By the early 90s, Duran Duran’s popularity had faded. Their album Liberty had proved a commercial failure, its two singles failing to make a significant showing on British or American charts.
It wasn’t until Capitol leaked “Ordinary World” to a radio station in Florida in the autumn of 1992 that it looked like Duran Duran mania might yet hit again. The single proved so popular that Capitol had to push the US release date up, ultimately releasing it in December. In the UK, the original January release date stood. The song can be credited as introducing Duran Duran to a new generation of fans.
Simon LeBon would go on to sing the song with Pavarotti at a WarChild benefit, which was released on home video as Pavarotti & Friends: Together for the Children of Bosnia. Le Bon later said of the event, “If you’re talking about name dropping, he’s one of the biggest names you could drop, Pav-The-Man.”
The strings in the song were arranged and performed by Nick Rhodes, using a Kurzweil K2000, a digital synthesizer that was highly advanced for its time.
The song won an Ivor Novello Award in May 1994 and later featured in the soundtrack to the film Layer Cake in 2005.
The music video was filmed by director Nick Egan at Huntington Gardens in San Marino, California.
“My Antarctica”, a song from the band’s previous album Liberty, featured as the main B-side of the “Ordinary World” single.
Many other older singles were also used as B-sides. To capitalise on the success of “Ordinary World” and the new Duran Duran fans it was finding, EMI used the single’s release to lure these new fans to the band’s back catalogue. This mini-Decade was spread over the two CD singles released during the campaign.
There were several other versions of “Ordinary World” released:
* The “Acoustic Version” was recorded at the May 15 “No Ordinary Tour” live performance at Tower Records in Hollywood, which was simulcast to Hard Rock Cafés around the world. This live version was found on a number of “Ordinary World” releases outside the UK, most notably the Canadian and American cassette single and featured additional musicians, Gerry L and AD’A. It would eventually be released in the UK on the first CD single for “Come Undone”.
* The “AC Edit” was featured on a US promo CD that came packaged with the Decade album.
* A live version recorded on Simon Mayo’s Radio 1 show featured as a B-side to the band’s later 1995 single “White Lines”.
* An extended version recorded at Sony Studios in New York City for Hard Rock Live was included on a promotional 2-track CD in June 2000 by the band’s new label Hollywood Records, running at 6:08.
Edited by DrEverette on 30 Nov 2010, 03:44
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