Released today in 1985: Get It On

Parlophone R6076

Parlophone R6076

On 13 January we looked at the first of two Duran Duran splinter groups, Arcadia, which featured Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor; the other was so-called “super group” The Power Station, featuring the other two members of Duran (Andy Taylor and John Taylor), two members of former disco outfit Chic (Tony Thompson and Bernard Edwards) and solo artist Robert Palmer. Whilst Arcadia was stylistically similar to Duran’s output of the period, The Power Station was influenced by the Edwards’ interest in R&B and funk, and by Palmer’s hard rock and blue-eyed soul background. The Power Station (named after the studio where their eponymously titled album was recorded, now known at Avatar Studios) was active for something less than a year but enjoyed considerable attention during its short duration.

Following Duran’s world tour, John Taylor was in New York and involved with singer and model Bebe Buell who had the idea to record a cover of the T-Rex song, Get It On (Bang A Gong). To facilitate this, Taylor himself would play bass; he and invited Andy Taylor to play guitar and Bernard Edwards (who produced the Duran Bond theme, A View To A Kill) to produce the record. Edwards’ former colleague Tony Thomas was invited to drum on the track and Buell was to supply the voice. However, Taylor and Buell fell out before the recording of her vocals was completed and the song was shelved. Another song, Communication, was ready to be recorded and Robert Palmer, who had joined Duran for a 1983 charity concert in Villa Park, was invited to sing it. He agreed, and with this all-star line-up, the name The Power Station was particularly appropriate. Consideration was briefly given to taking the idea further: Edwards would manage the group, which would feature only Thompson and the Taylors as permanent members while a different guest singer (‘name’ artists only) would perform the vocals on each track. However, when Palmer asked to record the vocal for the abandoned Get It On, the decision was taken to add him as a full member of the band and he took lead vocal on the songs.

However, Palmer remained attached to the band for only the time it took to record the album and promote the first single, Some Like It Hot. When a tour was scheduled for the summer of 1985 he quit, preferring to work on his next solo album Riptide which was released at the end of that year. (It was a major hit, featured all his The Power Station colleagues barring John Taylor, and yielded the classic 80s single Addicted To Love with its memorable video clip.) Michael Des Barres was hired to replace Palmer as a touring member of the group, and accordingly got to perform at Live Aid when The Power Station were appeared on the American concert bill. Another album featuring Des Barres was briefly considered but by the autumn of 1985 the members started to go back to their day-jobs. Andy Taylor, though, did not return to his: he quit Duran Duran.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Apr. 29
1985
DEPECHE MODE Shake The Disease (Mute BONG8)
NEW EDITION (Bobby Brown) Cool It Now (MCA MCA963)
The POWER STATION Get It On (Parlophone R6076)

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