In 1993, Duran Duran looked a little different from what they do now. They’d already lost a couple of Taylors, and gained a Cuccurullo. They were deep in the throes of The Wedding Album, experiencing a rejuvenation—a sort of second rise to fame.
The band was asked to participate in MTV’s Unplugged series, a show that had bands basically “unplug” and play their songs as acoustically as possible. Duran Duran participated, and the show was aired on December 15, 1993.
I was a senior in college at the time, desperately trying to finish my classes so that I could (finally) graduate in the spring, already a year later than I might have liked—and I worked full-time as well. Duran Duran was a far cry from my reality at the time, and I didn’t see the program until well after its first airing.
For me personally, I was always struck by Duran Duran being on MTV’s Unplugged because, let’s face it, gadgetry and Duran Duran go hand in hand, don’t they? It was interesting to watch the show because while it is most definitely Duran Duran—it is so different from what I know them to be.
They started with Hungry Like The Wolf, and I almost didn’t recognize it – the rhythm is so different and they rely heavily on a string arrangement to recreate some of the sound we might recognize, turning the song into a ballad. Very, very different. Songs like Ordinary World sound pretty much the same, but other songs like Too Much Information really throw me a bit – same speed, same words, but the instrumentation is incredibly different. Overall, the program is fun to watch, even now.
I found a full-version of the program, but the picture quality isn’t great.
This one is set up more like a playlist that someone organized on YouTube, but the picture quality is better. Check it out!