|Save A Prayer|
|single by Duran Duran|
|B-side||"Hold Back the Rain" (Remix)|
|Released||9 August 1982|
AIR Studios, London
|Genre||New wave, synthpop|
|Length||5:25 (Single Version|
5:32 (Album Version)
3:45 (US Single Edit)
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 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."
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
- "Save A Prayer" - 5:34
- "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:24
- "Save A Prayer" (Video Version) - 6:03
- "Save A Prayer" (Australian Promo Edit) - 4:10
- "Save A Prayer" (Brazilian Edit) - 4:04
- "Save A Prayer" (US Single Version) - 3:44
- "Save A Prayer" (Special Edited Version) - 3:55
- "Save A Prayer" (Japanese Single Version) - 4:00
- "Save A Prayer" (Instrumental) - 5:26
Covers, samples, & media references
"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.
7": EMI / EMI 5327 (UK)
- "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:25
- "Hold Back the Rain" (7" Remix) - 3:58
12": EMI / 12 EMI 5327 (UK)
- "Save A Prayer" (Single Version) - 5:25
- "Hold Back the Rain" (12" Remix) - 7:05
- Arena (1984)
- The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)
- Decade: Greatest Hits (1989)
- Greatest (1998)
- Rio (Reissue) (2001)
Duran Duran are:
- Simon Le Bon - vocals, acoustic guitar (live versions)
- John Taylor - bass guitar
- Andy Taylor - guitar
- Nick Rhodes - keyboards
- Roger Taylor - drums
- Colin Thurston - producer and engineer
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
- Save A Prayer at BBC's Sold on Song
- VH1: Duran Duran videos - see a clip from the "Save A Prayer" video
- The Duran Duran Timeline: 1982
- The Duran Duran Timeline: 1985
- Save a Prayer music video
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