To Think or Not to Think…That is the Question

For about two months now, we have been asking a daily question on our facebook and on twitter.  This daily question asks people to pick between two choices.  Today’s question was, “Would you rather watch the video for Girl Panic or the video for All You Need Is Now?”  As of this blog, like most other questions, the vote seems rather split but those who give a reason for their choice mention how they like watching the boys in AYNIN over the artistic quality of GP.  I am not surprised by this and even expected it.  With anything else in fandom, it made me think and it made me think about thinking.  It seems to me that there are fans who think about everything and fans who just go with their guts and people in between.  Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to define “think”.  In this case, I use the word “think” to mean critically think, to analyze, to seek a deeper meaning.  Obviously, I tend to do this quite a bit as evidenced by this blog and our book.  Just last night I had a friend over and we were trying to find a movie to watch.  She asked if I had anything funny.  The best I could come up with was Trekkies about the Star Trek fandom or political comedy.  Anyway, from what I can see, Duranland is made up with all three types of people.  In fact, I could argue that Duran Duran is build for all three types.

On one level, Duran Duran is for fun.  We all know this.  Goodness, Simon almost always declares that “Duran Duran was the band designed to make you party,” during the introductions at concerts.  This is also the band that said that they wanted to be playing when the bomb dropped.  Then, if you look at their catalog of songs and videos this becomes clear with songs and videos that just seem fun.  Some of the songs I’m thinking of here are songs like Rio, Electric Barbarella, My Own Way, Sunrise and lots more.  Those songs/videos can be listened to or watched just for fun, for pleasure, for enjoyment.  Added on to seemingly obvious lyrics and video images is the band itself.  Let’s face it.  For many of us, the band members were/are nice to look at.  No thinking is needed in order to determine that someone looks good!  Just like no thinking is needed to make you want to dance when you hear danceable music.  It just happens!!!  Yet, Duran Duran has always been more than this.  Their lyrics and videos do make me want to dive deeper into another layer of meaning. 

A great deal of their musical/visual catalog is built on having a surface layer and a much more in-depth serious layer underneath.  I remember seeing an interview from 2005 from the Netherlands in which John and Simon are asked about the meaning behind the lyrics to the Reflex.  John pointed out that people will continue to try to figure that out, which is very different than songs like “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  They compared the lyrics to poetry.  Many of Duran songs are such in which people can dive deeper to figure out an interpretation of what the song is about.  What is really cool about this is that people can interpret songs differently.  For example, I’m willing to bet that I could get at least 5 different meanings for a song like Finest Hour, if I asked.  Just on Monday, Rhonda and I reviewed Careless Memories.  For me, those lyrics have always reminded me of being a fan and Rhonda had never thought about that.  Neither one of us is right or wrong.  We were just had different ideas.  To me, this is the one thing I truly do love about Duran.  They don’t force you to think but give you thousands of opportunities to do so.  I would also say that the more I critically think about something, the more I appreciate it, the more I love it. 

Thus, Duran Duran gives us perfect opportunities to have fun and to think at the same time!  I can’t ask for anything more!  What about the rest of you?  Do you find yourself thinking about meanings or searching for something deeper when listening/watching Duran or are you content to just enjoy it on the surface?


14 thoughts on “To Think or Not to Think…That is the Question”

  1. I agree,I usually like listening to the band for fun/dancing,then sometimes I like to find out more about the songs,like what they're about.They've done their job though,they definitely make people party!I think you should do a post about the United Kingdom and tours/dates! x

  2. I like having my cake and eating it too in this situation…love to just listen and enjoy, dance and sing along at the top of my lungs! But I am one to always be searching out the deeper meanings to things. Some songs are of a deeply personal meaning to me, because of experiences, times, people that were or are a part of my life that somehow got attached to a Duran song. BUT, I love to hear the stories behind the songs too – where they came from, who they were written for, the experiences that drove them, the meaning that SLB had for the written (and sung) words…it all blends together to make the songs that much more enjoyable to me. I have never had the experience that my meaning and their meaning clashed, rather, one is an enhancement to the other. And it doesn't matter to me which way that works 🙂

  3. Initially, it's an attraction to the tune itself, for me. If the melody doesn't do it for me, it won't matter what the lyrics are. However, there are some songs that I can appreciate as poetry, I just don't want to listen to them.

    When I was young I didn't give any thought to the lyrics at all. “Save A Prayer” went right over my naive head. I remember asking one of my friends “morning after what?” She didn't know either. Oh, the joy of innocence.

    Now days I do enjoy the back stories, but I don't find the songs all that obscure. Either I'm getting smarter or Simon's laid off the weed. I rather miss the nonsensical lyrics.

    As for the videos, I do like the ones that tell a story – even New Moon on Monday… but I really like the ones where they're doing what they do best – performing on stage for the majority of the video. I don't even mind the campy ones, they're just fun. I don't care for the dirty version of GOF nor do I like The Chauffeur – totally ruined that song for me – and though I like the premise of GP, I could live without the crotch-shots and girl-on-girl action. It just doesn't appeal to me and is a turn-off. (My husband, on the other hand … I so don't get why GOG action is a turn-on for guys! LOL, but I get the half-nekkid hot models…especially now… sigh.)

    But it's all good… I watch what I like and skip the rest.

  4. Amanda,

    you touch a point very interesting her. Duran Duran is a complete band. Yes they are good for party and fun and many songs prove that. But on the other hand they got some very deep and touching songs like Ordinary World, Come Undone, Still Breathing, Dirty Great Monster, Before the Rain, etc. Personaly I am fascinated by those songs that means a lot and usualy have superb artistic music. But at the same time, songs like Sunrise, Rio, Hungry like the Wolf or All She Wants Is are incredibly enjoyable. We have differents feelings over the day or over our life and there is songs for each moment.

    As for GOG I don,t know why lots of guys are turn on by that. Maybe they imagined themselves between those girls. The funny thing is that often the same guys have problem with homosexualty when they think of two men together. Humans are strange. 😉 I have to admit that even if model are incredible women I do prefer women with more curves so a video like The Chauffeur is not especialy a turn on for me. But it is still a brilliant clip and the song is spectacular, one of a kind, a real masterpiece!


  5. I love how you phrased it: Duran Duran is a complete band. They really are! I, too, am glad that they have songs that cross a wide variety of types.

    As for GOG, you are absolutely right. Some guys that love that have problems when they think of two guys together. I don't understand that, especially in this fandom with a band that clearly accepts homosexuality in both men and women. 😉


  6. Is that Netherlands interview the same one where Simon calls John a swan and he makes that joke about Duran Duran playing in Outer Mongolia(I thought it was cute anyway, it was a nice example of how Simon can be self-depracating and isn't always this big egotist he's often made out to be). That was good interview.

    Now as for lyrics, “omg!” – I would sit for hours staring at the lyrics on the record sleeves while listening to the songs, I think I spent more time looking at the lyrics than looking at their pictures, cross my heart:). For me they were one of THE biggest attractions of the band, I loved where the lyrics took me, I loved the little worlds they created, I loved so many of the turns of phrase–even if I didn't know what they meant, I loved that they made me want to figure it out.

    So yeah Duran Duran have always been a band I've thought about on an intellectual level. That said I don't believe in over-thinking things either, it's just that for me the “thinking” part is a big part of the fun. I sometimes wonder if the band really understand just how much they opened so many of our minds to a wider world of ideas?

    As for the sexy videos, sure the dirty Girls on Film doesn't really do anything for me, but I get it(and actually even Simon, of all people, once said he thought GOF could have been sexier and that maybe it was too obvious, not in the sense of the nudity but just that it wasn't really very sophisticated–which is where I'm sort of coming from, I don't have a problem with the nudity and sort of soft core porn–but it's not really very sensual. The Chauffeur on the other hand to me is a bit too arty and cool–something in between would probably be better). I actually don't have a bit of a problem with Girl Panic! I don't find anything in that even risque–and I'm not someone who goes around watching lots of “sexy stuff”. The girl on girl stuff is “blink and you missed it” and it's not like woman don't kiss in tv shows, most shows have their “girl kiss” action at some point these days. Boy on Boy kissing might have been more noticeable(or maybe they should have had Naomi kiss Cindy–for a bit of JoSi by implication–it's not like Simon hasn't laid one on John while performing, so they'd have been in character! LOL). I guess I'm immune to crotch shots because I barely noticed them. While I'd rather see the band in the video more, I actually think Girl Panic! might be my favorite “long form” video by them(though I have to admit, I do like the much maligned New Moon on Monday:), I like the “story”, I like the use of the real band members as reporters, I think the models do well in their roles. So I can see how, while I don't find it shocking, how it would be seen as “sexy”, because to me it's a little more subtle than the almost amateurish GOF and the cool/artistic The Chauffeur.

  7. I thought TBYSB was straightforward enough, lyric-wise, till I found myself a few feet from Simon & the guys in Oxford, singing it directly back to them with a huge grin on my face. Oh yeah, WHOLE new meaning! ;-D

  8. Yes, that was the interview I was talking about! 🙂

    I like how you think!!! You said it well when you said that you loved that they made you want to figure out what the lyrics meant! I loved that, too!

    I think that Girl Panic was a very smart video as opposed to Girls on Film, although that video did what it was meant to do…create a stir. You are right, though, Naomi and Cindy could have kissed or at least flirted a little to be a little JoSi like!


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