2005-08-24 - 11:35 a.m.

I love the smell of vinyl in the morning.

At least I used to. Lately not so much.

Lately I’ve been insanely bored with all of the music available to me, in my own collection, on the radio, on the web.

Driving in to work this morning I slipped my hand into my case and randomly removed a cd. Without looking at it I pushed it into the player, determined to figure out what it was I liked about it at the time of purchase and let it take me on whatever memory vacation it kept locked inside its tracks.

It was a cd of a 12 inch single of Duran Duran’s The Reflex. It was easy to know what I liked about this from the beginning. I don’t believe I’ve ever listened to it though.

I bought it in a box set of all of the early Duran vinyl 12 inches that had been remastered to cd. The day I bought the set I started at the beginning (Planet Earth…bop bop bop) and tried to listen my way through the whole thing but I was at work and people kept interrupting, as they will do and I couldn’t concentrate and if we’re honest I always hated Planet Earth and Careless Memories (okay, I didn’t ALWAYS hate Careless Memories, but there came a time when if I heard CM one more time I thought I might do something desperate).

So I packed them up into my cd case and never paid much attention to them again, except to pull out Secret Oktober every now and again because I still say that was one of the greatest songs ever written, the absolute best poem hiding out and pretending to be lyrics…I just can’t tell you how I love that song…I digress.

I was excited to listen to The Reflex remix. It’s a really long long version, but worth every beat. I should hate The Reflex. I should feel about The Reflex the way I do about Save A Prayer, I loved it the first 9 billion times I heard it but its enough already.

I don’t. I still “ta na na na” my little backup parts. I still do all of the back up dance from the tour I WASN’T on from 1984 when Charley ran around with those black and white wristbands (I mean, give me a wrist baaaand).

So that was good.

Then the B-side song came up.

Come Up and See Me Make Me Smile. Part of that phrase belongs in parentheses (I love you period) but for the life of me I can’t remember which.

I’d forgotten how much I love this song. It’s a live track, from Hammersmith I think, but I’ve never heard it live. I’ve only ever listened to it on vinyl before. I’m relatively certain that even if there is ANYONE still reading this diary, none of you (with the remote possible exception of Jelly if she’s reading) has heard this song, or at least the Duran version.

I can’t explain to you the cajillion itty bitty reasons this song gets into every pore of my body and makes me happy. It is about history, more than music.

It’s about the fact that I loved this song before I ever set eyes on le Bon in person. I knew this song before I knew him and that takes me to a time when I was different and when they were different for me.

The song is constructed like a roller coaster beginning essentially with Charley singing over a plinky piano, longish drawn out type notes in places…it seems like its going to stay that way, just winding around slow curves and small dips but then momentum builds with typical Rhodes synthobeat so you think, oh, okay, we’re heading into dance territory, we know our way around here…tick a tick…tick a tick…climbing steadily up the hill but then, just when you’re feeling safe, like you can trust this ride to take you where you’ve been before you find yourself at the top of the steepest hill you’ve ever seen and BAM …banananananana Andy kicks your ass with some loud fast guitar and you are tearing down that track, heading for the ground at speeds you’ve never dreamed of and then being rocketed around corners…it never slows down again, you never get to catch your breath. It is one of the few occasions in music when I find myself grateful that the lyrics are lost under the drive of the instrumentation.

After that I made my way through more of that box set. I forced myself to listen not only to the long missed B-sides (Khanada, Like an Angel…if you haven’t heard these songs don’t ever bother to talk to me about Duran Duran –you have no business even listening to them.) but also to the album cuts that lead them off. I stopped listening to those songs even before I bought the vinyl version of these 12 inchers because they had no edge. I mean, compared to Late Bar where does Is There Something I Should Know get you?

I discovered something though. Careless Memories and its compatriots are damn fine songs. I’d rather have an album of Waiting for the Sound of Thunder and Friends of Mine than “Astronaut” any day.

Somehow it feels like in coming back together the band made the album they were rallying against back in 1978. That makes me a little sad.

If any of you have made it this far in the entry…well, good on you. I bet though, you can’t answer the quiz question of the day (I don’t know if it can be googled, I haven’t tried).

What recording of Duran’s had “I love the smell of vinyl in the morning” scratched into the blank edge where the catalog numbers usually lived?

If you know this, without looking it up somewhere, then you, my friend, can hang. Plus you have problems.

Also, the B-side to that? Such a great prelude to Be My Icon, don’tcha think?

click here to add to the 4 comments so far

previous - next

about me - read my profile! Get your ow
n diary at DiaryLand.com! contact me older entries newest entry read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at DiaryLand.com!