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  

8 thoughts on “From Past to Present to Future…”

  1. Great post.

    I agree with several things:
    1. Come Undone- I thought was a little overrated(Don't kill me, Duranies!), and indeed, Breath After Breath has an energy running through it that Come Undone didn't. I also thought None of the Above one of their best songs, and it passes under the radar. I can't say I don't worship Ordinary World, because I do.
    2. It's very true that every single album means something different to everyone. I have huge personal love of Notorious, yet it's not an album that gets a ton of critical recognition, and it did just alright in the charts. Same with Pop Trash- which came out after the Wedding Album's success- love it to this day, and it helped me through a very hard time in my life, but it's often ignored in the Duran canon. Despite that, we all can appreciate the albums- maybe even more so as we get older. With age, comes wisdom- even with Duran albums. 🙂
    3. I am glad that no one forgets that this is indeed a big step in the Duran history book. You are right on, the fact that so many people acknowledge it and can talk, tweet, blog about it, says much indeed. We all breathlessly await the next chapter. Thanks for the great post.

  2. I agree with Georgette C. –Notorious is a great album (well except for Meet El Presidente!) and some of the tracks buried toward the latter half of The Wedding Album (None of the Above, Shelter) are underappreciated.

    It was nice to see all of the buzz on DD.com and elsewhere about The Wedding Album. Too Much Information was (and is) a great song–one of the band's best album openers, right up there with Rio and GOF and AYNIN.

    And really, as John wrote on DD.com (and has been expressed in interviews and elsewhere), this album was really about Warren keeping things going. Without his energy and drive, the band probably breaks up. As I'm a huge fan of the next 2 studio albums–Medazzaland and Pop Trash–I am grateful that Duran had Warren and that this music got made. I love those albums. In fact, all of this hoopla over TWA's 20th anniversary is a little bittersweet for me–because there will not be similar accolades when Medazzaland and Pop Trash turn 20…and the fact that Warren seems to have gone off the deep end in his post-DD years…

    But–to echo Amanda and Georgette–I too am happy and excited for the future even as we celebrate this milestone. AYNIN was amazing. The band have found a producer (Ronson) and guitarist (um….gosh I can't think of his name…Tom? Rom? something like that )…they they work tremendously well with and make great music with. We truly do have a lot to look forward to!

  3. Ah…speculation. I won't deny Warren's contribution to this album. (Maybe that is part of the reason it isn't my favorite. *shrugs*) That said, I could speculate that if Warren hadn't been there, the Fab 5 would have gotten back together sooner. Maybe Roger would have stayed after Thank You. Who is to say?!

    Nonetheless, you prove my point well. The albums we love really do depend on what they meant to us, personally.

    -A

  4. I remember when I first heard Ordinary World on the radio. I became obsessed with it. I literaly could not hear it enough. Then when I heard Come Undone I was struck how different it was to Ordinary World but loved it as well and always looked for it on the radio. Then I decided to buy the Wedding Album and when I first heard Love Voodoo from it I became totally obsessed with that track; playing it over and over again. In fact that track remains my favorite from that album to this day. I wish Love Voodoo had been released as a single because I think it would have been a huge hit and would have performed better than Too Much Imformation thus making the album an even greater success and keeping them played for longer on the radio during that time. But that's my opinion. I would be interested in other's opinions on that subject matter.
    Today, Ordinary World doesn't have the same effect on me as it used to. (Maybe cause I played it to death?) Come Undone is a good track but does not excite me as it did before. Don't get me wrong, I still think they are solid tracks but for me they don't ignite that spark of excitement as when I hear stuff from their first and second album as well as some b sides especially Late Bar and Faster Than Light. I agree with Amanda that the Wedding Album is not my favorite but I'm glad it came along. And if what John says is true about Warren being the driving force of it all then bless him because before it truely looked as though Duran Duran would have faded into oblivion if it were not for Ordinary World seeing the light of day. (In fact I remember my mother asking me during time between Liberty and before Ordinary World if they were still around and I faithfully said 'yes' even though I wasn't sure myself.) Anyway that was some of my experience of it 20 years ago as well as how I experience it today.
    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. 🙂

  5. Yay for Love Voodoo – plus no-one has mentioned Falling Angel, which was on the extended cd version of The Wedding Album, and is my personal favourite from this album's writing sessions. I do love the video for Ordinary World though.

  6. It’s been a long party, a well done long celebration party that this album really deserves.
    The Wedding Album worked on us fans the same effect of “reconnection” All You Need is Now has had, but AYNIN featured the vintage music of their early days.
    For the future album(s), I hope the guys would consider the things they have been saying during these celebration moments and they would use their memories on the making of the album.
    I hope that in a few days, when they are supposed to be back to work with Mark Ronson in the studio, they would find back within them that same newly created harmony and balance off the 1991-1993 period.

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