|album by Duran Duran|
|Released||18 October 1988|
27 September 2010
|Studio||Davout Studios, Paris, France|
|Genre||New wave, synthpop, house, freestyle|
About the album
In 1988 the musical climate was changing, veering to a more dance-based groove. Duran Duran were known primarily as an early 80s new wave synthpop act, and the band was sitting at a career crossroads; Big Thing was their stab at maintaining musical credibility.
Turning to more synth- and bass-heavy grooves than their previous efforts, Big Thing was seen by many as the band's "house music" album. Tracks like the first single "I Don't Want Your Love", "Big Thing", and the album's runaway second single "All She Wants Is" cemented the band's more aggressive dance angle.
To further distance themselves from their earlier incarnation, the band decided to stylise how they spelt their name, shortening it to the single word "Duranduran" and vocalist Simon Le Bon grew his hair out.
To get the new music played without preconceived 'teeny bopper band' notions of Duranduran, the band sent an edited medley version of "The Edge of America" and "Lake Shore Driving" called "Official Bootleg: The LSD Edit" around the radio stations, under the pseudonym of "The Krush Brothers". The band also played a few surprise live dates under this name.
Dance music and stylist respellings aside, Big Thing was an album of contrasts. While the general feel was a response to the burgeoning house music and rave scene, a number of tracks on the album harked back to the band's more lushly arranged ballads. Songs like "Land", "Palomino" and the single "Do You Believe in Shame?" had more in common with "Save A Prayer" or "The Seventh Stranger" than with Chicago house.
Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo had begun working with Duran Duran in the middle of the recording of the previous album Notorious (1986), after the acrimonious departure of former guitarist Andy Taylor. While he was still not a full band member, nor a true songwriting partner, Big Thing was the first full album with which Cuccurullo was involved. His contributions can be felt all over the record, from the "lead vamp guitar" on "All She Wants Is" to the crazed guitar solo on album closer "Lake Shore Driving".
The album reached #15 in the UK and #24 in the US.
- "I Don't Want Your Love" (Sept 1988)
- "All She Wants Is" (Dec 1988)
- "Do You Believe in Shame?" (April 1989)
Promo singles (Radio/DJ only):
- "Big Thing" (1988)
- "Official Bootleg: The LSD Edit" (1989, as The Krush Brothers)
- "Too Late Marlene" (1989)
While the album and the first two singles did quite well in the charts, the relative failure of the third single "Do You Believe in Shame?" killed off any chance for a fourth single from the album. A house version of Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)" which had been recorded with producer Marshall Jefferson in April 1989 had been tentatively slated as that single.
- "Big Thing" - 3:41
- "I Don't Want Your Love" - 4:06
- "All She Wants Is" - 4:34
- "Too Late Marlene" - 5:08
- "Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)" - 4:36
- "Do You Believe in Shame?" - 4:23
- "Palomino" - 5:19
- "Interlude One" - 0:32
- "Land" - 6:12
- "Flute Interlude" - 0:32
- "The Edge of America" - 2:37
- "Lake Shore Driving" - 3:03
- "Notorious" (Live) - 4:15
- "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" (Live) - 5:28
- "New Religion" (Live) - 5:31
- "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Live) - 5:02
- "American Science" (Live) - 4:57
The following songs from the Big Thing sessions were either released as B-sides, on compilations, or scrapped altogether.
Duran Duran are:
- Warren Cuccurullo - guitar (tracks: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12)
- Chester Kamen - guitar (tracks: 2, 3)
- Sterling Campbell - drums
- Steve Ferrone - drums (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9)
- Saxophone - Patrick Bourgoin (tracks: 1, 2, 5), Stan Harrison (tracks: 1, 2, 5) David Tofani (track: 4)
- Trumpet - Mac Gollehon (tracks: 1, 2, 5)
- Percussion - Marc Chantereau (tracks: 1 to 5, 9, 11, 12)
- Drums (urban jungle) - Louis César Ewandé (track: 12)
- Backing vocals - Carole Fredericks (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 9)
- Backing vocals - Joniece Jamison (tracks: 1, 2, 5)
- Backing vocals - Beckie Bell (track: 9)
- Backing vocals - Yvonne Jones (track: 9)
- Keyboards (additional) - Jonathan Elias
- Trombone - Glenn Ferris (tracks: 1, 5)
- Trumpet - Lew Soloff (track: 1)
- Jonathan Elias - co-producer
- Daniel Abraham - co-producer and mixer
- Arranged by, written by Duran Duran
- Artwork by (design) - Hans Arnold
- Engineer (second) - Danny Mormando, Dave Way, Jean Loup Morette
- Mastered by Ted Jensen
- Photography - Virginia Liberatore
- Programmed by (additional) - Sherman Foote
- Recorded by, mixed by Daniel Abraham
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