When Duran Duran was out of order for a bit in the mid-80s, the band members stretched their wings in two wonderfully different side-projects before getting the band back together less one lad. Andy Taylor’s solo debut album still sounds pretty great and I’ll defend his importance to Duran Duran’s sound until my dying breath. One year after Thunder, Andy Taylor surfaced on Rod Stewart’s excellent Out of Order. For fans of The Power Station and Andy Taylor, this album needs to be in your collection.
Taylor has songwriting credits on five of the songs on Out of Order and his overdriven guitar is all over them. With Bernard Edwards on bass and Tony Thompson on drums, many of the songs aren’t that far away from the first Power Station record. “Lethal Dose of Love” and “Dynamite” are bar room rockers while “Lost In You” is one of the best examples of how Taylor’s guitar rose to the occasion anytime Tony Thompson was playing at his loudest.
The album starts to fade a bit after the first half as some gentle covers turn Stewart into a crooner but “Almost Illegal” leaves a good taste in your mouth as Andy again adds some killer riffs. When I saw The Power Station in 1985, they covered a Stewart song so the connection was already forming before this album. The night I saw them, the band welcomed Don Johnson of Miami Vice to the stage to sing “Some Guys Have All the Luck” and it was probably the first time I took notice of Rod Stewart’s music as a child.
Between Out of Order, Thunder, and The Power Station, Andy Taylor was on absolute fire as a guitarist in the mid-80s. Whenever Tony Thompson was behind him on the kit, it seemed like Taylor elevated his playing just a little bit more. There was a special connection there and it’s a shame they didn’t get a chance to do more together. Regardless, I love how these talented musicians worked together on different projects without losing their signature sound. I like to daydream what Notorious might have sounded like had Taylor returned to Duran Duran with Tony Thompson sitting in for Roger Taylor. That would have been something to hear!