duran in 1983.  By that point, they embraced songs and videos from the Rio album.  Both my friend and I liked those songs and videos we heard from that album, but they still were more in the background rather than in the foreground for us.  Age mattered.  Duran Duran released Seven at just the right time.  Union of the Snake premiered first.  I enjoyed it but it didn’t grab me.  New Moon on Monday, though, began to really burrow its way into my brain like any good ear worm.  More than the fabulous chorus, I recall watching the video for New Moon on Monday and loving it.  (I still love it.  It is my favorite video, by far.)  I loved the storyline and thought the guys looked great!

Oh, yes, by early 1984, my interest grew to officially liking the band. Discussions between my friend and I surrounded the band for the first time.  We started to spend some of our money on books, magazines and any other merchandise we could find as we debated which guy we liked best.  Initially, I liked all of them with a slight pull to Simon.  I liked his main character role in the New Moon on Monday video.  Yet, I also liked the friendship aspect of John and Nick during that same video.  I was slightly conflicted!

Then, the Reflex premiered and changed everything!  The conflict ended as I fell hard for a certain bass player after watching the video over and over and over!  There was just something about John Taylor during that video that got to me.  Not only that, I loved the song.  Loved it!  My best friend adored it as well.  We were so ridiculous that we called each other on the phone each time that the song came on the radio or appeared on MTV.  We couldn’t get enough and our parents allowed it for some crazy reason.  Clearly, we were officially Duranies from then on!

From that point, our fandom took on big roles for each of us, individually, but also for our friendship.  Instead of playing store or swinging in my backyard, we now watched MTV all the time while we poured over teen magazines, memorizing each and every fact.  Our bedroom walls featured nothing but Duran Duran posters.  We lived and breathed Duran Duran.

So, while many Duranies claim the first album or Rio made them serious fans, for me, it was Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

-A

Seven and the Ragged Tiger Facts and Stats

Last month, I started a little series that examined the albums released during the month of October.  I would like to continue that for the month of November, even if the month is quickly coming to an end.  Duran Duran released three albums during the month of November, including Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Notorious and Red Carpet Massacre.  Each of these albums represent very different time periods in the band’s history.  Today, though, I start with Seven and the Ragged Tiger, an album released on this very date in 1983.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger Facts:
Released on November 20, 1983
Produced by Alex Sadkin, Ian Little and Duran Duran
Had 9 tracks included

3 different songs were released as singles:

  1. “Union of the Snake” (October 1983) #3 UK, #3 US
  2. “New Moon on Monday” (January 1984) #9 UK, #10 US
  3. “The Reflex” (April 1984) #1 UK, #1 US

Personnel:
The band at that time was made up of John, Nick, Roger, Andy and Simon.

Additional musicians:

  • Andy Hamilton – Soprano and tenor saxophone
  • Raphael DeJesus – Percussion
  • Mark Kennedy – Percussion
  • Michelle Cobbs – Additional vocals
  • BJ Nelson – Additional vocals

Videos:

Three videos were made from this album:

Union of the Snake

 

New Moon on Monday

 

The Reflex

 

Interview:

Here is an interview when the band discussed the 30th anniversary!

 

The Tour:

The Sing Blue Silver tour began in Canberra, Australia in November 1983.  After many dates in Australia, the band played a series of shows in the UK before traveling to Japan, Canada, and the U.S.  As most Duranies know, the North American portion of the tour was captured in the Sing Blue Silver Documentary.

 

Beyond all of the facts, Duranies have many, many memories of this album, especially since this album represents the height of Duran mania.  I would love to hear your Seven and the Ragged Tiger story.  When did you buy the album?  What did you think of it?  What do you think of the single choices?  The videos?  Did you see the band play tour?  If so, how many shows did you see?  Next weekend, I’ll share my story!

-A