Category Archives: Wedding Album

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Wedding Album: My Story

Duran Duran’s album, The Wedding Album, turns 25 years old today.      I always love to celebrate significant moments in the band’s history and this one is no exception.  Yesterday, I had the chance to commemorate the significant anniversary through videos, interviews, performances, etc.  Today, I prefer to think of my own relationship to this album.  I know that sounds weird that I would have a “relationship” with an album, but I feel like I do with each of Duran’s albums.  Each one has meant something a little different to me and I get to acknowledge it on dates like one.

The Wedding Album came out in the winter of 1993.  At that time, I was finishing up my high school career and getting ready to attend college.  February, in fact, marked my acceptance to Kalamazoo College through a personalized phone call.  The end of high school and the beginning of college is a huge transition for most people and I was no exception.  While college tends to represent the end of childhood, this time period felt more significant to me.  At that time, my siblings had moved away as my brother was in grad school in Iowa and my recently married sister was getting ready to move to North Carolina.  My dad was not living at home, either, as he was working in Georgia.  As I got ready to leave home, it wasn’t just the house I would be leaving.  It would be leaving my house, my town and even my state as my parents prepared to move at any time.

For me, this meant that I turned inward.  The rest of the world just happened around me with little attention given by me.  To say that I was self-absorbed would be an understatement.  What does this mean in terms of my fandom?  Pretty simple.  My Duran fandom was the furtherest thing from my mind.  I had no idea that Duran had even recently a new album.  My home town did not have radio that captured any music I cared for and I had stopped watching MTV as it moved towards reality television.  Therefore, I missed the fanfare surrounding the song, Ordinary World, for example.  Now, I wished I hadn’t but I did.

Thankfully, my friend was not as ignorant to the comings and goings of Duran Duran as I was.  Somehow, someway, she not only heard the album but had purchased a copy of it.  When she told me about it, I was still too self-absorbed to really let that news sink in.  In fact, it didn’t really register to me until she suggested that we go see Duran in concert.  That caught my attention.  As a kid, I desperately wanted to see Duran Duran in concert.  I would have sold a kidney if it could have convinced my parents to let me go.  When the band played the Chicago area in 1984, I was simply too young and my parents were not going to go with me.  No way.  Then, when they came back in 1987, I had moved further away from the city.  This would have required my parents to drive significantly for me to go.  Again, no way.  By 1989, I didn’t even try.  In 1993, though, I was finally old enough to go on my own.  Thus, when my friend suggested going, I jumped at the chance.  I figured it would fulfill my childhood dream.

Unfortunately, by the time we got tickets to the August 1993 show, the seats left were less than desirable.  We ended up about five rows from the very back all the way on the left hand side.  Still, I had a lot of excitement going in and begged my friend to play this new album on the way to the show.  As I listened, I wasn’t sure that it felt like the same Duran to me but I was willing to give it a try.  Even now, I distinctly remember my friend giving reviews of each and every track as we listened.  The album finished as we pulled up to the arena and I was determined to have fun.  Now, readers of this blog will know that as much fun as I had (and I had a ton!), it didn’t feel like I expected it to feel.  I’m not sure why.  The fact that it wasn’t the Fab Five?  Where I was in my life?  No clue.

After the show, I did, indeed, grab a copy of the album but didn’t really bond with it then.  I know for so many Duranies that this album took a hold of their hearts immediately but that was not the case for me.  No, it took time for me to bond with it.  Like many others, it took appreciating Ordinary World for me to connect with it.  Interestingly enough, it did not happen until after I had graduated from college.  In the fall of 1997, I moved to Madison, hoping to find a home since my childhood home ceased to exist in the traditional sense.  Like so many others after college, I had a lot of random jobs before my career got going.  One of those jobs included working in a shoe store, which played music all the time.  That fall, once again, featured a transition for me.  Instead of going from high school to college, it was about finally being an adult.  When I heard Ordinary World one day at the store, I finally got it.  I needed to find my new Ordinary World.

Interestingly enough, from that moment, I tried to pay more attention to Duran that I had in a long time.  In many ways, while the Wedding Album isn’t the album that made me a Duranie or the one that I love the most, it definitely helped keep me going through a huge transition in life.  It also really kept my fandom alive.

-A

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Wedding Album: Videos

This past week, DDHQ announced that they would be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Duran’s seventh studio album, affectionately known as the Wedding Album.  This has led to countless posts throughout the week featuring various songs and videos from that album and era.  Rhonda dove into the song, Ordinary World, earlier this week that you can read about here.  I will take the time tomorrow to share my thoughts and memories of this album and time period.  Until then, I thought it might be fun to put together some essential video clips from this era in all one place.

The Wedding Album featured a number of singles and videos.  According to their wikipedia page, the singles from this album included:

  • Ordinary World
  • Come Undone
  • Drowning Man (Really???  Who knew?)
  • None of the Above
  • Too Much Information
  • Femme Fatale
  • Breath After Breath

Luckily for Duran Duran fans, a number of those had videos to accompany them!

On top of these official videos, the band also completed a ton of various promotional activities from interviews to other performances.  I could have spent my entire Saturday just watching all of the different clips from this era as there is so much out there.  That said, I did take some time to just pick out some of the ones I have enjoyed the most.

One particular performance that really stood out for me was their appearance on MTV’s Unplugged.  I was not sure that the band could really become acoustic and it turns out I questioned this for no reason.

Here is an interview from MTV’s Most Wanted with John and Simon that I have always enjoyed:

This interview is a long one!  It is almost twenty minutes long and features Simon and Nick.  I especially enjoy the discussion of the artwork and how it came to be, since it features their parents’ wedding photos.

Larry King also interviewed Simon and Nick.  What fascinates me is that the introduction focuses on how critics “laughed at them”.  Oh geez…Larry King made for an interesting interviewer.

Jay Leno was a little more hip…with his interview for the Tonight Show.  I appreciate the fans’ enthusiasm throughout the interview but especially after the intro!

Of course, one clip that I had to include was the House of Style hosted by Cindy Crawford (who, of course, later appears in Girl Panic) as she takes Simon and Nick shopping at Sears.

Duran’s performances from this era weren’t too bad either…Here is a personal favorite of mine.  See if you can guess why!

Here’s a full concert from Argentina in 1993:

I don’t know about the rest of you but watching some Duran videos is a pretty kick ass way to spend my Saturday.  On top of that, it gives me a chance to celebrate this album a little bit before I dive into my relationship with it!

-A

Today in Duran History – Argentina 1993

On this date in 1993, Duran Duran played in Cordoba, Argentina, on their  Dilate Your Mind Tour of South America.  This little tour consisted of 4 shows in Argentina, a show in Uruguay, a show in Paraguay, a show in Venezuela and a show in Chile.  Did anyone see this particular show or any other show in this tour?

As I looked at the title of this tour, I’m reminded of one thing that Duran does that I have always thought is super cool.  I love that they use a lyrical phrase or line to title a tour or a DVD or some other project.  Dilate Your Mind is one of my favorites along with Sing Blue Silver, Strange Behaviour, Dancing on the Valentine, As the Lights Go Down and more.  What are your favorites?  Perhaps, this is why we often use lyrics to title our blog posts and more.

-A

Today in Duran History – Paris 1993

On this date in 1993, Duran Duran played at La Cigale in Paris, France.  Whenever I read or see anything about the Wedding Album Tour, I immediately think about how I saw the band for the first time during this tour.  This idea seems to fit with yesterday’s day in Duran history as Rhonda mentioned about how she wanted to be able to see a show in 1984.  I certainly did, too.  Well, I did after I found out about the tour!  I wasn’t really a Duranie until after the Sing Blue Silver tour was over as I always put my Duranie anniversary as April 1984 when The Reflex hit it big.  Anyway, I didn’t get to see Duran Duran live until 1993.

In 1993, I was graduating from high school and getting ready to attend college, out of state.  Really, Duran Duran was the last thing on my mind.  I never stopped loving them but I didn’t have many friends into them by this point and was busy living life.  Thus, I didn’t even know that they were touring until my one friend who liked them told me about the show.  When she suggested going (and can you believe that she had to suggest it?!?), I remember shrugging my shoulders and agreeing.  I distinctly recall agreeing because the show wasn’t far away and that the tickets weren’t that much money.  Now, I laugh at this since I have traveled far and gone out of my way to go see them many, many, many times in the last decade!  Silly me!

What was your first show?  How did you decide to go to that one?

-A

From Past to Present to Future…

This past week, I have seen an incredible numbers of posts, tweets, comments and more regarding the 20th anniversary of the release of the Wedding Album.  Today, the posts and tweets increased as 20 years ago today the album was released.  There have been articles written and a blog written and posted on dd.com as the members of the band and those working with the band reflect on the album and its significance.  All of this made me think about what the album meant for me and what anniversaries mean for the band and its fans.

When I read the blog that was posted on dd.com, which you can find here, I couldn’t help but to realize that most of the reflections were very personal.  John talked about how his daughter was born during the making of the album.  Nick Egan talked about his thinking through the video shoot for Ordinary World.  Comments from Simon included how he listened to the album as a whole for the first time.  Of course, at the same time, everyone agreed that it was a special album that meant a lot to the band and their career.  I don’t think there is any Duranie out there who could argue against that.  We all know that Duran had lost a lot of the spotlight they had in the early 80s.  Albums like Big Thing and Liberty didn’t get them attention, strong album sales or hit songs.  The Wedding Album, on the other hand, did get them all three.  For the first time in years, the band was back on the charts and back in the spotlight.  It renewed their confidence and belief in their ability to write great, meaningful music.  One could wonder what would have happened to Duran had they not had this.  Would they have called it quits?  We will never know.  Nonetheless, we all can appreciate what the album did do for the band.  Of course, it also affected the fans.

Based on a lot of the posts I have seen from fans, they are much like the band and their colleagues in the blog post on dd.com in that they are all related the album to themselves and their fandom.  For many fans, this album was the one that brought them into the fandom.  For those fans, there is no album that means more.  I get that.  I look back at Seven and the Ragged Tiger in fondest for the same reason.  For other fans, they liked the band before but this one really made them a Duranie for life.  Again, this album means a ton to them.  Some fans just love the songs so much.  Whatever the story is, the anniversary makes them think about what the songs and album means to them.  I’m no different.  In hearing that it was the album’s anniversary, I immediately thought about what it meant for me.  My story is simple.  It was the first time I saw the band play live.  That said, my friend had to ask me to go.  Duran wasn’t as much a central part as it is nowadays.  I was more focused on graduating high school and getting ready to go to college.  I went to the concert with 3 friends and had a good time.  That said, as I am sure you all know by now, I didn’t leave the show having my inner Duranie awakened in a big way.  Nope.  I told my friend, “That was a good show but something seemed wrong.  Not sure what it was but it didn’t feel right.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the band isn’t around much longer.  Maybe it’s time.”  I  know, I know.  Blasphemy.  Maybe I shouldn’t mention that in this blog post but it is true.  That is what I said.  Now, that didn’t stop me from listening to the album.  None of the songs really grabbed me then.  Later, I saw the beauty that Ordinary World was once I was able to relate to the meaning of the song.  Now, as we all know, the songs that are most often played from this album (Ordinary World and Come Undone) are not my favorites and that is an understatement, of course, when it comes to Come Undone.  I much prefer Too Much Information and Breath After Breath, which I think are too often overlooked.  No, this album isn’t my favorite but it is important in my history as a Duranie and important in the history of the band.  I can’t and shouldn’t ignore that.

Despite my experiences, I can appreciate the album and definitely celebrate the anniversary.  I think it is important to look back at events and their significance.  Maybe, this is the historian in me.  Perhaps, it is that all of my history and social science classes have taught me that what happens in the past can and really does matter for the present.  Does this album matter for Duran and their fans?  Absolutely.  Duran and its fanbase are where they are because of it.  It was a big part of their story and their success as a band.  If one is to appreciate the present state of Duran, one must acknowledge anniversaries like this.  Thus, I’m thrilled to see everyone’s posts and tweets about it.  I love hearing about what the album meant to different people.  Likewise, I love that the band and their colleagues took the time to look back, to reflect, to celebrate this huge chapter in their careers.  This reflection, this remembrance will, I’m sure, weigh in their minds as they begin to think about the next chapter.

It is interesting to me that on this anniversary I have noticed a few tweets from certain people like Simon, Dom, and Simon W (sax player).  These tweets have made reference to being in Zurich.  Now, of course, they could all be in different parts of Zurich.  Maybe they aren’t with each other.  That’s very possible, right?  Sure.  It has also been pointed out to me that TV Mania has gone quiet.  Huh.  Of course, this has led people to wonder if there is something going on and what it could mean.  Now while I do appreciate the focus on the past, I won’t lie.  The thought that the band or some of the band might be together excites me more.  What I appreciate the most about the past is that it has led the band to NOW, the present.  What excites me, what brings a smile to my face, what increases the bounce in my step is the FUTURE.  I cannot wait to see what the band in its current form can come up with.  Then, maybe in 21 or 22 years from now, we can rejoice in this upcoming album’s anniversary.

-A  

Has it really been 20 years?

Is it really possible??

This morning, during my morning “catch up” on Facebook and Twitter, I came across the oddest post – something about it being the 20th anniversary of The Wedding Album.

I respectfully request a recount.

As I sit back and try to sort through the cobwebs in my brain to find the dusty box holding memories of 1993, I seem to recall that this was the year I graduated from Cal State Fullerton. I have no memory of hearing Come Undone or Ordinary World on the radio for the first time. I just know that I was shocked that the songs actually charted or that I was hearing “new” Duran Duran at all. It’s true. I thought the days of Duran Duran gracing the Top 40 had long since ended, and at the time – I really wasn’t keep up with the activities of Duran Duran. I was beginning my own life, worrying about what was going to come next, and from what I can remember – I was going through “On Campus” interviews, trying to find a job after college, because I was about to graduate at the end of May. Joy.

Of course, Simon has said several times that it was Ordinary World that saved the band at this point.  I can certainly understand why that might have been the case, and I can’t really imagine what it must have been like for the band at the time. They had gone from being the biggest band in the world to somewhat of a nostalgic novelty – we’d hear Rio when a radio station wanted to play an 80’s “Flashback”, or Hungry Like the Wolf when we’d go to see an 80s cover band. I would cringe in sheer disgust. Good times. When I started hearing Ordinary World on the radio with regularity – probably long after it had actually played for the first time, I know I felt pride right along with the sense of shock that they had found their way again. Perhaps their best days weren’t really behind them after all.

Once again, this was 1993. The internet wasn’t really a part of my life yet. I remember Walt, who at this point was still just a boyfriend, knew all about BBS (online bulletin boards – a precursor to message boards), but I had no interest. There was no way to really find out what the band was doing unless I were lucky enough to come across news about them on the radio or a magazine interview. Truth be told, I didn’t try very hard either, so once again I fell away. Every now and then I’d hear they had a show planned somewhere, or a new album coming out – but mostly there was nothing. For me, Duran Duran had effectively been put in a box marked “Childhood Memories” and placed on a shelf in my closet, where it would get delightfully dusty for the next several years.

So for me, it is hard to believe that yes – this was twenty years ago. Twenty years seems like such a long time on one hand, and on another – it went by remarkably fast. It really does not seem like that long ago I was driving into the school parking lot or walking across the campus for class. How could that much time have passed since Walt and I spent our weekends walking around the streets of Hermosa Beach where he lived, or going to Fashions – the nightclub on the Redondo Beach Pier where we met? (That nightclub is now called The Brixton) Time flies, doesn’t it?

My mother warned me that this would happen as I age. I am not amused.

-R

Ordinary World?

I have been sitting here for the last half hour trying to figure out what to write about.  I pondered writing about the announcement about promotional appearances in the UK, which you can read about here.  I also saw that the band posted a link about Duran fans from back in 1984 talking about their fandom then and now, which you can read about here.  I’ll be honest.  Neither one hit me to talk about.  I don’t think I have the brain power to critically analyze much today.  I’m recovering or something like that.  The campaign I was working on ended on Tuesday in an extremely disappointing fashion.  Since then, I have tried not to think about it too much and have tried to catch up on everything else.  This hasn’t been easy, especially since next week will prove to be tough, emotionally, as well, as Tuesday will be my last day at my current job as I’m transferring schools next year.  Thus, I’m on emotional overload.  In fact, I would go so  far as to say that I’m feeling numb and unable to process much.  I need to clean my house and get ready for a trip but all I want to do is sleep.  Seriously.  I know that it will take time to find my way back to an “ordinary world”.  I wonder how the guys do it after facing an overly emotional time or an overly busy, stressful time or a time like I’m in the middle of, which is both busy and overwhelming.

It seems to me that some people have jobs and/or lives that pretty much provide a constant stream of activity.  At times, this constant stream might become a little more busy than normal or a little less busy than normal but it never or rarely reaches extremes.  Then, there are those who have extremes.  These people are either extremely busy or not busy at all.  I think the band is in that category.  They have times when they have tons of things to do, when they can’t find more than a few minutes to sleep and catch their breath.  I’m sure that doing a lot of promotional work and/or touring would be like this.  Then, of course, now-a-days they also have the chance to relax some.  These stretches are or seem to be longer than what a usual vacation entails.  I think my life is in between the constant stream and the extremes.  During the school year, I’m consistently busy and then when I have added campaign work, that consistently busy extends to being insanely active.  Of course, then, I do have summers, which aren’t completely off with classes, professional development, curriculum planning, etc.  Nonetheless, summers are very different than the rest of the year.  As I’m facing an extreme shift in activity level like the guys do after a tour or something equivalent, I wonder how they adjust.  What advice would they give the rest of us?  How do they find their new normal?  What if their last project was horribly unsuccessful?  How do they use their time off to regroup?

Let’s face it.  Duran Duran, overall, has been a successful band but they have had projects, times that have not been as successful as they would have liked.  In some cases, when they have regrouped, the results have been more than they hoped for.  For example, the Liberty album wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for, both musically (not saying all the songs were bad but…) and commercially.  Goodness, they didn’t even tour that album!  How did they pick themselves up off the ground and give themselves the energy, the courage to try again?  Why didn’t they decide to call it quits?  Obviously, they were not only able to keep going but they were able to make an album (Wedding Album) that resulted in commercial success and converted a whole new generation of Duranies!  Likewise, Red Carpet Massacre wasn’t the success that they thought it would be but they kept going and made the fabulous All You Need Is Now.

I don’t have the answer to this question about how they continue forward after facing a roadblock.  Do any of you?  I would honestly love to know their secret as I could use a little of that now myself.  Maybe then, I would be able to comment on Duran news or move forward to find my new ordinary world.

-A