Summer Spin- Powerstation: Powerstation: 33 & 1/3 (1985)

Look at that front cover!! Wowzers!

Powerstation the self-titled debut from the two Taylors, John and Andy along with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson released a fantastic 8 song album that features a fine mix of funked up rock with some cool crafty production courtesy of Bernard Edwards.

Powerstation I played like crazy in the summer of 1985 as I first purchased it on cassette tape and was a constant fixture on those early morning bikes rides to and from my summertime job at washing dishes at the local hospital that summer.

John and Andy Taylor as we all know all came from Duran Duran who were selling millions in the ’80s. Robert Palmer had been kicking around as a solo artist and was about to become mega huge a year later in 1986! (Riptide was the solo album from Palmer that featured Addicted To Love).  Tony Thompson drummed for Elton John, Mick Jagger, Bowie, and Chic.

Serious players with chops.

When I first saw the debut single Some Like It Hot on MuchMusic I was blown away at the hugeness of the sound coming from the Taylors and Thompson. I realized that I had pigeon hold the Taylors as being pretty boys from Duran Duran yet Andy and John could play. Listen to John slapping that friggin bass on Some Like It Hot. Plus add in the smooth vocal delivery of Palmer and a bonafide classic is born.

Look at that back cover!! Wowzers!

I love the crafty production of the drums. They sound mega as this album produced by Edwards who ditched that mid 80s techie sterile sound as all the instruments mixed sound bombastic! 

Murderess the second song picks up where Some Like It Hot left off. More big crunching drums and some wicked 6 String work from Andy Taylor. 

 The rest of the album is a great spin as well. Communication is a great driving funk n rock tune with the chorus being the money shot on it. 

Look at that inside sleeve!! Wowzers!

Course you had to be living under a rock in 85 if you didn’t see the video for the Tex cover Bang A Gong (Get It On) which sailed right into the Top 10 for singles. More slick work from the Taylors and Thompson. 

It’s a shame that this band with this exact lineup never recorded again(sure there were other versions) as Palmer split as the album was sitting high on both the Canadian and American charts and a tour was booked. (Michael Des Barres replaced Palmer). 

Sadly Palmer, Thompson, and Edwards have all passed on.

As I wrote earlier I bought this on tape back in 85 and it wasn’t until I was in Montreal back in 2017 that I scored this on vinyl for $1.99 which is a steal of a deal. The only thing that sucks is the store I bought it from puts the actual sticker on the cover. 

This album also proved that a couple of pretty boys could lay down some serious riffage on their instruments and make me a believer! Plus extra bonus points for using real horns throughout the album. 

Crank this one!


58 thoughts on “Summer Spin- Powerstation: Powerstation: 33 & 1/3 (1985)”

  1. Yasss! This is one of my favourites, man. Genuinely love this one… and it’s also the album that turned me on to Robert Palmer! A gateway drug, I guess.

    Anyhoo, great write up and you’re spot on about the production. They could have went with the usual 80’s rock sound, but this sounds huge. Vibrant. There’s a sheen without it sounding too slick. Marvelloud.

    My favourite on here is either Some Like It Hot or Go To Zero (that chorus!) though you’re right about Murderess and Communication – they are belters too. Even the ballads are brilliant and big sounding (looking at you Harvest for the World).

    Shame Palmer didn’t partake in the tour. Also, although, John Taylor was missing, I consider Living in Fear a bonafide follow-up. It’s a solid album.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mr J!
      These guys did lose a lot of mometum when Palmer stepped aside but they still toured which you know but this album still sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday!
      Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aye, I think he was already invested in his next album when he was working on this one. Or at least that’s what I picked up when I’ve read about it. I dare say they could have shaped some new tunes on the road and maybe made a go of being a proper band rather than a side project. Maybe.

        I guess as a solo artist, Palmer was keen to get back to his solo stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like being proven wrong about pop stars – like the Taylors here, I underestimated John Mayer’s abilities for years. Turns out, like the Taylors, he can really play!
    And for $1.99, sounds like terrific value for money!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheaper than Itunes lol
      I thought it may be a bit of a gamble buying it that cheap Geoff but the vinyl is in great shape!
      Glass Houses I also picked up on that trip for 5 bucks as well.
      Yours and Rebacca’s video last night was the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very much appreciated, Deke – we may have to do more cheers in ‘C major’ so she can play more harmonica!
        Glass Houses for $5 is a steal as well! I’ve never understood how some of these albums end up in the used bins, I guess it had to have been people getting rid of their record collections, rather than just the specific titles.
        But their loss, and your big gain, for a measly $6.99 total investment!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Total steal and two solid keepers for cheap.
        Thats the great thing about playing harp to the the guitar as if as u say keep it in C Major anyhting the harp player sounds good.

        At Tbone’s wedding I played the harp at his reception and same thing. His Brother Rugg kept his guitar in the right key and as Rugg told me “Blow into that thing and what comes out of it will sound cool!” lol
        I survived…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Get It On (Bang a Gong)! I was glad this came back to the charts… They did a really good job on that and it was a great album. It was good to hear loud guitar on drums on mainstream radio.

    I couldn’t believe this was one of the guys out of Duran Duran!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excatly Max. Who knew that those two guys could find the volume knob on their amps?
      John Taylor also played on the Neurotic Outsiders with Matt Sorum,Steve Jones and Duff McKagan and it rocks.
      Check that one out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That dude could do no wrong. Hey. Long legs on music videos. No problem. ZZ Top have a song called Legs and they had to release two cuts of the clip, one with less legs showing and no legs coming out of the car. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I had the LP too … a good one to have the 12″ art for, right? I’m sure I paid more than $1.99 for it even back in the day. I liked the album but didn’t love it, but there was talent aplenty. Luv a lot of Robert Palmer’s stuff, I dub Tony Thompson “disco’s best drummer” (was he not considered for a replacement for Bonham when LZ were thinking of getting back together?) and the DD lads are good. You’d be surprised at how musically proficient all those Duran guys were, I think…t he videos and imagery kind of overshadowed it all though.

    Liked by 1 person

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