Election Day

Album: So Red The Rose (1985)
Charted: 7 6
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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 that year.
  • 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.

Comments: 6

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1985 {December 14th} a video of Arcadia's "Election Day" was aired on the ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Election Day" was in its first of two weeks at #6 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, and that was also its peak position on the Top 100...
    As noted above, "Election Day" reached #7 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    Arcadia had one other Top 100 record, "Goodbye Is Forever", it peaked at #33...
  • Tommy Mac from AthensThis song is about the 2020 election and the attempted coup by dark forces...Wild & scheming
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 8th, 1985, "Election Day" by Arcadia peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and spent 14 weeks on the chart...
    It reached #7 in the United Kingdom and Norway.
  • Tara from Nashville, TnI had this on Vinyl when it first came out, 20 plus years later I looked everywhere and FINALLY found it on cd. I love this album, my faves on this are The Promise, Keep me in the Dark and The Flame.... very Seventh Stranger/Chauffeur from the Arena album.
  • Scott from West Palm Beach, FlThe dreaminess of this album at the time was simply fluid. I used to fall asleep listening to this with my headphones (that's a good thing). The haunting backgrounds and almost inaudible intricacies made you melt into and become one with the music. This and The Cult's "Love" were my favorites of the day :)
  • Geri from Nova Scotia, CanadaSting and David Gilmour also guested on this album, So Red the Rose.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Tony Joe White

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Dave Mason

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.