Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Big, Stinky Serving Of (Digitally Remastered) '80s Cheese

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I was at the record store this week when I saw it on the list of new releases floating around the counter - The Power Station's one and only self titled album, given the remastered reissue treatment, with 7 bonus tracks and a DVD with a few vids and a live performance from SNL. They were a mid '80s "supergroup" that put together two Taylors from Duran Duran, bassist John & guitarist Andy, the drummer from disco legends Chic, Tony Thompson, and the vocals of blued eyed soul boy Robert Palmer. They made a brief splash with the hits Some Like It Hot and a cover of T.Rex's Get It On (Bang A Gong). When the record proved to be more popular than was expected, they decided they'd need to tour. Robert Palmer was not down with that and he promptly mutated their sound into his own and forged ahead as a solo artist - wiht the greatest successes of his career in Addicted To Love and it's follow-ups. The rest of the guys soldiered on for a while with replacement vocalist Michael Des Barres, but he was no Palmer, and they called it quits.

Anyway, back at the record store... I asked the dude behind the counter to let me check it out. Ah, that crazy '80s cover with it's big breasted dominatrix. The extra tracks are mostly a bunch of remixes of the afore mentioned hits. Do I really want this? I did really enjoy the record at the time, and have only ever owned it on a prerecorded cassette. I gave it back to the guy - "maybe some other day". Then he told me my total, I realised it was less than I thought it would be, and I made him put it back in the stack. So I chumped it. But damn if it doesn't sound pretty good - in spots. It's produced by Chic's Bernard Edwards, and it's pretty clean. It is kinda chunky, and there's plenty of gated snare action, as well as some cheesy sounding keyboards (played by Rupert Hine and Wally Badarou) but somehow it moves me. I think I mostly chalk it up to the class vocals of Robert Palmer, always so smooth and sophisticated. Instead of giving you the hits I've dug deep into the album and am giving you a couple of the funkier moments. Lonely Tonight is loping electro funk with a big hair guitar solo, and Robert growls his lines perfectly. Go To Zero has a popping John Taylor bass riff, tight horns, and more big hair guitar riffing. Listening to the album made me cringe a little bit, but it put a smile on my face several times too - aaah, memories! I deem that value for money.

1 comment:

Avalon said...

This album was indeed their first but not only one. They got back together one more time in 1996 to record the (not so good) Living In Fear album