Saturday, June 1, 2013

Andy Taylor - Take it Easy

By 1985 Duran Duran were huge stars, but the years of recording and touring had taken their toll on the band.  The group decided to take a break to recharge, but the members' free time soon led to two side projects.  Andy and John Taylor went for a rock/dance sound with the Power Station (with Tony Thompson and Robert Palmer), while Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor formed Arcadia, which focused on more atmospheric pop.

The Power Station LP became a huge success, reaching #6 on the album charts and spawning three top 40 hits ("Some Like It Hot" (#6), "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" (#9) and "Communication" (#34).)  While Robert Palmer soon left the band to continue his solo career, the new sound interested Andy Taylor and he left Duran Duran in 1986 to pursue a solo career.

His first solo project involved working on the soundtrack of American Anthem, and he eventually contributed three songs to the film's soundtrack.  "Take It Easy" (no relation to the Eagles song) was released as a single and did well, reaching #24 on the charts.  Sadly, this would be Andy Taylor's only top 40 solo hit, as his 1987 album (Thunder) did not do terribly well.  Taylor then moved on to producing, although he continued to perform and record both as a solo artist and with Duran Duran (he officially rejoined the band from 2001 - 2006).

While American Anthem was not a huge hit, it did feature Mitch Gaylord (best known for leading the 1984 U.S. men's gymnastics team to a gold medal) and Janet Jones (best known for marrying Wayne Gretzky).  The video, blending Taylor's band with clips from the film, is a highly entertaining mid-1980's video.

Cool trivia fact:  The rhythm section for the song and video for "Take It Easy" featured Terry Bozzio on drums and Patrick O'Hearn on bass -- they both had been in Missing Persons and were now unemployed, as that band broke up in 1986.

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