This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #371: Save a Prayer by Duran Duran.
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. Not only was their music being played everywhere but they were in the vanguard of a new marketing strategy that saw them produce some of the most evocative, lushly produced music videos of the video age. Duran Duran were pioneers in the use of music videos to promote themselves. By creating these videos, they were able to introduce themselves to huge audience demographic while, at there same time, produce content that allowed music stations such as Much Music (in Canada) and MTV (in the States) 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 the 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. Not surprisingly, they 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 and was the highest charting single. The video was shot in Sri Lanka and was completed just prior to that country lasping into civil war. 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 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.
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