Duran Duran - Union Of The Snake (1983)
- 80's score: 1.85
"Union of the Snake" is the ninth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 17 October 1983. "Union of ...
"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 was originally titled, "The Union at Stake", when the band were interviewed on The Oxford Road Show in March 1983 before their first performance of "Is there something I should know?" on U.K. television. 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 US Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks at the end of 1983. Further chart movement was prevented by "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson and "Say It Isn't So" by Daryl Hall and John Oates. It also reached number three on the UK Singles chart.
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.