It is Saturday, which means that it is time for our weekly poll relating to the creation of the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set. So far, the participants have chosen singles, album tracks, b-sides/demos, and live songs. Now, we are working on which side/solo project songs should be considered. Instead of tackling the enormous list all at once, we are breaking them into manageable chunks. Last week, we started with Power Station and Neurotic Outsiders. The songs most picked by the fans voting were:
Some Like It Hot
Get It On/Bang a Gong
Harvest for the World
Still In Your Heart
She Can Rock It
Feelings Are Good
I allowed for 8 songs rather than the usual 7 because there was a tie between She Can Rock It and Still In Your Heart.
This week, we vote on the songs from the side projects that Nick Rhodes was involved in. These include Arcadia, The Devils and TV Mania.
If you want to hear these projects again, here are some YouTube playlists:
Now that you have familiarized or re-familiarized yourself with these songs, it is time to vote!
Last weekend, I did a little blog in which case I questioned the depth of fans’ Duran Duran collections, which you can read here. In that blog, I asked fans to participate in 4 surveys, including the Duran albums they own, albums they heard completely, side/solo projects they own and side/solo projects they have heard completely. As people participate, one factor became obvious. I should have probably listed the extent of the side and solo projects. For example, Power Station had two albums during their existence. Thus, the results might not be as accurate as they could be. That said, this was all in fun so not a big deal.
Duran Duran Albums Owned:
For this survey, the question was asked: Which Duran Duran albums do you own? The results surprised but also did not surprise me. The most commonly owned album? Rio. I would expect everyone who identifies as a Duranie to own that one. Here are the results by most owned to least owned:
Rio Seven and the Ragged Tiger The Wedding Album Self-titled/Arena/Paper Gods Astronaut/All You Need Is Now Notorious/Red Carpet Massacre Greatest Big Thing/Decade Thank You Liberty Medazzaland Pop Trash Live from London A Diamond in the Mind
I will describe my reaction to this list tomorrow, including when/where the big drops in ownership were.
Duran Duran Albums Heard Completely:
Ownership is different than having heard albums. For example, some fans might have heard various albums but never bought or no longer own certain albums for whatever reason. Unlike albums owned, there are not huge gaps between albums heard and albums heard a lot less. Again, here is the list of which albums people have from the most to the least:
Rio/Seven and the Ragged Tiger Astronaut/Paper Gods Notorious/The Wedding Album/All You Need Is Now Self-titled/Red Carpet Massacre Big Thing Medazzaland Liberty/Thank You/Pop Trash
Like the first survey, the results surprised me and did not surprise me. More reactions from me to follow on tomorrow’s blog.
Side/Solo Project Owned Completely:
Like the previous two surveys, the results both matched and did not match my expectations. When I made the list, I left out Warren’s solo work simply because I forget about him (and I’m not really a fan). Perhaps, if he had been included, the results might have been different. Here are the most owned to the least owned by fans:
Arcadia Power Station John Taylor Neurotic Outsiders Devils/Simon Le Bon Andy Taylor TV Mania Dom Brown Freebass
Side/Solo Project Heard:
For this question, I asked fans which side/solo projects they have heard completely, have heard some of, and have heard none of. Let’s start with the ones fans have heard completely from most to least heard:
Arcadia Power Station The Devils Neurotic Outsiders John Taylor Simon Le Bon TV Mania Andy Taylor Dom Brown Freebass
Have heard some of from most to least:
Simon Andy John Power Station TV Mania Dom Brown Neurotic Outsiders The Devils Arcadia Freebass
Have heard none of from most to least: Freebase Dom Brown Neurotic Outsiders/The Devils/TV Mania Andy Taylor Simon Le Bon John Taylor Power Station/Arcadia
All in all, I found the results fascinating. I will dive into the results and give my reaction in tomorrow’s blog. Before I do, what do you think of the results?
Last week, I blogged about diffuser.fm’s ranking of Duran Duran albums, which you can read here. While I wrote the blog, I began to wonder if all Duranies who read this blog own all of the band’s albums. The hypothesis that I created in that blog is that there are some Duranies who do not actually own all of the band’s albums. For example, I suspect that there are some who don’t own Medazzaland and Pop Trash. Instead of just guessing that, I figured that I would create a survey to find out if my guess is accurate, which is below. In the survey below, please click on all the albums you OWN.
Are there fans who don’t own the albums but have heard them? Let’s find that out!
Beyond the band’s albums, I also wonder how many of the band’s side and solo projects fans have, too. Maybe they have heard more than they own? I want to know that, too, so I created more surveys to find out!
After I give everyone a chance to participate, I will do another blog to share what I learned or what I think I learned. Of course, if you have predictions (and I bet you do!), please share them! What will we find out with these surveys?
P.S. If I have forgotten a side/solo project, just let me know. I’ll add it with a separate survey.
On this date in 1962, Nick Rhodes was born. It seems that the online world today is filled with pictures, messages, and well wishes to our favorite keyboard player. Nick, of course, has sent a message to thank everyone for their well-wishes, which you can hear here. So, how should I celebrate Nick and his birth? Simple. Let’s watch some videos!! I picked some that represented the best of Nick and his work.
Is There Something I Should Know? (I loved his look here!)
Today we’re very lucky to have a guest blog from none other than Fabiana Torras, who along with her cohorts from Argentina, were the winners of the TV Mania Franchise contest with their song “Just Very”. Fabiana explains all about the franchise, and how they created such a brilliant entry!
By Fabiana Torras
“The idea of the TV Mania franchise was to open things up for people to become TV Mania elsewhere, as explained on the TV Mania website. We figured people could be TV Mania by actually following our Manifesto and for fun, and actually adhering to certain principles that TV Mania has, like using samples of people talking along with rhythm boxes and sampled analog synthesizers, and then putting it all together. So you just simply apply for a license to be TV Mania. So, If you´re in…Buenos Aires, and you wanna be TV Mania Buenos Aires, you have a look and then you apply and we give you an official TV Mania license. And then you can perform, send us music and video material, remixes, anything you like, and we put them up on the site. So we´re hoping that there´ll be a lot of TV Manias around the world”. – Nick Rhodes (answering my question at a TV Mania event in Second Life)
That might just be the best answer I ever received to a question I asked. As an extra bonus, it was Nick Rhodes who answered it. On that exact day, March 2nd 2013, not only did I receive an answer to what I wanted to know on the first of the Second Life TV Mania events; I also got the name of the future franchise Gerardo, Pablo and I would apply for: TV Mania Buenos Aires. This was not an instant thing, though. We had to wait for six months for the franchise to be up and running, but at this point we all know Durantime affects side projects as well, don´t we?
Last September, as soon as the franchise was up, we applied and got the confirmation email with our name´s approval and the download links for the “Franchise Pack”, which included samples and music of the songs Euphoria, Beautiful Clothes, Paramount and I Wanna Make Films. We were in! All we needed now was an idea and time to make it happen.
Our first meeting was set on a Friday night after we all got off work, mostly to discuss what direction our project would take. To be honest, we didn´t actually meet face to face until there was a deadline; as much as we loved the idea of “being the band” and enter a contest with absolutely fantastic prizes for any Duranie, everyday life makes you so tired that sometimes if someone doesn´t push you, you just do not move (See? Limits are good!). We had to make a song or a remix and shoot some video for it, since every song you sent was going to be uploaded to TV Mania´s official Youtube playlist. And from the first moment we started thinking about our franchise project, we all agreed it had to be something related to our local TV and the video had to show our city to the world, but in a “TV Mania” sort of way.
A list of famous phrases from Argentine TV was made and we recorded about 50 at Pablo´s home (he has a little studio of his own there), but ended up using only 9 of those. You can hear the three of us on our track, along with Pablo´s wife, Cecilia, who was very happy to help. We also wanted to include samples of Nick and Warren in our song, so we asked permission to use the audios of the Second Life events to sample the guys and we were very happy to get a green light from TV Mania. There was a precious bit of Nick we were dying to use where he said “TV Mania Buenos Aires”; I mean, we just had to have that, right?
Once we chose the bits of Nick and Warren that were going to be used, we wrote and recorded the samples in English (it is my voice you hear, by the way), and afterwards we began to write the music, which was completely new. We decided not to use anything from the downloaded franchise pack and try to come up with something fresh and original, respecting the TV Mania essence. For the video, the plan was to film different Buenos Aires landmarks and ourselves in what we thought could be TV Mania-esque outfits and colours. That was how “Just Very” was born.
Now, as I write and tell you all of this, I get the feeling it doesn´t seem to be that hard, does it? But there are lots of things you need to know how to do in order to make all of this happen. It´s not that easy to make and mix music, operate a camera and film proper video, edit both music and video, and I am not counting the “standing in front of a camera” process which many people may find uncomfortable (with zero budget, little time and no volunteers, it´s you and you alone doing that!). There were many things we had to use to accomplish our goal and I am glad we were such a great team, because I know that I alone could never have done what we did as a group.
Nevertheless, being more than one person doing something together means you have to find a common ground to stand on when you make decisions, and you can trust me when I say that isn´t always a simple task. For example, when the time of sending the final song to TV Mania came some of us did not want to include the samples in Spanish and some of us did. It took us a LONG TIME to agree on that. In the end, we put it to a vote and decided to send an “Ambient Mix” of our song that didn´t have samples in Spanish. For the video of that one, we simply added some colour effects to the original one and sent both “Just Very” and “Just Very (Ambient Mix)” for approval.
A few hours later we got the news of our videos being up on the official TV Mania Franchise Playlist on Youtube, and a couple of deadlines later (the contest deadline was pushed twice extending it for 2 and a half months) we found out via TV Mania´s Twitter account that we were the TV Mania Franchise Grand Prize winners for “Just Very”.
To this day, we still think it´s a dream….which is why I’ve included this photo (a memento from the Skype session we won with Nick and Warren as result of the contest!)
Just as Duran Duran likes to do for their liner notes…we’re including a list of what we used:
Guitar: Fx Boss GT8 / digitech rp7 valve/ Steinberger Spirit guitar
Adobe Premiere (video)
Fabiana is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She´s been a Duranie since 1988 when she was 10 and loves the band, side projects (well, duh!) and mostly all the fan-tastic people she´s met because of them. She has a major in Journalism and Communications and at the moment is finishing her Community Manager & Social Media graduate studies. She works for a private university where she manages an academic department (not as fun as seeing #Duranlive!) and is looking forward for the next Duran Duran album and tour. No need to convince an angry boyfriend to let her go see them live: he is a huge Duranie!
Do you know what was released just ONE short year ago today?? TV Mania’s LONG awaited album, Bored with Prozac and the Internet? There are times when I sit back and say “Wow, it’s been a year already?”, and this is one of those times. Where has that year gone???
For me personally, this is one of the very few albums in my lifetime that really made me sit back and take notice. Surprising (for me) in every sense. As I wrote back then, I fully expected to develop an instant dislike…or at least deep-apathy, for this album. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and as much as I enjoy listening to the album from my happy “home” (my computer, of course…as I’m still not quite bored with the internet, and Prozac just isn’t my thing), I love listening to it on vinyl even more. Even better? Warren REALLY outdid himself on this one. While I admittedly had trouble ever embracing him as a member of Duran Duran – his style of guitar just never quite worked for me – I still say his work on this album is nothing short of genius.
I still get a chuckle from the tweets sent from the @TVManiaMusic, and sometimes the tweets even give me a chance to stretch my brain a bit, which I enjoy. I wish that Nick and/or Warren had the time/interest/compunction to communicate with fans…but I guess putting out an album that was a decade or more “in the making” was hard enough. Best not to push it. Can’t have it all, can we?
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!