Memorabilia Medley: The Singles Box Sets

I think the warmer weather is messing with me as I have a sudden urge to organize and clean out every room and closet in my house. Of course, it could just be the way I’m dealing seeking control over the insanity around me. Nonetheless, I am thinking about everything I have, including my Duran memorabilia. I, sometimes, wonder why I have kept everything that I have kept. Let me give you an example. Do I need all of the copies of the Paper Gods cd that I have? Remember that you got a cd with every concert ticket you bought. I probably could share them with friends, family and neighbors. I could spread the wealth there, right? I should. Logically.

This leads me to wonder about the two Singles Box Sets. Do you all know what I’m talking about? Wikipedia describes the first one (81-85) in this way:

Singles Box Set 1981–1985 is a box set by English new wave band Duran Duran. Consisting of 13 CDs, it was released on 12 May 2003 by EMI and covers the era from Duran Duran (1981) to Arena (1984), as well as the non-studio album single “A View to a Kill” (1985).

Each CD is supposed to be a faithful copy of the UK vinyl single as it was released in the early 1980s, with all of the B-sides and alternate tracks, and each is packaged in a square cardboard sleeve replicating the original artwork. The 13 cardboard sleeves are then packaged in a heavy-duty card box.[4]

This marked the first time many of these tracks, including B-sides and alternate versions, appeared on CD.

There is at least one song missing from this collection:

  • The initial version of the UK 7 inch “Rio” single (EMI5346) featured the version of the song known as “Rio (Single version)”. Later versions of this single replaced the A-side with “Rio (Part 1)”. The version of the song included in this collection is “Rio (Part 1)”.

Additionally, because this collection is based on the regular UK single releases, there are a number of songs which appeared on international releases, but were excluded from the collection:

  • “To the Shore”, the US b-side to “Planet Earth”. This track is available elsewhere on CD, but so are many other tracks included in this collection.
  • “Girls on Film (Night Version)”. There is an alternate mix that lasts 5:45 and features slightly different instrumentation. There’s also an instrumental Night Version that was released on a Greek 12″.
  • “My Own Way (Instrumental version)”. This instrumental version of the night version appeared on the UK Promo 12 inch single and is a digital bonus track for the 2CD special edition of Rio.
  • “New Religion (live)”, the US b-side to “The Reflex”. This is not the version which appeared on Arena, but a different performance recorded on 7 February 1984 in Los Angeles.

The set was reissued on 19 October 2009 as a 3CD jewel cased edition. CD1 contains the tracks from the “Planet Earth”, “Careless Memories”, “Girls on Film”, “My Own Way” and “Hungry Like the Wolf”. CD2 the tracks from “Save A Prayer”, “Rio”, “Is There Something I Should Know?” and “Union of the Snake” and CD3 the tracks from “New Moon on Monday”, “The Reflex”, “The Wild Boys” and “A View to a Kill”.[5]

Obviously, if I got rid of these box sets, I would still have all of those songs, B-sides included. So, what is the point of owning the box sets if I don’t need the songs? Do I own other box sets from other artists? I absolutely do. Typically, I buy a box set when I really like the artist but for some reason I don’t own a lot of individual albums or songs. It is a way to get the most important tracks without having to buy a lot of albums, especially back in the day before you could stream music or download just individual tracks. It saves and saved me a lot of searching and buying. It is a one stop shop. This, of course, is not the case with Duran Duran. It isn’t really about owning the songs but something else.

As the Wikipedia article mentioned above, each single came in a separate cardboard sleeve that matched the original artwork. For me, this is a big deal. While I own quite a few vinyl singles, I do not own them all. Yet, I want to celebrate the artwork as much as I want to cheer the music. I feel like by saying that, I have declared myself old and outdated. My youngest niece would definitely laugh at my insistence of having the “artwork” or even owning cds at all. She is a spotify fan. While I get her point of view, that is not what I grew up with. It is not fitting for Duran, either. They spend a lot of time on every little detail, including what the singles looked like. I have to admit that I miss the art of the single. Maybe I’m thinking of that more now that I, like the rest of Duranland, are anxiously awaiting the next single. While I’m sure that I’ll download it as soon as it is released, there is a part of me that misses buying the actual, physical single.

I guess the whole point of this blog post is to convince myself or allow myself grace in keeping not just the first box set of 1981-1985 but also the second one that spans 1986-1995. On top of that, it makes me wish that there was a third or fourth box set. I’m not sure that every Duranie would be as excited as I would be, which is fair. I can also acknowledge that not every single post-1995 has the artwork that the singles in these released box sets had. Heck, I think there would be some discussion about which songs actually qualified for singles. Did Nice? Leave a Light On? There would be some debates. On that note, did I hear/read something about a supposed anthology? Would that work in the same way? That could be great!


By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.

1 comment

  1. I have both box sets. I remember when I found out there were either 12 inch singles of every song, and this was in 1986 when at a mall record shop with a then best friend We bought a couple together (figuring we could share them) them we would go back in a few months to get others. As it turns out the store closed not long after and she moved a few months later. So for many years I knew about the singles but either couldn’t buy them or couldn’t find them. Fast forward to 2003 and I saw there was going to be a box set and immediately ordered it. I recall Amazon in the UK was getting it before the US was by several months so I ordered it and listened as soon as it arrived. I was glad I did because then it had several songs I never owned before. The second box set was a bit different though in many ways but bought that as well. I like having all the b-sides in the same box, makes it easier to find.

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