Duran Duran – Save A Prayer
And you wanted to dance so I asked you to dance
But fear is in your soul
Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise
Don't say a prayer for me now
Save it 'til the morning after
In August 1982, in the top period of Summer loves and star-lit beach nights, the release of the single and video of “Save a prayer” seemed to mark the highest possible point of romance for teenagers. After the release of “My Own Way” in November, Duran Duran had absolutely candidated, since the Spring of that year, to become the glamour group of the decade. The release of “Hungry like the wolf” in April and then the entire album “Rio” in May had really propelled the Birmingham five towards an incredible career.
And so you can imagine the impact of this song on an audience of fans and teenagers who increasingly watched MTV and were so fascinated to see exotic scenarios such as beaches, lagoons and temples of Sri Lanka, where Duran Duran systematically lived dreaming or incredible adventures, accompanied by their wonderful songs, and of course by the experienced camera of the director of the 80s , Australian Russell Mulcahy.
In fact the romnticism was much less than what you see in the video! First, looking at the lyrics, we understand why Simon Le Bon called the song “realistic, rather than romantic”: it is about an occasional meeting full of passion, rather than about a life’s love story. Then, there are some episodes related to the making of the video that, in hindsight, seem almost funny.
In some scenes Nick Rhodes appears with a leather jacket, not particularly light. In fact, he and Andy Taylor had joined the rest of the band just in time to film these scenes. They had to stay in London to finish working on some versions and mixes of the songs, and then joined the rest of the band later. When we say “just in time”, we mean that in fact once the plane landed in Sri Lanka they were immediately taken to the location of the shooting, and did not even have the opportunity to drop in a hotel, cool off or change. And so Nick wears, in the lush Sri Lankan vegetation, the same heavy jacket he wore in the cold rain of London at the start!
Apparently at one point Nick was worried about not resisting the heat of the vest, but Andy reassured him: still a few scenes and in a short time we will be cooling off in the hotel! Which was true, because filming ended soon after, but their hotel was in another part of the island, and Nick had to go through hours of travel before he could get dressed lighter!!
And even poor Andy didn’t get much better: at one point, after the scene where Simon dances with the girl, we see the other members of the group sitting on trees and stones around a lagoon where elephants are happily playing and cooling off. Andy Taylor in particular plays guitar sitting on a branch.
Seconds after the shooting ended, Andy, who, as he admitted years later in an autobiography, had alcohol in his body and who knows what else, fell from the branch and ended up in the lagoon where the elephants were playing. And he had the misfortune of drinking, so since that moment, he links Duran Duran’s most romantic song to the time he spent in the hospital during the Australian tour that followed filming, to treat the virus that he contracted in the elephant lagoon!
The video, however, became very popular, a true symbol of the 80s, and brought the song not only to the top of the hit parade in many countris, but made this hit one of the absolute milestones of Duran Duran history.
Duran Duran on Wikipedia