|album by Duran Duran|
|Released||11 February 1993|
|Studio||Privacy Studio, London, UK|
|Genre||Alternative rock, pop rock, soft rock|
|Writer(s)||Duran Duran, Milton Nascimento, Lou Reed|
About the album
After the relatively poor showing of Big Thing and Liberty, the direction of this album was more tightly controlled by EMI than their previous work. The record company made an agreement to fund the initial demos for a new album, and supply further funding on approval of their work. Morale inside of the band was low. Lead guitar player Warren Cuccurullo stepped up to lead the new project. He said: "I was the hungriest. I wanted success, I wanted to go beyond where we had gone before. I'm not saying the others weren't motivated, but all I had was my music". Warren felt part of the reason that the previous two Duran videos were snubbed by MTV was because the channel was having so much success with the MTV Unplugged series, and wanted the new songs to be developed acoustically in that style. Warren's home in Battersea (which he bought from Simon) was converted into a recording studio, and he invited Nick over to hear demos of the new songs. Nick said he loved the idea of a home studio, to get away from the clinical atmosphere of the studios and their "fake plastic plants".
Warren developed a disciplined style of working that the band had lacked for many years. Within weeks, the spirits of the band members lifted, as they heard acoustic demos of what would turn out to be Ordinary World, UMF, Shelter, Too Much Information and Love Voodoo. The tempo of Ordinary World was slowed down to a balled, with the lyrics being written very quickly "out of nowhere", as Simon reflected on the death of his friend David Miles. Nick said the song developed as they were jamming, and seemed to "come together out of thin air", as Simon sang the lyrics. The demo's were played to EMI Execs in the Summer of 1991, who agreed to fund further work on the new album. The label was very pleased by the early composition "Ordinary World", immediately sensing a potential hit single.
The album was recorded almost entirely at Privacy Studio in the living room of Warren Cuccurullo's house in Battersea, London by John Jones. Recording of the album was completed in early 1992, with a planned mid-year release by Capitol Records in the United States. However, Duran Duran's new management company, Left Bank, was distressed at the label's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the promotion of the album, and had it temporarily pulled from the release schedule. The album was subsequently shelved, and scheduled for release at some point in 1993.
During this hiatus, John Taylor returned to his wife in Los Angeles, and Le Bon, Rhodes and Cuccurullo began working on a few cover songs for what would later become the Thank You album. At one point, Warren played a slow guitar riff derived from the earlier Duran Duran song "First Impression" to John Jones., which sparked the quick creation of the song "Come Undone." This was rapidly included in the upcoming album along with Femme Fatale.
The album cover was created by Nick Egan, who also directed the "Ordinary World" video, after an idea from Nick. John Taylor happened to ask actor Billy Zane if he knew where Nick Egan was, and Billy replied that Egan was in London; where they quickly arranged to meet up.
Nick Egan: Within hours I was meeting with John at his house in London where he outlined the bands concept of using, not only photos of their parents weddings, but also going against the previous notion of commissioning an expensive album cover photo shoot, by going to the last remaining public photo booths in and around London with a couple of pounds in change, and having their portraits taken as black and white 2” x 6” strips.
The back cover, tour promo material, and the single Too Much Information feature images from those 'passport photo' film strips, produced by the University of London Student Union Photo Booth, probably in Sept or Oct 1992. This was truly one of the last black and white photo booths they could find in London in 1992. A selection of high resolution scans of these film stripes can be found at DuranDuran.com. (Source/Images).
The cover image is a montage of 4 photos, showing each of the bands parents on their wedding day.
Nick Egan: My immediate concern was to avoid it becoming kitsch which nearly all wedding photos have the tendency to be, white, lacey with silver horse-shoe confetti decorations. I wanted it to be like a piece of art, which is where I took the influence of Pop Art Collageist Robert Rauschenberg, who laid seemingly random images on top of each other with the faintest hint of off register color; as if the whole thing was screen printed. This was all done in a sepia tone with gold leaf accents. To keep with the low tech do-it-yourself concept, the lettering was embossed plastic done with a Dymo label printer and a chinagraph grease pencil on masking tape. This gave the whole package, inside and out, an organic ‘Pop Art’ feeling.
Nick Rhodes: We worked with Nick Egan and Eric Roinestad on the design of the cover. I had the idea of putting our parent's wedding photos on the cover. The photos of these 8 people, on the day they were married, that was the DNA that was to come to form us, to make that album. I wasn't sure that everyone was going to go for the idea, but every one loved it. We gathered our parent's wedding photos together and when we saw them all together for the first time we all thought, "wow!". We couldn't have made this better if we had gone looking for old photos in some archives. You know, it is NOT really called The Wedding Album, even though it is called The Wedding Album; it is actually called Duran Duran, as it was us going back to basics. In a way though, I am quite pleased it is called The Wedding Album now... (Source).
Nick took the photo that’s next to the lyrics to the song “Shelter” out of a taxi window in London. (Source).
A copy of "Ordinary World" was leaked to a Florida radio station late in 1992, when hundreds of listeners phoned in demanding to know more about the song. This demand soon led to its early release in several markets. The band, long ignored in Los Angeles, was invited to play at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas show on the strength of the song's popularity.
The album itself was released early in 1993, and its swift commercial and critical success came as a surprise to many who considered Duran Duran to be a purely "eighties" phenomenon who had already faded to oblivion. Success hinged on the Adult Contemporary singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone". Some critics seemed to consider the band as a modern act for the first time, and to re-evaluate their back catalog as deeper and more significant than that of a throwaway "teeny-bop" band.
Both the band and the record label seemed to be caught by surprise by the sudden success. Bassist John Taylor, who had begun recording solo material on the side and was considering leaving the band, agreed to stay instead.
The front cover artwork was designed by Nick Egan and features wedding photos from the parents of the four band members.
- "Too Much Information" - 4:56
- "Ordinary World" - 5:39
- "Love Voodoo" - 4:58
- "Drowning Man" - 5:15
- "Shotgun" - 0:54
- "Come Undone" - 4:38
- "Breath After Breath" - 4:58
- "UMF" - 5:33
- "Femme Fatale" - 4:21
- "None of the Above" - 5:19
- "Shelter" - 4:25
- "To Whom It May Concern" - 4:24
- "Sin of the City" - 7:14
Japanese edition bonus tracks:
UK tour edition bonus tracks:
- "Falling Angel" - 4:35
- "Stop Dead" - 4:31
- "Time for Temptation" - 4:09
- "Come Undone" (12" Mix Comin' Together) - 7:21
- "Ordinary World" (Acoustic Version) - 5:07
- "Too Much Information" (David Richards 12" Mix) - 4:14
- "Ordinary World"
- "Come Undone"
- "Too Much Information"
- "None of the Above" (Japan only)
- "Drowning Man" (released only to clubs in America)
- "Femme Fatale" (France only)
|European Top 100 Albums||13|
|Finnish Charts (Suomen virallinen lista)||18|
|French Albums (SNEP)||32|
|Greek Albums (IFPI)||9|
|Italian Albums (Musica e dischi)||6|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||24|
|Portuguese Albums (AFP)||9|
Duran Duran are:
- John Jones - co-producer, engineer, programming, keyboards, guitar, vocals
- Milton Nascimento - vocals on track 7 ("Breath After Breath")
- Steve Ferrone - drums on tracks 1 ("Too Much Information"), track 2 ("Ordinary World") and percussion on track 10 ("Femme Fatale")
- Fergus Gerrand - drums on tracks 3 to 6, and 8 to 13
- Vinnie Colaiuta - drums on track 7 ("Breath After Breath")
- Bosco - percussion on track 7 ("Breath After Breath")
- Lamya - backing vocals on track 3 ("Love Voodoo")
- Tessa Niles - backing vocals on track 6 ("Come Undone")
- Karen Hendrix, Jack Merigg - vocal samples on track 4 ("Drowning Man")
- Mastered by Kevin Metcalfe
- Mixed by David Richards (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 9, 11 to 13)
- Bass mixed by David Leonard (track: 4)
- Producer and arranged by Duran Duran, John Jones (tracks: 1 to 8, 10 to 13)
- Recorded and programmed by John Jones
- Recorded by (live drums) Tony Taverner and John Jones
- Recorded by (live drums assistant) - Stuart Every
- Written by - Duran Duran (tracks: 1 to 9, 11 to 13)
- Written by - Duran Duran, Milton Nascimento (track: 7)
- Written by Lou Reed (track: 9)
- Photography (band photo) - Adrian Green
- Artwork by (art direction) - Duran Duran, Nick Egan
- Artwork by (design) - Eric Roinestad, Nick Egan
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