Turn That Noise Down – Duran Duran

Duran Duran The Wedding Album cover

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant travels back to 1993 to revisit some of the sounds of his youth that made his parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve goes to a wedding with Duran Duran ...

I like Duran Duran, have done since I was seven and Seven and the Ragged Tiger came out. It's not a guilty pleasure as there is zero guilt on my part. The thing I have liked the most is that the band always tried something new, changed as they grew and grew as they changed, but mainly what I have enjoyed most is the album tracks, those tunes that wouldn’t get selected for a single release and probably wouldn’t fly up the charts like the successful ones did for over three decades. I liked tunes off the first self-titled album like Anyone Out There; The Chauffeur and New Religion from Rio; The Seventh Stranger from the aforementioned Seven and the Ragged Tiger, in fact the first time a single became my favourite song was Notorious from Notorious. After that, Duran Duran were a little hit and miss for me but then their second self-titled album, otherwise known as the wedding album, came out and even the album tracks felt like singles. It truly is a remarkable addition to the Duran Duran back catalogue.

The album kicks off with the very poppy tune Too Much Information with lyrics like ‘destroyed by MTV I hate to bite the hand that feeds me,’ attacking the channel that made the band what they were, was both brave and refreshing and a fantastic upbeat way to start an album. The world famous Ordinary World, the world famous Come Undone, the Lou Reed cover Femme Fatale and the great collaboration with Milton Nascimento on Breath after Breath are enough to warrant another listen on their own but, as is my pattern with Duran Duran, there is real glory to be found in the album tracks. Drowning Man and Love Voodoo are both great and, if it wasn’t for Sin of the City, None of the Above would probably take the title of favourite but to make a fantastic piece of music from a real life tragedy (for those unfamiliar with the song it is about the Happy Land arson fire in New York in 1990 that killed over 80 people) is incredible.

All in all Duran Duran (The Wedding Album) is a great listen even now, showing Bowie and Prince influences, still with the funk rock edge of John Taylor’s bass and electronica of Nick Rhodes, with a playful and yet grown up feel. It is no surprise to me that this album is the most commercially successful since Ragged Tiger a decade before, but have a listen to those album tracks underneath the singles and you won’t be disappointed.

Find Steve on Twitter as @STBwrites

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