Big Thing (Duran Duran album)

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Big Thing
Duran Duran - Big Thing.png
Studio album by
Released18 October 1988 (1988-10-18)
Recorded1988
StudioDavout, Paris
Genre
Length44:48
LabelEMI
Producer
Duran Duran chronology
Notorious
(1986)
Big Thing
(1988)
Decade
(1989)
Singles from Big Thing
  1. "I Don't Want Your Love"
    Released: September 1988
  2. "All She Wants Is"
    Released: December 1988
  3. "Do You Believe in Shame?"
    Released: 10 April 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music2/5 stars[2]
PopMatters6/10 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[4]

Big Thing is the fifth studio album by English new wave band Duran Duran. It was released on 18 October 1988 by EMI. The album reached number 15 on the UK Albums Chart and number 24 on the US Billboard 200.

A CD reissue (with one bonus track) was released in 1994. The album was reissued as a three-disc boxset on 27 September 2010.[5]

Background[edit]

In 1988, the musical climate was changing, veering to a more dance-based groove. Duran Duran were known primarily as an early 1980s new wave synth-pop act, and the band was sitting at a career crossroads; Big Thing was their stab at maintaining mainstream popularity.

Turning to more synth- and bass-heavy grooves than their previous efforts, Big Thing was seen by many as the band's "house music" album. Tracks like the first single "I Don't Want Your Love", the title track, and the album's second single "All She Wants Is" cemented the band's more aggressive dance angle.

To get the new music played without preconceived 'teeny bopper band' notions of Duran Duran, the band sent an edited three-minute version of album tracks "The Edge of America" and "Lake Shore Driving" to radio stations, known as "Official Bootleg: The LSD Edit". The promo was credited to "The Krush Brothers", which the band also used in a few surprise live dates.

Dance music and stylistic respellings aside, Big Thing was an album of contrasts. While the general feel was a response to the burgeoning house music and rave scene, a number of tracks on the album harkened back to the band's more lush arrangements. Tracks like "Land", "Palomino" and the single "Do You Believe in Shame?" had more in common with "Save a Prayer" or "The Seventh Stranger" than with Chicago house.

The album also contains two short pieces entitled "Interlude One" and "Flute Interlude" which were more experimental in nature than anything the band had done before. The band would repeat the use of these "interludes" on future albums with "Shotgun" appearing on Duran Duran (1993), "Fragment" and "Kiss Goodbye" on Pop Trash (2000), and "Return to Now" and "A Diamond in the Mind" on All You Need Is Now (2011).

While the album and the first two singles did quite well in the charts, the relative failure of the third single "Do You Believe in Shame?" (it reached No. 30 in the UK) killed off any chance for a fourth single from the album. A house version of "Drug" which had been recorded with producer Marshall Jefferson in April 1989 was tentatively slated as that single.

A brief legal challenge surrounded the close resemblance of the melody of "Shame" to that of the Dale Hawkins classic "Suzie Q" (more famously covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival). It was judged that there was no intentional plagiarism in this case.

The album was eventually reissued with the original Daniel Abraham mix of "Drug" added as a bonus track, previously released as a b-side to the "Do You Believe in Shame?" single.

Warren Cuccurullo[edit]

Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo had begun working with Duran Duran in the middle of the recording of the previous album Notorious (1986), after the acrimonious departure of former guitarist Andy Taylor. While he was still not a full band member, nor a true songwriting partner, Big Thing was the first full album with which Cuccurullo was involved. His contributions can be felt all over the record, from the "lead vamp guitar" on "All She Wants Is" to the crazed guitar solo on album closer "Lake Shore Driving".

Contrary to popular belief, Chester Kamen plays guitar on "I Don't Want Your Love" (although it is Cuccurullo who appears in the video).[citation needed]

At the end of the global Electric Theatre Tour promoting Big Thing in 1989, Warren Cuccurullo became a full-time member of the band along with drummer Sterling Campbell. Campbell would stay for one more album, 1990's Liberty, while Cuccurullo would remain with the band until 2001.

Dedication[edit]

For the first time in their career the band members decided to write personal dedication notes on the album sleeve thus thanking Alex Sadkin who had been killed in a car crash in late 1987, Andy Warhol, who had died in early 1987 and David Miles, a childhood friend of Le Bon's who died of an illegal drug cigarette during the album's creation.

Singles[edit]

  1. "I Don't Want Your Love" (September 1988) #14 UK, #4 US
  2. "All She Wants Is" (January 1989) #9 UK, #22 US
  3. "Do You Believe in Shame?" (April 1989) #30 UK, #72 US

Promotional singles[edit]

  1. "Official Bootleg: LSD Edit" (as The Krush Brothers)
  2. "Big Thing" (UK and Mexico only)
  3. "Too Late Marlene" (Brazil only)

Track listing[edit]

1988 original release[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Duran Duran.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Big Thing"3:41
2."I Don't Want Your Love"4:06
3."All She Wants Is"4:34
4."Too Late Marlene"5:08
5."Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)"4:36
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Do You Believe in Shame?"4:23
7."Palomino"5:19
8."Interlude One"0:32
9."Land"6:12
10."Flute Interlude"0:32
11."The Edge of America"2:37
12."Lake Shore Driving"3:03
Bonus track on 2006 CD reissue
No.TitleLength
13."Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)" (Daniel Abraham Mix)4:20

As neither of the UK CDs show the track listings the difference between them can be identified by the catalogue numbers. These are:-

  • 0777 7 909582 7 (UK: CDDDB 33) Original 12 track CD
  • 0777 7 898342 2 (UK: CDPRG 1007) 1994 reissue with bonus track

2010 reissue[edit]

CD one
No.TitleLength
1."Big Thing (Nocymb)"3:41
2."I Don't Want Your Love"4:06
3."All She Wants Is"4:34
4."Too Late Marlene"5:08
5."Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)*"4:18
6."Do You Believe in Shame?"4:23
7."Palomino"5:19
8."Interlude One"0:32
9."Land"6:12
10."Flute Interlude"0:32
11."The Edge of America"2:37
12."Lake Shore Driving"3:03
  • "Drug" as included here is actually the "Daniel Abraham Mix" included on previous releases, which is how the song was originally meant to be included on the album. The version which appeared on the original album, remixed by Joe Dworniak and Duncan Bridgeman, is included on disc two, labelled "Remix".
CD Two: Singles and B-sides
No.TitleLength
1."I Don't Want Your Love" (7" mix)3:47
2."All She Wants Is" (45 mix)4:36
3."I Believe/All I Need to Know" (full version)6:21
4."The Krush Brothers LSD Edit"3:30
5."God (London)"1:40
6."This Is How a Road Gets Made"0:47
7."Palomino" (edit)3:30
8."Drug (It’s Just a State of Mind)" (Remix)4:36
9."Big Thing" (7" mix)3:53
Mixes
No.TitleLength
10."I Don't Want Your Love" (Big mix)7:24
11."All She Wants Is" (US master mix)7:19
12."Big Thing" (12" mix)6:40
13."All She Wants Is" (Eurohouse mix)7:34
  • Tracks 3, 9 and 12 are previously unreleased. The remixes of the song Big Thing have no credit. But is rumored that were made by Steve Peck.
DVD: Big Thing Live – Palatrussardi, Milan, Italy, 12 December 1988
No.TitleLength
1."Introduction/God"1:57
2."Big Thing"4:10
3."I Don’t Want Your Love"4:48
4."Hungry Like the Wolf"4:28
5."Do You Believe in Shame?"4:39
6."All She Wants Is/Planet Earth"5:47
7."This Is How a Road Gets Made/Winter Marches On"4:20
8."Palomino"5:47
9."Too Late Marlene"5:52
10."Girls on Film"3:43
11."Notorious"4:54
12."Skin Trade"5:58
13."Is There Something I Should Know?"4:56
14."The Wild Boys/Drug"8:02
15."Band Introduction/Save a Prayer"7:48
16."The Reflex"4:03
17."Rio"3:41
18."The Edge of America"9:42
The Videos
No.TitleLength
19."I Don't Want Your Love" 
20."All She Wants Is" 
21."Do You Believe in Shame?" 

Japanese bonus disc[edit]

Toshiba EMI also released Big Thing in a two-disc set, which featured not only the complete album, but a five-song live CD, Previously released as Duran Goes Dutch (US promo EP, 1987):

  1. "Notorious" [Live]
  2. "Vertigo (Do the Demolition)" [Live]
  3. "New Religion" [Live]
  4. "Hungry Like the Wolf" [Live]
  5. "American Science" [Live]

Personnel[edit]

Duran Duran

Additional musicians

Also credited

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  3. ^ Bergstrom, John (21 October 2010). "Duran Duran: Notorious / Big Thing". PopMatters. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Duran Duran". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ "Big Thing [2-CD/DVD] – Duran Duran". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Duran Duran – Big Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  7. ^ Lwin, Nanda (1999). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1.
  8. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Duran Duran – Big Thing" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  9. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 5 no. 47. 19 November 1988. p. 26. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 15 January 2019 – via American Radio History.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Duran Duran – Big Thing" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  11. ^ デュラン・デュランのアルバム売り上げランキング [Duran Duran's album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Duran Duran – Big Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Duran Duran – Big Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Duran Duran – Big Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Duran Duran Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1989". Billboard. Archived from the original on 21 September 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Duran Duran – Big Thing". British Phonographic Industry. 1 November 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Big Thing in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Duran Duran – Big Thing". Recording Industry Association of America. 20 December 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]