Sunday, January 23, 2011

Power Station Vs Arcadia

So the other day on Facebook, I posted what I thought was a simple question asking some of my music-adoring friends whom they favored in Duran Duran side project bands. For those unfamiliar with the story ....... go read some other blog. This story needs no introduction.

I wanted to know which group, between Arcadia and The Power Station, did people favor? Basically, I was asking folks to turn their clocks back 25 years and recall which of the two was their personal favorite. Here are some of the responses I received:

“Power Station hands down. Tony Thompson on drums. TONY THOMPSON!!!”- Cesareo Garasa - Local Drummer (too many bands to list most recently however I saw him Retro Rock the Fishlips stage with Members Only)

“Power station! Loved Robert Palmers voice and Tony Thompson was awesome on drums!”-Stephanie Viray 80’s/90’s Music afficionado and all round cool chick.

…and @Chulaliz couldn’t make up her mind: “I am torn! I really liked Arcadia though...”

Another respected music historian in my book, Dela, was quick to give his opinion: “Power Station!”

Hmmmm...all valid and thought-out opinions - for the most part. But there was one person who had yet to weigh in. I was still dying to find out her opinion and when I did hear it, it pushed me in the direction I was already swaying:

@MrsJU said...“As a self-proclaimed Durannie & Authority on all things Duran, I sway Arcadia on this one. While the Taylors (& Palmer's voice like buttah) strayed more guitar-heavy, truer 2 the Duran sound was Arcadia. With the emphasis on the synth & melodies, I have 2 admit proudly that I actually own "So Red The Rose" on vinyl. And alas, there is no Power Station in my collection ---not that I can't appreciate the musicality of the venture. But in my opinion, Arcadia is the winner here, not just as a fan of LeBon & Rhodes...just listen 2 "The Flame"'s pretty much the business...”

Okay let’s listen to The Flame…

Alright then. I see what’s she’s talking about and I’ve gotta agree with her!

With the line up of:

• Robert Palmer - Vocalist
• Andy Taylor - Guitarist
• John Taylor - Bassist
• Tony Thompson – Drummer

Not to mention production by Bernard Edwards. The Power Station is the safe and easy commercial bet. My money was even on them when I started this whole thing, I swear. But upon further research, I gotta say these credentials speak for themselves:

• Simon Le Bon: vocals
• Nick Rhodes: keyboards
• Roger Taylor: drums

And some added muscle:

• Additional vocals: Sting, Grace Jones
• Guitars: Carlos Alomar, David Gilmour
• Additional keyboards: Herbie Hancock

I'm not even gonna Straddle the Line in Discord and Rhyme on this one. Style, art, sound, and vision - the winner, hands down, hair up is Arcadia.

From the album cover to music videos, Arcadia defines 1984 far better than The Power Station could have ever hoped. Come to think of it, being the super group that they were in retrospect, The Power Station played it pretty damn safe. They just put the ingredients on the table and didn’t dare add anything to them or turn up the flame. A very polished production value only added to that feel.

And like @MrsJU states, Arcadia moved right along with the progression that Duran Duran had been daring enough to explore. You can hear inflections of Notorious and A View To A Kill peppered over the entire LP. A move like this may have killed their massive mainstream following, but by taking this hiatus and experimenting with Arcadia, musically they were able to see what worked, what fit and exorsize the demons that were holding them back - hence releasing Duran Duran from Boy Band status to Supergroup.

In short, Arcadia gambled; The Power Station merely rolled the dice.
Although both groups were short lived, what they gave musically will never die.

Want more? Peep the links below:

Arcadia So Red The Rose Fansite
The Power Station

****This Blog Post is a MrsJU/Illasever Creation****

1 comment:

  1. disagree. arcadia was duran duran redux, where power station was an actually different group. If the real question is who's better: Duran Duran (Arcadia) or Power station (two Duran Duran members) then that's a different discussion.