Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
Save a Prayer was the sixth single released by Duran Duran, making its way to the airwaves on August 9, 1982. At the time, it was the most successful Duran Duran single in the band’s brief history. Backed by an eerie synth riff that is also insanely memorable, it also serves as my favorite Duran Duran song. It appears on the band’s 2nd album, Rio. Simon Le Bon’s vocals lend a weight to the proceedings that make the listener feel a sense of spiritual yearning, though the song is mostly about a 1 night stand. For me, this is where the band began to transcend their association with the New Romantic movement of the early 80’s. Lyrically, it captures the yin and yang of wanting to let go without any worries and facing the realization that “no strings” usually is an imaginary theory. “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”. The video helped solidify Duran Duran even further with the MTV crowd. It was filmed in Sri Lanka in April 1982 and lends itself to the song’s mystique. The song hit #2 on the UK charts and was not released as an official single in the US until early 1985, when it reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Notably, Eagles of Death Metal covered the song in 2015 on their album Zipper Down and performed the song live with Duran Duran in the fall of 2015. Ultimately, the song serves as the best entry point into the vast discography of Duran Duran.