In The Cherry Lipstick Set List Challenge Part 1, your team (Ruth Galvin, Ben Rawson-Jones, CK Shortell and Adam Wilson) chose 17 songs for our ‘realistic’ fan chosen concert.
And they were:
Ordinary World, Planet Earth, Anniversary, Invisible, Give It All Up, All Of You, Hammerhead, Girls On Film, Notorious, Save A Prayer, New Religion, I Don’t Want Your Love, Rio, Late Bar, Out Of My Mind (Perfecto Mix), Reach Up For The Sunrise, Enjoy The Silence.
A month later we met up again to turn these songs into a running order. We had considered the mix of the songs when choosing the 17, and thought about how they might go together. Would this hold up under closer examination? Our new rule was that we had to stick to the chosen 17 and not start adding or subtracting songs at this late stage!
We prepared for the discussion by individually choosing our own preferred running order (which was then shared amongst the group). Thus armed, we went and discussed, debated and cajoled our way to a consensus conclusion…
[The game was that the encore would consist of 3 songs (i.e. songs 15, 16 and 17). Our chosen positions for each song are indicated as we go through this discussion]
Adam: As you can see from the four set lists we have created, three of us chose to start this concert with Planet Earth. All four of us chose a different song to finish with (Chris – Rio; Ben – Ordinary Word; Adam – Anniversary; Ruth – Sunrise). Where would you like to start?
Chris: I continue to not want to hear Give It All Up. But, that said, if this show is happening now, I’d like to hear the new stuff first, a one-two punch of Invisible and All Of You, followed by Planet Earth. Big Live Thing opened with Big Thing and then I Don’t Want Your Love. The Ultra Chrome Latex and Steel tour opened with Medazzaland and Big Bang Generation.
Adam (refers to list): Two days ago you chose Planet Earth to be first.
Chris: Oh, I said a lot of things back then! I prefer Ruth’s way of starting with two new ones [Invisible and Anniversary].
Ben: Which is completely different to what I’ve done [Planet Earth - All Of You - Notorious].
Ruth: I wonder if our reasoning needs to be explained so we consider our chosen ordering as a whole, rather than position-by-position.
Adam: I don’t see Invisible being a strong opener.
Ben: Invisible got better as an opener on the UK shows I saw. But for me, this anniversary tour needs to start with where it all began, and Planet Earth sets the mood so well. Too many new songs too early would kill the mood a bit. I’d hold back Invisible to change the tone as its subject matter is a bit heavy, so I put it at 8.
Adam: I can see that I’ve put 4 new ones in a row at 2, 3, 4 and 5, whereas you spread them across the concert, breaking them up with hits, at 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10.
Ben: I think putting them together risks losing the audience and any momentum. A lot of people at Birmingham just wanted to hear the hits. That’s sad, but you have respect that. I like to pair them tonally with other songs, so I’ve put Invisible with Out Of My Mind.
Adam: I had a similar thought by putting Invisible with New Religion.
Ben: I know there’s an argument to get the new songs out of the way, but you want to push the new album as well.
Chris: I totally get that. They demoed new songs in 1999 before the Pop Trash album. Usually, they front-load the show with new stuff. I don’t think you lose the audience that early. You can’t go wrong with Planet Earth as an opener. I chose Invisible at 2, but I can see it could be too dark for too early in the show.
Ben: I heard The Reflex and Notorious as track 2 and 3 at one show and the crowd were just wild.
Ruth: I think a lot of my thinking was based on what Duran tend to do, which not to open with a poppy number. They prefer the atmospheric opener where they gradually enter onto the stage with dry ice and Nick in the shadows and everyone gets excited. It’s track 2 and 3 where the upbeat ones come on, hence my opening trio of Invisible – Anniversary - Girls On Film. Then Simon does his chat. Then I wanted to keep the party vibe with Late Bar at 4, before moving into a more funky vibe with Notorious, Hammerhead, I Don’t Want Your Love and All Of You. And then go all weird and include Out Of My Mind.
Adam: That is a deep cut.
Ruth: Oh it will be as good as a new song for the casual fans. Die-hards will give it a good reception, but it will be a hard one to sell.
Ben: I love that triple run of Notorious – Hammerhead - I Don’t Want Your Love.
Adam: I note that for songs 9, 10, 11 in our show, four of us have Out Of My Mind there, and three of us have picked New Religion, which is interesting. Moving to the end of the show, a key aim for me was NOT to finish with Rio.
Ruth Me too!
Adam: So I had to consider where it would go. So, like you Ben and Ruth, I’ve put it towards the end of main show, before Girls On Film (as songs 13 and 14). Chris, would you be happy with Rio not being last, and if so, where would you put it?
Chris: I’m OK with that – I’d have it first! Just like Hammersmith ’82! Let’s get everyone fired up!
Adam: I was keen to have a new song last. I wanted to be a bit brave so my 3-song encore goes Late Bar – Sunrise – Anniversary. We all put Sunrise near the end: Ruth you had it last, Ben, you had it at 12, and Chris you put it at 13.
Ben: People have such muscle memories that they may just leave when they hear Rio before the end and not realise it’s not the last song.
Adam: At the risk of losing all Cherry Lipstick’s readers: the confetti and beach balls during Rio has got to stop, and we are the ones to stop it.
Ben: I like having a new song in the encore to freshen things up.
Chris: Pop Trash Movie was in the encore and it was amazing.
Adam: Having considered our choices, can we make any decisions yet on where to place songs?
Ruth: I don’t mind Invisible being later in the set list.
Adam: I can now see that my 9-12 run of Ordinary World – Out Of My Mind – Save A Prayer – Enjoy The Silence is a pretty terrible idea.
Chris: They have often opened with a slow one - Before The Rain, Finest Hour, and even Silva Halo! That one was actually really good!
Ben: Too often they come and just stand on stage soaking up the applause for too long. I like Chris’s idea of starting with Rio.
Adam: So, let’s fill in some gaps. Can we agreed on Rio – Girls On Film at 13 and 14, which is similar to what we’ve agreed?
Ruth: Not Rio last.
Ben + Chris: mumbled agreement. [Rio – 13!; Girls On Film 14!]
Adam: As for the encore, you all picked Enjoy The Silence, and I very nearly did.
Chris: It would a cool song to come back to. [Enjoy The Silence – (opening song of the encore) 15!]
Ben: You need a universal song in the encore.
Ruth: Sunrise is anthemic. I don’t particularly like it, but it works really well live. I can live with Ordinary World, but Duran have traditionally left a concert on a high.
Ben: Now is the time to break the tradition! They played Ordinary World as the penultimate song at Birmingham. It has a universal theme of hopefulness which could leave the audience feeling very connected and give a different experience when leaving a Duran Duran concert.
Adam: Returning to the three openers, three of us picked Planet Earth. They started with it on the Greatest and Latest tour and it was great.
Ruth: I just wonder about where to put Invisible and all these heavy songs.
Adam: I do not hate Chris’s opening, with Invisible in second.
Ruth: I continue to find myself so conditioned by what has gone before, where Wild Boys comes second. You could go Planet Earth – New Religion – All Of You. I keep trying to find where Invisible goes.
Ben: What about putting Invisible in the encore after Enjoy The Silence? There are thematic links there: “Words are very unnecessary / don’t say my name…”
Chris: Crowd all think ‘I should have left after Rio…’
Adam: I’m trying to see how this would work…
Ruth: You could open the encore with Invisible…
Ben: Well, yeah…
Adam: The band get their big moody entrance with dry ice, and get to play Invisible!
Chris: It’s a starting track and so it does work. [Invisible – 15! Enjoy The Silence – moves to 16!]
Adam: This has to leave Planet Earth as track 1.
Ruth + Ben + Chris: mumbled agreement. [Planet Earth – 1!]
Ben: How about the closing track?
Adam: Let’s be brave and go with Anniversary!
Chris: You can’t close the set with two new songs and a cover version. There’s still Sunrise.
Ben: The problem with Anniversary is the dreadful final two minutes of the album version.
Chris: I’m going to argue for New Religion as track 2.
Ruth: We have to consider the tonal flow of our show. It sits well with Planet Earth, and moves a heavy stuff lumped together.
Chris: Our show could die somewhere in the middle.
Ben: There are strong guitars on Planet Earth and New Religion. Those two together would work very well.
Chris: I think people would be happy to hear an 80s hit that early. We still have to consider the songs to come. There’s a lot of mid tempo songs to come – even more if New Religion is in there as well.
Adam: We will have to see if we’ve chosen the wrong songs. We picked Out Of My Mind over Hungry Like The Wolf.
Ruth: Give It All Up could come third. Unless we go with the Wild Boy-substitute of Sunrise, and use Ordinary World as the closer.
Adam: What about Anniversary at 3?
Ben: Planet Earth – New Religion – Give It All Up have a transcendent quality. “Standing on the edge of something greater than us all,” chimes in well with both.
Adam: How about Give It All Up at 3 and Anniversary at 4, with Simon delaying his chatter after that?
Ruth + Ben (Chris was doing child care at this point, admittedly making decision making much easier for the remaining three of us…): Mumbled yeahs and agreement. [New Religion – 2! Give It All Up – 3! Anniversary 4!]
Adam: So on to track 5 and 6. Would we want to follow Anniversary with a slower number? Is it a bit early for Save A Prayer? Do we back off Future Past at this point – there are only two more to include.
Ben: Does Anniversary pair well with Late Bar? It links the present and past in a theme – taking us right back to the start. [Late Bar – 5!] Which then leads you to Save A Prayer as you need to keep it and Ordinary World apart. [Save A Prayer – 6!]
Adam: After that… Out Of My Mind?
Ben: I quite like that….
Ruth: That’s fine [Out Of My Mind – 7!] Have we included Sunrise yet?
Adam: Given what we’ve done, it leaves Sunrise as the default final song.
Ben: Does Girls On Film need to be the last song, with Sunrise coming before Rio?
Ruth: We did have Girls On Film finishing the main set.
Adam: Girls On Film was the Sing Blue Silver ending. That leaves us with a consideration whether to choose Sunrise or Girls On Film to end the main set or the encore. Let’s bring Chris into that when he comes back. Does that leave Ordinary World at 12?
Ben: Yes, because you need to leave Ordinary World as late as possible before the big finish, and before the encore.
Ruth: Does Ordinary World go into Rio?
Ben: Ordinary World into Sunrise and then Rio?
Ruth: I just hate the idea of Rio ending anything? Can we finish the main set list with Ordinary World?
Ben: …That leads into the encore starting with Invisible….
Chris (returns, and picks at everything that has been decided): Assuming no one has left after those first six, I like the first four and Anniversary being early… It’s fine. The middle is stronger now.
Adam: That’s right. In the middle of our set, we need to place Hammerhead, All Of You, Notorious, and I Don’t Want Your Love.
Ben: We have a funky middle now. I’d hold Notorious back. I think I want I Don’t Want Your Love next…
Ruth: I’d be inclined to go with Hammerhead, bring it up with Notorious, then All Of You. This separates the two new tracks.
Chris: I think there should be an acoustic Future Past… no, no. I’m torn between the reunion tour version of I Don’t Want Your Love, which played to Andy’s strengths, which Warren could never play. But Dom played it well on the last tour. Or Hammerhead.
Ben: Hammerhead is set inside someone’s mind, which your average fan might not connect with after 8 pints of lager.
Ruth: I Don’t Want Your Love has a faster tempo than Hammerhead or All Of You. The new ones are slower.
Ben: I think we need a faster one after Save A Prayer and Out of My Mind.
Ruth: Which leaves one of the traditional ones.
Chris (and Ben): OK, I would choose I Don’t Want Your Love [8!]
Adam: This leaves Hammerhead, All Of You and Notorious to place at 9, 10 and 11, before the big three finish to end the main set. Will the two new ones be split or paired?
Ruth: I’m looking back and can see that we have been quite obscure with our big hits. So far since Planet Earth as the opener, we’ve had Save A Prayer. Hits are thin on the ground. The heavy hitters are coming in late. Maybe that’s fine.
Adam: We chose to ditch some of the biggies. We only picked three fan favourites (Late Bar, Out Of My Mind and New Religion).
Ruth: We may have been generous to ourselves in giving ourselves those – plus a cover version. The casual fan might not know New Religion. They are doing a lot of work.
Adam: Should we add Is There Something I Should Know as a get-out-jail card to spice up our set list?
Chris: There’s two sets of fans- the 60 million who bought records before 2000, and the 40 million who bought CDs after that (laughs).
Adam: Can we cheat and add an 18th song?
Ben: I can see why band members fall out. We have to stick with what we agreed.
Ruth: Maybe this all highlights the difficulties of choosing. Despite being so strict, we may have been too generous to ourselves as hardcore fans. However, this now needs to be presented, warts and all.
Ben: I wonder what our original choices were compared to the final list – it’s like how they say a camel is a horse made by a committee. It’s a good experience to see how tricky it is. Everyone wants to complain about every setlist. We are having to consider other stakeholders and how to keep each other happy. Let’s see if we can make this 17-set concert work.
Ruth (ripping up everything decided in the previous 30 minutes): We could put Ordinary World after Anniversary at 5, and move Late Bar and Save A Prayer down below Notorious. It would keep more familiar things earlier.
Ben: I like the first 6 that we have. We’ve not gone with the new stuff ‘to get it out the way’.
Ruth: People might recognise New Religion.
Ben: Friends Of Mine, which I’d say is more obscure than New Religion, gets the crowd rocking.
Ruth: If you’re up the front of the gig you wouldn’t know how things have been received at the back of the crowd.
Ben: I think new material can get a bad rep. Being quiet might be because they are listening and enjoying it. It can be a voyage of discovery. Our list can help people do that, which is why we made tough calls on some big hits last time.
Chris: We need to follow the rules. It’s fine.
Adam: Are you suggesting that this is all only ‘just fine’ and that we are pleasing nobody?
Chris: I think people will know New Religion. On Paper Gods they grouped Pressure Off and Notorious, and Love Voodoo and I Don’t Want Your love, and it’s worked. This can work.
Adam: What do you think of Sunrise or Girls On Film as the final song?