Monthly Archives: February 2013
I am not a person to sit and watch awards shows. However, I was interested in the 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond films on the Oscars tonight. From my understanding, it was supposed to be a musical tribute, and to my understanding, that should include a mix of all of the Bond themes. Right?? Well, The Academy blew it. Big time.
There are two other things associated with James Bond movies; the first are the beautiful and sexy Bond girls that have tempted and seduced 007, and the second are the accompanying movie themes. It all started with the great Shirley Bassey singing the theme for Goldfinger in 1965, the third movie in the series but the first to incorporate a vocal theme instead of strictly instrumental. Bassey came back to sing the title tracks to Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever. I love Shirley Bassey, and I enjoyed watching the videos of her performance tonight.
Bassey was the first of many, many great performers to join the elite group of those that can list having James Bond movie theme on their resume. This collection of all-stars includes Carly Simon, Paul McCartney, Nancy Sinatra, Rita Coolidge, Madonna, Tina Turner, Sheena Easton, Moby, Alicia Keys and Jack White, and most recently Adele, just to name a few. Now there is yet another tier to this elite group of musicians to which only one name is on the membership roll. Why? Only one theme has ever reached #1 on the Billboard Music Charts in the United States. No, Paul McCartney and Carly Simon only got as far as the #2 spot. Adele is at #8 currently. Duran Duran sang the title track to A View to a Kill in 1985 and it went to #1. That’s something to be proud of! They not only got the chance to do a Bond theme, but they took it to where no one has yet to take it…past or present. Okay, A View to a Kill was not the most memorable of the Bond movies, however Grace Jones was outstanding as May Day, villan Zorin’s bodyguard (played by Christopher Walken). And it had a great chase scene between Bond (Roger Moore) and May Day on the Eiffel Tower. Duran Duran used the same landmark to make Bond their video for their #1 theme, which is one of my favorites!
So this was supposed to be a big musical tribute to 50 years of James Bond. Where was the collection of memorable Bond themes? They stand out in the music world. They are instantly recognizable. So why weren’t they given their due? And Duran Duran could’ve shown the world why they have the distinctive honor of having the only #1 James Bond ever. With all of the amazing possibilities that the Academy could have done with this tribute, they bombed. Two thumbs down!!
Watch Duran Duran’s awesome video with “Bon. Simon Le Bon,” Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor:
Twenty years ago, Duran Duran put out an album (CD…sorry!) entitled Duran Duran. It was their second self-titled album but quickly became known as, affectionately, The Wedding Album. It was an idea of Nick Rhodes, keyboardist and co-founder, to have the members’ parents wedding photos on the cover, hence where the adopted titled came.
This album put Duran Duran back on the charts with two outstanding songs that are still favorites today of not just the fans but of the music world in general; “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone.” I can listen to the album from beginning to end and still, to this day, love every single song for one reason or another. On this anniversary, those involved with the album (members and non-members) spoke about The Wedding Album and recalled their memories of making it on duranduran.com, the official Duran Duran public website.
I’ll never forget when the album came out because of my now ex-husband. He was out shopping while I was home with our son. He came bounding into the apartment all excited. “I’ve got to find out who does this great new song I just heard!!” “Oh yeah? What’s it called?” I asked. “’Ordinary World’.” I burst into laughter. “It’s Duran Duran.” I told him, smiling. “No way! Really?” He was in disbelief. It was then he became a fan of Duran outside of their 80s hits from Rio. He was just as much in love with “Come Undone” when it was released. That album ushered in a new generation, per say, of fans.
I’ve said many times that “Ordinary World” became my theme song in later years, as it has to many fans. Whether the song represents a country at war or a personal conflict, it has stood the test of time and has become one of the most popular songs of Duran Duran to be covered. I’ve heard versions from Red to Paul Anka, and it was even sung as a duet by Simon Le Bon and Luciano Pavorotti in both English and Italian during a live charity performance. When a song is covered so much, that really says something about the song.
So this is my simple message:
Happy Anniversary, The Wedding Album!
With much love and gratitude,
This Devoted Duranie
P.S. For those that read the reflections from the link above, you can see, for the first time ever, those photo booth photo strips that the band did:
Simon Le Bon
Nick Rhodes & Simon Le Bon