Typical of this column, this edition has a wide ranging collection of music. From clever pop rock to instrumental rock to melodic rock, I have been listening to everything from black and death metal to stuff that barely qualifies as rock.
Duran Duran: Live in Hammersmith ’82!
Duran Duran, or D2 as some people referred to them if they didn’t want to necessarily admit who they were talking about in mixed musical taste company, were one of those bands many rockers secretly liked. Some were less than secret because of one major thing. D2 attracted the ladies in more abundance than Def Leppard and they still rather rocked. I came to like Duran Duran via their song “Hungry like the Wolf” which had enough grit for me. I was one of the few to buy Andy Taylor’s solo album after he left D2.
Anyway this was recorded on the Rio tour in front of adoring fans at Hammersmith in London. By any measure of the cheering it was mostly female fans, but the enthusiasm is quite enthralling. Furthermore the band is as tight as you would expect from such a slick operation. While the stage show is nothing terribly fancy or over the top, the sound is quite good. Of course what is most shocking is that this has never been previously released before. As well as this release, there is a deluxe version of Rio out with all the bells and whistles including b-sides and alternate versions.
In addition to the ten track DVD, you get a CD of the same gig as well the obvious bonuses of all the “era” videos and a couple of Top of the Pop’s performances. If you take away the good-looks, slick packaging, and visual-feast videos you are still left with a quite competent, poppy, rock band. If you ever wanted to buy a D2 DVD, but were afraid to get laughed at, then have a good at this one. I quite readily admit to rather enjoying the entire affair.
Status Quo: Pictures Live in Montreux 2009
Status Quo are quite the British oddity, an institution that have a legion of fans that absolutely adore them. Many serious rocks fans can’t understand their endearing popularity and ability to tour almost constantly to throngs of fans. They can release lackluster after lackluster release, although their last one is far from that, selling 250k copies in the UK and reaching number eight, to good sales and another successful tour. They have been around for 40 years and show no signs of giving up. Interviews with the mainstays Rossi and Parfitt are bonus features.