30 years on, Simon Price revisits the undeclared war between Arcadia, who made "the most pretentious album ever", and The Power Station, who made "the most cocainey album ever"; and asks who, if anyone, was the winner "Arcadia and The Power Station", writes Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Pop, "were possibly the two worst bands of the decade.So much huff and puff." Critical hindsight hasn't been kind to Duran Duran's two splinter groups.Construction will take 12-18 months and the operation could create 12-15 full-time jobs with further labour requirements for ship unloading.The development will comprise of 2,000sq.m (21,500 sq.ft) with a building for an office, an area for gasification and one for the engine house.Despite Duran Duran ruling the earth by late 1984 (due to countless hits and sold-out tours), the band had completely burned themselves out with a non-stop, grueling work schedule.
The trio decided to press on, however (having already demoed several originals, as well), with a plan to have several different noted pop singers provide vocals.
Robert Palmer was invited to sing on a track, but with the vocalist and the rest of the band extremely impressed with the results, Palmer ended up singing on all of the resulting album's eight tracks.
Issued in early 1985, the quartet's self-titled debut was a sizeable hit, due to a pair of monster hit singles which merged rock with a dance edge, the original tune "Some Like It Hot" and the aforementioned cover of "Bang a Gong." The album's immediate commercial success prompted the group to organize a supporting tour, but surprisingly, Palmer pulled out just a few days before the tour's launch.
If Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and the Taylors (Andy, John and Roger) comprised a New Aristocracy, then Arcadia and The Power Station were their grand follies, each set up in stark opposition to the other. It's an appraisal shared by Roger Taylor, the Duran Duran drummer who contributed to both spin-offs, and is therefore uniquely-positioned to offer an informed perspective. But that shot didn't come out of a clear blue sky: there were precedents in Eighties pop.
One project represented the 'Chauffeur' wing of Duran's sound, the other the 'Wild Boys' end. "I had a foot in both camps," he told me when I interviewed the band for t Q in 2011. 1983 was the year that the sumptuous sheen of the New Pop got roughed up.