Tag Archives: tony thompson

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!

 

The Power Station(1985)

images-1

BAM! That was the shot that was fired right at this Metal Boy the first time I heard the lead off single from The Power Station  called Some Like It Hot. 

Back in mid 1985 my mind was blown as in that a couple of cronies from Duran Duran one being the Bass Player John Taylor and the Guitar Player John Taylor took a hiatus from the Duranie’s and got together with Singer  Robert Palmer  and Drummer Tony Thompson  and blasted out a huge ball of Funk O Cool Rawk with oh so good rhythm’s that no one was doing at that  time or since.

The Power Station debut was recorded at The Power Station in NYC hence where the name came.

It’s sad to say that in 2017 Robert and Tony are no longer with us but man they should be proud of this album as it Slays in a different rock kinda way!

8 song’s Under 35 minutes….Boom Done!

The Funkin Tracks!

All songs written by Robert Palmer, Andy Taylor, and John Taylor; except where noted

Side one
“Some Like It Hot” – 5:05
“Murderess” – 4:17
“Lonely Tonight” (Bernard Edwards, Palmer) – 3:58
“Communication” (Derek Bramble, Palmer, A. Taylor, J. Taylor) – 3:37
Side two
“Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (Marc Bolan) – 5:29
“Go to Zero” (Guy Pratt, Palmer) – 4:58
“Harvest for the World” (Isley Brothers) – 3:37
“Still in Your Heart” – 3:20

Short…Brief and to the point! 6 Original Tracks and 2 Cover’s…

Some Like It Hot. Are you kidding me? Listen to John Taylor Slappa Da Bass! Man oh man and I here I pigeonholed John  back in 85 who was just a pretty boy but the dude is a beast on this record on the 4 string! Also make mention that he laid down some serious Bass on the Neurotic Outsiders. Heard of Em? If not search for em around these parts as Taylor and Company layed down a brilliant debut.  Not to be outdone Andy Taylor man I finally can here some 6 String from him as was there any guitar heard on those Duran albums? Can some one verify this for me? Andy though plugs in and at times plays what sounds like simple riffs like in this tune. Than he goes kinda metallic at the solo spot. The Drums on this tune mixed with the Bass are huge..Holeeee Sheeeeeit even to this day when I hear this on my iPod I crank it! The production is handled brilliantly by Bernard Edwards. Palmer is a rock like swashbuckler showing up with his briefcase and just getting down to it….The voice of Robbo suits this material to a T! Must make the mention of some real cool Live Horns on this album added to enhance not to take away from your lsitening expierence! Dig the video as there’s Andy Taylor sporting the  Military Bullet Belt  look that he must have borrowed from Lemmy as well as Palmer doing the Preacher deal….

Murderess second track in and is another great track. Like the slinky like  shiver of the Andys guitar mixed with Tony’s drums. Palmer oozes cool and I like the strut and bounce of this tune. Tons of real sounding horns throughout. Two songs in and the Power Station shift gears…

Like the straight ahead rock n funk in Communication. Quick little tempo booster and Palmer delivers his laid back rock vocal with relative ease.

Now of course cover tunes worked for some in the early to mid 80’s(Quiet Riot/Cum On Feel The Noise)  for others it didn’t. Well wait ..(Quiet Riot/Mama Where All Crazee Now) Pushing the envelope …

Now the Taylors scored a decent sized hit with the Marc Bolan cover of Bang A Gong.  Thompson drives some cool drums forward while Andy and John keep the 4 and 6 string’s moving along while Robbo delivers a vocal that makes this tune his own. This was my first time ever hearing this track. Once this track made its way up the charts I recall MuchMusic  playing with Bang A Gong’s back 2 back…. it was interesting spin as the Station guys left it as is pretty much just updated it somewhat…cool cover version is the point I’m trying to make…

The album finishes up with 2 more originals(Go To Zero & Still In Your Heart) and a cover tune of the Isley Brothers Harvest Of The World and thats it….boom….done!

So the album rockets up the charts and so does Robert Palmer and his solo career so he decides not to tour behind this album but instead Michael Des Barres replaces Palmer at the mic and man oh man another singer change but compared to other singers quitting or getting shit canned there didn’t  seem to be too much written about Palmers leaving. Bummer though as I would have loved to have heard what these Funkin Dudes would have cooked up!

It’s funny how short this album was and considering 2 of the 8 tracks were cover tunes no one cared! It was more fun to rip on Quiet Riot as they were trying to become a Slade tribute act in the mid 80s but man these dudes laid down a foundation of rock I had never heard of!