Monday, March 26, 2012

Duran Duran Part 2 - New birth for them

You're probably gonna have to forgive my spelling/grammar in these last two posts...it's already past my bedtime and I'm typing like mad because I get that way when I get obsessed about something and I really need to get these blogs out. I almost feel like a traitor being a die-hard Duranie and yet, in all the time I've been blogging, I've barely mentioned them. The Behind The Music Remastered episode just reminded me that if I'm going to be true to myself in my blog, I can't really do that by leaving out Duran Duran because they make up such a large part of me and who I am and how I got the way I am!

Now, on with the show. After Liberty, came what is commonly referred to as "The Wedding Album" because of the wedding pictures of their parents on the cover, but the official title was Duran Duran (the same as their first album, which technically was also their third album since their first album was re-released after their second Rio and the song Is There Something I Should Know was added, but I digress!). Most of you young-un's probably know Duran Duran from this period with Ordinary World and Come Undone, neither of which I care much for (shock). My favorite song from that album was actually a song called None Of The Above. Since it was never officially released, the best I can do is just a song, but it's the lyrical message of the song that's important anyway, so it works. During this time of my life, I was just coming out of my shell and I had just met my now ex-husband. My life had done a complete 360 (and, as I would discover, not in a good way!):



Next up came the Thank You album, an album full of cover songs, and Duran got hell for this one! Sure, some of the covers are amazing (White Lines live is still one of my top five ever and it's hilarious to see a bunch of well over 30 females jumping up and down like little girls!), but come on, 911 Is A Joke? Seriously Simon?



I'm also including the video for A Perfect Day for one very important reason...notice who is drumming? Roger slowly starts making an appearance back in the band. Talk about screaming at the tele the first time I saw this video!



But the overall mood of Thank You felt funny to the true Duranie for a reason...John was about to leave and we could feel it. He had been doing some solo stuff (and John, I love you with all my heart, but son, you can't sing (even if I do own all your solos)) and even did a superground kind of thing with Steve Jones, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum (yea, picture if you will, Duran, the Sex Pistols, and Guns And Roses members in the same band), called Neurotic Outsiders (even had a semi-hit with Jerk). They had started their next album, but in the middle of recording it...John left for good and Duranie hearts everywhere broke. Even though I'm a Simonite...John leaving hurt almost as much as if it was Simon. Medazzaland had to be re-recorded because the tracks John worked on couldn't be used, but the final piece didn't turn out as bad as we were all expecting. There are a couple of hidden gems on that album as well even if publicly it also flopped. My personal favorite is Out Of My Mind. It was dark and creepy and closer to the Arcadia sound and it was the first really good video Duran had turned out in years! Pure theatrics! What a Duran video should be!



After this point, Greatest was re-released as a 10th Anniversary thing, but, for the first time, Duran Duran found themselves without a record contract and Duranies found themselves in the very real prospect of being without their band! Also during this point my life was 360ing again...I got divorced and got cervical cancer! My first panic attacks started because my ex was stalking me...happy days! But luckily Duran got picked up pretty quickly by Hollywood Records (which coincidentally is owned by Disney...how cool was that! Duran and Disney were now one!). Unluckily, however, the result of that pick up was, in my opinion, the worst album Duran ever did Pop Trash. Simon had always wrote the lyrics, but this album they gave way too much creative control to Warren and it changed the entire dynamic of the band...it wasn't Duran anymore. It was awful. I was heartbroken and I thought I'd lost them forever. Hollywood Records dropped them almost immediately.

But then something amazing happened...Warren got fired, John came back first, then Roger, then Andy and then, viola! Duran Duran were the original Fab Five again! I got a hysterectomy so no more of that problem and things were starting to settle down...and there is no way to sugar coat this...IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING!! I had seen Duran play live numerous times, but this was the first time I had seen all five on stage together (I was too young to go to concerts before) and I bawled like a baby and laughed and sang and screamed and cried some more! My life was complete! I could have died happy at that point! And low and behold, record companies were knocking down their down and we got a new album as well and entire thing was FUCKING AMAZING!! My favorite track being What Happens Tomorrow simply because it fits me.



Oh, and not the best pic...but I took this...I was at this show!

Once again Duran was hot again! They started a new album, but once again, Andy got itchy feet and off he went again, so the album had to be scrapped, partly because of Andy leaving and partly because the record company thought they needed a "modern" sound. In stepped Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. Now, most die-hard Duranies hate the Red Carpet Massacre album, but I'm not one of them. There are a lot of good tracks on it and Duran are known for every album being different and constantly changing their sound...unfortunately, this was just too big of a jump for us now late 30, early 40 Duranies. I personally hear a lot of classic undertones in these tracks...the strongest being The Valley:



Now we are up to the present time. Duran met Mark Ronson who convinced them that Red Carpet Massacre made the true Duranies feel like we'd been abandoned and they needed to do a true "Duran" album...so we have All You Need Is Now. On the time scale, this album has been reported to be a followup to Rio and that's what it sounds like. Honestly, it's good, but not my favorite. I like the fact that Duran changes and grows and this album isn't growth but a celebration of the past (which might explain my lack of pedestal noticing I mentioned in the last blog). The only song that really speaks to me is Before The Rain (not to be confused with After The Rain from the Rio Album), but since there is not an official video or a good concert clip, there is a winning fan video:



OK, I have got to go to bed, but that's it, my history with Duran Duran. I hope I did them justice to any fellow Duranies and gave you a bit of insight into some of their non-popular tunes that, in my opinion, are much better than the singles that everyone knows!

Simon LeBon will always be my first love no matter what happens (or how many dreams I have about Mark Owen or Howard Donald!).

Duran Duran forever!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I cant claim to be a Duran Duran fan but I do have a memory of one Christmas or birthday (me and my sisters birthdays are a day a part) that we both got an album on cassette - I remember that she got Duran Duran and I had...wait for it....The Thompson Twins! lol It was in about '83.