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EMI RECORDS NEW RELEASE
THE POWER STATION CD & DVD
"We were kings of the world, notwithstanding the huge hangovers. We were 23 and we were playing with the big boys at The Power Station". - JOHN TAYLOR, 2004.
What happened when Duran Duran met Chic and Robert Palmer?
EMI are delighted to announce the release of a new edition of the debut album by THE POWER STATION, to celebrate – remarkably – its 20th Anniversary. It's big, bright, bold, daft, flamboyant and fun. It's the sound of the 80s meeting rock of the 70s and the soul of the 60s. Few records have ever sounded quite so ferocious and, well, very, very loud. It"s a souvenir from an era when pop stars believed in dressing up rather than dressing down.
By 1984, the wheels had momentarily fallen off the Duran Duran juggernaut. From nought to worldwide success in less than four years, the band, like many others before them, found that it had all gotten a bit too much for them and the members needed some time apart. Had it been a decade earlier, the group would have all made solo albums about mystical hermits. But John Taylor was far too smart for that. These were new times. As the original synthesiser of punk and funk within Duran, he capitalised on a happy accident and masterminded one of the most successful albums of 1985.
THE POWER STATION was not originally going to be either a band or an album. Taylor knew he wanted to record with Chic drummer Tony Thompson, and make a version of T. Rex's "Get It On". After original vocalist Bebe Buell dropped out, he, Thompson, and his Duran cohort Andy Taylor sought a new singer. But they were now at a level where a small ad in Melody Maker would simply not suffice. They considered a revolving door policy with frontmen until partying acquaintance Robert Palmer arrived. His experience and musical erudition were warmly welcomed to the proceedings. "Get It On" was duly recorded with producer Bernard Edwards, then looking to equal his ex-Chic partner Nile Rodgers production triumphs with David Bowie and Madonna. From its spontaneous creation, the working arrangement gelled, and an album quickly followed.
As Taylor had learned to play bass a handful of years earlier to Chic's Good Times, here he was, playing with that record"s drummer and being produced by the person who played the original part. The surprise and joy of John and Andy Taylor recording with their heroes at the New York studio which was to give the group its name courses deeply through the groove. Andy Taylor was unfettered and splashed his big rock guitar across the recording, creating a big, bright urban sound that was both of its time, yet strangely timeless.
Using every trick in the book to capture Thompson's massive drums (including recording them down lift-shafts), their debut single, "Some Like It Hot", a melee of bubbling horns and clipped guitar, shot to No. 12 in the UK and No. 6 in America. The seven other cuts, a mixture of originals and covers, helped the album reach the Top 20 both sides of the Atlantic.
In addition, there are now seven bonus tracks, including the Michael Des Barres-voiced "Someday, Somehow, Someone's Gotta Pay" from the Arnold Schwarzenegger action pic Commando, appearing for the first time on a Power Station album, as well as a plethora of mixes that filled the ever-burgeoning single formats of the time.
And on top of all that, to complete this deluxe Power Station experience, the DVD features: the band in behind the scenes studio footage, interviews, the videos to "Some Like It Hot" and "Get It On" along with a bonus live version of "Some Like It Hot" from Saturday Night Live, the only existing live footage of the band from that era performing with Robert Palmer.
Today, unbelievably, Palmer, Thompson and Edwards are no longer with us, while John and Andy Taylor are once again conquering the world with the reformed Duran Duran. Hear what they did on their holidays all those years ago, and whatever you do, play it loud.
THE POWER STATION remains a perfect testament to the giddiness of the time.
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