Michael Des Barres - vocals; John Taylor - bass, vocals; Andy Taylor - guitar, vocals; Tony Thompson - drums, percussion; Chuck Kentis - keyboard; Featuring the Miami Horns
The Power Station was a fluke occurrence amongst musicians and friends that was never a planned venture. When Duran Duran bassist (John Taylor) and guitarist (Andy Taylor) decided to take a much deserved break from their non-stop three-year recording/touring process, one of the projects they agreed to was to play on some backing tracks (with Chic's drummer Tony Thompson and Chic bassist Bernard Edwards producing) for their friend (ex-groupie and model) Bebe Buell's debut album. Among the songs chosen for her by the Taylors was a rocked out re-make of the T-Rex classic, "Get It On (Bang a Gong)."
The track came out so well that the two Taylors decided to keep it for themselves. Shortly after the Buell sessions ended they, along with Thompson, decided to make an album using various lead singers on each track. Musically, they wanted to take the project in an almost "heavy metal/pop" direction, with a healthy dose of studio wizardry. Several singers were auditioned and agreed to cut tracks, one of which was Brit rocker Robert Palmer.
Palmer had already scored success as a solo artist and member of Vinegar Joe. When the demos reached him, he called immediately and after cutting a near perfect vocal for "Get It On," Palmer was in as the band's lead singer. The trio and Palmer holed up at the Power Station recording complex in Manhattan and went to work writing and recording a myriad of material. The material included a strong original rocker called "Some Like It Hot" and a cover of the Isley Brothers' "Harvest Of The World."
The band adopted the name of the recording studio, which was owned by platinum producer/engineer Tony Bongiovi (uncle to mega-superstar Jon Bon Jovi, and his former boss). By the time the LP was done, the band was signed to Capitol-EMI (while the other Durans formed a parallel side project, Arcadia). When the execs at Capitol heard the LP, they knew they had a winner on their hands. The single was serviced to radio and took off; in response, the group was booked on Saturday Night Live. The Palmer appearance with Power Station on that popular NBC variety show in late 1985 was his ONLY live appearance with the band. Shortly after, he opted to return to his solo career and start a new album. When the Power Station album exploded, the group was pressured into touring to promote it, so they quickly recruited former Silverhead and Detective vocalist Michael Des Barres, who agreed to do the tour.
This recording, one of three from the King Biscuit Flower Hour tapes, features much of the Power Station album along with the aforementioned covers and even a few Duran Duran favorites ("The Reflex" and "Hungry Like The Wolf").
After this tour, John and Andy Taylor did their own solo projects and went back to Duran Duran, and Power Station broke up. The band did do one reunion with Robert Palmer before his untimely death in 2003. Sadly, drummer Tony Thompson and producer Bernard Edwards also died around the same time.