Nostalgic News: Duran Duran’s ‘Come Undone’ at Thirty


Duran Duran’s fame was waning in the 1990s. They hit the very height of their fame in the mid-1980s, when they performed at Live Aid, composed the titular theme tune for the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill (which also went to number one in the US Charts), and split into two separate groups (Arcadia and The Power Station, respectively) for a brief period of experimentation.

The late 1980s and early 1990s did not treat them so kindly. With original members Andy and Roger Taylor (no relation) leaving soon after Live Aid, the band went through a period as a trio, invited several new band members and lost them again, and tried out a number of different musical styles with varying degrees of critical and commercial success.

The cover of Duran Duran’s 1993 album ‘Duran Duran’ (The Wedding Album), via Parlophone/EMI Records

Following the unsuccessful 1990 album Liberty, Duran Duran began working on Duran Duran (known as ‘The Wedding Album’ to differentiate it from their 1981 debut album of the same name), to a general atmosphere of unenthusiasm from the record industry. Despite this resistance to their musical return in favour of newer artists, the band persisted and released the album in November 1993.

This was the band’s comeback. For the first time since the mid-eighties, their tracks and albums were charting highly again! The album peaked at number four on the UK albums chart, and its first single, ‘Ordinary World’, charted at number six on the singles chart. Their follow-up single, ‘Come Undone’, repeated this renewed 1990s chart success for the band.

The track, a gorgeous, romantic ballad, was written by frontman Simon Le Bon for his wife, supermodel Yasmin Le Bon as a birthday gift, even featuring the lyrics ‘Happy birthday to you / was created for you’. The feminine vocals of Tessa Niles on the pre-chorus lines of ‘Can’t ever keep from falling apart at the seams / Can not believe you’ve taken my heart to pieces’ contrast with Le Bon’s deeper tones, as he sings about falling so deeply in love with somebody that you ‘come undone’ completely. The song explores the idea of losing all sense when in love, and nothing exterior to that person or your relationship really mattering. It acknowledges that heartbreak may be a risk, but that it is worth it for the feeling of dedicating yourself so wholly to somebody.

The cover art for ‘Come Undone’, via Parlophone/EMI Records

Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, who replaced original guitarist Andy Taylor, began the process of creating the song by accidentally developing the guitar riff whilst reworking one of the group’s previous songs. From this, Le Bon began to create lyrics until the song was fully formed. Bassist John Taylor, interestingly, did not play bass on the track, the only one on the album to not feature him. He did, however, appear in the music video playing the instrument.

Frontman Simon Le Bon and his wife, Yasmin, who he wrote ‘Come Undone’ for, in 1993 (via

The music video itself is visually striking, featuring both the band and multiple different characters in different situations. Most interesting is the visual of a young woman in an underwater tank, restrained by chains and struggling to break free. Continuing with this water-based imagery, the band members perform in front of tanks containing sharks and different kinds of fish. The video continues a long-standing tradition of Duran Duran producing thought-provoking and interesting music videos. Although not as exotic and glamorous as the music videos for their eighties exploits, such as Rio and Union of the Snake, the MTV pioneers continued to prove their capacity for producing stunning visual content alongside their music.

A lady struggles to break free from chains underwater in ‘Come Undone’s music video (via / Duran Duran on Youtube)

Although Duran Duran‘s 1990s comeback may be seen as short-lived, its impact on the band’s trajectory and success is undeniable. ‘Come Undone’ endures as one of their most popular and most streamed tracks, and is still performed by the band to this day. It remains a haunting and simply stunning ode to the feeling of being ridiculously in love. The knowledge that Le Bon wrote the gorgeous lyrics for his wife – whom he is still married to to this day, with three daughters and multiple grandchildren – makes it all the more sweet and emotional. Without their 1993 success era and ‘Come Undone’, it is doubtful that Duran Duran would still be selling out arenas to this very day. ‘Happy (30th) birthday to you’, indeed, ‘Come Undone!’

You can watch the music video for ‘Come Undone’ here, via Duran Duran:



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In the top 0.01% of Duran Duran listeners on Spotify in 2020. Also Records Editor for 2022/2023.

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