Live albums. Audio compromises without the live atmosphere... or an opportunity to immortalise rare renditions of treasured songs and hear the dynamic between band with the crowd? Record Store Day 2018 offered Duranies not one but TWO special editions. There was the official Budokan recording from the Paper Gods tour (2017), and a Medazzaland-era Thanksgiving From Pleasure Island (1997) recording, an unofficial but legitimate release that promised to redeem last year’s atrocious and thankfully short lived upload on Spotify.
On the face of it both LPs had their strengths and weaknesses - I expected the heavily scripted and tightly orchestrated Paper Gods set would sound tight but perhaps a bit sterile, whereas the Thanksgiving set would sound experimental but a bit down-trodden... to these ears anyway (even though it includes Buried In The Sand).
So last Saturday I found myself killing a few gloriously sunny hours before a Bryan Ferry gig and idly strolled into Spindizzy records in Dublin’s George’s St arcade. Just to see if it was there, you understand! I knew I’d never find it in Cork, and I just wanted to hold it in my hands and then tell everyone “yeah, I had the chance to purchase but .... mweh!”. This student pocket was NOT buying a live album I might listen to twice! Notwithstanding, I flitted with intent through the Record Store Day section, and my inner zealot didn’t go unnoticed by the sales assistant, as he slithered over to his next victim.
I wondered whether this store was too cool for Duran Duran (though I’ve bought every single piece of Duran vinyl there). “You don’t have the Duran release?” I asked and started simultaneously preparing to leave. Suddenly a second assistant joined in this hypnotic serpentine dance, weaving through sheaves of vinyl whilst assuring me that, yes, there was just one last copy and if it meant recycling some black bin bags out back and re-recording the entire affair, rest assured it would be mine. Oh feck, my eyes had glazed over and my purse was already open.
It was FOMO, it was fate, I was in Dublin, it was in Dublin ....it was perhaps stupidity... It’s okay I told myself. Bryan will be your wine tonight.
Yes folks, like everyone else, I seem to have bought “the last copy”. 3,000 very lucky people indeed!
But far from the collective bonhomie when I logged onto Twitter everyone was prickly. DDHQ for starters, because their official effort was in serious purchasing contention with an unofficial release.
The sentiment amongst fans was even worse: resentment of those who lost out, resentment directed towards the scalpers who bought several copies, ready for upload to e-bay (even though in 5 years time these will have been bought by....you guessed it, .... FANS). Bad feeling towards the people who think music should be kept pristine in cellophane, bad feeling towards those hanging it on a wall, bad feeling towards those opening it and playing it (like smoking in a new car and ruining it for future owners). Bad feeling about those who didn’t suffer... (sorry, I meant enjoy the day) enough by standing for hours in a queue with fellow fans - how dare they sit on their fat arses shopping with glorious abandon - what kind of commitment is that? Bad feeling towards those who did go physically buy several copies thereby reducing the online stocks for those who didn’t live near a shop.
Here’s a question... was anyone actually delighted with their purchase? Or just smug and relieved? How many actually listened to it?
Was it all just a chance to promote your own brand of fandom - click upload like retweet repeat? I ask this as a guilty party since I did exactly that.
Truthfully I had this slight sense of unease that dissipated upon purchase, a purchase and feeling whose transient beauty was instantly forgotten later by a chance meeting with the fabulous Mr. Ferry who captures emotion in words like no other. “Career girl cover, exposed and another slips right into view” But back on topic; moi, I’m an open-and-use-it girl. I wear expensive perfume to work and until it runs out and I’ve nothing for a night out. I’ll buy something really nice then keep it until it’s threadbare because I can’t afford another.
Yes, the Budokan LP is open, but it won’t suffer from needle wear. I’ll be the person who smokes just once in that car... and I’ll have ruined it for some faceless purchaser on eBay when my DD estate is divided by my ungrateful kids upon my death. Having violated Budokan’s cellophane shroud, I give it a spin for the first and perhaps only time @€17.50 per side. *sigh*......Time to go downstairs, open some cheap wine and recoup my losses.
The Cherry Lipstick ‘Special Record Store Day Edition Duran Live LP’ reckoning? 6.5/10