“Telegram force and ready
I knew this was a big mistake
there’s a fine line drawing
my senses together
and I think it’s about to break
If I listen close I can hear them singers
voices in your body coming through on the radio
the Union of the Snake is on the climb
moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
through the borderline
Nightshades on a warning
give me strength at least give me a light
give me anything even sympathy
there’s a chance you could be right
The Union of the Snake is on the climb
it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
gonna move up to the borderline”.
Duran Duran, The union of the snake – 4:20
(Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, Nick Rhodes)
Album: Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)
Singolo: “The Union of the Snake / Secret Oktober” (1983)
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“Union of the Snake is the ninth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 17 October 1983. “Union of the Snake” was the lead single from the band’s third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), and preceded its release by one month. It became one of Duran Duran‘s most popular singles, hitting number one on the US Cash Box and peaking at number three on both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 at the end of 1983.
After a songwriting session near Cannes in France, much of the band’s third album was recorded at George Martin‘s AIR Studios on the Caribbean island of Montserrat with producer Alex Sadkin, then mixed at 301 Studios in Sydney. Mixing for “Union of the Snake” was done right up to the last minute before the tapes had to be turned over to EMI for pressing. Lyricist Simon Le Bon (notoriously reticent about explaining his oblique lyrics) hinted in the Duran Duran lyric book The Book of Words that the borderline might be one between the conscious and subconscious minds. In later interviews, he proclaimed that it was a reference to Tantric sex. Drummer Roger Taylor stated that the beat and drum track was based upon David Bowie‘s 1983 single “Let’s Dance“.
The music video for “Union of the Snake” was conceived by Russell Mulcahy, who directed many of the heavy rotation videos for songs from Duran Duran‘s previous album Rio. However, as Mulcahy was busy preparing to direct the concert film Arena, and the documentary film Sing Blue Silver during the band’s world tour, the video for “Union” was actually directed by Simon Milne (who also filmed videos for Kajagoogoo and Missing Persons). There was a bit of controversy surrounding the video as it was released to MTV a whole week before the single was released on radio. Radio stations were anxious at the time because they were concerned that channels like MTV might supplant them in the promotion of singles. The video, filmed in part in sandhills near Cronulla, features the band being tracked through the Australian desert by a half-man, half-snake creature. They eventually take a lift beneath the sands into what appears to be an underground cathedral, where the snake creature and other bizarre characters interact with vocalist Le Bon. The band’s other members make only brief appearances in the video. The use of expensive sets, costumes and makeup foreshadowed the over-the-top nature of videos to come, including a 17-minute epic video for “New Moon on Monday“, the massively expensive video for “The Wild Boys“, and the extravagant concept/live film Arena.
(Wikipedia, voce Union of the Snake)
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