Ordinary World: 25 Years Later
Way back when… It’s May 1993 and there’s good news in the Duraning world! Ordinary World has been a hit and Cherry Lipstick’s first ever issue is out! Here’s what your 22 year old editor had to say about things in our first ever issue – 25 years ago.
Well, what is there to say about the success of Ordinary World? After waiting so long for a decent-sized hit of any kind, suddenly this single sails in at number 11 and troops in to the top 10 as if it were the most natural thing in the world. What happened? I saw no advertising (and I was looking – what about most of the population who can only vaguely remember the band?) and few reviews of the single, nor was it mentioned in the ‘to be released’ sections of NME or Melody maker. Radio 1 suddenly decided to put it on their play list (and keeping it, even after 4 weeks on the charts), and everyone starts to say how they great they were after the song is played.
It’s as though a dreaded curse has been lifted and it’s now alright to like them. Maybe this record has finally done what Duran have been trying to do since Notorious – get their teen fans to grow with the band. The band have accepted they are not what they were, now it is time for their old fans to do the same. Hearing Ordinary World was like meeting an old friend, the memories were still strong and here was a newness that extended the relationship.
The song itself played well on radio and stood out a mile from the other dross, but to us die-hards it may have been their best single since Do You Believe In Shame but it wasn’t up against stiff opposition.
The formats it was released on was a surprise. Not having a 12” single I still consider to be a mistake. Firstly it would have meant extra tracks for me to buy. Secondly those without a CD player could have got extra tracks, and thirdly the size of the single is a good poster for the single on the record racks.
The CD was a real surprise. This is the first time they have used old classics to promote new stuff (except for live tracks). How much this influenced the success of Ordinary World we won’t know, but it’s been their biggest hit for 8 years, so that may add up or just make 2+2=5.
Putting My Antarctica next to Save A Prayer and the other 4 classics was a surprise and shows how much they rate that excellent track. It must have been a shock to those buying Ordinary World for the old tracks, and I just hope they listened to it and realised what good music they’ve made since 1985. For me, it merely emphasised that Ordinary World wasn’t that good.
Next moan is the second CD. I didn’t buy it. I hate being ripped off and as someone who’s waited 2½ years for this single I wanted at least a remix or a new b-side, not those old tracks that I know inside out. Oh yes, it helps the single to sell, but who’s more important – those that bought Liberty on its first day of release or the people who have finally woken up to the fact that Duran Duran are actually quite good and always have been?
The video was a real return to form with super swirly effects, Nick doing weird things to a woman with a lampshade on her head and all the boys looking generally sexy, mean and cool.
And listening to the charts on Sunday 24th January was a dream! Number 11!!!! And then up to SIX!!! January 31st was the first time since Notorious that the charts could be turned on before 6.15pm and not miss Duran’s new chart placing. I couldn’t cope with this and still listened the whole way through, ticking off all the places up to 11 and then relaxing, knowing it was top 10 for the first time since 1989. There was a sweat to pass Notorious (no 7) and then Ordinary World became their biggest hit since A View To A Kill in 1985… highest new entry, highest chart position, most weeks in the top 40, most weeks in the top 10. Since a View To A Kill, Duran Duran have amassed a whole two weeks in the top 10. Ordinary World doubled that in one go.
It’s not an ‘80s revival’. Duran Duran have never been away and don’t need reviving, they’ve been waiting patiently for people to catch up with them and come to terms, in their own time, with the passing of youth. Or maybe they bought Ordinary World because they liked the song. Take it or leave it, but I’m feeling optimistic at the moment, so I think I’d better finish this before the second single fails to chart.
You can read all of Issue 1 here
Here’s what Duran fans had to say in the letters page of Cherry Lipstick Issue 2 (July 1993):
“Well isn’t it nice to see a decent Duran Duran fanzine at last!”
“It’s a good fun read and certainly very different to the other Duran fanzines I get! I hope there will be many more issues to come.”
“Quite unlike any other Duran fanzine I’ve ever read! Keep it up!”
25 years later we are keeping it up... Cherry Lipstick will publish our latest issue in our 3rd Fanzine Week - coming on Monday 5 February.