Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, holidays, Music

Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!—Celebrating my fave songs

To mark DDAD 2019, I decided to showcase ten of my favourite songs. One of the many reasons I’ve been a Duranie for almost eight and a half years is because of the wonderful lyrics. So many of their songs are like poetry.

1: “The Seventh Stranger,” last track on Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983). Where to start! Every line is like pure poetry. I’ve used the line “like splinters of ice” in my own writing, and titled a chapter “Trading in His Shelter for Danger.”

2: “Secret Oktober,” B-side of “Union of the Snake” (1983). It’s like an avant-garde, surrealistic poem. I really want to use some of the lines as part of chapter titles.

3: “My Antarctica,” sixth track on Liberty (1991). While Liberty is one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard (even worse than Extra Texture), this is one of two standout gems. So romantic! I titled one chapter “Heat Beneath His Winter.”

4: “Lonely in Your Nightmare,” third track on Rio (1982). It’s so beautiful and romantic. I have a chapter entitled “Lonely in Their Nightmares,” and called the first part of a book “Angry in His Nightmare.”

5: “Perfect Day,” third track on Thank You (1995), an album of covers. This was originally a Lou Reed song, and one of the album’s standouts. It reached #28 in the U.K. Lou said, “I think Duran Duran’s version of ‘Perfect Day’ is possibly the best rerecording of a song of mine. I’m not sure that I sang it as well as Simon sang it. I think he sings it better than I. If I could’ve sung it the way he did, I would’ve. It wasn’t from lack of trying.”

6: “To the Shore,” fourth track on their eponymous début (1981). More beautiful surrealistic poetry! It’s a shame this lovely song was left off the U.S. repackaging of their first album, replaced with the single “Is There Something I Should Know?”

7: “Out of My Mind,” fourth track on Medazzaland (1997). The video is so deliciously macabre, making the lyrics even better and taking them in such a wonderfully dark direction. It reached #21 in the U.K. and #14 in Italy.

8: “Beautiful Colours,” recorded 2005 but not officially released on an album or as a single. I love the line “Life isn’t standard-issue, it’s customised.” I’ve used riffs on that line a number of times in my writing.

9: “Palomino,” seventh track on Big Thing (1988). Absolutely gorgeous, lush poetry!

10: “Come Undone,” sixth track on The Wedding Album (1993). Officially, it’s their second eponymous album, but just about everyone calls it The Wedding Album because of the cover art with photos of the bandmembers’ parents’ weddings. The song reached #2 in Canada, #6 in Italy, #7 in the U.S., #9 in Ireland, #13 in the U.K., #16 in New Zealand, #19 in Finland and Australia, and #42 in Belgium and Germany.

This was the song that flipped the switch and made me a Duranie on Valentine’s Day 2011. Someone named it as one of their most romantic songs, and I looked up the video and ended up watching it over and over. This song made me come undone!

Author:

I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

One thought on “Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!—Celebrating my fave songs

  1. THE SEVENTH STRANGER:

    Trading his shelter for danger – so many times so many of us do that.

    Have just read Vivian’s piece about how she negotiates her ethnic, queer and personal identity – it is in GROWING UP QUEER IN AUSTRALIA.

    Vivian Quynh Pham – why I stopped coming out to my Mum

    “The eyes of a stranger”.

    Very intelligent and honest lyrics coming up in the third verse.

    “As the sun goes down – the eyes of a single”.

    MY ANTARCTICA

    I don’t know if I can explain what Antarctica meant to researchers and geophysicists in the 1980s and 1990s. It was a real touchstone of environmental protection and a legacy. This instrumental tries in music. And that opening clip. And the lyrics are so clear and reflective and transparent.

    The Antarctic Treaty broke through so so much.

    I am aware, too, that a love/romantic relationship goes through Antarcticas. A parent/child or indeed any intimate pair of strangers. Sometimes there are Arctic breezes through relationships.

    And when the bouquet is tossed – what a moment?!?!?!

    “Two hearts beating”.

    Have a feeling my musical uncle would have appreciated it so much. He was into prog-rock and into Antarctic adventures in 1996.

    And if you only listened to those two and thought – “hmmm, Liberty might just be all right” – well apart from all the other Duran Duran albums and what else was around in 1991 and that musical landscape.

    A very New Age feeling.

    TO THE SHORE

    The beginning has a Mad Max Thunderdome feeling – a big journey with a crackling fire and not too much comfort behind or in front of us. The lyrics remind me of mid-1980s synthpop especially Australian band The Expression. And the rising makes the haunting, I believe.

    “The trees listening on the water”.

    “Flowers in the shattering days”.

    Something about a disease.

    Dying at the door on the shore.

    I’m glad the YouTuber didn’t have a picture or a video. It helps a lot with sonic imagination and freewheeling [maybe Dylan style maybe something else – prepared to be open and to be opened].

    Just the a capella on 3:21 onward to the end and we hear lots of waves and bird song – or at least imputed.

    PALOMINO

    Thinking of James Reyne and Horses – rather D. Braithwaite.

    The big voice – “Watching the strangers drift away” – Duran Duran were really into strangers, weren’t they?

    “Voices gather on the wind talking chanting breathing” – YES! This is the first clear evidence of poetry.

    And there is some heavenly and magic instrumentation. Oh the backbeat.

    The person in the song is quite a thoroughbred, aren’t they?

    And the picture was very Miley Cyrus-like.

    “The secrets” verse – seem to be chorus.

    “Heaven gets to the heart” – “and you wonder why”.

    “Now I can come to you”.

    Again that instrumentation and orchestration! I hear synth in the background.

    “If there are secrets she has to be party to – every one of them
    If there’s heaven she gets to the heart
    and you know just
    why she’s there” [not sure of the line break].

    Running and running through! And the clip is so brilliant there – just the feel of the shore again and the Duran Duran band.

    And this is clearly a running towards rather than a running away or even running away together. Approach/avoidance.

    Liked by 1 person

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