The 80s: Duran Duran’s ‘Big Thing’

bigthing3Duran Duran emerged in the early 1980s with the release of their eponymous debut album which included the singles “Girls On Film” and “Planet Earth.”  Their success over the next few years, along with that of other U.K-based punk/new wave/rock bands and artists such as The Police, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Gary Numan, helped to usher in what would be known as the Second British Invasion.  However, the musical landscape was changing in 1988, with dance and hip-hop becoming more the norm rather than the exception.  So it was with the club and dance audience in mind that Duran Duran released their fifth studio album, Big Thing.

bigthing1The band teamed up with producers Jonathan Elias and Daniel Abraham to create an album with big beats and a more synth and bass-heavy sound.  The first single was “I Don’t Want Your Love,” a funky track that hit the top of the Hot Dance Club Play chart and made it to the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100.  The follow up single, “All She Wants Is,” also hit the top spot on the dance charts in the states and Europe, and it fared better in the U.K. than the preceding single, making it to #9 on the U.K. singles chart.  While the first half of the album was geared to the dance crowd, the B side (if you were still listening to albums or cassettes) was laden with melancholy, softer pop-oriented ballads such as “Palomino,” “Land,” and “The Edge Of America;” the album’s final single “Do You Believe In Shame” peaked at #30 on the U.K. chart.  In the end, Big Thing peaked at #15 in the U.K. and #24 in the U.S., proving Duran Duran could change with the times and still keep the hits coming.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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