Duran Duran’s Future Past was released today. Today. Part of me still cannot believe it. We have a new Duran album to listen to, to add to our collections, to hope to hear played live and more. It was a long time coming and, at times, felt like it was never going to get here. It has arrived, though, and that is a serious reason to celebrate!
Typically, these Friday posts have focused on some moment in the past that we look back on and share. This time around I plan on doing a little bit of that while also acknowledging the present and thinking about the future. It just seems fitting in honor of “Future Past”. Therefore, let me take a little walk back to the album releases post-reunion. I would consider the entire catalog, but goodness knows what I knew about album releases when I was a kid. No, instead, I want to focus on the albums that have come out since I rejoined the fan community and the “reunion”.
Recently, during one of these Flashback Friday blogs, I shared a little story of what it was like on the day the album was released. I won’t go back over that again. What I will say about Astronaut is the just level of joy and excitement that I felt throughout the fan community then. Everyone loved it, or so it seemed! From where I was in the fan community at the time, I don’t remember a single negative comment. If people questioned any element of any song, they hid it or the sheer joy of having another album come out by the Fab Five overwhelmed any questioning. The band was busy doing promotion and the message boards were moving quickly as people posted comments, pictures, etc. Looking back on it, it felt like a real honeymoon period. I, for one, was so glad to be a part of this time period because it was so joyful and fun. Everyone was excited about what they were hearing and the band’s future!
Red Carpet Massacre
By the time this album came out, a lot had changed. Andy left and the fan community was divided. For this album release, unlike with Astronaut, I did not go to a Best Buy with a friend. Instead, I was in New York City, attending one of the band’s shows on Broadway. When the band announced the Broadway run in which they would play the entire album, I dismissed the idea of attending. Rhonda was unavailable and my friend, Sara, didn’t want to go. So the presale came and went. Still, it was in the back of my mind. After reaching out to a college friend living in New York City at the time, I decided to go. I found some tickets for sale, a decent priced flight and just went for it. While it was not my usual Duran show, I am still so glad that I went. Seeing the songs performed live helped me to hear and feel the songs differently than if I had just heard them on the cd. I didn’t necessarily love every track off of RCM that I heard but it made me feel better about an album that caused so much division within the fan community. Beyond that, I still feel like seeing Dom and John rock out to Tricked Out made the trip so worth it.
All You Need Is Now
This album release was different than the previous two. (Aren’t they all, really?) In some ways, it had two releases, right? In December, they released some of the tracks and then the full album in March, from what I remember. The strongest memory I have about the March release was having a get together with nearby Duranie friends. I had a copy of the album that I played for the people there. For all of them, it was the first time they were hearing many of the tracks. Within the first few songs, tears began falling onto multiple people’s cheeks. These were tears of joy as many of them felt like this was the Duran they knew and loved. They saw it as a return to form.
I’m not sure why I cannot remember the exact day that Paper Gods was released. I know the date but I don’t remember what I was doing that day. Obviously, we had heard and even reviewed some songs on the blog, including Pressure Off and You Kill Me with Silence. I remember that a lot of people were super excited about the song, Paper Gods. I feel like we might have heard that one in advance, too. While I genuinely liked what I heard, I wasn’t bonding as quickly as I had with All You Need Is Now. I also wasn’t needing to be convinced to really give it a try like RCM. No, this album felt somewhere in between, at least, at first. As I often do with new music, I recall having my headphones on and really listening to the songs, the lyrics, etc. I got about halfway through Last Night in the City before I thought about reaching out to Rhonda. Interestingly enough, she was on the same wavelength and was messaging me. Soon enough, we began dissecting not just that song but every song, pulling out pieces that hit us or thinking about the meaning of individual songs or the album as a whole. It is hard not to bond with an album after doing that!
This leads me to today, to the latest release. Much like the previous albums, this release already feels unique and different from the previous ones. Yet, it has some of the same elements of the past. There is an air of excitement in the Duran fan community that you cannot miss if you are spending any time looking and listening at social media these days. People seem to be beyond excited. Now, it is not just about a reunion or a return to form. It feels more focused on the music and the songs themselves. Will that initial impression of mine hold up? Obviously, time will tell. For some fans, they have already seen a few of the tracks played live similarly to the fans who had attended the Broadway shows for RCM. Like AYNIN, fans are generally thrilled with the collaborations and the production on this album. People are clearly already bonding with individual songs like they did with Paper Gods. It is fun to see all of the excitement and joy!
Some of you might be wondering about me. Is my story of today’s release day like any of the previous ones? Not really. I haven’t been on social media much for a variety of reasons so I’m only catching a snippet of the excitement as opposed to those Astronaut days when I was glued to the message boards. I’m certainly not seeing Duran perform on Broadway or anywhere else these days, which makes me very sad. Am I bonding over the music with friends like the last couple? Sadly, I’m not. I wish I was as I miss it, for sure.
How will the future judge this release? How will the future judge this album? Time will tell and I look forward to seeing! Until then, enjoy Future Past!