Duran Duran Wiki
Save A Prayer
single by Duran Duran
B-side "Hold Back the Rain" (Remix)
Released 9 August 1982
Recorded January-February 1982
AIR Studios, London
Format 7", 12"
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 5:25 (Single Version
5:32 (Album Version)
3:45 (US Single Edit)
Label Capitol, EMI
Writer(s) Duran Duran
Producer Colin Thurston
Duran Duran

"Save A Prayer" is the sixth single by Duran Duran, released as the third single from the album Rio on 9 August 1982.

About the song[]

The song became Duran Duran's biggest hit to date (at the time) in the UK Singles Chart, reaching #2, held out of the top spot by Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger".

It was not originally issued as a single in the United States, although the video was very popular on MTV. However, a special US single version was released in January 1985 and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Save A Prayer" begins with a somewhat eerie synthesizer riff, which plays in the background throughout the song.

According to Le Bon, the song's chorus structure is based on Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" and the lyrics as being contrary to the then-popular New Romantic movement by being "realistic, and not romantic" and "for seeing things as they really are." He sums up "Save A Prayer" as "It's definitely a freedom song but like a kinda nobody owns anybody kinda song."

Cover art for the single was designed by Assorted iMages, which features a shadow being.

Donald A. Guarisco at All Music Guide[1] said:

Dance-friendly items like "Rio" and "Hungry Like The Wolf" gave Duran Duran their chart breakthrough in the U.S. but they were also capable of making lush ballads guaranteed to make their fan base swoon. One of the finest, perhaps the finest, was "Save a Prayer," a lilting epic from Rio that has a special place in the heart of every Duran Duran fanatic. The lyrics revolve around a chance meeting between two people that flares into a love affair but ends all too soon: "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." The music maintains the stormily romantic quality of the lyric by combining meditative verses with an aching chorus that swells and ebbs in a way that perfectly captures the song's heartbreak. Duran Duran's recording places an emphasis on Nick Rhodes' swirling, minimalist synth lines and Simon Le Bon's pained vocals as the rhythm section holds down a steady but subdued beat, with Andy Taylor adding a few searing bursts of electric guitar during the chorus. The result was a stylish mood-piece that became a number two hit in the UK and earned plenty of airplay on MTV with a glossy video that featured the band jet-setting around the atmospheric locale of Sri Lanka.

Ask Katy trivia[]

"Hi John, Can you tell me if you are using a fretless bass when recording "Save A Prayer" or, if not, what effects are you using on you bass. Thanks, Ger"

  • "Hello Ger, If I remember correctly, it was an Electro Harmonix phase shifter. It sounds like a chorus pedal, which was de rigeur for every fretless bass sound at that time, and I use chorus today on that song .. but .. I’m pretty sure the effect I used in the studio was aforesaid phaser. And it wasn’t a fretless bass. John."

Music video[]

The video was filmed by director Russell Mulcahy among the jungles, beaches, and temples of Sri Lanka in April 1982. Scenes were filmed atop the rock fortress of Sigiriya, and among the ruins of a Buddhist temple at Polonnaruwa.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[]

The UK release of "Save A Prayer" was backed with a remix of "Hold Back the Rain".

Complete list of mixes[]

  1. "Save A Prayer" - 5:34
  2. "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:24
  3. "Save A Prayer" (Video Version) - 6:03
  4. "Save A Prayer" (Australian Promo Edit) - 4:10
  5. "Save A Prayer" (Brazilian Edit) - 4:04
  6. "Save A Prayer" (US Single Version) - 3:44
  7. "Save A Prayer" (Special Edited Version) - 3:55
  8. "Save A Prayer" (Japanese Single Version) - 4:00
  9. "Save A Prayer" (Instrumental) - 5:26

Covers, samples, & media references[]

The song has been covered by Tony Hadley, Shut Up And Dance, Eve's Plum, Polyanna, Dune, Oliver Haze, 56K feat. Beejay, the Push Kings and Marcos Marin by Projeto Set Band..

In 2007, it was referenced in the lyrics of the song by Arctic Monkeys, "Teddy Picker" from their album Favourite Worst Nightmare: "I don't want your prayer, save it for the morning after".

Chart positions[]

"Save A Prayer" was released in the UK on 9 August 1982, and peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart on 11 September. This version was not released in the United States

Live version[]

"Save A Prayer" (Live) was released as a single from the live album Arena in the United States in February of 1985 (B-5438), backed with the original UK single version of "Save A Prayer". It peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. on 2 February.

The release was accompanied by a new live video, drawn from footage shot in 1984 for the concert film Arena.

Track listing[]

7": EMI / EMI 5327 (UK)

  1. "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:25
  2. "Hold Back the Rain" (7" Remix) - 3:58

12": EMI / 12 EMI 5327 (UK)

  1. "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:25
  2. "Hold Back the Rain" (12" Remix) - 7:05

Other appearances[]


Box sets:




Duran Duran are:

Also credited:


You saw me standing by the wall,
Corner of a main street
And the lights are flashing on your window sill
All alone ain't much fun,
So you're looking for the thrill
And you know just what it takes and where to go

Don't say a prayer for me now,
Save it 'til the morning after
No, don't say a prayer for me now,
Save it 'til the morning after

Feel the breeze deep on the inside,
Look you down into your well
If you can, you'll see the world in all his fire
Take a chance
(Like all dreamers can't find another way)
You don't have to dream it all, just live a day

Don't say a prayer for me now,
Save it 'til the morning after
No, don't say a prayer for me now,
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after,
Save it till the morning after

Pretty looking road,
Try to hold the rising floods that fill my skin
Don't ask me why I'll keep my promise,
Melt the ice
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
No, don't say a prayer for me now,
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after
Save it 'til the morning after

Save a prayer 'til the morning after

See also[]


Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
Andy TaylorWarren CuccurulloSterling Campbell

Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged TigerArenaNotoriousBig ThingLibertyDuran Duran (The Wedding Album)Thank YouMedazzalandPop TrashAstronautRed Carpet MassacreAll You Need Is NowPaper GodsFuture Past


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


"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 • "All You Need Is Now • "Girl Panic! • "Leave A Light On • "Pressure Off"
• "Five Years" • "Invisible" • "More Joy" • "Anniversary"• "Tonight United"

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