Thursday, January 30, 2014

Songoftheday 1/30/14 - You saw me standing by the old corner of a main street, and the lights are flashing on your windowsill...


Duran Duran - "Save A Prayer"
from the album Rio (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by the 80's "Fab Five", Duran Duran, who were as big as you could get by the end of 1984, with two top-ten albums and three top-ten pop singles in America, including their add-on single to their live album, "The Wild Boys", which almost made the top spot at the end of the year. With no new album coming, fans were still hammering radio with requests, and one of those was the live version of a track from their second album Rio that never was released before as a single. "Save A Prayer" had gotten major play especially in my hometown, where it consistently made the top-5 requests of the night every night. The song had already gone to #2 back in 1982 in their native England, and now it was time for the band and Capitol Records to release the song as a single here, with an edited version on one side and the live take from their Arena album on the other. MTV of course helped by playing the original video, shot in the south Asian island country of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), like nobody's business, and the exotic local and fashionable outfits only served to highten their allure...


"Save A Prayer" became the band's third top-20 pop hit from Rio in March of 1985, while also become a late top-40 hit in Germany as well (the original release went to #1 in neighboring France). It serves as the band's emotional musical peak, their new romantic version of the "power-ballad" if you will.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the 1984 live version B-side that got as much airplay as the album version, taped the day after the death of Marvin Gaye, whom the band dedicated the song to...



...while here's a more recent take from the reunited band in 2008...


...and again during their Olympics gig in London in 2012...


British rave act Shut Up And Dance interpolated the record with rap to produce "Save It Til The Mourning After" and went to #25 in the UK in 1995...

 
In 1997 alt-rock group Eve's Plum took on "Save a Prayer" for a DD tribute album...



Meanwhile, another 80's veteran, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, released a cover of the song as a single in Belgium in 1998...


Up tomorrow: possibly the least-known top-40 hit of the 80s. Shame. Like a ..... even...

1 comment:

John said...

I've always loved this album, and it's a highlight of Arena. I have to admit I totally missed the Marvin Gaye angle of the song.