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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Roger Taylor's Birthday Eve

Roger Andrew Taylor

April 26, 1960

Birmingham, England

Facts -

Began playing the drums at age 12 ... Self-taught by playing along to favorite records

In younger years, Roger wanted to be the goalkeeper for the English football club, Aston Villa.

Musical inspirations early on - Paul Thompson (Roxy Music), Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones), Tony Thompson (Chic)

Joined Duran Duran in 1979 - "Fab Five"

Known as "the quiet one" and prefers to speak through his drums

Duran Duran - 1980 to 1985 -

Drums on first three studio albums
Duran Duran, Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger

Drums on live album

Final performance with the original line-up was in July 1985 - Live Aid Benefit concert (Philadelphia)

Interim - Roger, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, and John Taylor all received two Grammy awards

Side note - So Red The Rose album for Arcadia project in 1985 with Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes

Reason for leaving - Intense schedule of recording and touring, pressures of fame, no longer happy

Official departure announced by the remaining members of Duran Duran in 1986

Duran Duran - 1994 & 2001-Present -

2001 reunion

Sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena and Madison Square Garden

Sign on with Epic Records in New York

"Reach Up For the Sunrise" & Astronaut ... Worldwide tour over two years

Side note - As of 2003, Roger is an established DJ in the House and Hip-hop genres.

All You Need Is Now - 2010

Paper Gods - 2015

Source - Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Two for Two Tuesday - Edition 2 (Part 2)

2010 Reminisce

I love the song "All You Need Is Now" and doing my part, as a fan, to promote the indeed 13th album on Set List.  Yet for unknown reasons even to me, I was not 100% sold on the album in full.  2010 was a busy year for me and I suppose I never gave the album a chance to just listen.

In this post, I will listen through the written word.  (Wikipedia is my source.)

Interesting facts -

AYNIN was not issued by a major label, but instead by the band's own label, Tape Modem (UK based)

Initial December 2010 release - No. 119 on Billboard 200 ... 15,000 copies sold
Full March 2011 release - No. 29 ... 76,000 copies sold in U.S. as of August 2015

Critics -

"It's the best album Duran Duran has released since Rio." - PopMatters (9 out of 10)

"Duran's Mark Ronson-produced 13th disc is a return to roots for a band that's all implants - which is part of the album's charm." - Rolling Stone (3.5 out of 5)

(Praise from The Boston Globe ... High praise from Mojo with 4 out of 5 rank meaning "brilliant")

Singles facts -

"All You Need Is Now" - Initially released on iTunes as a free download ... Not eligible to rank on sales charts BUT reached No. 38 on Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart

"Girl Panic!" - The music video featured models Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, and Yasmin Le Bon portraying Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and Dominic Brown.  (Me - I found the music video to be rather intriguing and creative, but I personally did not like the song.)

A fun trip down memory lane.

Two for Two Tuesday - Edition 2 (Part 1)

2010 Reminisce

I will always remember Duran Duran publicity giving a shout out to fans to help advertise the release of All You Need Is Now via special code to place prominently on blogs or other websites.  I will always remember following in suit by placing a leaderboard-sized banner just below the Set List title.  I was so excited to help announce the new album on my new blog.  A happy time to reminisce.

I recently came across a YouTube video of Roger Taylor giving an update on the album recording.  A special way to reminisce.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Birthday Season - Royal Boy

This post may be a hit or miss, but I thought I would write out "Happy Birthday" to the new precious royal born in the morning hours of April 23rd.

As the song goes -

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear (not named yet).
Happy Birthday to you.

Congratulations to Prince William and Princess Catherine...Will and Kate.

Birthday Season - Comic Relief

Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld

April 29, 1954

Full history - Wikipedia

Television -

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Books -

Seinlanguage (1993)
Halloween (2002 - Children's Book)

Honor -

2005 - Comedy Central named Jerry Seinfeld the "12th Greatest Stand-up Comedian of All Time" (Wikipedia)

As you can tell, Jerry Seinfeld is by far one of my most favorite comedians.  With this said, Comic Relief does have a tie into music.  I researched popular music in the 1950s, honoring the decade Jerry Seinfeld was born in.  The results are astounding.

(The list below highlights music in the U.S. in the 1950s.  A further detail and global history can be found on Wikipedia.)

Rock and Roll
(Electric guitar as developed and popularized by Les Paul)
(American Bandstand)
Classic Pop
Country Music
Folk Music

Birthday Season - Musical Note

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington

April 29, 1899 - May 24, 1974

Composer, pianist, and bandleader - led from 1923 until death

Piano lessons by age seven..."missed more lessons than he attended"...felt that the piano was not his talent

Full history - Wikipedia

Honors -

1969 - Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Nixon

1999 - posthumously awarded a special Pulitzer Prize..."commemorating the centennial year of his birth, in recognition of his musical genius..." (Wikipedia source)

Duke Ellington's Steinway piano is displayed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History collection.

My take -
Duke Ellington defined big band music.  The 21st Century would be remiss if not to acknowledge his prof0und impact on the musical arts in the 20th Century and beyond.  Jazz gave a beat to the music we know now.  Duke Ellington was very much a part of that cause.

In this birthday season, an early Happy Birthday to Duke Ellington.