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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Duran Duran Rio album review

In the Duran Duran community, Rio is classic.  Only comments of honorable praise follow.  Therefore, my review will be in kind.

On release in 1983, Rio ranked #6 on the U.S. Top Twenty.

The video for "Rio" landed Duran Duran in music history, perhaps leading to the quote,

"The band was a natural for music television" - Rolling Stone magazine

This video is colorful, vivid, unique, and coherent in one phenomenal package.  (If intrigued, a YouTube entry was posted earlier.)

In 1985, "Save A Prayer" (#8 on the album) ranked #16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

So here's my take.

1.  Rio - The song opens mysteriously with haunting synthesizers and keyboards.  Yet in this second, pace and tone are determined and soon vocals break out of the gate with the energy of a race horse.  The first word - not lyric or verse - is "Wow!".  As heard live, the sound, concluding a concert, does not let up until the band lets up - an incredible feat as both the band and audience are so consumed with energy that winding down such emotion is next to impossible.  This exact feeling is felt on the album, with "Rio" opening the cd set.

2.  My Own Way - Duran Duran lyrics are unique and at times cannot be explained.  This take makes Duran Duran.  This take makes them so loved by so many.  "My own way," however, comprises lyrics that do make sense.  Although not a personal favorite, I do like this song in that I am able to understand where the vocals are going.  Some rock songs follow beat and not lyrics.  "My own way" does both.

3.  Lonely In Your Nightmare - I love this song.  It is haunting in lyrics and tone but has an edge when the electric guitar comes in for a brief solo.  The words tell a story and draw me in every time.  "Because you're lonely in your nightmare let me in."  These words assure me that I am not alone in down times.

4.  Hungry Like The Wolf - I am not sure what to say about this song as most similar to "Rio," this song is classic Duran Duran.  The music video to "Hungry Like The Wolf" is likewise unique and fun.  The lyrics are fast and energetic, both recorded and live.  The tone reflects pure Duran Duran style, much the way "Rio" does.  I truly do not know how to review this song without simply saying "Hungry Like The Wolf" is classic to Duran Duran in all of the band's many ways - sound, tone, instrumentals, vocals, lyrics, and so on.

5.  Hold Back The Rain - I do not listen to this song often, so I have few comments.  I once listened to an interview featuring Nick Rhodes.  This song came up and I did learn that "Hold Back The Rain" was played for either a space shuttle launch or descent - the weather had been threatening storms.  I thought that was an interesting fact to learn (one of many I have come to take in over the years).

6.  New Religion - Oh my, "New Religion."  I like this song for how difficult it is to keep up with.  The layered vocals throughout appear so impossible to sing along to - does the listener keep pace with Simon Le Bon or, as heard live, with the guitarists backing him up?   This song opens mysteriously and somewhat slowly but gains incredible strength and energy half way through in nearly a surprise way.  Due to these reasons, "New Religion" tends to be, in my opinion, nervous making with the layered vocals and energy coming out of nowhere.  This song is a favorite in my household.  Indeed, for a band to speak to multiple generations. . .classic.

7.  Last Chance On The Stairway - I, quite personally, am not a fan of this one song.  I did, however, hear it performed live in May 2008 as part of an electronic set during the show.  I am sorry, but it wasn't a top favorite then, either.  The song is good, but does not attract me the way others do.

8.  Save A Prayer - If an avid listener (not necessarily a die-hard fan) cannot tell "Save A Prayer" from its opening instrumental without lyrics. . .This song is so purely Duran Duran that I would be surprised if it did not rank in the top of a fan's list.  The lyrics are beautiful and story-like.  The instrumental, however, is my preference, especially the sweet keyboard.  "Save A Prayer" seems to be a song with so many parts that can each stand alone and be amazing at the same time.  All components blend together perfectly.  I really. . .If "Ordinary World" were not my absolute favorite, "Save A Prayer" would rank first easily.

9.  The Chauffeur - Duran Duran and DD fans will think quite sorely of me, but I in all honesty. . .Oh boy. . .I do not like this song :( . . .The lyrics are okay and the sound is okay, but had I not seen the video as performed in the background in the Live from London concert dvd, I might feel differently.  In truth, I am not the greatest of fans of music videos.

So before I dig myself into a hole after my comments to "The Chauffeur," all I need to say is that Rio is simply classic.  The energy rides up and down.  The lyrics are catchy and some are adored by heart.  The instrumentals are unique and flawless.  For most of the songs on the album, as performed live they lose absolutely nothing in translation.  The album artwork is beautiful and stands alone in time.  In my opinion, Rio is a musical genius, in all thanks to the men behind it.

This is my review.  If interested in Rio, please consider the Amazon.com link below.

(Factual source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duran_Duran)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Duran Duran Live from London dvd/cd package

The original line-up of simply Duran Duran is back with a fresh yet classic album - Astronaut - and is reconnecting with adoring fans in a place called home - Wembley Stadium in London.  A perfect reunion must be captured on film. . .Live from London on dvd.  Every emotion felt by all - audience and band - is experienced on this disc.  No camera angle is left out.  All classics and new hits are enjoyed.  In the Duran Duran community, all is once again right with the world.

Twenty powerful songs are played and the concert opens with a punch in the name of "Reach Up for the Sunrise."  The energy through this song extends the entire length of the concert night.  Visual effects are dazzling.  Every instrument has its share of stand out playing time.  Quiet moments in softer songs bring the audience even closer together.  All know every beat and word to every song.  Unity between audience and band is palpable.  Duran Duran is back and the world knows it.

Two special bonus features on the dvd package include a half-hour documentary on the formation, break-up, and reuniting of Duran Duran from the perspectives of the members themselves & each member commentating on two of their favorite songs performed in the London concert.

I was given this package as an early holidays gift from my family some years ago and I became addicted in less than a heartbeat.  I watched every day until  I knew the songs by heart, the camera shots by heart, the visual effect cues by heart, audience reaction by heart. . .I, quite simply, love this dvd, because I love Duran Duran and doubt if I ever could get enough.

This dvd package is unconditionally fun, energetic, loud, and fast-paced.  Nothing is left out.

This is my review.  If interested in Duran Duran Live from London, please consider the Amazon.com links below.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Duran Duran Astronaut dvd review

When the original Duran Duran five came together for the production of Astronaut, a film crew met up with them to tape a behind-the-scenes documentary about their reunion tour.  I, as a viewer, am addicted.

All five members are just being themselves - goofy, hyper, energized, serious, boys being boys. . .true personalities simply playing themselves out.

When Duran Duran is on stage at a concert, their business faces are on.  Although having fun, their job is to please the audience with classics and new hits.

However, when their concert time cards punch out, an entirely different side of the original five is shown.

The Astronaut dvd reflects boyish lightheartedness that is refreshing, enjoyable, and cracks anyone up.  The background album music is exceptionally fast-paced and draws in the viewer within less than a heartbeat.

John Taylor locks himself in a room and is singing, off beat, to a Duran Duran song that is going to be performed just minutes away.  Everyone is concerned because he does not know that the concert is set to begin any second.  He is so involved in that song that even Roger Taylor cannot help but laugh and comment, "Has he lost the plot?"

Simon Le Bon breaks out in a 70s disco routine while John provides a simple drum beat. . .all while waiting to be called to stage.

Andy Taylor checks Simon's pitch by hitting his own notes to "Reach Up for the Sunrise."  (He did pretty well.)

Nick Rhodes discusses in a rather intriguing way his stage relationship with Roger - the drums and keyboard face each other, so both men catch several nonverbal moments.  I believe Nick said that at times Roger would deliberately miss a beat - while performing live - to see if Nick was paying attention.  I found this thought to be quite clever and unique.  As someone in the audience, I never would have guessed that or sensed it.

All members would catch a breath after a concert to run through their most successful songs and changes that would need to be made to another night's set list.  No arguments, but clearly every member had different opinions.

Then there is the roaring screaming from the audience desperately wanting their night to get started and the guys are waiting for their cue back stage as cool as fall air, with no trace of nervousness or anxiety in them - "no big deal" attitude.

No big deal attitude being ironic because this dvd documentary was filmed while Duran Duran was back, after many years, in London where their career began.  A portion of the documentary took the guys back home, home they left to launch a career in music that was not guaranteed.  Memories flooded back and the pace of the documentary slowed a bit.  Yet, seeing each member with their families once more was quite touching to see.

And then the energy is back.  The dvd ends with the music video for "Reach Up for the Sunrise."

There is so much more to the Astronaut dvd/cd package.  I have an exciting blast every time I watch.  Therefore. . .

This is my review.  If interested in the Astronaut dvd/cd package, please consider the Amazon.com link below.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Duran Duran Astronaut album review

Rio launched Duran Duran into permanent status in the music world.  The original line-up (to quote Nick Rhodes) produced classics that all Duran Duran fans know just by sound.  Critics from release on feel much stronger about the album than any die-hard Duranie - the 1983 debut reached #6 on the U.S. Top Twenty.  Rio made Duran Duran a classic.

Such status was questioned when the band split.  The original members left in different directions and took the separation as time to work on personal projects.  They took their time.  No one knew if Duran Duran as all know them as would reunite.  This thought was devastating.

Until calls were made and hesitations were ironed out in the form of Astronaut.  Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor came together in the recording studio to produce an album that simply spoke a story.

Astronaut was released on the heels of September 11, 2001.  The album received high honors - #3 in the UK and #17 in the U.S. 

The most remarkable and well-known song on the reunion album is "Reach Up for the Sunrise."  In my eyes, this song gives hope to a newly-defined world.  Critics felt just as positive - #1 on the Billboard U.S. Dance Chart and #5 on the UK Singles Chart (highest position since "A View to a Kill" in 1985).

The song "What Happens Tomorrow" is third on the cd.  This song carries a massive punch - inspiration, hope, a feeling of not giving up, and finding good in anything.  To me, the future is uncertain and no one can say what will happen one minute from now, one hour from now, one day from now, and so forth.  We just have to hope that whatever happens tomorrow will be good and better than the day before.

Astronaut is first in my long album collection produced by Duran Duran.  Therefore, the songs and disc hold a special place in my intrigued heart.  The work is classic in sound, tone, and style.  Although last as a work with all original five included, Astronaut remains a powerful album and one to cherish among the many others, past and present.

This is my review.  If interested in Astronaut, please consider the Amazon.com link below.

(Note:  All statistics come from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duran_Duran)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Talent on Amazon

Talent on Amazon.com abounds.  Here are a few of my favorite surprises in music.  (Note: Chris Botti Live in Boston features John Mayer.  John Mayer's rendition of "Glad To Be Unhappy" is the surprise talent on the cd/dvd.)

Red Carpet Massacre (Deluxe Edition)

Hard Candy



                                                                                                                                               

Justin Timberlake. . .What to say

Justin Timberlake is truly a surprise to my generation's music scene.  He can put on a spectacular show for adoring fans.  Yet, his incredibly versatile talent is the defining showcase of any concert.  I was hesitant at first, but now I feel entirely otherwise.  Justin Timberlake. . .What to say.  Simply - enjoy the video below.

07. What Goes Around ... Comes Around - Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/Lo...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simply Duran Duran

I adore Duran Duran, a secret clearly no longer.  They are an incredible inspiration and hope in my life.  With every song I listen to, I reflect on the impact they have on me.  Without Duran Duran, I would not have this music-devoted blog and the content & design creativity that goes proudly along with it.  Without Duran Duran, I would not have taken a chance on the creation of Play It Duran Duran Fan Page (http://simplyduran.webs.com/).  Duran Duran fills a musical void in my life that can only be matched by a highly select few in the jazz scene.

I adore Simon Le Bon for his goofiness when on the surface he seems tough.  His vocals are classic and unique.

I love Nick Rhodes for his humor.  His talent for the keyboard synthesizer is speechless.

I am intrigued by John Taylor's cool and relaxed demeanor.  His bass line truly matches his personality.

I like Roger Taylor for his shyness.  His beat on the drums tell otherwise.

So I thought I would post some of my favorite Duran Duran albums. . .and other items -

Duran Duran

Seven & the Ragged Tiger (2 CD/DVD)

Greatest

Duran Duran - Live From London (2pc) (W/CD) (Dlx)

DURAN DURAN GROUP BAND SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED 8x10 RP PROMO PHOTO SIMON Le BON NICK RHODES AND JOHN TAYLOR

Duran Duran John Taylor Autographed Signed Guitar PSA/DNA

Autographed Duran Duran VHS Music VIdeos

Duran Duran Rio Autographed Signed reprint Photo

Duran Duran Simon Le Bon Autographed Signed Guitar PSA/DNA

Duran Duran Autographed Signed reprint Photo

Duran Duran Autographed Signed reprint Photo 3

DURAN DURAN signed AUTOGRAPHED new GUITAR *proof

Monday, September 13, 2010

Duran Duran Fan Page

In the past month, I have created a detailed fan page for Duran Duran.  Using a professional webs.com music template and select features (especially Discussion Forum with 18 personally created categories), my site is now beautifully complete and published as of this past weekend.

The Duran Duran organization is keeping an eye on the development of my fan page to determine addition to their Links Tab on their website.  (I would be deeply honored to be added to their official website.)

If you love Duran Duran and are interested in a new fan page, please visit http://simplyduran.webs.com/

Explore and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010