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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Save a Prayer

"Save a Prayer" was released on August 9, 1982 as Duran Duran's sixth single.  "Save a Prayer" is the third single on Duran Duran's album, Rio.

"Save a Prayer" reached #2 status on the UK Singles Chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

(Wikipedia)

Refer to Duran Duran Series : Rio Album for information about the album itself.

"Save a Prayer" is well at the top of my most favorite songs - by Duran Duran and in general - for personal reasons.  When I am in emotional distress for whatever reason, I turn to this song for the title alone.  I need to know that the outcome of my concern will be okay.  "Save a Prayer" in essence helps me get through difficult times.

And so I choose to promote the Rio album as the original source for "Save a
Prayer."



Duran Duran - Save A Prayer


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Say

History of "Say" -
- Written for the 2007 film The Bucket List
- Released on November 20, 2007
- First commercial single to not be released on an album by John Mayer
- Added to special edition re-release of Continuum
- #12 status on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2008
- Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (4th win in this category)
- Platinum certification
- Over 2 million copies sold in the U.S.

(Wikipedia)

"Say" is a profound inspiration to me.  I have life struggles that I generally write about in a personal journal.  However, some issues are better expressed out loud and the lyrics to "Say" offer a sense of verbal journaling.

And so I choose to promote John Mayer's "Say" cd.


John Mayer - Say


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Runnin' Down A Dream

"Runnin' Down A Dream" is the second single from Tom Petty's solo album, Full Moon Fever.

Full Moon Fever was released on April 24, 1989.  Full Moon Fever success -

- #3 status on Billboard 200
- #8 in the UK
- 6x Platinum certification in September 1991 (CRIA)
- 5x Platinum certification in October 2000 (RIAA)

(Wikipedia)

"Runnin' Down A Dream" reached #23 status on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

(Wikipedia)

My taste in music varies considerably - from intense alternative to classic jazz and the occasional consideration of the House genre.  My iPod list and iTunes list are extensive.  I love music and especially select songs.

"Runnin' Down A Dream" is a unique song that I love.  I find great inspiration through this song.  The title alone gives me hope to keep going when I have a desired goal.  This is my take though.

And so I choose to share "Runnin' Down A Dream" and Full Moon Fever.



Runnin' Down A Dream - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


Monday, May 25, 2015

Eminence Front

The Who - an iconic staple in classic rock music.

It's Hard
- 10th studio album
- Released in September 1982
- #11 in the UK
- #8 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart in the U.S.
- Gold certification in the U.S. in November 1982

"It's Hard should never have been released." - Roger Daltrey, 1994

(Wikipedia)

"Eminence Front"
- #68 on the Billboard Hot 100

"...the only song on it (It's Hard)...worthy of being released." - Roger Daltrey

(Wikipedia)

Strong criticism from the lead singer.  So why am I writing about the song?

A feature in film, sports, and television.

A commercial jingle for GMC - must continuation of Set List - Blast from the Past.

A sense of electric anticipation in the opening instrumental.  A sense of addictive edge throughout the song - listen over and over again type of addiction.

Why should I promote through Amazon?  I want to - as an avid fan of "Eminence Front" at any rate.



The Who - Eminence front


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trending - Blast from the Past

The Blues genre was a trend this week, so I devoted several posts to Blues artist, Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

However, this genre has since passed and I am noticing a new trend on Set List - blast from the past reminiscence.

In July 2011, I wrote my first post on my newly discovered love for commercial jingles - Power to commercial jingles!

As of 2014, I have posted ultimate favorites, from "Fort Knox" by Goldfish to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

Set List - Blast from the Past and Uptown Funk (as an Amazon promotion) have gained incredible interest.  For the sake of unnecessary repetition, I will let both posts speak on my behalf.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Live On

Live On is Kenny Wayne Shepherd's third studio album - released in October 1999.

Live On reached Gold certification in 2000.

Live On is classified under Blues Rock and Electric Blues.

In my opinion, "Was" defines these genres because the lyrics are a sense of Blues and the beat has an electric edge.

Live On can be found on Amazon.

If Trouble Is... is a must album for Kenny Wayne Shepherd fans, Live On is a must as well.



Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Was


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trouble Is...

"Blue On Black" is defined as Kenny Wayne Shepherd's signature song - ranking #1 status on Mainstream Rock Tracks and #78 status on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1998.

Trouble Is... ranked #74 status on The Billboard 200 in 1997.

Trouble Is... can be found on Amazon.

A must album for Blues genre fans and Kenny Wayne Shepherd fans.



Blue On Black


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Set List - Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Every so often I notice a trend in genre posts.  This trend is an upward reflection in views.  The current interest on Set List is Blues.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd was a feature in May 2014.  One year later, he is a feature once more.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd was born on June 12, 1977 under the name Kenny Wayne Brobst in Shreveport, Louisiana.  His father's name is Ken Shepherd.

In June 1984, he met Stevie Ray Vaughan - Kenny's ultimate inspiration to play the guitar on a serious level.

At age 13, Kenny Wayne Shepherd - a self-taught guitarist - played with blues musician Bryan Lee.

A video performance at the Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport landed a deal with Giant Records.

In 1996, Kenny Wayne Shepherd collaborated with vocalist Noah Hunt for the "signature song" "Blue on Black."

As of 1995, Kenny Wayne Shepherd's career has launched in a profound way.

Trouble Is... holds the record for longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd's top studio albums include:

Ledbetter Heights - released on September 19, 1995 & U.S. Platinum certified

Trouble Is... - released on October 7, 1997 & U.S. Platinum certified

Live On - released on October 12, 1999 & U.S. Platinum certified

10 Days Out:  Blues from the Backroads is a documentary about Kenny Wayne Shepherd traveling through the U.S. to play with and interview blues musician idols, such as B.B. King.  This documentary was released on January 23, 2007, is U.S. Platinum certified, and received 2 Grammy nominations.

In 2008, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. released the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Series Stratocaster.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - known for Blues rock, Blues, Rock, Roots rock, and Hard rock - has received 5 Grammy Award nominations, 2 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Blues Music Awards, and 2 Orville H. Gibson Awards.

Source:  Wikipedia

Monday, May 18, 2015

Uptown Funk

Just so you know...

The "Uptown Funk" single is available on Amazon.



Set List - Blast from the Past

A blast from the past moment on Set List -

In 2011, I found intrigue in the impact commercial jingles have on music beyond advertisements.

My first post (July 2011) was "Power" by The Temptations as a backdrop to advertising Blackberry's Playbook.

Temptations - Power

My second post (March 2014) was "Fort Knox" by Goldfish as a backdrop to advertising the Kia Soul.  At this point, my love for any other musician/band took a back seat to this newly amazing and powerfully upbeat song that easily surpassed life long favorites.

Kia soul hamster song full:  Goldfish:  Fort Knox

My third post (April 2014) was "Happy" by Pharrell Williams as a backdrop to advertising the Fiat.  A feel good song if for the title alone.

Pharrell Williams - Happy (official lyrics)

And then the present day comes along - May 2015.  "Uptown Funk" is the backdrop to advertising Propel Fitness Water with electrolytes.  Words cannot describe how much I love this song - more than those above ("Fort Knox" is an exception).  The beat for me defines the song and is, if possible, addictive.

A commercial jingle blast from the past.

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Flamenco Sketches Legacy

I can think of no other jazz musician more profoundly influenced by Miles Davis than Chris Botti.  Although Miles Davis's "My Funny Valentine" was Chris Botti's ultimate inspiration to pursue the trumpet as a career (Wikipedia), the relaxed style created by Miles Davis resonates in Chris Botti's rendition of "Flamenco Sketches" as performed live from Boston in 2008.

In my opinion, Miles Davis and Chris Botti are unique.  I find that Miles Davis is peaceful in tone - a sense of soothing loss in sound.  On the other hand, I find that Chris Botti is emotional in tone - a sense of attachment to each note.  Yet when Chris portrayed "Flamenco Sketches," he captured the essence of Miles Davis - a powerful transition.

Let me throw you a curve ball.

Listen to Kind of Blue - Miles Davis.  Listen to Italia - Chris Botti.  What will you feel?  Will you notice a difference in musical mood?  I own both albums, so I will let you answer these questions.

Consider a purchase.





 

Flamenco Sketches


Miles Davis - 05 Flamenco Sketches (Kind Of Blue)


Friday, May 15, 2015

Miles Davis Series : Miles Davis Honors

"Miles Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in the history of music."

"...one of the key figures in the history of jazz..."

How can any honor follow such profound quotes of legacy?

1986 - Honorary Doctorate from the New England Conservatory - "extraordinary contributions to music"

1990 - St. Louis Walk of Fame

1990 - Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

1998 - Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

2006 - Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

...To name a few.  A full list can be found on Wikipedia.


Image result for images of miles davis
(Source:  Wikipedia)
 
Miles Davis
May 26, 1926 - September 28, 1991

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Miles Davis Series : A History of Kind of Blue


Image result for images of kind of blue album
(Source:  Wikipedia)


In the trending post, Miles Davis on Rainy Days, I promoted Kind of Blue.  In this post, I will focus on the history of the Kind of Blue album.

Kind of Blue was released on August 17, 1959.  The album featured Miles Davis's chosen sextet - Bill Evans (on piano), Jimmy Cobb (on drums), Paul Chambers (on bass), John Coltrane (on tenor sax), Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (on alto sax), and of course Miles.  Wynton Kelly briefly replaced Bill Evans when Evans left the sextet.  Kelly played only one song for the album - a blues style in the name of "Freddie Freeloader."  Bill Evans returned to the sextet as well as the production of Kind of Blue.

The production of Kind of Blue was rather unique.  Miles Davis provided only sketch frameworks for the members to work with and improvise.  This allowed for a fresh approach to each track.

A healthy amount of success and recognition followed the release of the Kind of Blue album -

In 1977, Kind of Blue landed #37 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Jazz Albums.

In 1987, Kind of Blue landed #10 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Top Jazz Albums.

In 2001, Kind of Blue landed #14 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Top Internet Albums.

In 2002, Kind of Blue was one of 50 albums chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

In 2003, Kind of Blue landed #12 status on the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums of all time.

In 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution to honor the album and "reaffirm jazz as a national treasure."

Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time -

United States - 4 million copies & Quadruple Platinum certification

Australia - 70,000 copies & Platinum certification

Belgium - 25,000 copies & Gold certification

Italy - 100,000 copies & Platinum certification

United Kingdom - 300,000 copies & Platinum certification

I imagine the greatest honor for Kind of Blue is its enormous influence on musicians not only in jazz, but in rock and classical genres as well.

(Source:  Wikipedia)

My musical interests encompass several genres, but jazz is a core.  For some time, I was intrigued by swing jazz.  I will always love smooth jazz.  However, classic jazz is my preferred selection.  Miles Davis defines classic jazz.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Miles Davis Series : A History of Miles Davis

Miles Davis on Rainy Days is a trending post on Set List.  I feel compelled to write a series about Miles Davis - a brief bio and the history of the iconic Kind of Blue.  In this post, I will write about the history of Miles Davis as a jazz trumpet musician.

Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26, 1926 in Alton, Illinois. 

In 1927, Miles and his family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois.

At the age of 13, Miles's father introduced him to the trumpet and arranged for lessons.  (Note of interest - The choice of trumpet may have been to spite Miles's mother, who despised the sound of the trumpet and actually played the piano.)

At the age of 16, Miles was a member of the music society in his high school and played professionally at the local Elks Club in East St. Louis.

At the age of 17, Miles was offered the chance to join the Tiny Bradshaw band.  However, his mother wanted her son to graduate from high school.  Miles graduated from East St. Louis Lincoln High School in 1944.

In 1944, Miles Davis had a brief opportunity to play with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the Billy Eckstine band in East St. Louis.  After this first opportunity, Miles moved to New York City to study at the Juilliard School of Music.  While in New York, Miles sought out Charlie Parker and held nightly jam sessions in Harlem nightclubs.  He was joined by Fats Navarro, Freddie Webster, J. J. Johnson (all future leaders of the bebop revolution), Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, and many others.

At this point, Miles dropped out of Juilliard, citing his main reason as "centering too much on the classical European and "white' repertoire."  However, he did admit his improving trumpet playing technique and valuable grounding in music theory.

In 1945, Miles experienced being in a recording studio for the first time, as part of Herbie Field's group.

In 1946, Miles recorded in a studio as leader for an occasional Miles Davis Sextet.  He was also a member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, where he was in the studio often and went on national tours.  Miles left in 1948 due to growing tension and confrontation with Charlie Parker.

In 1948, Miles Davis took on a nonet project that included himself, Max Rouch (on drums), Gerry Mulligan (on baritone sax), Bill Barber (on tuba), and Lee Konitz (on alto sax).  A critical member that lasted throughout the better part of Miles's career was Gil Evans - a Canadian composer and arranger.

The nonet project emphasized relaxed, melodic approach to improvisations.

The nonet project landed the members a Capitol Records contract offering recording from January 1949 to April 1950.  The resulting album, Birth of the Cool, released in 1956, honored the cool jazz movement.  The project was ultimately not a success commercially.  The cool jazz movement was only later appreciated by white musicians.

In the early to mid-1950s, Miles Davis went through personal severity.  In 1949, he went on a Paris tour and found himself in a relationship with French actress and singer, Juliette Greco.  On return to New York, he fell into a deep depression.

Top reasons for Miles's depression include his separation from Greco and feeling under-appreciated by critics.  Miles also suffered from a heroin addiction lasting four years.  In 1953, his drug addiction sorely impacted his playing.  Miles was also arrested for drug possession in Los Angeles while on tour.

In 1954, Miles returned to St. Louis to live with his father and, more specifically, lock himself in a room to go through withdrawal and finally end his addiction.

Miles went on to play in Midwestern towns where there was little to no drug activity.

In 1951, a Prestige Records contract was landed and the primary members for recording sessions were Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and Art Blakey.  During this time, Miles created his signature trumpet sound - a Harmon mute held close to the microphone, which allows space, melody, and relaxed tone.  This signature has impacted jazz trumpet players since.

A point of interest took place in 1955 - Miles had throat surgery and absolutely could not talk for ten days.  Miles got into an argument with someone while healing and yelled in anger.  This caused permanent damage to his vocal cords, causing the raspy voice well-known.

In 1955, Miles performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and received great praise by critics as the "return of Miles Davis."

At this time, Miles created his "first great quintet" - himself, John Coltrane (on tenor sax), Red Garland (on piano), Paul Chambers (on bass), and Philly Joe Jones (on drums).  Ironic note - Outside of Miles, no one else was known.

The "first great quintet" landed a Columbia Records contract with debut success in the name of 'Round About Midnight.

In 1956, Miles followed through with his remaining obligation to Prestige Records.  The ensuing albums include:

Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet*
*Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet is a feature promotion in the Miles Davis on Rainy Days post (refer to the link in the opening of this post).

Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet

Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet

Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet

All four albums had the "structure and feel of a live performance, with several first takes on each album."  (This is indeed true as I own the Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet album.  There is a sense of being in the recording studio with a few tracks incorporating background talk.)

The albums established the "first great quintet" as one of the best in jazz.  In 1957, however, the quintet split due to problems that Miles blamed the drug addiction of the other members.

In 1958, a sextet was formed - Miles Davis, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (on alto sax), John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland, and Paul Chambers.  Milestones as an album suggested a new direction in Miles's music.  The sextet was short-lived - Garland and Jones were fired & Bill Evans (on piano) and Jimmy Cobb (on drums) replaced the former two.  Ironic note - Bill Evans left only eight months into the sextet tour.

From 1957 to 1963, Miles Davis worked closely with Gil Evans.  Miles Ahead included jazz big band, classical music, and orchestral passages between tracks.  In 1958, Porgy and Bess was arranged from the work of George Gershwin.  In 1959 to 1960, Sketches of Spain was produced.

In 1964, the "second great quintet" was formed with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter (on sax), Herbie Hancock (on piano), Ron Carter (on bass), and Tony Williams (on drums).

In the 1960s, Miles was influenced by rock and funk.  He adapted to electric instruments for live and studio works.

In 1969, In a Silent Way was produced.  In 1976, Bitches Brew was produced and went Gold certified.  Both albums were the first fusion of jazz and rock in being commercially successful.

(Source:  Wikipedia)

A full list of Miles Davis albums can be found here:  Wikipedia.

Miles Davis held an honorable career over the course of 30+ years.  In a soon coming post to follow, I will list a few out of several honors received.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Duran Duran Series : Live from London DVD




If a live Duran Duran concert is not possible, The Duran Duran - Live From London DVD is an excellent alternative.  In fact, if you run your television at full volume, the energy of the audience will make you feel like you were there!

The DVD on the left is just a DVD.  The DVD on the right comes with a bonus CD featuring select songs from the concert.  Both DVDs have a follow-up documentary as a selection.  Just to let you know.

The set list from this Duran Duran - Live From London concert DVD is:

1)  (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
2)  Hungry Like The Wolf
3)  Something I Should Know
4)  Union of the Snake
5)  Come Undone
6)  A View to A Kill
7)  What Happens Tomorrow
8)  The Chauffer
9)  Planet Earth
10)  I Don't Want Your Love
11)  New Religion
12)  Ordinary World
13)  Night Boat
14)  Save A Prayer
15)  Notorious
16)  The Reflex
17)  Careless Memories
18)  Wild Boys
19)  Girls On Film
20)  Rio

Personal notes -

Hungry Like The Wolf - Look for Simon Le Bon and John Taylor getting up close with Roger Taylor.  The moment is supposed to be humorous.  However, in my mind, Roger looks like he wants to tell them he is trying to work.  Alas, with the original lineup back together, the moment is humorous.

Union of the Snake - The opening is electric, with the visual overlaying Andy Taylor's guitar.  Pretty cool.

Planet Earth - Stare at the lighting rig...Just stare.

I Don't Want Your Love - The opening is unbelievable.  For every moment Simon is silent, Roger prepares for his next blast on his drums, Nick steps back from his keyboards, and John and Andy help increase the already intense energy in the audience.  For every moment Simon is silent, the screams are deafening...exactly the way the band wants it.

Night Boat - In one singular second and off camera, Nick Rhodes taps the beat to the opening of "Save A Prayer."

There are overall camera shots of the guys chatting with each other as they played.

The experience just watching the DVD cannot be put into words.  If I had to, though, I would say flat out fun and addictive.  The Amazon DVD on the left is the copy I received as a Christmas present in 2007.  I was on my last winter break as a college undergraduate.  I literally - not kidding- watched the DVD every day, concert and documentary.

Either or both DVDs is a strong recommendation to all Duran Duran fans.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Duran Duran Series : Red Carpet Massacre Album


 
 
 
Red Carpet Massacre is Duran Duran's 12th studio album with release in the United States on November 13, 2007 & in Europe on November 19, 2007.
 
In the first week of release in the U.S., Red Carpet Massacre held #36 status on Billboard 200.  In week 2, the album dropped significantly to #116.  Red Carpet Massacre remained on Billboard 200 for only three consecutive weeks.
 
In the UK, Red Carpet Massacre held #44 status.  According to Wikipedia, this is the second poorest listing on the UK chart in Duran Duran history (after Pop Trash in 2000).
 
In previous Duran Duran series posts - such as Duran Duran Series : The Wedding Album and Duran Duran Series : Astronaut Album - there was strong attention to album success and special emphasis on released singles ranking high in music charts worldwide.  However, in my research on Red Carpet Massacre, I found a sense of musical politics...if that can be possible.
 
The original album was recorded from September 2005 to April 2006 and a summer tour was in preparation.  The release, though, was delayed when guitarist Andy Taylor left for reasons known only to the original lineup.  (Some details are listed in Wikipedia.)  Dominic Brown has since replaced Andy Taylor.
 
In September 2006, recording sessions began for Red Carpet Massacre.  Duran Duran worked with producer Timbaland and with Justin Timberlake for the songs "Nite-Runner" and "Falling Down."
 
In May 2008, my college graduation gift was seeing Duran Duran live in concert during their tour in 2008.  I did have a blast...Of course, the stage speakers and the speakers surrounding Roger Taylor's drums blasted my own eardrums.  I enjoyed singing along and catching as many glimpses of the band members as I could.  I remember the band wearing similar clothing, as though the night had a uniform dress code.  The performance was broken down into different styles - one being the members at their instruments and one where all four were at the front of the stage for an electric tone.  Colorful lights glittered and popped throughout.  I clearly remembered the exact set list for at least a week.
 
As much fun as I did have, the only down side was the loss of Andy Taylor.
 
Alas, this post is to promote Red Carpet Massacre - a good album despite its dramatic background.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Duran Duran Series : Astronaut Album


 
 

An epic moment for worldwide Duran Duran fans - the release of Astronaut on October 11, 2004.  Who is on the album cover?  Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor...The ultimate OMG fan response in Duran Duran history - the reunion of the original lineup.

A personal side note - I came across Duran Duran in 1993 when "Ordinary World" aired on the radio.  I was 10 years old at the time and wasn't aware of the meaning behind the lyrics, so I just loved the song.  I became an official life long fan of Duran Duran as of Astronaut when:

-  I heard "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise" on the radio...An addictive beat.

-  I saw the band perform on Good Morning America...A cold day in New York City, but the audience didn't seem to care (at least as appeared to be on television).

-  I no longer remember!  I just am!

According to Wikipedia, Astronaut was the first studio album since Pop Trash (2000) and first (and last) full album since Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983) to be recorded by the original members of Duran Duran.

In 2003, the band launched a world tour to prove a still strong "drawing power" and therefore impress the hesitant recording industry (considering Duran Duran to be "leftover fame" - Wikipedia).  The tour was a renowned success in Japan, America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

In 2005, the band launched a North American tour.  This tour was considered to be the "largest tour ever" for Duran Duran.  (Wikipedia)

On release, Astronaut landed #3 status on the UK Album Chart and #17 status in the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.  Astronaut was slated at #29 in Japan.

"(Reach Up For The) Sunrise" landed #5 status in the UK singles chart and #1 status on the Billboard Dance Chart.

"What Happens Tomorrow" landed #11 status in the UK.

Astronaut is Gold certified in the UK, with 100,000+ copies sold.  In the United States, roughly 260,000 copies have been sold as of 2008.  Worldwide, 1 million copies have been sold.

As an Amazon Associate, I am promoting Duran Duran's Astronaut album.  As a fan, I am strongly recommending Duran Duran's Astronaut album as a must to all fans of the original lineup.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Duran Duran Series : The Wedding Album


 
 
 
 
The Wedding Album, as Duran Duran's 7th studio album, is rather unique in my opinion as a fan.  Otherwise self-titled Duran Duran, The Wedding Album was released on February 11, 1993.  The release landed the album #4 in the UK Album Chart, Gold certified in the UK, and Platinum certified in the U.S.  In my research, however, the success of single songs stood out the most.
 
"Ordinary World" - #6 status on the UK Top 40...#3 status in the U.S.
 
"Come Undone" - #13 status on the UK Top 40...#7 status in the U.S.
 
"Too Much Information" - #35 status on the UK Top 40
 
The "Breath After Breath" single was only released in Brazil.
 
The "None of the Above" single was only released in Japan.
 
The "Femme Fatale" single was only released in France.
 
Note of interest - The lyrics to "To Whom It May Concern" were written by Nick Rhodes.
 
Note of intrigue - The album cover shows actual wedding photos from the parents of the band members.
 
So why would I find The Wedding Album to be unique?  I have several reasons.
 
1)  Duran Duran, as the first album in 1981, was a huge success with the "original lineup" (a reference by Nick Rhodes) - Simon Le Bon (vocals), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), Andy Taylor (guitar), John Taylor (bass), and Roger Taylor (drums).
 
2)  Duran Duran, as the 7th album in 1993, was a huge success with a lack in the original lineup.  The members involved in The Wedding Album were Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Warren Cuccurullo (acoustic and electric guitars).  (The parents of these members are on the cover.)
 
3)  "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film" are iconic classics by Duran Duran.  These songs are highlights on the first album, where the original members recorded.
 
4)  "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone" are iconic classics by Duran Duran.  These songs are highlights on the 7th album, where only three original members were involved.
 
I suppose frustration comes into play as a fan because there are so many albums and so many songs that I strongly love and that from time to time did not involve the key members defining Duran Duran.
 
Alas, for the purpose of this post, I am highlighting and promoting The Wedding Album.
 
 



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Duran Duran Series : Rio Album



In 1981, Duran Duran released their first album, Duran Duran.  "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film" are by far the most recognized and successful songs from the album.  "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film" are, of course, classics as well.

However Rio, as Duran Duran's second studio album, defines legendary iconic status for the band and their profound future.

Rio was released worldwide on May 10, 1982.  Rio was re-released in the United States in November 1982.  As of 1982, the success story of Rio is as follows -

- Gold status on March 1, 1983

- Platinum status on April 26, 1983*
*Note of interest - Roger Taylor's birthday is April 26, 1960.  (Roger Taylor being the drummer.)

- #2 status on UK Album Chart in 1982

- #6 status on U.S. Billboard 200 on March 12, 1983

- 2000 - #98 status from "100 Greatest British Albums" (Q Magazine)

- 2003 - #65 status from "100 Greatest Albums of All Time" (NME)

- 2004 - #1 status from "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982" (CMJ)



 
 
In 2008, Duran Duran released a documentary on the making of Rio.
 
Duran Duran - Classic Albums:  Rio  (DVD)