Tag Archives: Andy Taylor

Deep Tracks: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor – Bringing Me Down

Well, we come to the conclusion of another great week of music, brought to us by Robert. I can’t believe I had never heard any of these songs before. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I have. Andy Taylor is an incredible rock guitarist, and probably one of the most underrated. So, let’s listen to one last great song by him. And thanks, Robert, for continuing this great series.


Bringing Me Down

I have spoiled myself and saved my favorite song from Thunder for last. I always felt that this would have made a great single, but I do understand the radio friendly releases from this album and the soundtracks Taylor is featured on. All of the things I like are here: quiet guitar and bass intro that explode into a full band and catchy, song sustaining rhythm, a killer chorus, and a great solo. Once again, there are pretty simple lyrics about a man yearning for a woman who seems to be in love with someone else: “It’s time to go but I can’t stop / ‘Cause I can’t find which way to go / You’re tearin’ me, me apart /With twisted love, ain’t no doubt.” Insert the catch chorus here. I love the phrasing that Taylor uses here, “I can’t help it that you’re in love / I know you’re wrapped around / But you are bringing me down.”
The song continues, “Why don’t you spend some time with me / It’s hard to talk but time to walk / Into my lonely emptiness / And time to find a place to rest.” This song is the one that I returning to more often than not from this album. Great stuff!


Thunder is an absolute masterpiece of 80s pop/rock, but many have never heard of it. I like Duran Duran, but after spending (a lot) of time with Thunder it becomes clear that the band never really let Andy Taylor soar and do his thing. Taylor is an excellent guitarist who was in a great band, but not a guitar driven band. His solo work deserves to be heard by every fan of the ‘80s. If you are not familiar with his music, take some time a find his stuff on Youtube – I promise you will like it.

This discussion of Andy Taylor has conjured up memories of one of the other tapes I bought in a fevered rush before the airplane took off – next week: Night Ranger.

Deep Tracks: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor – Tremblin’

Tremblin’

By today I think you are seeing a pattern with this album. The lyrics are pretty simple and the guitar is placed firmly at center stage. The chorus clearly captures the speaker’s feeling about the woman, “Why do I feel bad? / Why do I feel sad? / What I’m trying to say / I’m tremblin’ / Though I can’t explain / That I’m going insane / I need you so / I’m tremblin’.” I am going to go back to Mr. Keating in Dead Poet’s Society here. He assigns each boy in the class an original poem. One boy is a typical teen and writes a short (and bad) poem about “A cat one a mat.” He is clearly rebelling and putting a poor effort into a ‘silly’ assignment. Keating does not get mad, instead he says that he is not upset at the simple subject of the poem because there are many great poem about simple subjects. He is only disappointed in the effort, “Don’t let your poems be plain.” This song reminds me of that very idea. It is not a complex song by any means, but it does capture a true emotion that the speaker is feeling about a woman. He is struggling with it and he is laying it out there and sharing his struggle with us. More solid guitar work here – nice song.

Deep Tracks: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor – Life Goes On

Life Goes On

Let’s keep the existential sentiments going today with this song, but this time there is a bluesy feel to the music. As expected, there is more great guitar work by Taylor. The pacing of this song is slower and it does get a bit repetitive at the end. Taylor saves it with a second guitar solo that is better than the first. The song is a great example of what I like when a band’s guitarist records as a solo artist. He is allowed to create his own music and establish his own sound and style. If he wants to solos in a song, well, then he puts two solos in the song. Existential philosophy is one that is accepting of many ideas, typically hesitating to commit to a consistently concrete world view and being willing to accept many ideas. Taylor writes, “In this smoking gun world / Our lights don’t last / They’re over fast.” No one knows how much time we have and there is not time for absolutes. We all need to define what is right for us and live the way we want to live and avoid having our lives being dictated by others. The video a live version of the song because I believe you can see and hear the true talent of a guitarist when he/she is performing onstage.

Deep Tracks: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor – Don’t Let Me Die Young

Don’t Let Me Die Young

I really like when songwriters let song develop musically before starting in with the lyrics. Many of Taylor’s songs do this, including this one. The guitar establishes a clear musical theme during the nearly minute intro. The lyrics in this song are a bit better than “I Might Lie” despite their somewhat vague nature. I can picture the speaker driving, contemplating his own existence, “Fields of fire burn in my sleep / I hear screaming and thunder and cries / Devils crown under my feet / Scream so loud / Under here lies a different face / In a hungry lonely soul / I guess it ain’t easy / When you don’t know which way to go.” He has his full existential view on display here. Like all of us, he is aging and seems to be on that cusp of entering older adulthood when we are all forced to formally and completely leave our youth behind. It is at this time that we being to question what we are doing and where we are going. We can’t keep wandering around; we need to establish a life – but where? doing what? I think he wants to keep exploring and see all that there is to see and experience as much as possible. To do so this he needs time, therefore the desire to live a bit dangerously for as long as needed until he discovers all that life has to offer. This song reminds me of what Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) is teaching his students in the film Dead Poet’s Society. Keating is using Robert Herrick’s poem “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” and Thoreau’s Walden urging the boys to live their lives to the fullest while there is still time – carpe diem. To make this song just that much better, it has a great solo.

Deep Tracks: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor – I Might Lie

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.