Yesterday’s winner: Union of the Snake
Which song would you rather be LEFT OFF the setlist: Tiger Tiger or Wild Boys?
Yesterday’s winner: Union of the Snake
Which song would you rather be LEFT OFF the setlist: Tiger Tiger or Wild Boys?
Yesterday’s winner and the winner of the favorite song off of Paper Gods: Only in Dreams
Today, then, we take the favorite songs off of each studio album, which had been voted on previously, and ask which song do you like best?
Yesterday’s winner: New Moon on Monday
Which single do you like better?
Yesterday’s winner: Hold Back the Rain
Which song would make the better 5th track on the ultimate Duran Duran album? It would follow the songs: Rio, Planet Earth, Lonely in Your Nightmare and Careless Memories.
On this date in 1984, Duran Duran appeared on Top of the Pops in the UK for their then-current single, Wild Boys. Top of the Pops was a British music chart television program that showcased songs/bands/artists on the current charts. Duran Duran appeared a number of times from Planet Earth to What Happens Tomorrow before the show ended in 2006.
Here’s the performance:
What do you think?
What happened last week in Duranland? It was quiet, right? I don’t think so! I know that I had a hard time keeping up with everything. Anyone else? If so, this is post is for you and for me!
Wild Boys Anniversary
Despite all of our efforts, time has not stood still. This means that Wild Boys really did just turn 30! It is hard to believe that it is 3 decades old. Rhonda discussed all of this as well as the video posted of John Taylor talking about the song and video on dd.com on this blog post here.
Obviously, there was a ton of activity regarding Duran Duran’s performances in Austin. First, they played at the Formula1 Fan Fest. Then, they played at Dell World. If you want to catch up on those performances, I recommend reading the following blog posts: I Wish I Was On That Plane and You’ll See I’m Right Some Other Time. The posts give links to reviews and a playlist of video clips, which is perfect for those of us dying for a show!!! If that wasn’t enough, DuranDuranMusic has exclusive photos for members.
Duranduran.com has a new gallery! It is a collection of press clips. If you have some, you should definitely send them on to Duran Duran!
Simon and Hunger Game Soundtrack
Lori Majewski, author of Mad World, wrote a little article on Yahoo! Music News about Simon’s appearance on the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack. If you didn’t check it out, do it here now!
According to the post on Duran’s Facebook: Countdown’s 40th Anniversary special is airing next week in Australia. Duran Duran is featured on part 2, which will air on Sunday, November 23rd at 7:40. Hope someone will share with the rest of us!
Finishing Up DD14!
Speaking of Duran’s Facebook, more studio photos were posted. These were posted with the statement about how they were “finishing up DD14”! Let’s hope! I think we are all dying for it!!!
Careless Memories and Nick:
Nick Rhodes was interviewed this week on the webiste, BlackBook, to discuss the book of photographs called Careless Memories, by Denis O’Regan.
An Illustrated Guide…
Duran Duran was featured in “An Illustrated Guide to Every Animal in Rock Music”. Before you read the guide, can you guess which animal might be featured? After all, Duran Duran mentions quite a few animals in their songs…
Today Show Mention
The Today Show discussed who should be the next artist to do a James Bond theme this week. This, of course, led to a Duran Duran reference along with a brief debate about who is the better band member: Simon or John! It is a fun watch!
Does that name sound familiar to you? If not, let me catch you up. Gavin is Duran’s videographer! Thus, if there is a video put out by the band, it is usually done by Gavin! This week, he got a little recognition on the Between 10 and 5 website. Learn more about Gavin and his work here!
It definitely wasn’t a quiet weekend in Duranland! It was so busy that I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a thing or ten! If so, drop me a comment here!
This week marks the 30th anniversary of Wild Boys. I actually had to do the math before typing that, because it doesn’t seem quite right. That said, it didn’t feel right when we celebrated for Rio, either.
Katy spent some time chatting with John Taylor about the conceptual origins of Wild Boys. I loved hearing the story from his perception. Here it is if you haven’t checked it out yet:
We’ve all seen the video for Wild Boys, and even for the 80’s, it was a very decadent, over-the-top video. The video felt more like a movie to me, which is explained when you realize it was done more like a trailer as a vehicle to sell an idea for a movie to a studio. John explains how expensive and indulgent it all seemed, and that at the time – the goal was to be as conceptual and as large as possible. (Everything was bigger in the 80s, I guess…)
John also speaks of how crazed he was at the time, how things were at their peak in Duran Duran, and from hearing him talk – it strikes me just how out of control things really were. I get the feeling the band was really dragged from one thing to the next without allowing for any time to really process. I know I couldn’t have handled it, if it were me.
One last little tidbit from his chat with Katy is really in regards to the current album they are (hopefully) finishing up in the studio. We all know they’ve been working on this album for the last couple (three if you count that first year as they were in the studio on and off), and I don’t think it’s wrong to characterize the recording of this album as perhaps more difficult for the band to zero in on what they really wanted. I don’t know if it was genuinely a difficult album to record, or if it was just a process of settling on the right direction for them…or something else entirely. But I think that towards the end of his chat with Katy, as he mentions that each of the songs he truly loves to play live night after night were truly hell to record – and that he needs to remember that as they enter the final lap with this next album, one can truly see how trying the process has been, at least for John if not the others. With any luck, we’ll soon be able to hear the final product of their efforts soon!
Every once in a while I run across something – an interview or video clip – that I’ve never seen before. This happened today as I stumbled across a complete, uncut version of an interview I vaguely remember…maybe…from a long time ago, but I had not seen the full-length interview before.
I could commentate on many, many things here – it’s nearly 38 minutes in length and I had plenty of time to notice everything from John’s chiseled chin and cheekbones to Nick’s lip liner and Simon’s hair – but one thing that overshadowed everything else for me was the amount of anger Simon, Nick & John had towards Andy at the time. There were comments made about his personality, about his inflexibility (with regard to the writing of Wild Boys, which comes near the end of the interview) to the court case that Simon, Nick & John were hoping to win in 1987 against Andy. There was no love lost between any of them at this point, and during the interview they even made strides to make sure it was understood that Roger and Andy left the band under very different circumstances. I have to admit that it all had me wondering, more than once, how a band this far apart could have ever even considered getting back together.
Of course now we know that the “back together” part of the story wasn’t meant to last. None of us, well…probably very few of us…really know what happened. We can make assumptions, surmise…even make an educated guess, but we weren’t there. It was a great time while it lasted, but it certainly wasn’t meant to last.
In amongst the discussion and perfectly placed stabs in Andy’s direction, John makes mention of Warren and how he was on the album (Notorious) and would be touring with the band, but that he was not a “member”. John’s comments were that the three of them (Simon, Nick and himself) were just too close to allow someone in. They were a solid unit, and Warren would only be a part of the touring band. And the writing band… But not the official band. Sound at all familiar?
The reality of course is that Warren *did* become a part of the band, for better or worse, and of course opinions to that placement are as varied as the personalities of Duranies across the world. What’s more, this is a subject that, to this very day, is STILL debated with relish within the community. As it turns out, we Duranies take our guitar players seriously. Perhaps even more seriously than does the band (so it seems)…although I suspect if asked, any one member of Duran Duran might have a little something to say about that.
The other day…I believe it might have been Monday, actually, I noticed that DDHQ picked Dom’s FB page as the “Page of the Week”. They called him the “guitar extraordinaire”, which I thought was nice…as well as completely accurate. (My bias is already showing, and I’m not apologizing.) I was thrilled to see that several had commented that he should be made an official member, and I agreed with those people. Even if I don’t necessarily think it WILL happen…I can certainly agree that I wish it would, and I do. For me, it’s every bit as easy as saying that I love the rest of the band. But, on the other side, there are still many that believe the only person who should be on guitar is Andy Taylor. Still others feel the spot belongs to Warren…and to some degree, each one of us is right.
While I suppose I could comment on our tenacity to continue debating about people who haven’t played with the band in a very long time, and I could continue to argue here on the blog….what good would it really do? No, in this case what I find most incredible is the function of the community as a whole.
Amanda and I have spent the better part of five years studying and writing about fan communities. We learned what makes a community. One of the things we discuss in our manuscript is that communities – groups of people – create their own culture. They make up their own dialogue, their own way of speaking, communicating…even their own look. We talk about how this continued dialogue between community members brings about general consensus. For example, we might say that a general consensus about Duran Duran is that the band looks good in eyeliner…or that this is a band who likes the finer things in life. (these are JUST HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLES) The point being, we’ve all talked about these subjects or thought about them in our heads for long enough that it’s just accepted thought by the majority of fans. What is especially interesting to me about the Andy, Warren, Dom debate is that the general consensus here is that there will never really BE a consensus. It isn’t always the case that a community agrees, and this is certainly one topic where there may never be an answer. This, along with a myriad of other topics I am sure…will always be a source of debate amongst fans, regardless of the stance one takes.
With that in mind, watch the video – it’s really fascinating to sit back and watch it in hindsight.
It is time for another review! This week, we move on to the one studio track off the album, Arena. This is an interesting track in that it wasn’t written in usual Duran fashion. Russell Mulcahy, the video director for most of Duran’s videos, wanted to make a feature film for William S. Burroughs’ book, The Wild Boys. Thus, Duran focused on making a song that would fit as the theme for that movie. How did they do with this song, then?
Musicality/Instrumentation: This is a tough song to review based on the album version. It is so different from when it is played live. I have always liked Roger’s drums at the beginning, I think they build a sense of excitement (and of course along with the “Wild Boys!” chant…you can’t really be bored). I also really like John’s bass, and the guitar, which is far more of a rock-centered guitar sound on this one. Nick is still present, but in this song, the keyboards take on much more of a background aesthetic than provide melody. I always picture this song as building fury from within, and as I listen today, I think that’s an accurate assessment. The song seems to build from the first downbeat and fades out only because there’s no where else to go at the end.
Vocals: First of all, the most notable part of the song is the “Wild Boys!” chanting…and every band member contributes to that. That chanting works amazingly well live, and even on the record – it makes the song different. I’ve always felt that Simon’s vocals on this song have a slight gravelly sound to them, which I think really does fit the song. The hard hitting rock style lends itself to that style vocals, as opposed to some of his smoother, quieter vocals from other songs (such as Save a Prayer, for example).
Lyrics: This song was written for use as a trailer for a “Mad Max” style movie (based on a book) that Russell Mulcahey was trying to get made. In that sense, the lyrics are very well-suited. It isn’t difficult to imagine the roughness of the “gang” that Simon is singing about. You can picture the landscape and the way of life as not-quite-criminals-but-definitely-not-heroes. I don’t feel as though this song is a fantastic example of the lyrics that Simon normally writes, but they do tell a story.
Overall: I have always felt that the production on this song was much cleaner than on some of the other music from this period. I think it was sheer genius to add the “Wild Boys” yelling – because as a fan, I knew exactly who this was from the very first “Wild Boys”, and it adds a completely different layer to the sound. The music is clean, not at all over done, and I believe the bass and guitar are standouts on this one. While this is not necessarily one of their absolute bests, it definitely has earned it’s place in Duran-history and I can’t fault that.
Cocktail Rating: 3.5 cocktails!
Musicality/Instrumentation: I have to admit that I have listened to this song live so much that I have a hard time even THINKING about listening to the album track. It is one of those songs that, in my opinion, is significantly better live. Therefore, I openly admit that my review might be seem or sound harsher than I intend. That said, whenever I think about this song, I immediately think of Roger’s very noticeable drums since, at times, he definitely takes center stage, musically speaking. Yet, the song really begins with significant bass. I think of how the band performed this song live during the Strange Behaviour Tour with John’s bass in the spotlight. Clearly, this song moved away from the tranquil sounds of a Secret Oktober where Nick’s keyboards shine through. No, this one is brash and much more in your face. Again, I can’t help but to think of how this song is live with John, Simon and Dom in the front of the stage with the guitars taking over while Roger keeps time. It isn’t that there are no keyboards present but they certainly are much more minimized in comparison to what they were in the previous album. Duran’s instrumentation definitely seems to match the apocalyptic nature of the book and Russell’s vision. I don’t mind that since I tend to like Duran’s more “rock” orientated songs.
Vocals: What is the most obvious element of the vocals for this song? Clearly, it is the shouting of “Wild Boys” both in the very beginning and in the chorus. When the band plays this one live, it seems like everyone is involved in the shouts of “Wild Boys” since even Nick participates in it. I can’t imagine the song without this element and it certainly works to enhance the harsh feel of the music and the song as a whole. Then, of course, there is also Simon saying, “Wild,” in the beginning followed up by “Boys” that is drawn out and with an echo. Right away, within the first twenty seconds, we all knew that this song wasn’t going to be like the rest, vocally. The verse generally features Simon at a lower range, which I really like. As the song moves closer to the chorus, however, Simon’s vocals definitely get higher and much more dramatic and stay there throughout the entire chorus. Truly, Simon shows quite a range in this one. I do, sometimes, worry about this one live as I don’t want Simon to feel like he has to scream to match the mood of the song.
Lyrics: It is hard to judge the lyrics for this song simply because it is supposed to go with the movie vision Russell Mulcahy had, which is based on a book. It isn’t just Simon or any of the rest of the band sitting around and figuring out lyrics. I also admit that I have not read the book. I don’t know how well the lyrics fit, if at all. I will say this much for the lyrics. They do paint a picture with fire, dust clouds, murder, bloodstain and these wild boys who fell from glory. As someone who has spent a lot of time with boys who often found themselves in serious trouble, I admit that I almost always think of those students when I listen to the song. I always felt that my students were like the wild boys in that they wondered where the glory is. Yet, of course, the chorus always feels like a reference to Duran and how they are the wild boys who will always shine. From my standpoint, I tend to like lyrics that I can personally relate to in some way and this one fits the bill, at least, remotely. It isn’t super compelling or big time emotional for me but there is something.
Overall: Truly, there is so much about this song that I do really love. I enjoy the silly vocals and shouting of “Wild Boys”. I like the harsh drums and the way that the bass is very much present. This song is full of energy live. I always enjoy it and so does the audience from what I can tell. Yet, now, when I listen to it off an album, a studio version, it sounds muffled. Quiet. Not full of life. Is that a problem with the production? The mixing? Perhaps. It was done in an era of Duran overproduction. Did they suck a little life out of it in the process? I think that is possible. Yet, I think it is more likely that the live version just really gives it that extra something that you really can’t capture in a recording. That said, even the live version, I wouldn’t give it a 5. While I enjoy it, there isn’t something magical about it. Is it that they didn’t really come up with this on their own? Is it the subject matter which doesn’t seem personal at all even to Simon when he is singing it? A little bit of both? Maybe.
Cocktail Rating: 3.5 cocktails!
On this date in 2001, MTV celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Top 100 videos of all time show. Wild Boys was featured at number 51.
Personally, I cannot believe that MTV started 33 years ago! That makes me feel incredibly old! I am sure that it goes without saying that MTV changed my life. While my little suburb didn’t get the channel right away in 1981, by the end of 1982, we did. I couldn’t get enough! I was glued to the TV screen. While I loved my Top 40 radio station, there was something about seeing the video clips that really hooked me, especially when it came to those videos by a certain British band.
Speaking of that band, I thought Wild Boys was an interesting choice. Of all their videos, is Wild Boys their best? They spent quite a lot on it and had grand plans with it and for it. Is this why it was chosen? Something to think about on this summer Friday!