Monday, June 27, 2016

Beth’s Music Moment: Only After Dark

As some of you may know, I am fairly plugged into all things Duran Duran.

What? Stop laughing!

Okay, yes. I’ll cop to being a wee bit obsessed. I’m always on the lookout for fun stuff. A recent favorite was a couple of John Taylor luggage tags from Etsy. I also have a couple of colored vinyl discs on the way. Who doesn’t love colored vinyl??

I came across this cool compilation CD and thought it looked fun. Boy, is it ever! A little background. Duran Duran got their start at a club called the Rum Runner in Birmingham, England (their hometown). They would practice and play gigs there, but they also did odd jobs around the joint. John worked the door, Andy worked as a cook, and Roger worked as a busboy of sorts, collecting the bottles and glasses from patrons’ tables. Nick? He worked as a DJ.

In 2006, Nick and John curated this CD and chose the songs for it. In the liner notes, Nick writes that 1978-80 was a fascinating time in the music scene. Punk was on its way out, but at the Rum Runner, punk, glam, and electronica flourished in a strange and glorious mix. Nick played all these songs and more. Check out this playlist!

  1. Being Boiled (Fast Version) - Human League
  2. Computer Game (Theme From The Invader)/Firecracker - Yellow Magic Orchestra
  3. Always Crashing in the Same Car - David Bowie
  4. Sister Europe (Album Version) - Psychedelic Furs
  5. Changeling - Simple Minds
  6. Only After Dark - Mick Ronson
  7. Underpass - John Foxx
  8. Warm Leatherette - The Normal
  9. ‘In’ Crowd - Bryan Ferry
  10. The True Wheel - Brian Eno
  11. Are ‘Friends’ Electric? - The Tubeway Army
  12. The Robots (Single Edit) - Kraftwerk
  13. I Feel Love - Donna Summer
  14. I Am The Fly - Wire
  15. Shot By Both Sides - Magazine
  16. Private Life - Grace Jones
  17. The Passenger - Iggy Pop
  18. Slow Motion - Ultravox  

This is an absolutely amazing collection. I knew most of the songs, of course, but a few were unfamiliar to me. (If you’re unfamiliar with some of them, I encourage you to look them up.) What is cool to me is that it is a set that perfectly flows together and captures a mood. It made me want to put on some leopard print stuff and transport back in time to hang out at the Rum Runner! It’s hard to convey that feeling of being out in a club in the ‘70s or ‘80s and the odd amalgam of music styles. Nick and John’s song choices are perfect. Whether it’s the electronica of Human League and Kraftwerk, the glam of Bowie and Bryan Ferry, the strangely compelling creepiness of “Warm Leatherette,” the punk of Wire and Magazine, or the straight-up disco of “I Feel Love,” it all works. I would have danced all night to this stuff.

I’ve always prided myself on being able to put together good party soundtracks. (Pro tip: if you want to get people to dance, put some Prince in the mix!) But I bow before the mastery of Nick Rhodes and John Taylor in curating Only After Dark. It also illustrates their influences and how they developed their sound. Put all these songs in the cocktail shaker, shake it up, and pour out Duran Duran (on the rocks, please).

Nick and John, if you ever want to DJ my party, you’re hired!

Here. Enjoy some “Warm Leatherette.” Join the car crash set.

1 comment:

  1. ... I will have to see if this is on Spotify... I like many of the artists on the album...


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