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RECORD COLLECTOR: Duran Duran / The Wedding Album (1993)

RECORD COLLECTOR: Duran Duran The Wedding Album 1993

Duran Duran “The Wedding Album” 1993

1989 – 1992 was not a great time to be a Duran Duran fan. It’s tempting to call it their ‘wilderness years’ but there were other neglected, and inhospitable eras such as the late 1990s (when EMI refused to release studio album number nine, Medazzaland, in the UK), so that might just be confusing.

Let’s just say the boys from Birmingham lost their way somewhat. Having released the hits compilation, Decade in 1989, the band followed it less than a year later with Liberty, a rather misguided step in the direction of soft-rawk.

1990’s Liberty was a significant commercial and critical failure, with lead single Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over) epitomising all that was wrong with it. Boring, unmelodic, lyrically meaningless and basically a charm-free zone (try listening to ‘The Story Mix’ version without cringing).

Violence of Summer peaked at number 20 in the UK chart, and the follow-up Serious was their first single EVER to fail to get into the UK top 40 (peaked at no. 48). EMI gave up and didn’t even bother to release a third single. Liberty would also be the first Duran Duran studio album NOT to contain a UK top ten hit single. Lots of records being broken, for the wrong reasons.

As a fan, it was really painful. Somehow the band had gone from the epic, wistful landscapes and pop sensibility of Land and I Don’t Want Your Love (from 1988’s Big Thing) to the empty L.A. rock of Hothead and First Impression (both from Liberty) with one shake of the diceIt was as if when someone turned the light out on the eighties – a decade they helped define – Duran Duran lost their way, and stumbled around in the dark for a time.

The reason for re-visiting that period, is to put into some context, the success of 1993’s Duran Duran (referred to as The Wedding Album, from here on in). Ordinary World would have been a stunning achievement on the back of a successful record, but to come back from the depths and lows of Liberty with such a well produced, beautiful, melodic pop song was a truly amazing feat. Maybe Duran Duran needed the kick in the balls that was the public’s indifference to Liberty to get the juices flowing again.

Come Undone was the perfect follow-up single and proved Ordinary World was no fluke. The Wedding Album itself was full of great melodies and feel-good tracks. The album was stacked with potential singles – Love Voodoo, UMF, Breath After Breath and especially None Of The Above, but one of the big disappointments at the time was how EMI somehow contrived to release NONE of them as actual 45s. The Wedding Album could easily have been one of those records that spawned five or six singles, but having chosen poorly for the third release (Too Much Information) – and possibly blown their budget on a very expensive looking video and a zillion remixes –  EMI did not issue any further singles.

Despite this, EMI (and Capitol) cannot be accused of lack of effort for the singles that were released. There was a multitude of CD singles globally that contained a myriad of remixes, acoustic versions, non-album tracks, live performances and occasional dips into the back catalogue.

Here, for your enjoyment, is the second in our occasional ‘Record Collector‘ feature. We give you Duran Duran’s The Wedding Album.


#1: Duran Duran UK CD Album (1993, EMI)

Duran Duran / The Wedding Album UK CDThis is the standard 13-track UK CD version of the album. A special two-CD deluxe edition was later issued which added the three ‘B-sides’/non-album tracks (see more below) and a few remixes of the singles. Hopefully, when the dust settles on the Universal takeover of EMI, a reissue of this album will be on the cards.


#2: Ordinary World UK CD singles parts 1 and 2 (1993, EMI – CDDDS 16)

Duran Duran / Ordinary World UK CD Single

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Released in January 1993 in the UK and December 1992 in the US, this was the single that propelled Duran Duran back to the higher reaches of the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic. It ended up in the US and UK top ten at the same time, and to date is the last transatlantic top ten hit for the group.

EMI in the UK issued a lavish 8-panel digipack CD single, which featured Save a Prayer, Skin Trade and the only really good track from Liberty, My Antartica (Capitol Records in the US for some reason chose to debut album track UMF in place of Skin Trade on their US ‘maxi’ CD).

Bizarrely, this first of two UK CD singles featured the inferior album version (incorrectly labelled ‘single version’ on the packaging). The following week a further picture disc CD was issued (CDDDPD 16) which contained the actual single version that was being played on the radio at that time. More hits were included on this second CD including The Reflex, Hungry Like The Wolf and Girls On Film.

Ordinary World was not issued on 12-inch vinyl in the UK.


#3 Come Undone US CD singles #1 and #2
(1993, Capitol – C2 0777 7 15969 2 6 /15981 2 8)

Duran Duran / Come Undone US CD Single #2

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By 1993, record labels had realised that releasing two CD singles a week apart, with exclusive tracks on each, helped with chart success. Although this practice had become commonplace in the UK, it was rather rarer to see this in the US.

But that is exactly what happened with Come Undone. Capitol Records were also much more creative with bonus track selections than EMI in the UK. So the first Come Undone CD in the US featured the following tracks:

  1. Come Undone LP Version
  2. Come Undone Mix 1 Master
  3. Skin Trade Parisan Mix
  4. Stop Dead

The ‘Parisan’ mix of Skin Trade was relatively rare and more interesting than the standard ‘Stretch mix’ twelve-inch and Stop Dead was a new track from The Wedding Album sessions.

The second US CD Single for Come Undone contained the following

  1. Come Undone (US Remix)
  2. Fallen Angel
  3. To The Shore
  4. The Chauffeur (Acoustic)

Effectively four tracks new to CD in the US. Fallen Angel (sometimes called Falling Angel) was another new session track, To The Shore had been left off of Duran Duran’s debut in the US and the acoustic version of The Chauffeur had only been previously issued on the B-side of the Rio UK seven-inch single. The ‘US Remix’ of Come Undone was not issued on any of the UK versions of the single.

All this effort by Capitol was rewarded when Come Undone followed Ordinary World into the US Top 10.


#4 Too Much Information US Promo CD  (1994, Capitol – DPRO-79256)

Duran Duran / Too Much Information Churban mixes promo

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A four-track US promo CD that came without any booklet, informing the listener of track information via a sticker. Tracks are as follows:

  1. Too Much Information (Trance 7″ Mix) 3.29
  2. Too Much Information (4:30am Twirl Mix) 4.21
  3. Too Much Information (Club 2 Mix) 4.14
  4. Too Much Information (Unplugged Mix) 4.16

#5 Come Undone US maxi-cassette (1993, Capitol)

Duran Duran / Come Undone US Maxi-cassette

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Having issued two of the three non-album tracks on CD, Capitol released the third – Time For Temptation – on this cassette single.

  1. Come Undone (Album Version)
  2. Come Undone (Mix 2 Master)
  3. Time For Temptation

#6 None Of The Above Japan 3″ CD single (1993 – TODP-2452)

Duran Duran / None Of The Above 3" Japan CD Single

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Japan were the only country to commercially release Wedding Album track None of the Above as a single. This three-inch ‘snap-pack’ contains a “12-inch Extended Mix” of None of the Above. This was later issued on the Canadian White Lines CD single as the “Driza Bone Mix” (they are identical). However the single edit of this Driza Bone remix was only ever issued commercially on this Japanese CD single (it’s an edit of the remix not the album track).

  1. None Of The Above (Single Edit) 4.41
  2. None Of The Above (12″ Extended Mix) 6.38
  3. None Of The Above (LP Mix) 5.18

#7 Too Much Information US CD single (1993, Capitol – C20777 7 16489 2 2)

Duran Duran / Too Much Information US 'maxi' CD

Click to enlarge

A seemingly endless amount of remixes of third single Too Much Information were issued. This US ‘Maxi’ single contained a “Techno 7″ Remix” by Ben Chapman (as well as the album version) and a D:Ream remix of LP track Drowning Man (which was actually released as a single in the US). A live version of Hungry Like The Wolf recorded at Tower Records in Los Angeles completes this single.


#8 Duran Duran UK Music Book (1993, Wise Publications)

Duran Duran / The Wedding Album Music Book

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Duran Duran music books (‘Piano Vocal Guitar’) were released for every album (including Arcadia and The Power Station) until Liberty, which was never issued. Normal service was resumed with The Wedding Album, but none of the six Duran Duran studio albums since (including Thank You) have been released in music book form.


#9 Too Much Information UK CD Single (1993, EMI – CDDDs 18 / CDDD 18))

Duran Duran / Too Much Information UK CD Single

Click to enlarge

The final single in the UK from The Wedding Album was the first to get a commercial 12-inch vinyl single. Like Come Undone (see below) and Ordinary World, Too Much Information was issued as two separate CD singles which could reside in a deluxe digipack.  Yet more TMI remixes, plus a couple of live tracks.

CD 1

  1. Too Much Information (album version)
  2. Drowning Man (D:Ream 12″)
  3. Too Much Information (Ben Chapman 12″ Mix)
  4. Too Much Information (Deptford dub)

CD 2

  1. Too Much Information (Album version edit)
  2. Come Undone (12″ Mix – comin’ together)
  3. Come Undone (Live)
  4. Notorious

#10 Come Undone UK CD Single (1993, EMI – CDDDs 17)

Duran Duran / Come Undone UK CD single

Click to enlarge

The final item in this ‘Record Collector’ run down, is the two-part UK CD single set for Come Undone. Like the UK release of Ordinary World some old hits were rounded up to entice buyers, and CD 1 contained some remixes including an ‘acoustic version’ of Ordinary World, which is actually a remix making it sound ‘acoustic’ rather than a true acoustic re-recording.

Like Ordinary World, Come Undone was not issued commercially on 12″ vinyl in the UK.

Unlike in the US, none of the UK formats for Come Undone featured any of the three ‘non album’ tracks (Fallen/ing Angel, Time For Temptation and Stop Dead). In fact they didn’t appear on ANY of the UK singles and were only issued on the limited edition two-CD version of The Wedding Album that appeared once all three singles had been issued.

CD 1

  1. Come Undone (Edit)
  2. Ordinary World (Acoustic Version)
  3. Come Undone (FGI Phumpin’ 12″)
  4. Come Undone (La Fin De Siecle)

CD 2

  1. Come Undone (Album Version)
  2. Rio
  3. Is There Something I Should Know
  4. A View To A Kill

Did you purchase any of these? Would love to hear about your memories of this release, especially if you have any rare items. Please leave a commment or email a photo!

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37 responses to RECORD COLLECTOR: Duran Duran / The Wedding Album (1993)

  1. Richard John says:

    I had (have) most of these collectibles and remember feeling so ripped off at the release of Ordinary World – I already had Decade and didn’t really need half of it strewn across two CD singles.

    The best collectible I have from that time (apart from a myriad of US promo CD singles) is a mobile I managed to talk my way into from Harmony House. It’s really fantastic, and showed the lengths that Capitol were going to promote the band in the US.

    One thing I will mention here is the version of “To The Shore” on “Come Undone 2″ is actually a remix and exclusive to this release. Another example of Capitol/EMI screwing up their releases and bringing rarities out of the vault by accident (also see “Planet Earth” and “Hold Back the Rain” remixes on “Strange Behaviour”).

    A great run down of some of Duran’s rarer moments from 93-94, and you’re right – the amount of touring they were doing (I saw them 3 times between Feb 93 and Jan 94), they could have easily had a slew of singles released to keep interest up.

    Great write up, can’t wait to see Record Collector #3.

    (Btw, None of the Above didn’t include Bowie’s 87 and Cry as a hidden 4th track).

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Richard – I remember scouring record shops when Ordinary World was out to find the US import CD single, so I could hear UMF before the album came out. Did manage to pick it up in the end, although it’s gone AWOL from my collection since!

      I also had the US Blue Vinyl of Too Much Information which appears to be lost!

      I had read about To The Shore being different, but it must be fairly subtle…

  2. don says:

    My favorite DD album! And one of the best sets of CD singles to accompany any album from this time period. Thanks for the excellent write-up.

  3. Todd R. says:

    93 was a great time to be a DD fan, even tho the formula for Hit Album/Flop/Hit started up here (Liberty/Wedding/Thank You…) I loved seeing all the material coming out in support of the band’s new album effort. I onlly collected these after-the-fact, but a few do stand out. My favorite was the bonus cassette ep from “Come Undone” or “Too Much Information” (not sure which without looking… sorry) but it was basically a live EP from Tower Records (same source as “Hungry Like The Wolf” from TMI CD5) Those tracks I think have been included on the reissue of BIG THING I think. Anyhow – it was rare enough for a 2-cd series for a single, but to find a bonus cassingle (wrapped together in shrink wrap) was a “wow” moment for sure.

  4. Gary says:

    Indeed, such a great album and who can believe that it’s 20 years old now. Stands up very well IMHO.
    Nice article Paul – I have the double CD album that you mention, along with a couple of ‘import’ albums such as ‘Obsession and Corruption’. Oh, and the second Singles box set that covers this era, along with some of the original releases also…. :o)

  5. Michael Larson says:

    Great write up. (I think Liberty has its saving graces, but it is certainly not an easy album to love…)
    Personally, I’ve always liked “Too Much Information,” and was excited when it came out as a single. I think, though, that it was a single aimed (intentionally or not) at the “alternative rock” market, and not the pop market. They should’ve also released another single to capitalize on the pop radio market they’d been dominating with the first two singles, I agree. Oh well.

  6. Steve Thorpe says:

    Come on Richard – ‘Liberty’ might be a stinker overall, but how can anyone not see ‘Serious’ for the absolutely amazing track that it is?! I know it performed badly in the singles chart, but it’s a Duran classic that most other bands would have given their right arm to have written!!

    • Marko says:

      Agree with Steve. Liberty have some outstanding tracks like ‘Serious, ‘My Antarctica’ & ‘Liberty’. For me, ‘Serious’ is much better than ‘Ordinary World’.

  7. Shaun says:

    There was a 12″ single for Drowning Man released in the US. It may have been a DJ promo but it had full artwork.

  8. claudio says:

    I HAVE A LASERDISC CALLED “EXTRAORDINARY WORLD”! EXTRAORDINAY VIDEOS, REALLY!

    • Shaun says:

      Ah yes I also have this laserdisc, somewhere. There was a great documentary on one side covering the band all the way up to ’93 and TWA videos on the other side. It also included the two videos from Liberty, which was kinda weird but I guess they didn’t have a home as the Decade compilation had been released beforehand.

  9. Mark says:

    Great album , art work , remixes …. All the Singles are brilliant + UMF breath after breath…needs a reissue please

  10. Gareth P says:

    I think the Drowning Man US 12″ was a proper commercial release, there were certainly a lot of import-stickered copies available in UK high street record stores (ah, remember them?) like HMV and Virgin Megastore. And there’s the French Femme Fatale CD single also on import here in the UK in a blue ‘typographic’ picture sleeve. Add that to the Japanese None of the Above and the Wedding Album kinda did get 6 singles, in a roundabout way. Love this album, and really hope it gets a deluxe reissue along the lines of the 80s albums, once the EMI sale/catalogue picture clarifies. Really hoping Universal have an appetite to pick up where EMI left off at Big Thing in 2010.

  11. lee says:

    since it got mentioned, and i am hopefully not offending anyone or breaking any rules here by putting a link, i am one of the apparent few who consider Medazzaland to be a brilliant album.

    here’s an article i wrote on it a couple of years ago – http://leericketts.blogspot.com/2010/01/classic-album-medazzaland.html

    yes, there are one or two poor songs on it, but for me the amazing songs on it have been overlooked and neglected for no good reason other than the myth that it is awful.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Lee, will certainly give your article a read – “Midnight Sun” is my favourite Medazzaland track. The record is ambitious and experimental, but it cost them dearly by alienating the band from some of their audience and was a disaster in terms of relations with EMI in the UK.Considering it was the next ‘proper’ studio album after The Wedding Album, it was a commercial disaster. The long gap and the Thank You album didn’t exactly help, but it is not clear why Duran Duran wanted to leave behind the classic mainstream pop sound of much of The Wedding Album. I know they’ve always perceived themselves as an arty band, but in truth they are best at writing great pop songs that people want to listen to. No one really wants a ‘challenging’ Duran Duran album and that’s what Medazzaland is IMHO.

      My sister was visiting New York around the time of release, so I charged her with picking me up a copy!! I have one of the originals with the bright pink tray insert.

      Duran Duran own the rights to this album (at least in the UK) so unlike the other records they don’t need to wait for EMI to do it for them, they could do their own deluxe edition themselves. Surprised this hasn’t happened yet.

      • Gary says:

        Not wanting to de-rail the thread but does anyone else see Medazzaland as Arcadia 2.0? I agree that it’s more ‘arty’ and experimental, quite a distance from Wedding Album or even Astronaut. Pop Trash was a continuation on the theme but less experimental and more ‘heavy’ sounding. ‘Be my Icon’ is my favourite track from Medazzaland and ‘Who do you think you are’ is highly anthemic. I heard that there was re-release in the works at one point but I guess that was shelved?

        • Shaun says:

          I agree that Medazzaland is an underrated album but I do think it suffers from poor production in some spots. I love the industrial dirge of Be My Icon by the live version was vastly superior I think. If anyone has heard the demo version Big Bang Generation they will get treated to a super funky bassline that John came up with. Sadly this is all but erased in the final version. (Basically the same thing happened with Hothead, on Liberty)

          For what it’s worth I liked Warren’s contribution to the band throughout the 90’s but I think his heavy rock sensibilities were a bit harder to blend with John’s funkier style of playing. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t but the bass often ended up being buried in the mix.

          I am excited that the TV Mania project is finally being released next month. Now that the band have started a relationship with The Vinyl Factory they should press Medazzland and Pop Trash on vinyl. Can’t you just picture Medazz on hot pink wax? :)

  12. Michael Larson says:

    I really like Medazzaland. I think it has a few pop tunes that could have better performed in the charts if given more of chance. I still think “Electric Barbarella” is one of the best pop tunes they’ve done. Very catchy and you can dance to it.

    “Midnight Sun” is great. “Big Bang Generation” could’ve succeeded as alt-pop, but alternative people were probably against DD at the time.

    It may have been too arty for the masses, but I think so was the first DD album when it came out. They’re great when the artsy-leanings come together with the pop sensibilities and don’t override them.

  13. richard says:

    Jesus wept…this is a band for the dorises. What are all these blokes going on about…..

  14. Ray Shackleford says:

    You know, when you go see Duran or Jane’s Addiction security line for the women to get in is 5 times the size of the one for men. Some people consider that a good thing :)

    All these older indie guys are probably talking about this band because Duran’s label did a lot of multi-formatting, they actually had quality b-sides and re-mixes and a lot of OCD people like myself in the 80’s learned about record collecting by hunting down their various picture discs, gatefold poster 45’s and whatnot. Since they were on Capitol they had the kind of distribution that made sure that even in a time before there was a Walmart in every town (and when few of them had trendy indie record stores) that a newly bitten collector had a chance of actually tracking their product down.

    Why did you bother reading the article AND the comments if you aren’t interested?

  15. richard says:

    It’s all in jest…I saw them touring Rio I think.

  16. lee says:

    at the risk of going OT, glad to see i am not the only lover or appreciator of Medazzaland! my article is far from brilliant, i am sure Paul or someone else on this site could do a much better research job and run a feature on it.

    if i recall i paid somewhere just under twenty pounds for the pink case import of it in HMV.

  17. Martin says:

    I remember having signed up to some promotional company that seemed popular at the time where Parlophone would send postcards out for acts and upcoming releases and getting several for this album and related singles – still got them all, somewhere! Glad to see that I’m not the only one who thinks Medazzaland is a fantastic album – I think it’s really under-rated and was definately a direction I felt that Duran should have followed (which they did to some extent with Pop Trash) – I felt Astronaut was a really big step backwards…….I got Medazzaland on Japanese import (Virgin imprint) for £9.99 at Virgin Megastore in Manchester in 1999 – popped it into the pink cd tray from the US version, and never looked back! :)

  18. Shaun says:

    When it came out in the States I actually decided to wait a bit longer so I could get the Japanese import just to get the extra track (Ball and Chain).

    But we have definitely hi-jacked this thread. Back to TWA… I’ve got the original UK vinyl pressing on Parlophone and also a rather rare UK promo 12″ for Come Undone. I believe there were also Italian 12″ singles for both OW and CU. Just goes to show what a low point that was for that format as there wasn’t much available from this album.

  19. Mike says:

    Yep was going to mention the 6 track uk 12″ promo of come undone and the 4 track uk 12 of tmi with unreleased mixes!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I do like remixes, but how many remixes of Too Much Information can one man stand! The song was good on the album as an opener, but I was never convinced of it as a single and all those trying-too-hard remixes were pretty dire, IMO.

  20. Mike says:

    Of course if the tour hadnt had to be delayed etc, interesting to see whether they would have been more elevated in 93 in uk but then tmi bombed regardless so probably not!

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  22. Mike says:

    Nick says on the latest audio fir the fan community that the reissue is on, be good if it came out this year!

  23. Andreas says:

    I don’t think I will ever understand the apparent consensus, even among hard core Duran fans, that Liberty is such an awful album. The impeccable production still sounds fresh today, and some of the band’s strongest songs are on this record: Liberty, My Antarctica (pure lyrical and musical beauty), Can You Deal With It – not to mention Serious, a pop gem which should have been a worldwide smash. Such injustice!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      You’ve mentioned the one REALLY good song (My Antartica) but I would strongly take issue with your suggestion that “Can You Deal With It” is one of their “strongest songs”. It’s awful, along with most of side two of the album (First Impression, Read My Lips etc.). Flat melodies and totally uninspired lyrics coupled with an unappealing LA ‘rawk’ production means there’s hardly anything redeeming about *most* of the album.

  24. Andreas says:

    Admitted – Can You Deal With It is not Simon’s best lyric, but I just love the production/instrumental part of the song, especially the middle with the breakdown. The drum/percussion groove and the guitar solo are nothing short of brilliant. In my humble opinion First Impression and Venice Drowning are also killer tracks. Anyway, obviously this is a matter of taste, and I am well aware that I stand rather alone rating Liberty as their best album together with Rio and Notorious.

  25. mike says:

    Dear EMI

    Please get the reissue out.

    thanks
    The World.

  26. mike says:

    and still waiting…

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