Arcadia was formed as a side project by three members of Duran Duran: Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor. So Red The Rose is the only album they released as Arcadia. The trio composed this song.
With Duran Duran, Simon LeBon wrote fairly straightforward lyrics, but here we get:
Opening eyes impale neon flickers
She moon, she turning away
The city's her slave but he's cheating his mistress
The lyrics are rather dense, and quite open for interpretation. It doesn't seem to be about an actual election, but more of a metaphor for some kind of reckoning. It might also be LeBon exercising his clever wordplay muscles.
Grace Jones is the voice of the narrator. Jones starred in the 1985 James Bond movie A View To A Kill
. Duran Duran had a #1 hit with the theme song to the movie
Nick Rhodes took the name "Arcadia" from a Poussin painting showing shepherds around a tomb that said: "Et in Arcadia ego." It roughly translates as "Even in Arcadia, there I am" and he took it from a phrase found in Virgil's fifth eclogue. Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) was a French artist who spent most of his career in Rome. Influenced by the romantic Classical past, he composed his landscapes with mathematical precision and peopled them with noble, heroic figures.
Arcadia is a central plateau of southern Greece. Its inhabitants in antiquity, somewhat isolated from the rest of the world, were romanticized by later writers and poets who idealized their simple, pastoral life.
The video was directed by Roger Christian, one of the top set directors in Hollywood. He won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for his work on the movie Star Wars, and was nominated for his work on Alien. "Election Day" was one of the few music videos he worked on; it was a big-budget affair shot in Paris over five days. Like the song, it doesn't make a lot of sense: there is some kind of catacomb, pretty girls, and candles.