Duran Duran’s Self-Titled Debut Turns 40

Annie Zaleski, author of Duran Duran’s Rio, on the 40 year legacy of one of the most iconic bands of the 80s. It’s a vast understatement to say Duran Duran’s early days were a whirlwind. The classic-era lineup—vocalist Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, guitarist Andy Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor, and keyboardist Nick Rhodes—played their first show on July 16, 1980. Less than a year later, the band released their debut, a self-titled LP. And less than a year after that came Rio, the subject of my 33 1/3 book.…

Quite the Scandal: The Velvet Rope Tour Poster

Ayanna Dozier on a tour poster that sparked sexist backlash During early press for The Velvet Rope, Janet emphasized that a tour would follow the album, leaving the public to anticipate a cornucopia of images and media text that would extend the listener’s experience with the album. While the press were on alert for the tour dates and the promotional images to follow, nothing could have prepared them for the official poster to announce the Spring 1998 tour. The image was shot by her then husband, René Elizondo Jr. for…

Sex Before and After The Velvet Rope on janet. and All for You

Ayanna Dozier on Janet Jackson and Black women’s sexuality In the infamous Rolling Stone interview that accompanied the promotion of 1993 album, janet., Janet got “real” about sex. In conversation with interviewer David Ritz, Janet discussed the confusion that some of her fans might have about the way in which she addresses her sexual liberation on that album, especially as this was the same woman who infamously suggested “to wait awhile, before we go too far.” She states in that interview that at the age of twenty-seven the album was…

An Abbreviated Judy Garland Bibliography

Manuel Betancourt, on the movies, books, and films that shaped Judy Garland’s Judy at Carnegie Hall For months on end all I read (and watched and thought about) was Judy Garland. I had no shortage of books and movies and interviews and magazine profiles and blog posts and zines and websites to choose from. I knew I could never read everything I needed, but that didn’t mean I didn’t try.  Judy at Carnegie Hall benefited immensely from the many talented writers (and filmmakers and actors and critics) who’ve spent years…