This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #371: Save a Prayer by Duran Duran.
I feel as though I have thoroughly discussed the “Duran Duran” connection I have already but, for those who don’t hang on my every post, here is the short version of the story. I left my Cape Breton home to attend university in Toronto in 1982 which was, coincidently, when “Duran Duran” released their second album named, “Rio”. The excitement in Toronto when the band came to play there on their world tour was something I had never witnessed before. Coupled with the music from their album, were some of the most evocative, lushly produced music videos of the video age. “Duran Duran” were among the pioneers of using music videos as part of their marketing plans and, because of them, music stations such as Much Music (in Canada) and MTV (in the States) were able to launch successfully.
“Duran Duran” were comprised of five members: Simon LeBon (lead singer), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), John Taylor (Bass guitar), Andy Taylor (Lead guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums)….*fyi, none of the “Taylors” are related. The origin of the name of the band says a lot about their mindset as they entered the musical landscape of the world. The name “Duran Duran” comes from 1960s movie, “Barbarella”, which starred a scantily clad heroine played by a young Jane Fonda. In many of their music videos, “Duran Duran” opted for scenes and storylines that are filled with visually-appealing settings, fashion and people. The members of the band were all viewed as model-handsome at the time “Rio” was released. They, also, used many female models in their videos. Fortunately, from my own perspective, the music they produced was good, too. Simon LeBon has a good, strong voice and the band members can all play their instruments well so, there was some actual musical substance behind the band’s sizzle. It wasn’t all just pretty boys singing about pretty girls in pretty places but, let’s be honest, it kinda was, too.
“Save a Prayer” was the third song released from the “Rio” album, after the title track and “Hungry Like The Wolf”. “Save A Prayer” was the highest charting single from this album. The video for it was shot in Sri Lanka and was completed just prior to that country lasping into civil war. Overall, “Duran Duran” have enjoyed a long and productive career that is still going on today. Their hits include, “Planet Earth”, “Girls on Film”, “The Reflex”, “New Moon on Monday”, “Ordinary Day”, “Come Undone”, “View to a Kill” (from the James Bond soundtrack to the movie of the same name) and many more. They have earned tens of millions in album sales since those early days when they were causing hysteria just as I was settling into university life in Toronto. So, without further delay, here is the official music video for “Save A Prayer”, shot on location in Sri Lanka and one of MTV/Much Music’s first super hot videos that they aired in heavy rotation. Enjoy.
The link to the video for “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran, can be found here.
The link to the video for a live performance of the song, “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Duran Duran, can be found here.
The link for radio station, KEXP, which supported Duran Duran right from the beginning, can be found here.