Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Greatest – Duran Duran [#550]

Greatest - Duran DuranThe problem with releasing your “best of” when you’re still an active band is, you might still be an active band in another 20 years. Such is the case with eighties popper, Duran Duran. Thing is, they’re still chucking out the odd song still.

I wrote about the other Duran Duran Greatest Hits/Best of compilation, Decade  in July last year. Greatest is the addendum to that. Effectively, this is all the songs from the 1998 compilation with the 5 hit songs that followed.

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Donnie Darko – OST [#384]

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 14.28.54I missed Donnie Darko on the cinema. First time I knew of its existence was when I saw it on the shelf in the Rialto News video library on Upper Parliament Street looking unloved.

Watching the film had me transfixed in a way a film hadn’t had me transfixed since Lost Highway. Here was a film that was so intricate that one viewing would not suffice. Several viewings would be needed and so, as it should be, I nipped into HMV and treated myself to a copy of the film on DVD. I went round telling people that this film was one they should watch and digest, a suggestion that was met with the usual dismissive shrug.

Since then, the film had an almost viral spread. Months would pass and the people I suggested the film to would say to me “Hey, have you ever seen Donnie Darko?” excited by the prospect that they may have seen something enlightening that would appeal to me before me. Then people started talking about it in the mainstream press, on the mainstream television, even a song from the soundtrack, the Michael Andrews version of Tears for Fears’ Mad World reached number 1 in the UK.

The film, previously a slightly unknown cult movie, was rereleased to capitalise on its growing success with a Director’s cut. Unfortunately, the directors cut didn’t add anything to the original apart from time. In fact it watered the content down if anything. Made it easier to digest and over explained bits that didn’t need explaining. Then there was the sequel,  S.Darko but we don’t talk about that. In fact, let’s not even admit to it existing…

Still, like all good capitalists the owners of the film rights released an extended version of the soundtrack too and today’s album is that very same. The soundtrack features a number of popular contemporary songs from the time in which the film is set interwoven with nice hauntological piano led intermissions. The original soundtrack release featured less of the plinky plonky and focussed more on the atmospherics and contemporary sounds than this version. Still good though.


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Decade – Duran Duran [#352]

Duran_Duran-Decade–Greatest_HitsThe problem with being a successful band is that no sooner have you released a “Best of” compilation, you run the risk of releasing other hit records that fans feel cheated out of until your next “Best of” compilation.

Decade is Duran Duran’s “Best of” compilation from the CD rush of the early nineties and features all their fabulous songs: Girls on Film, Rio, View to a Kill etc. I managed to get this album from a bargain “5 for £30” offer at the Virgin Megastore in Liverpool, which, when you think of the price of music today, was a bit of a bargain. You don’t tend to see iTunes selling selections of albums in “x for £x” offers. Nor do you see Amazon doing the same with their physical and digital sections.

Still, who pays for music these days?

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Club for Heroes – Various Artists [#283]

R-354603-1236507814Club for Heroes – Various Artists

Back in the early nineties, CD’s started to rise to prominence and with them came an increase in compilations. This is possibly the first compilation I bought rather than made myself using recordings from vinyl or cassette.

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Album #98: Astronaut – Duran Duran

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 14.52.50Astronaut – Duran Duran

Like a bad penny, Duran Duran resurface from the depths of music history every so often with a couple of good tunes slapped on an album.

Perhaps if I was Simon Le Bon, I would also realise that occasionally you need that little bit of extra cash for things like extensions, new cars or helicopter landing pad and getting together with your mates to chuck out an album now and then will get you that little bit of extra cash.

And good for him. I’m pleased for him. He’s good at what he does, old Mr Le Bon, and every time they’ve resurfaced they’ve brought with them tunes that say “DURAN DURAN” and introduced themselves to whole new audiences.

See. That is how you market and promote your music. Either give all your stuff away (Radiohead/Amanda Palmer) then start charging as you become more and more popular. Or strut about on the stage for a few years, go off radar living on royalties for a bit before resurfacing and capturing a whole new audience a la Duran Duran, Yes or even U2.

Astronaut contains typical Duran Duran fayre to introduce a new generation to their style. Whether it worked I have no idea. It’s certainly catchy but (Reach Up For The) Sunrise is the only hit from it.


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