Monday, February 25, 2019


Here's the thing...

I am not one for classical music, country music, and rap music. 

However!  I am one for movie soundtracks - such as CharadeMidnight In the Garden of Good & Evil, A Beautiful Mind, and Blue Streak to name a few.

Charade was orchestrated by composer Henry Mancini. 

Midnight In the Garden of Good & Evil was comprised of a compilation of artists, including a select few who were in the film.

A Beautiful Mind was pure orchestral to accent crucial scenes in the film.

And then there is Blue Streak - rap in nature.  Unexpected, right?

Here's the other thing...

There is only one song from the entire Blue Streak soundtrack that I really do like and downloaded on iTunes.  Other than that, rap music is still a pass.

"Criminal Mind" opens the film's credentials.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Set List Sunday Favorite

This edition of Set List Sunday Favorite is rather unique as there is a three-way tie for top post favorite -

Smooth Jazz Collection - The Rippingtons
Note - This post has an Amazon affiliate link.  Due disclosure is stated.

Smooth Jazz Collection - Mixed Artists
Note - This post has an Amazon affiliate link.  Due disclosure is stated.

Midnight Sun
This post features "Midnight Sun" on YouTube.

There is a profound difference between the smooth jazz collections and Duran Duran's "Midnight Sun" recording.  The passion and strong intrigue behind all three, however, is evident.

And so this unique Set List Sunday Favorite will say the rest of it.  Follow the links above.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Weekend In Monaco

In the post, Smooth Jazz Collection - The Rippingtons, I wrote about my newly discovered interest in smooth jazz through the album, Weekend in Monaco, by The Rippingtons.

From a revolving door of musicians comprising The Rippingtons and Russ Freeman as the core to chart success to the Weekend in Monaco track list, I do not feel words are enough.
And so in this post, I am featuring the full album as brought to you by YouTube.  I hope you will enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Fave - Duran Duran Pop Quiz

In this edition of Friday Fave, I am highlighting Duran Duran Pop Quiz as the most popular post based on my stats.

In short, John Taylor and Simon Le Bon are put to the test in just how well they know about each other.  Their responses are priceless.

And so the post will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Last Day on Earth

"Last Day on Earth" is a track from the Duran Duran album, Pop Trash.

Released in June 2000, the fate of Pop Trash did not survive.  The CD version discontinued in 2001.  When Duran Duran's contract with EMI dissolved (after signing with the label in 1981), they turned to Hollywood Records for Pop Trash.  With poor sales, Hollywood Records terminated their contract with the band.  As of 2008, Pop Trash (and Medazzaland) is available on iTunes in the U.S. and Europe.

(Source - Wikipedia)

The 12th and final track on Pop Trash is "Last Day on Earth."  My love for "Planet Earth" leaves me wondering about "Last Day on Earth."

Psychedelic.  Heavy metal.  Loud.  Simon Le Bon's vocals are lost in the instrumental.  Unrecognizable to Duran Duran's iconic sound.  Ironically, the next album Duran Duran would record is Astronaut - original lineup personnel and any Duran Duran fan would know where that leads.
In my opinion alone, I can see why Pop Trash failed.  Of course, Astronaut would skyrocket Duran Duran's fate in the 21st Century.  The guys were back.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Midnight Sun

In October 1997, Duran Duran released Medazzaland.

Medazzaland, as the band's ninth album, never seemed to stand a chance - dissolution of the band's contract with EMI that may have reflected the lack of reception, poor sales, John Taylor's departure in mid-recording, and a few rather depressing song themes aimed primarily at the suicidal deaths of Kurt Cobain and Michael Hutchence (INXS) as well as a song devoted to John Taylor's absence.

As for the album cover, I personally find the images rather creepy.

On the other hand, I give due credit to Medazzaland for two favorite songs - "Electric Barbarella" and "Midnight Sun."  Without Medazzaland, "Electric Barbarella" would not be a feature on Duran Duran's Greatest Hits album.

"Midnight Sun" is the focus of this post, however.  The literal contradiction of midnight and sun is lost in beautifully sentimental lyrics.

My take away from Medazzaland -

Every band has successes and failures.  Iconic musicians are not immune from flaws.  However, they learn from what went wrong to move forward with gained knowledge and how to adapt for success once more.

In conclusion, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post with your thoughts and opinions about Medazzaland.

(Source - Wikipedia)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Smooth Jazz Collection - Mixed Artists

A number of years ago, I came across a unique smooth jazz album - Smooth Jazz Rainy Day Moods

Image result for smooth jazz for a rainy day album cover image

The cover photo is not entirely attractive but does get the point across - comforting smooth jazz on a rainy day.
Although Smooth Jazz Rainy Day Moods is comprised of a compilation of musicians, the tone seamlessly matches throughout in defining the theme of the album.
On a rainy day in warm summer weather, cool down with Smooth Jazz Rainy Day Moods.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Smooth Jazz Collection - The Rippingtons

My interest in smooth jazz began when my father introduced me to The Rippingtons and specifically the album, Weekend in Monaco.

The Rippingtons are an American contemporary jazz group with main relation to smooth jazz, as well as jazz fusion, jazz pop, and crossover jazz.
Russ Freeman is a guitarist and core to The Rippingtons, which has gone in and out of members since forming in 1985 but nonetheless holds strong to the present day.
(Further details about the history of The Rippingtons can be found on Wikipedia.)
As of 1986, The Rippingtons have recorded 19 being Weekend in Monaco.
Weekend in Monaco was released in August 1992 and reached #2 on Billboard's contemporary Jazz Chart.
The track list -
Weekend in Monaco
St. Tropez
Indian Summer
A Place for Lovers
Moka Java
Where the Road Will Lead Us
Every song on the album is unique in tone and rhythm.  However, there is a sense of increasing beat until the last track.  "Where the Road Will Lead Us" is calm, soothing, and opens with sounds of ocean waves lapping onto the shore line.
Weekend in Monaco truly is quintessential smooth jazz and worth considering listening to should you find interest in this genre.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Set List Sunday Favorite

In this edition of Sunday Favorite, this week's top post is To Be or Not To Be Valentine.

As you can tell, To Be or Not To Be Valentine was written in response to Valentine's Day - the most romantic or the loneliest holiday.

And so I featured "Owner Of a Lonely Heart" by Yes for those spending the day alone.

The song title is rather depressing, but the rhythm is catchy.

To Be or Not To Be Valentine will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Happy Birthday, Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor has long been a topic of difficulty for Duran Duran.  He claimed visa issues when attempting to enter the United States to help record Red Carpet Massacre.  When his father passed away, he could not cope and the band saw him spiral down into a depression.  Andy has since left the band and any form of contact is unknown to anyone.

Andy Taylor is an amazing and talented guitarist with true honor.

And so on this day I honor Andy Taylor's 58th birthday.

Wherever you may be, Andy, this post is dedicated to you.

Best wishes on your most Happy Birthday!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Fave - RPM

In this edition of Friday Fave, I am highlighting RPM as the most popular post based on my stats.

In short, RPM reflected on the success of jazz saxophonist, Boney James, and a noted favorite from his album, Ride - "RPM."

In the post, I featured "RPM" on YouTube.

And so RPM as a post will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Will You Be My Valenine?

Dear readers and passersby,

Happy Valentine's Day

May today be as special as sweethearts already in love.

If you are alone on this romantic day, indulge in a special dinner and dessert. 

On Set List, I am celebrating the holiday with sample songs that define the meaning of Valentine's Day.  I hope only that you enjoy!

Journey - Send Her My Love (Audio)

Sting - Ghost Story

Tony Bennett - The Way You Look Tonight

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

To Be or Not To Be Valentine

For those without a Valentine tomorrow, I know the feeling.  Another lonely heart on a day filled with romantic love and adored attention.  "I feel blue."

"Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes is not a pick-me-up by title, but the rhythm is.  And so today, on the eve of Valentine's Day, I thought I would share a song that speaks to those that will be on their own on Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Cosmic Monkey

Paul Brown is an American jazz guitarist with an impressive background best found on his website - Paul Brown Jazz.

I came across Paul Brown not through a personally owned album but through iTunes.  On iTunes, I found a passion for "Cosmic Monkey" off of The City.

In this smooth jazz favorite post, listen and enjoy.

Monday, February 11, 2019


Boney James is an American jazz saxophonist.  His career has come with profound success -

Four time Grammy Award nominee for Best Pop Instrumental Album (2001, 2004, 2014) and Best Traditional R&B Performance (2009)

Soul Train Award winner for Best Jazz Album (1998)

Two NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Jazz Album

Four RIAA Certified Gold Records

Named within Top 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade - Billboard magazine 2009

The Boston Globe once stated that Boney James should not be considered a smooth jazz artist because his music is "muscular and gritty."

(Source - Wikipedia)

As of 2017, Boney James has recorded 16 albums...

...Two of which I own - Body Language and Ride.

Where Chris Botti is emotionally driven (my opinion), Boney James taps into a listener's senses in his performance (my opinion).  I can see his recordings to be muscular as the Boston Globe believes, but I also feel that Boney James' work is sensual and enticing to leave a listener wanting more.

"RPM" is a track from the album, Ride.  If you love contemporary jazz, Boney James is worth considering and I will say that "RPM" is addictive.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sert List Sunday Favorite

In this edition of Sunday Favorite, this week's top post - as chosen by you - is Music Lesson by Roger Taylor.

In short, Roger describes and tests his latest electronic drum kit with admission for his interest in electronics.

Music Lesson by Roger Taylor includes a brief YouTube video.

The video, then, will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


In this edition of Saturday Music Pick, I am choosing to feature "Rio."

The Rio album launched profound success for Duran Duran...from the album tracks to the coveted music video to live performance.

Rio was the focal point of a Duran Duran documentary. 

And so "Rio" as today's music pick just makes sense.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday Fave - Rio Documentary

In this first edition of Friday Fave, I am highlighting a popular post based on my stats.

Today's popular post is Duran Duran Documentary - Rio.

In short, the post covered the Rio album success and iconic songs.  The ultimate feature was the Classic Albums Rio DVD as brought to you by Amazon.

And so the Duran Duran Documentary - Rio will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Duran Duran Pop Quiz

The story of Duran Duran began with two lifelong friends - Nick Rhodes and John Taylor.  Both had a strong interest in music and in fact had favorite musicians as inspiration.  And then came Roger Taylor - from "playing" on pots and pans as a child to sitting at a drum kit.  And then Andy Taylor - who may not have been because there were already two Taylors...until he auditioned.  And finally Simon Le Bon - can he sing was the ultimate hope.  He of course could and even brought along lyrics he was testing for songs now iconic to Duran Duran.

The guys, if you will, know each other pretty well by now.  Fans know them well by now too.

Question, though - As of 1981, does Duran Duran still know each other?

Enter the video below.  The topic - How well do John Taylor and Simon Le Bon know about each. 

This should be interesting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Couture Instrumental by Nick Rhodes

In the Music Lesson by Roger Taylor post, Roger experimented with electronic drums by Roland.  He was impressed and eager to work with the different settings.

Roger, however, is not the only one fascinated by the Roland maker.  Nick Rhodes utilizes Roland for his synthesizers.

In this post, Roland is not the topic of conversation.  A couture instrumental as revealed by Nick Rhodes is the feature.

Nick's namesake instrumental is not couture...although his forever evolving synth could be.

The couture instrumental is a guitar custom designed by Nick Rhodes.  The video below showcases Nick's intriguing project as well as other couture designs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Music Lesson by Roger Taylor

I always imagine the drums being the most simple instrument to play.  Sit at the kit and tap away. 

Now, I do know there are differences in drum kits - one for rock music, one for jazz music, and electronic drums.  I am guessing the electronic drums are for rock music, but again just a guess.

In regards to rock music, I tend to wonder if drummers use one type of kit when recording and another type of kit in live performances.

Since there is so much to learn, I thought the best resource would be Roger Taylor of Duran Duran.

When Nick Rhodes introduced the concept of electronics to Duran Duran music, a unique style was formed and allowed the band to offer a distinct sound.  If you watch the Live from London DVD, you will see closeup shots of Nick not only playing his keyboards but also his synthesizers.  Ironically, Nick is quite partial to Roland as well.  In this post, I was surprised to learn that Roger has taken to electronics in music.
I  think Duran Duran evolves with every new generation.  Roger Taylor is an example.
An intriguing music lesson!  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Set List Sunday Favorite

In this edition of Set List Sunday Favorite, All American is the top favorite this week.

In short, All American highlights Journey - born and raised American musicians forming Journey in San Francisco, California in 1973.

My noted favorite is "Lights" as discovered on Journey's Greatest Hits album.

All American will say the rest of it.  Follow the link above.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Duran Duran Documentary - Rio

Duran Duran was the band's debut album released in 1981. 

"Girls on Film"

"Planet Earth"

"Careless Memories"

"Night Boat"

Rio, on the other hand, set the stage for profound success on a global level.  Consider the reception -

No. 2 in the UK
No. 1 in Australia and Canada
Gold disc in 1983
Certified Platinum on April 26, 1983 (Roger Taylor's birthday)
Double Platinum status
No. 6 on Billboard 200 in the U.S.
Remained on Billboard 200 for 129 weeks

Iconic songs on Rio -


"Hungry Like the Wolf"

"New Religion"

"Save a Prayer"

"The Chauffer"

Astronaut brought the original lineup back together.  With this being a huge deal for the band and fans, there was a follow up documentary.

Rio launched permanent success for the band and massively growing fan base.  With Rio being a huge deal for the band, there was a documentary filmed in 2008 as a look back at the recording process as well as select studio performances.  The Duran Duran - Classic Albums: RIO DVD truly is fascinating and a must addition to any lifelong Duran Duran fan's collection.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Duran Duran Documentary - Astronaut

Astronaut in CD format is first in my Duran Duran collection.

"Reach Up For the Sunrise"

"What Happens Tomorrow"

The Live from London DVD has a bonus documentary option following the concert.  The theme is the original lineup coming together after so many years apart and bringing on the intense excitement fueled by the audience.  The theme also includes the revival of recording and the frustrating process.  Nonetheless, all were hopeful that the original lineup would be back permanently.

I was greatly intrigued by the documentary and even more so when I discovered the Astronaut documentary.  The tone behind the Astronaut documentary was lighthearted and truly hopeful that the original lineup would be back permanently.

The Astronaut documentary can also be found on YouTube -