Duran Duran, Robert Palmer, Duran Duran, Robert Palmer. That’s what you heard countless times when Power Station was released. This was indeed true, unfortunately, those members John Taylor, Andy Taylor along with Palmer, wasn’t what made Power Station hot. What made Power Station a great band was its drummer, Tony Thompson.
I miss hearing Thompson play. He was so darn good. He passed away from renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in 2003, just two months after Robert Palmer died from a heart attack.
I’m surprised I don’t see Thompson’s name more when best drummers are discussed. You’ve heard his work so many times. Thing of the great drum work in Madonna’s Like a Virgin or even his playing on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, simply amazing. You’d also know him from Chic.
Power Station had a number of hits. Not too often does a band do a redox on a song, make it “theirs” and actually put out something good. Their version of “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” was pretty darn good. Was it better than T-Rex’ version? Well, no, but it was a decent version.
“Some Like it Hot” was the other charting song from the release. “Communication” was hit as well.
Power Station was a band that almost didn’t happen. They weren’t even supposed to be a band. The original plan was that they would only be John and Andy Taylor along with Thompson. They would then bring in different vocalists for different tracks. Palmer was to be one along with Mick Jagger, Billy Idol, and Richard Butler. Palmer had completed his recording for “Communication.” He then heard that they had recorded their parts for “Bang a Gong.” Palmer commented that he’d like to give that track a try as well. Shortly thereafter, he was in the band.
Power Station peaked at #12 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. Two tracks made the top ten in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. “Some Like it Hot” peaked at #6, while #9 was as high as “Bang a Gong” reached.
All songs written by Robert Palmer, Andy Taylor, and John Taylor; except where noted
- “Some Like It Hot” (Andy Taylor; John Taylor; Robert Palmer) – 5:05
- “Murderess” (Andy Taylor; John Taylor; Robert Palmer) – 4:17
- “Lonely Tonight” (Bernard H. Edwards, Palmer) – 3:58
- “Communication” (Derek Bramble, Palmer, Taylor, Taylor) – 3:37
- “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” (Marc Bolan) – 5:29
- “Go to Zero” (Robert Palmer) – 4:58
- “Harvest for the World” (Isley Brothers) – 3:37
- “Still in Your Heart” (Andy Taylor; John Taylor; Robert Palmer) – 3:20
The Power Station
- John Taylor – Bass
- Andy Taylor – Guitars
- Tony Thompson – Drums
- Robert Palmer – Vocals
- Curtis King Jr – Additional Vocals
- Fonzi Thornton – Additional Vocals
- B.J. Nelson – Additional Vocals
- Charmaine Burch – Additional Vocals
- Lenny Pickett – Brass
- Mark Pender – Brass
- Stan Harrison – Brass
- Hollywood Paul Litteral – Brass
- Mars Williams – Brass
- Roger Taylor – Percussive Effects
- Jimmy Bralower – Percussive Effects
- Wally Badarou – Keyboards
- David LeBolt – Keyboards
- Robert Sabino – Keyboards
- Rupert Hine – Keyboards
- See our write-up for Robert Palmer’s Some People Can Do What They Like
- See more albums that we’ve featured from 1985
- Back to the Cool Album of the Day Home Page
Here it is in its entirety