Duran World Cup of the 90s

March 28, 2020

Last year, Cherry Lipstick ran a Twitter poll covering 64 tracks from the 1980s. Now we're doing again, but for the 1990s. Maybe the winner will be obvious (the poll is ongoing at the time of writing) but it's fun getting there.

 

The 1990s were the 4th of the 5 stages of life for Duran Duran. For the record, here they are:

 

1978 - May 1980 (Simon joining) : The Formative Years

May 1980 - July 1985 (Live Aid): The Glory Years

1986 - 1989: The Surviving Years

1990 - 2001: The Search for Identity Years

2001- present: The Golden Years

 

Duran Duran entered the decade as a new 5-piece, and skittered around as a 3 and 4 piece, only to end up back as the same group of 5 where they had left off 16 years earlier. It was a chaotic, energetic, creative time, saved by the touch of genius that alighted on the 10 minutes of Ordinary World and Come Undone.

 

This poll highlights the range of music they produced that far outstrips in range that the band have managed since 2001. In terms of quality it is a sprawling beast across 5 albums of varying listenability, compared to the lightening strike of gold on the first three albums. Across it all, of course, is Warren who saw off Sterling and John as band mates, added his own brand of madness to the brew, before being seen off to enable 'Duran Duran' to survive.

 

Here then are the 64 songs that made up the decade. They have been split by the ratings given by your Cherry Lipstick authors of our famous album reviews - C.K. Shortell, Ruth Galvin, J.R. Kiss and AW. 

 And so the 64 songs went to war, with one song from each pot in each group - top 2 qualified. 

 The seeding system was approved by the voters - all 16 Pot A tracks went through, with 14 of them as group winners (even Femme Fatale). Pot D saw a group winner (First Impression), which suggests the voters do not agree with Adam and Ruth's album star rating that gave it just the one star. Go, Little Johnny!

 

At the end of the group stage, the 32 survivors were made up from these albums:

Liberty - 6/10

Wedding Album - 8/13

Thank You - 5/ 11

Medazzaland - 7/12

Pop Trash -- 5/10

 

The voters on Twitter then chose to make the first knock-out round seeded, and so the 16 group winners faced off against the 16 Runners-Up. Would Drive By survive?

 

Femme Fatale marches on, along for four - FOUR! - tracks from the much maligned Liberty album (compared to only two from the fan-acclaimed Medazzaland). all the winners had generally healthy leads with no tie-breakers required. of the 16 qualifiers, 13 came from the original Pot A. No singles were eliminated.

Pop Trash ended up with only one survivor, and that beat the only remaining, but highly regarded, bonus track. 

 

Your commentsmostly expressing outrage at their favourites losing):

@CKshortell: "This is ridiculous - Midnight fraking Sun people!"

@johnnyskinner21: "Woh woh fooking woh, this should be alot closer, PWU is pure Duran rick at its finest."

@BitterMachines: "All Along The Water is a fun song with a ton of energy but Starting to Remember is geniius songwriting."

@dee_cooke: "I do think Barbarella is quite fun in a frothy kind of way but i honestly thought more people would rate Detectives."

@MarkBigPotatoes: "Breath After Breath is just beautiful and my fav Duran non-single."

 

and so we went on...

The 8 qualifiers all came from Pot A (all singles). Pop Trash lost its last representative, crushed by the Ordinary World juggernaut. Again, only two of the ties were fairly close, as My Antarctica was no match for a (flop) single from the Wedding Album. Both the Medazzaland tracks qualified.

 

You said:

@fevermeer: "Love them both but Come Undone is an original song and that beats a cover for me."

@AzCardsGM: "Love All along the water, this should’ve been the first single released"

@johnnyskinner21: "Sin Of The City can't lose to a cover! I love White Lines I do but...SOTC is a complete a Duran tune as you'll ever get....Epic bass line one of JT's finest, epic Keys one of NR's finest, great lyrics, and an epic Guitar ear bender at the end, what a song, do you guys even remember this song!"

@arcana7609: "I got no answer on this... I think “My Antarctica” is probably the most beautiful song ever created by anyone."

@JohnArchbell: "Oh this is really hard!! Going to abstain from voting. Sorry. Yes, one is a cover - but they really made Perfect Day their own. It’s so so good. But Jeeze, TWA is my favourite...and..and oh goodness me! Ok I went for Come Undone because it’s so damn sexy!"

@BitterMachines: "Wonder if the newly released acoustic version of TMI has created a brief but heightened appreciation for the song. Just a theory. Personally I love both of them in their own ways. My Antarctica gets a ton of love bc Liberty was a dud. I think TMI is overlooked bc of OW & CU."

@SarahJay55: "Thought I’d be in an even smaller minority voting for SENM! I clearly remember the first time I heard OW, and how disappointed I was by it, after such a long wait for new music. It’s not a widely shared opinion"

@dee_cooke: "Love both of these (this poll is making me realise how much I love Liberty actually) but VOS just pips it."

 

and so to the quarter finals - and surprise awaits those who thought they knew what the final would be...

An audible gasp

An audible gasp was let out across the Twittersphere (well, maybe) as the QF pairings were announced in the random draw (they were actually the last two names out the hat). And Ordinary World's one plausible challenger was simply blown away. A 'stop OW' voting block emerged, but half-heartedly. Elsewhere, White Lines so nearly made it four different albums in the final four, which would have been nice. 

The juggernaut took out another big gun on its march to its title. (That's Ordinary World, in case it needed spelling out). Both semis produced easy wins as Medazzaland finally succombed.

 

And so to the final round...

If you'd said the final would be between two back-to-back singles, you'd probably have gone for OW and CU. For Duran's worst performing single of the '90s to make it was quite a redemption for Serious, even if the final turned into a victory lap. The winner was never in doubt from the get go, but the margin of thrashings was something to behold. 

 

Thank you all for voting, hope you enjoyed it.

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