Tag Archives: 1993

The Extraordinary Magic of Ordinary World

This month, DDHQ is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Duran Duran, or as most fans call it, The Wedding Album. 

I’ve struggled with a topic for this particular post, primarily because as much as I’d like to celebrate The Wedding Album, I don’t honestly remember a lot about that period of time. I was in college, and my mind was about as far away from Duran Duran as possible. So much so, that I was actually shocked the first time I heard “Ordinary World” on the radio. I didn’t even know they had been working on an album, although I suppose I must have assumed they would be. I just don’t remember.

It is an accurate statement that Duran Duran hit it out of the park with “Ordinary World”. That iconic guitar line, along with Simon’s voice, makes the song. Any fan could be just about anywhere—the grocery store, in the car, at a mall, just about anywhere—and with the first note we are awakened like a dog to Pavlov’s bell. It is THAT kind of melody, and yes, we have Warren Cuccurullo to thank for it. There is no arguing that at the time, he brought something new to the table for the band to feed from, and it worked. The song remains fairly permanent on set lists, despite constant complaints from Warren fans about whomever is playing guitar. No one plays it the same way as Warren, and no one ever could. I don’t know why that is. Another guitarist could play the exact notes in the same way, and still not have the feeling quite right. It is something that only the most passionate of fans pick up on, and yet, it makes all the difference. I can only explain it by describing it as magic.

While I don’t remember a lot from that time as a fan, I do remember hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio. I remember how well it did as a single, and how utterly surprised I was to see Duran Duran back on the charts. That wasn’t because I didn’t think they were capable, but because the time was so different. Yet, hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio didn’t energize or excite me in the same way it probably did for many of you reading. I felt wistful for a time that had passed. In 1993, I was getting ready to graduate from college, I had no real plan for what would come next. My father was out of work, my parents were in the process of losing their home, and I bounced around from friend to friend so that I wasn’t another burden on my parents. Anxiety was not ever a welcome, close, friend; but it sure seemed to be looming around every corner, chasing after me with every step. I missed the carefree days of youth, and this song reminded me of that every time I heard it.

There are many people who are huge fans of Warren in the same way many are of Andy, John, Roger, Nick, Simon and yes, even Dom. For those people, The Wedding Album might be the equivalent to Rio, or perhaps even more aptly, their Duran Duran. (given its name and all…)  I try very hard to remember that these days, because while this time period was not my personal favorite, for many of you—it was. I can appreciate that, and I’m trying my best to do it justice here.

In 2012, Duran Duran played a gig in Durham, North Carolina. I was there, and as Simon introduced “Ordinary World”, he explained the importance of the song for the band. The band had been at a fork in the road, basically. Either they were going to keep going, or they were going to hang it up. “Ordinary World” was the song that convinced them to keep going. I’m not doing any sort of justice to Simon’s eloquence that night, but his explanation convinced me – Ms. Doubter – of its permanence in the set list at the time.  The word “convince”, isn’t right. That word makes it sound as though I’m an owner of the band, when I am absolutely not. I think the right word is “respect”. I have deep respect for the song, and obviously the band, and yes, including Warren for writing it. How could I not?

In years since that gig, I’ve witnessed “Ordinary World” do extraordinary things to people. Regular people sob openly when it is played. I’ve watched it heal, and I’ve seen it bring people together. I have also seen the song give someone strength when they needed it most, and create the strongest of bonds between relative strangers. There is indeed something very special about that song, and there is no denying it’s magic, even 25 years later.



Come Undone, 1993 – Do you remember?

It’s March 1st! Did you say “White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” upon waking this morning?  Apparently, there is some sort of tradition (England? Scotland? Australia??) that if you wake up in the morning of a new month and say white rabbits three times before saying anything else, you’ll have good luck for the entire month. I’d never heard of this until Richard Blade started reminding people to do it on Facebook.

No, I didn’t remember to do it either.  I never even thought of it until I was in the shower, the potential for the month running down the  drain as quickly as I mumbled “good morning” to my husband…and dog. That’s how most “first of the month mornings” go for me. I remind myself as my head hits the pillow the night before, and by the morning thereof, I’ve forgotten everything except for where I need to be rushing off to, and what time I need to leave.  I did remember one time last year, but the joke of it all is since I don’t know what kind of luck I might have had normally – I suppose anything can be considered “good luck”.  It is all in how you look at it!

Of course, this month is already going to be fantastic because I have people coming to visit! Well, maybe not just for me, but there are favorite people of mine coming to California, nonetheless. I have 15 days until Amanda arrives, and 16 until we go to Rancho Mirage. I’m excited to see our roommates, I’m anxious to see people I haven’t seen since last August, and yes – I’m really looking forward to seeing Duran Duran, too.

Speaking of Duran Duran, did you know that they filmed the video for “Come Undone” on this date in 1993?  Twenty-four years later and I still feel uncomfortable when I watch some of the scenes, which in my opinion – is intended, and I suppose it is also a sign of very good art. When I first saw the video, I can remember the wheels turning in my head due to the emotional depth. There was a lot of discomfort going on for me, and yeah, it made me think.

At the time, I  was still operating on the belief that videos should be made, derived, imagined…from the lyrics of the song. That didn’t mean that the video needed to recreate the lyrics word for word in picture form, but I felt that the video needed to give a new view for the song, I guess. I think if I’m being honest, I still prefer videos that do that – but I also like when the video completely re-imagines the song, too. The naivety of my youth (we’re talking back when in the days of Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf, here) led me to think the band drove the ideas for their videos. Naturally in the decades since, I’ve learned otherwise. In some ways, I suppose I gave the band a lot of credit. I very much believed they were completely in the driver’s seat and created all the images they wanted their adoring public to see and feel.  When I saw “Come Undone”, I was struck by the stories within. It bothered me to see the child hiding from the supposed abusive relationship of her parents, or to see the girl in shackles under water. Truthfully, to some extent, it still bothers me, enough to where the song took on different meaning (to me) than it did originally.  Perhaps it is because on some level, I identified with some of what I saw on-screen. That’s what art is supposed to do, even if it causes some discomfort along the way.

Oddly enough, I always liked the song. I know that it is not Amanda’s favorite song – and she says it’s boring live, but I really like it. I’ve learned to enjoy the torment and tension the song has curled up within, and in my opinion, the song has aged extremely well… or maybe it is just that the song has grown to mean much more to me now as a 40-something than it did when I was just beginning to experience life in my 20s.


The Wedding Album was released on this date in 1993!

My first thought as I sat down to write this blog was that I graduated from college in 1993.  Today, that feels like a million years ago. I don’t know quite what it is about those mid-90s for me, but the years and memories all blend together. Not quite a black hole, but not quite distinct vivid memories, either.  Unfortunately for me, that includes The Wedding Album.

Sure, I remember hearing “Ordinary World” on the radio.  Who wouldn’t?  It was the first time in many years that Duran Duran seemed to be on heavy rotation. I also remember blasting “Too Much Information” in my car as I would drive home from school.  So, I know I must have bought the CD at some point.  I can remember wondering why on earth they (the band) went with the album being self-titled again, because it seemed so confusing. As it was, I always called their first album, well…their first album, as opposed to Duran Duran by Duran Duran. Why not just give it a name?  Turns out, we did it for them anyway. Everyone I know calls it The Wedding Album. I even capitalize and italicize it as though that’s the way it’s meant to be!

Where was I?  Oh yes, very few memories of this album when it came out. It is true. I suppose in some way, my experience is indicative of where I was in my life at the time. I was months away from graduating from college. I was trying to find a job, dating my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband), commuting a ridiculous distance back and forth to school each day, and I guess I really wasn’t paying as much attention to Duran Duran as I once did…or would again in the future.

I can tell you a few things about my own feelings about that album from day one, though.  To begin with, I really liked “Ordinary World”. My husband even learned the guitar part well after we were married and moved back to California because he knew how much I loved it. However, my favorite song on the album, both then and now, is “Too Much Information”.  I also liked “Come Undone”…and for me, those were really the only songs that hit me off the album.  I played it all the time in my car, but I found myself hitting repeat on those songs and skipping much of the rest.  All I can say is that we all have our favorites.  I’m glad the album propelled Duran Duran onward, because they’re still with us today as result.

From what I’ve read over the years, I wasn’t the only fan that was consumed by real life during this period. I wish I had more memories. One thing I do remember – very vaguely – is going to see Duran Duran play at Irvine Meadows later that year. I went in August, and I sat…wait for it…on the LAWN.  My friend had bought tickets for the two of us to go see Duran Duran together as a graduation gift.  I was excited to see the band – I think it was only the second time I ever saw them, actually.  I knew we’d be way back from the stage but it didn’t matter much to me, at first. However, even back then going to shows wasn’t without some sort of drama.  My boyfriend was more than a little annoyed that he wasn’t invited, and so he went and got his own tickets – much closer to the front – and went with one of his friends. This, my friends, was the one and only time that Walt has ever had a better seat at a Duran show than I’ve had, and HE WILL NEVER LET ME FORGET IT.  Good times!

That’s probably why I barely remember the show or much from this era – I blocked it from memory.  😀



Today in Duran History

On today’s date in 1993, Duran Duran played the Durban Expo Centre in Durban, South Africa.  This is not an area of the world where the band tours often…so I have to ask, did any of our readers attend??

Also on this date in 1984, The Reflex reached it’s peak of #1 in the US!!  Not too shabby for a little band from Birmingham….

Happy Monday, everyone!


Today in Duran History

Today I have a Duran history tidbit that is finger licking good!!  (shout out to my pal Krista…this one is for YOU, my friend!)

On this date in 1993, Come Undone reached it’s peak of #13 on the UK charts.  Anyone know where it peaked in the US or elsewhere??  Go ahead and chime in with comments!

A fan favorite, it is done live fairly often (like almost all the time) on tour…it is one of Amanda’s least favorite songs ever, and Rhonda likes it, sans the aforementioned finger licking. (Avert the eyes! Avert the eyes!) Ah, we joke, we kid, we even tease…but we love.