What Happens Tomorrow: Past Future Past

Safe to say when the promotion cycle for a new Duran Duran album is reaching outlets such as the South China Morning Post, the record label is firing on all cylinders. Signing with BMG for Future Past has proven to be a very smart decision for Duran Duran. Much like the label did with Kylie Minogue’s Disco, the label has used a healthy saturation of the market to reach the casual music listeners and there has been an increased sense of FOMO with this release. Duran Duran is back and you do not want to miss out has been the message and based on early chart results, it has been working. Most importantly, it is working on an album that merits discussion as one of the band’s finest albums to date.

So what happens tomorrow? Past the Future Past release campaign, I would expect BMG to have a few more surprises up their sleeve. They have given Kylie’s Disco an extended album cycle with a lot of remixes and the unavoidable “deluxe” reissue. Since the bonus tracks are already available, perhaps they pursue the strategy that Dua Lipa used on Future Nostalgia with a reissue that included a bonus album of remixes designed to flow as a DJ-set. It was a clever approach to selling fans the same product again and I fell for it willingly! BMG has a lot of options here and it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

Two things we can certainly count on are tour dates and a vinyl reissue with all the tracks since the pre-orders are noticeably missing a few songs. Understandable given the time limits of wax, it is still frustrating that this wasn’t mentioned when fans were ordering the bundles. Color variants are cool but having all the music is a bit more essential for fans of the music. As for tour dates, bring them on! The band mentioned around 30 dates in North America which sounds conservative but smart given the uncertainty of COVID heading into 2022.

If the tour is somewhat thin in terms of dates, I hope it focuses on major markets and larger venues. While I love the more intimate experiences, a lot of fans have been impacted financially over the last two years. The chance to still see the band with a $40 upper-level ticket would mean a lot to some fans and the promotion cycle has opened the door on playing larger arenas for this run. It will probably never happen but it would be amazing to see the band take U2’s approach and allow for a General Admission floor at a reasonable price so the most passionate fans are close to the stage. That energy feeds the show and can create a better experience for everyone including the band.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the excitement around Future Past cannot be overstated. This has been one of the band’s best executed album release cycles so far. The fact that the album has received near-universal acclaim speaks volumes to the quality of the music. Having fully embraced their past without sacrificing their future, Duran Duran seem on the verge of reaching a new level of importance within popular culture. Not too bad for some guys from Birmingham, UK who thought it would be interesting to mash together Chic and Sex Pistols!

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