After dwindling commercial success in the early 1990s, Duran Duran returned to the UK Top Five and US Top Ten with this album, which has been certified Gold in the UK and Platinum in the US. The singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone" reached the US Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
The cover art by Nick Egan features wedding photos from the parents of the four band members.
Recording of the album was completed in early 1992 with an impending release by Capitol Records in the United States. Duran Duran's new management company, Left Bank, was distressed at the apparent lack of enthusiasm for the album and had it pulled from the release schedule. Manager Tommy Manzi later told HitQuarters it was the industry that were unenthusiastic about the return of the band rather than the music consumer. Manzi said that industry insiders "laughed at" Left Bank while they worked on reviving the careers of not only Duran Duran but also Meat Loaf because they would rather focus on "the next hip band" than perceived "old" acts. As it happened, the album reached No. 4 in the UK Albums Chart, their highest charting album since 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger.
In the UK, three singles from the album reached the Top 40 including "Ordinary World" (#6), "Come Undone" (#13) and "Too Much Information" (#35). Four singles taken from the album charted in the US: "Ordinary World" (#3), "Come Undone" (#7), "Too Much Information" and "Drowning Man". "Breath After Breath", a collaboration with Milton Nascimento, was released only in Brazil, "None of the Above" in Japan and "Femme Fatale" (cover of The Velvet Underground song) in France. The song "Sin of the City" is about the Happy Land arson fire that killed 87 people trapped in an unlicensed social club in New York City on 25 March 1990. The short track "Shotgun" is a kind of a cover of the 1965 single of the same name by Jr. Walker and the All Stars.
During the hiatus while waiting for the album to be released, the band began working on what would become the Thank You album, with John Jones, and a Warren Cuccurullo-derived riff of "First Impression" led to the rapid inclusion of the song "Come Undone".