Tag Archives: Duran Duran The Wedding Album

Classic Pop: The Wedding Album and Pop Art

I am loving this Classic Pop magazine special edition on Duran Duran’s 40th Anniversary.  Over the past few weeks, I have read a number of articles and commented on my reactions in a series of blog posts.  Not only do I have more articles to read and write about today, I will only be about half way through the magazine.  There is so much here!  Today, I will cover the articles about the Wedding Album and album art.

The Wedding Album:

This review is similar to the one for Seven and the Ragged Tiger and Notorious as opposed to the lengthy one on Rio.  The extra features for this article include a blurb on the players and the tracklisting.  I’m not sure how many people are interested in who added vocal samples but it is nice to have the information in one place that is easy to find and read.

I’m always intrigued by the subheadings of these.  In this case, the author describes the album in this way, “going back to their roots and injecting a heavy dose of introspection.”  Interesting.  When I think of the album as a whole I am not sure I hear introspection in all of the songs.  In fact, I tend to think more about awareness to the world in a way that hadn’t been included much in the past along with some songs of introspection.

Again, the author begins by providing context, including what the music world was like in 1993 and how a lot of people had written off Duran.  Some, claimed the article, called Duran “Done Done.”  I never heard that and am horrified by it.  It never ceases to amaze me how cruel critics have been to Duran throughout the band’s career.

As you can imagine a great deal of the review focused on the creation of the songs and Ordinary World.  The articles talked a lot about how they wrote and recorded in a home studio which provided the setting for a focus on no frills, back to basics songwriting.  As far as Ordinary World goes, it told the usual story about how it was written about the death of Simon’s friend and got the band back into the spotlight.  Despite knowing all that, I didn’t realize that promo cassettes of the album were sent out in 1992 to various media outlets that contained a different track listing including the songs, Stop Dead and Time for Temptation.  If you don’t know there, here they are:

Pop Art:

This article chose to narrow its focus to the band’s album art.  The art for singles is also included.  I, for one, appreciate the fact that there was an entire feature dedicated to this.  Typically, when people cover Duran Duran, they usually discuss the band’s history, music and videos.  If there are any extras, then fashion is brought in.  Rarely have I ever seen anything that covers the fabulous album covers.

I love the fact that the article moves through the chronology of the band’s design from their early posters created by John Warwicker to Malcolm Garrett’s designs on the first albums all the way to the Paper Gods album cover.  Many of the various album and singles’s art were covered in detail.  For examples, I adored reading about the Planet Earth single cover.  I think it is my appreciation of art that makes me really love that it goes into such depth on both the images but also the design, including what the entire package might mean or represent.  If you are someone who loves analyzing Duran’s covers, this article is definitely the one for you!  If that wasn’t enough, it mentions Nick’s book of photography, Interference.  Lots of good stuff.

Next week, I’ll cover Top 40 Greatest Duran Tracks and Elder Statesmen.

-A

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