Great? Rock Albums of 1985: The Power Station

If I had been writing this blog thirty years ago, as the albums were coming out, this one off album from The Power Station would not have been included. Thinking back to then, when I heard the first single, “Some Like It Hot,” I thought, “No thanks.” To me it was just another synth pop song, only this one had a cool guitar solo. What also didn’t help was that the band featured two members of Duran Duran. In 1985, metalheads and Duranies were at odds with one another, so this was another reason not to like this band. However, throughout the many years, The Power Station have slowly grown enough on me that I was willing to include them.

On the subject of Duran Duran, I didn’t want to admit it back then but they were all talented musicians, John and Andy Taylor especially. It was only very recently I learned that they weren’t actually brothers. I will not take the fact they are so talented away from them but that doesn’t change the fact that they music that didn’t appeal to me. Anyway, what the Taylors did here was to get with drummer Tony Thompson from the band Chic and a lead singer named Robert Palmer and together, they put out an album that wasn’t too bad.

Another criticism aimed at The Power Station by metalheads back in 1985 was to do with the second single, the cover of T-Rex’s “Get It On (Bang a Gong).” Metalheads argued that they had totally butchered a classic T-Rex song but was that assessment fair? In my view, there are portions of this version of said classic that would have Marc Bolan spinning in his grave. Especially that woo-hoo-hoo part at the beginning. However, they do remain true to the basics of the song. The guitar comes through very clear and while not as good as the original, it still has me bobbing away to it when it’s played. Furthermore, it does have me wanting to include John Taylor in that ever expanding list of underrated guitarists.

Most of the remainder of the album is still too synth pop for me, even after all these many years. There are a good number of keyboard and brass players who contribute which makes it possible. It does have some flashes of more heavier rock. I like the intro and the guitar solo on “Communication” and their cover of “Harvest for the World” is nicely done. I could call that track more soft rock. However, going against the grain of the rest of the album is the track “Murderess.” This is a hard rocker, well it is in terms of this band but it does make the hidden gem the best song on the album. In spite of the fact that I still am not a huge Power Station fan but I can’t fault their musicianship either. These guys, especially John, were serious about music and the playing on it was top notch, credit where it’s due there.

Track Listing:

  1. Some Like It Hot
  2. Murderess
  3. Lonely Tonight
  4. Communication
  5. Get It On (Bang a Gong)
  6. Go to Zero
  7. Harvest For the World
  8. Still In Your Heart

The Power Station

Robert Palmer- vocals

John Taylor- guitar

Andy Taylor- bass

Tony Thompson- drums

At first, I thought it was a case of me mellowing with age but while I am more open and accepting of the Power Station these days, this album still doesn’t quite do it for me. Saying that, there are some good moments and the musicianship on the album is first rate.

Next post: I’m away on a client holiday with work so the next post won’t be until next week. When it is, it will be: Night Ranger- Seven Wishes

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24 Responses to “Great? Rock Albums of 1985: The Power Station”

  1. For some reason this album broke through my Metal only listening habits in 85 at the time. The drums and Bass were massive and thats what grabbed me right away. Myself along with J love this album so much so that I finally picked up a copy a year ago vinyl
    So good/so brilliant

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I just picked this up yesterday actually for $4 (along with a Kiss Bootleg that was no where near $4). Also, I am working on an Original Vs Cover post and guess which song it is??? Lastly, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on 7 Wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this one a lot at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John is the bassist, not Andy. And, you want hear some fancy hand-work, reminiscent of John Entwistle, listen to ‘Rio’. I never saw got to see Duran Duran, live but I have see The Who (after Moon). Entwistle was amazing to watch. I’ve seen Taylor in videos and their collective command is something to behold. They both make love to their instruments.

    Robert Palmer was a star, already, before his collaboration. I’m sure you have heard “Bad Case of Loving You” (original version is the best).

    Try to catch “You Are In My System”. That ‘giggle’ thing he does when singing is his trademark…it’s not just a one-time-thing in “Some Like It Hot”.

    Great re-visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • God, that will teach me to pay closer attention to details when I post in the future. This is a good thing because I now remember Andy put out a solo album in 1986. I’ve never seen The Who so you got me there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I had seen them before Moon’s death but, I was way too young.

        John is highly underrated. He was dissed a lot due to his not being a “true rocker”. He was considered a British “pretty boy” and his clear skills ignored.

        I had forgotten Andy’s solo album. And, he apparently doesn’t roam with Duran Duran anymore.

        I credit Paul McCartney with finally bringing bassists to the forefront. When he was with Wings, it was a bass-driven band. Dave Matthews also highlighted bass-driven music. These folks shouldn’t always be in the background. I can hear Taste of Honey right now…❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • All bass players need to thank Paul for that. It’s a shame they dissed John that way, he was a talented bassist no matter what he played.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this album! The whole thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve got an LPof this, and it holds up well today! “…serious about music and the playing on it was top notch, credit where it’s due there” indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of my favourites, this. Absolutely brilliant album… big sound and catchy as hell. I think the cover of Harvest… is my least favourite track on here, but it’s grown on me a whole lot.

    The second album is okay, just not quite as consistent as this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] Source: Great? Rock Albums of 1985: The Power Station | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, I loved Duran Duran so much. Went more Arcadia than Power Station, but loved them both too back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Like deKE, this one made its way through my barriers also when it came out. I had it on cassette. I didn’t advertise how much I liked it then but, as you say, credit where credit due.

    Liked by 1 person

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