Hi Everybody! This is going to be another great week of Deep Tracks. This week, Robert is bringing is some tunes from Andy Taylor, the guitarist of Duran Duran. I had never heard any of these songs before, so this is a special treat for me. And after listening to these songs, it looks like iTunes is going to be getting some more of my money! Also, you don’t need to be a Duran Duran fan to really enjoy these songs. And Duran Duran fans should love this. Here is Robert…
Duran Duran Fans – Don’t Miss This Gem
I am going to take a slightly different approach to the idea of “deep tracks.” This time I am going with a member of a VERY famous ‘80s band and look at a solo album he released in 1987.
In May of 1987 I graduated from Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt (West) Germany. My father was in the Army and we were due to be rotated back to the United States. By this time I was seventeen and had gotten used to this – besides, I was headed to college so I was not too concerned about the move. As was typical, the movers showed up about a month before the actual rotation date, so all of my belongings had to be packed and remain unseen for nearly two months. I diligently packed all of my stuff, but did not have the foresight to keep any of my cassettes from being sent away. I needed music! For no apparent reason I kept my Walkman handy, but nothing to play in it. I made a temporary fix by borrowing a few tapes from friends, but those needed to be returned before I left. So there I was faced with six weeks of no music- an impossible position to endure. I begged my father to let me buy three tapes before we went to the airport.
As I quickly grabbed a few tapes to inspect, out of the corner of my eye I see a line drawn cover of a man playing an electric guitar in front of a mountain and the name ANDY TAYLOR.
I did not have much time, so I had to make a quick decision. I was an average fan of Duran Duran and knew that Andy Taylor was the band’s guitarist. I also had the soundtracks to American Anthem (starring gymnast Mitch Gaylord and Janet Jones (Mrs. Wayne Gretzky)) and (the second) Miami Vice album which each contained great tracks from Taylor (“Take It Easy“, “Wings of Love“, and “When the Rain Comes Down“). I loved these songs and they left me wanting more. Taylor’s solo work was a big departure from Duran Duran. On his own he rocked! These were guitar driven melodic songs much more in line with the songs he played on with The Power Station. In short, I wanted to hear more from the guitarist who was never really allowed to cut loose with Duran Duran.
This is truly a great album and I will highlight five tunes.
I Might Lie
This song starts with motorcycle engines revving up, letting the listener know that they are in for quite a ride. Upon a first listen, a Duran Duran fan may be saying, “I know this is Duran Duran’s guitarist, but this does not sound like Duran Duran.” Yes, that listener would be right. In a 1986 interview with Duran Duran after Taylor left, Nick Rhodes said that being in the Power Station with Andy Taylor was the beginning of the end of Andy Taylor’s time with Duran Duran. This song sounds a lot more like something the Power Station would perform. There is no way around – this is a guitar driven song that just rocks. Taylor’s vocals are more than adequate and his guitar work is nothing short of excellent. This (like most of his songs) has a strong and consistent rhythm guitar that is established early and carries the song. The chorus is catchy made to be sung out loud. As you would expect, a famous band’s guitarist is going to highlight his own skills, so there is a clear, solid guitar solo. The lyrics are simple and straight-forward: a guy is trying to talk a girl into being with him – nothing earth shattering, but not bad either. The fascination with her is wrapped in a bit of a mystery, “I don’t know why I love you / When I don’t even know you / Trust in you, I do the best I can.” He is taking that step into the unknown, asking her to trust him, just like he is trusting her. If this is the first song by Andy Taylor you have heard, there is no way you are disappointed – and no way you can’t come back tomorrow for more.
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