I don’t think I’ve spent much time writing about Arcadia or Power Station. I suppose to begin with, this site is dedicated to being a Duran Duran fan, so there is that. On the other hand though, Arcadia, Power Station, et al, have all been stops along my way. On this date in 2010, So Red the Rose was remastered and released. So, it seems appropriate to write a little about Arcadia today.
On the purely frivolous side, I loved Simon’s look during this period. Nick’s hair, longer than mine has probably ever been, was beautiful too. It was as though they took whatever they’d done in Duran Duran and turned it up a notch with just a tinge more darkness. I loved it. Their style was part of their branding, and I loved the whole package. The videos? I still watch them whenever I get a chance.
For me, Power Station was all about the music. It’s not that I wasn’t a John-fan or an Andy-fan, but I don’t know that I would say style was as much the focus as the music. Many people describe Arcadia as an art project. Well, Power Station was a rock band. I embraced that.
This is the point where the discussion gets trickier (for me). Arcadia checked all the same boxes for me as Duran Duran. I loved the feel of the music, it was unique and different and nothing like anything else I heard on the radio. It was recognizable and comfortable to me because of Simon’s voice, but I cannot lie – I dearly missed John and Andy.
On the same token, I enjoyed Power Station. In the same way that I dearly loved AC/DC…Led Zeppelin….and just about any hard rock band of that era, hearing Andy and John lay it all out on the line in a way that Duran’s music did not allow was fantastic. But I missed the keyboards.
It was as though Power Station and Arcadia were the results of a very involved surgery to separate conjoined twins. Each could survive without the other, but should they? They weren’t quite the same on their own. Both bands were great, don’t get me wrong. I loved them both for their individuality, but if I could have smooshed them together to create one band, I think it might have been perfect.
I see the debate anytime the subject of one or another comes up. It always starts out by asking, “Which was your favorite?” For me, it depended on my mood and it still does. Yes, Roger was my favorite, and so you’d think I would have given the edge to Arcadia. Some days, I did. On other days though, I longed for that seemingly reckless guitar and deep bass groove. I never really had a favorite between the two of them. Sure, I loved the video for Election Day (who doesn’t?!?), but I also really liked Some Like it Hot. That guitar solo? Yes, please! Invariably the discussion dissolves into who “left” the band and why, as though those facts alone should determine allegiance. It is just music.
In a nutshell, the Arcadia/Power Station debate is a very good metaphor for my own musical tastes, even today. On one hand, there is nothing like a great Duran Duran concert. On the other, I really just want to stand in front of Dom while he’s playing his own music. I love Duran Duran. I also like Metallica. It’s not necessarily this OR that, but both…and why not?
So let’s watch some videos!