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Medazzaland

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Medazzaland
DuranDuran-Medazzaland
Album by Duran Duran
Released October 14, 1997
Recorded 1996-1997
Genre Rock-New Wave
Length 53:12
Label Capitol/EMI
Producer(s) TV Mania
Professional reviews
  • All Music Guide (2.5/5) link
Duran Duran chronology
Thank You
(1995)
Medazzaland
(1997)
Night Versions
(1998)

Medazzaland is the eighth album by British pop group Duran Duran (released in 1997). It reached #58 on the US Billboard album chart, but was never released in Europe.

The album was the follow-up to the poorly received covers album Thank You, and bassist John Taylor left the band in January of 1997 before recording was complete. With only three members remaining -- Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and Warren Cuccurullo -- Duran Duran wrote and recorded several new tracks for the album, and re-recorded songs previously done with Taylor. His work remains on only three songs.

The dismal performance of the album led in part to the dissolution of the band's contract with EMI after almost two decades. As a parting gift, EMI gave the band ownership rights and the master tapes to the Medazzaland album, as well as several unreleased audio and videotapes of their 1995 and 1997 concerts. It was rumoured that the band would independently release the album in the UK, but they went on to sign with Hollywood Records and released Pop Trash instead. Medazzaland was only available in the Europe as an import or download.

Single releasesEdit

"Out of My Mind" Edit

Prior to the album's release, the band shopped some of the tracks around Hollywood movie studios in an attempt to get some songs onto popular movie soundtrack albums. Paramount Pictures eventually put "Out Of My Mind" on the soundtrack for the Val Kilmer film The Saint. The single featured future Medazzaland track "Silva Halo" as a b-side, along with "Sinner or Saint", written for the movie.

In March 1997, the soundtrack and single for "Out Of My Mind" were released internationally on Virgin Records, marking the first time a Duran Duran release (single or album) had been released on an imprint other than EMI/Parlophone (or Capitol/EMI for North America, though the same owner). The single peaked at #21 on the UK charts in May.

The video for "Out of My Mind" was filmed by director Dean Karr at Krumlov Castle in the city of Český Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. [1]

"Electric Barbarella" Edit

The lead single, "Electric Barbarella," (a nod to the film Barbarella, from which the band took their name) was released on September 16 in the United States, and peaked at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 1. It has been touted as the first song available for digital purchase/download on the Internet, and a handful of different mixes were created for the song. An 'exclusive' Dom T remix was made available for download in the US for 99 cents by the company Liquid Audio. This pioneering move annoyed many American retailers as they saw it as infringing on their retail territory and they either refused to stock the album or provided little to no promotion of the disc. That 'exclusive' remix of Electric Barbarella was actually just an edit of the full Dom T remix which was available on the commercially released single.

The video, directed by Ellen von Unwerth, involved a robot sex doll and had to be mildly censored before receiving airplay on MTV or VH1; by the time the modified video was delivered, the song had already fallen off the charts.

Album releaseEdit

The album was eventually released on 14 October, 1997, in North America and Japan. Due to poor sales, plans for a UK release were pushed back, and, later, shelved indefinitely. As of 2007, the album has not been released anywhere else, although in July 2008, the album was made available to buy digitally through iTunes Store in Europe and the US.

The music varies widely, from the sleazy bounce of "Electric Barbarella" and the dissonant "Big Bang Generation", to the bitter austerity of "Silva Halo" and the simple acoustic sweetness of "Michael You've Got A Lot To Answer For", concluding with the self-deprecating swagger of "Undergoing Treatment". Overall, the album has a heavily-layered, processed feel, with clear influences from the electronica genre of the late 1990s. The back of the album cover features a defaced version of the iconic Rio cover painting.

The album's title was inspired by Le Bon's treatment with the mind-altering drug midazolam during dental surgery, leaving him in a disconnected state for some time afterwards.

Other notable songs on the album include "Medazzaland", the first Duran Duran song to feature Nick Rhodes, not Simon Le Bon, on vocals, and "So Long Suicide", a reaction to the death of Kurt Cobain, among other things. Two songs were written about John Taylor's departure from the group: "Who Do You Think You Are?", with lyrics by Le Bon, and "Buried in the Sand", with lyrics by Rhodes. Le Bon has said that the song "Michael You've Got A Lot To Answer For", was written for his good friend Michael Hutchence, former lead singer of the band INXS. Hutchence died just a month after the album's release.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Medazzaland" – 3:53
  2. "Big Bang Generation" – 4:44
  3. "Electric Barbarella" – 5:19
  4. "Out of My Mind" – 4:20
  5. "Who Do You Think You Are?" – 3:27
  6. "Silva Halo" – 2:28
  7. "Be My Icon" – 5:15
  8. "Buried in the Sand" – 4:19
  9. "Michael You've Got A Lot To Answer For" – 4:09
  10. "Midnight Sun" – 3:41
  11. "So Long Suicide" – 4:39
  12. "Undergoing Treatment" – 3:05

Additional track on the Japanese release:

PersonnelEdit

Duran Duran are:

Also credited:

Production:

ReferencesEdit

  1. Duran Duran in Czech Republic
DURAN DURAN
Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
Andy TaylorWarren CuccurulloSterling Campbell
DISCOGRAPHY
ALBUMS

Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged TigerArenaNotoriousBig ThingLibertyDuran Duran (The Wedding Album)Thank YouMedazzalandPop TrashAstronautRed Carpet Massacre

COMPILATIONS and EP's

CarnivalDecade: Greatest HitsGreatestNight Versions: The Essential Duran DuranStrange BehaviourSingles Box Set 1981-1985Singles Box Set 1986-1995

SINGLES

"Planet Earth" • "Careless Memories" • "Girls on Film" • "My Own Way" • "Hungry Like the Wolf" • "Save a Prayer" • "Rio"• "Is There Something I Should Know?" • "Union of the Snake" • "New Moon on Monday" • "The Reflex" • "The Wild Boys" • "A View to a Kill" • "Notorious" • "Skin Trade" • "Meet El Presidente" • "I Don't Want Your Love" • "All She Wants Is" • "Do You Believe in Shame?" • "Burning the Ground" • "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" • "Serious" • "Ordinary World" • "Come Undone" • "Too Much Information" • "Perfect Day" • "White Lines" • "Out of My Mind" • "Electric Barbarella" • "Someone Else Not Me" • "(Reach Up for The) Sunrise" • "What Happens Tomorrow" • "Nice" • "Falling Down"

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