He has also recorded and performed as a solo artist, and served as a guitarist, songwriter and record producer for the likes of Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, The Almighty, Thunder, Love and Money, Mark Shaw, Then Jerico, C. C. Catch, Paul Rodgers (with The Law), Belinda Carlisle, Gun and many more.
|Birth name||Andrew Taylor|
|Born||16 February 1961|
Cullercoats, Northumberland, England
|Genres||Rock, new wave|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter, record producer|
|Associated acts||Duran Duran, The Power Station, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, The Almighty, Thunder, Mark Shaw, Love and Money, Paul Rodgers, C. C. Catch|
Andrew Taylor was born in Tynemouth England, and raised in the town of Cullercoats, Northumberland, in northeast England, and attended Marden High School. He began playing guitar at the age of eleven, and was soon playing with local bands, even producing one at the age of sixteen. He received guitar tuition from Dave Black, a member of the short-lived, post-David Bowie version of Bowie's sometime backing band the Spiders from Mars. He dropped out of school early to tour England and Europe with several different bands, playing working men's clubs and air force bases. Then in April 1980, as Taylor puts it, "I made that fateful train journey down to Birmingham".
Duran Duran began their rise to fame at a Birmingham club named the "Rum Runner". The club was owned by their managers and mentors, brothers Paul and Michael Berrow. It was centred on the music and ostentatious fashion of the era, particularly house & disco music, which had fused with punk and electronic to create the sound and look adopted by various "New Romantic" acts of the time. The band was heavily influenced by the 12 inch cuts of the day. Taylor says... "Anybody who is familiar with early DD (Duran Duran) will be aware of the Night Versions concept… the underlying influence of the 12" mix – Edwards & Rodgers – Giorgio Moroder … It was all part of the matrix – we tested our first hits on the dance-floor before going anywhere near the radio – it was the way you defined your style and who you were, through the club you were associated with – where you hung-out … I'm a rock fan, but the girls hung-out at the disco – I recommend a large portion of both."
The band signed to EMI Records in December 1980 only seven months after completing the line-up. Their debut single "Planet Earth" was released shortly after that, with their self-titled debut album, Duran Duran, released in June 1981. By 1983, the band was a global success story.
While Duran Duran were on hiatus in 1985, Andy Taylor and bassist John Taylor joined renowned session drummer and former Chic member Tony Thompson and Robert Palmer to form the band Power Station. Their eponymous album, recorded mostly at the New York studio for which the band was named, reached the Top 20 in the UK and the Top 10 in the US, and spawned two hit singles with "Some Like It Hot" (UK No. 14, US#6) and a cover of the T. Rex song "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" (UK No. 22, US#9). Palmer performed live with the band only once that year, on Saturday Night Live. The band toured, and even played Live Aid with singer Michael Des Barres after Palmer bowed out at the last moment to go back into the studio to further his newly revitalized solo career. Taylor also performed with Duran Duran at the Live Aid event.
Palmer recorded the album Riptide in 1985, recruiting Thompson and Andy Taylor to play on some tracks and Power Station producer Bernard Edwards, who worked with Thompson in the group Chic, to helm the production. Robert recruited Wally Badarou, another Compass Point Star who had laid synthesizer tracks on the Power Station album, plus his long-term drummer, Dony Wynn, for this production as well.
Taylor said... "I don't think any of us could have known at the time that this little venture would lead to the breakup of DD [v1.0] But it did or at least it exposed the cracks in the pavement. I think we were all surprised at the amount of success the project achieved, particularly Robert, whose career was reignited in the USA. It was an extraordinary time, everything we were associated with just flew off the shelves. As well as being the opportunity to express a major musical statement, I guess it was also as much of a statement against the label demands."
After six years of being a member of Duran Duran, Taylor had realised both he and the band were in free fall. He and the other bandmembers rarely spoke to one another and the band were now living in three different continents. Taylor himself was now based in Los Angeles where he met with ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and they began collaborating for Taylor's forthcoming solo album.
In the meantime, he recorded the hit single "Take It Easy" (US No. 24), which was recorded as the theme song to the movie American Anthem. Ex-Missing Persons members Terry Bozzio and Patrick O'Hearn performed drums and bass, respectively, on the song and video. Two other songs by Taylor/Jones also appeared on the album: "Wings of Love" and the instrumental "Angel Eyes". Taylor also contributed to the Miami Vice II soundtrack with the song "When The Rain Comes Down" (US No. 43). This was followed by his first solo album, Thunder (1987). O'Hearn again played bass for him on the album and during the following tour. Also on the Thunder world tour were guitarist Paul Hanson (guitarist) and drummer John Valen. Hanson, Valen & O'Hearn also appeared with Taylor in the music video for the second single from the Thunder album, "Don't Let Me Die Young." Despite moderate success in the US, Taylor's solo material failed to catch on in his native UK.
Throughout 1987 and 1988, Taylor co-wrote and co-produced Rod Stewart's multi-Platinum album Out of Order along with Chic members Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson (the latter of whom had also performed with him in Power Station), spawning the Billboard hits, "Lost in You," "Forever Young," and "My Heart Can't Tell You No."
Taylor also contributed a cover of "Dead on the Money" to the Tequila Sunrise soundtrack in 1988 (Taylor's former band Duran Duran would also allow one of their own songs, "Do You Believe in Shame?", to be included on the album). A second solo album, this one consisting of entirely cover versions, entitled Dangerous, was released in 1990.
Taylor then moved on to producing full-time, working with several successful UK bands throughout the 1990s. He produced the debut album Back Street Symphony by London rockers Thunder and their follow up Laughing on Judgement Day. This was followed by The Almighty album Soul Destruction, and then Mark Shaw's album Almost. Taylor based himself in his now refurbished Trident Studios in London with then manager and partner Rob Hallett, until 1994 when he returned to Los Angeles in order to write and produce tracks for a second Power Station album and the 1995 Rod Stewart album A Spanner in the Works.
Taylor participated in the 1994 reunion of Power Station. They recorded a second album "Living in Fear" for EMI; this time without John Taylor, who had just left Duran Duran himself and gone into rehab. During the course of this album, Bernard Edwards died in his hotel room after a Chic gig in Tokyo. The band were shellshocked at his sudden death, however vowed to continue as a trio and complete the project. They subsequently finished the album with Canadian Engineer/producer Mike Fraser, with a Japanese & US tour to follow in order to promote the record.
In 2001, Taylor reunited with the other original members of Duran Duran to record their first new music together since 1985. The band secured a new recording contract with Sony Records. Their ensuing album, Astronaut, featured a blend of Taylor's heavy guitar with the synth hooks of the classic Duran Duran sound. The first single, "Sunrise", reached No.5 in the UK, and the album reached No.3 (No. 17 in the US).
Months prior to the album's release, the band played their largest ever UK tour in the spring of 2004, which was followed by a world tour in 2005, including Asia, Europe, South America and North America. The band also performed at Live 8.
In 2006, whilst recording a new Duran Duran album, Taylor once again parted ways with the band. The subsequent album, titled Reportage, was scrapped by the band after his departure. More recently, Taylor strongly hinted in his blogs that Duran Duran's management company were partly responsible for his departure. This was confirmed when The Sunday Times (UK) printed a retraction on 4 May 2008 .
A short controversy followed as Taylor wrote in his 2008 autobiography that there was no "blunt message" and that in addition to the problems of writing and recording Reportage, old conflicts between himself and other bandmembers had resurfaced. The other band members have maintained their version, in which Andy Taylor's chronic unexplainable absences are pointed out. The band issued a statement in the wake of his departure, stating they "will be continuing as Duran Duran without Andy, as we have reached a point in our relationship with him where there is an unworkable gulf between us and we can no longer effectively function together."
In November 2007 Taylor co-founded RockAffairs.com alongside Sarah Eaglesfield, the former Flightside vocalist and webmistress at duranduran.com. RockAffairs was developed to allow unsigned artists to sell MP3s and merchandise, promote their band and keep 100% of the profit. It also pioneered a maverick Profit Share Scheme where 100% of income from listener signups was distributed amongst bands who sign up for the profit share scheme.
In June 2008, Taylor handed control of the website over to Eaglesfield. As of 2017, Taylor remains the owner of RockAffairs Ltd in the UK. Rockaffairs has announced it will be returning for one week of special 10th anniversary broadcasts during summer 2018.
In 2008, Andy Taylor published an autobiography, Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran, in which he tells his life's story from youth in an extended family to his life with wife Tracey. The book aims to give a backstage look on Duran Duran's rise, a survey of the band's career album by album as well as of Taylor's solo works and collaborations. It also deals with the iconic status of Duran Duran in the time of early MTV and the band's issues with drugs and alcohol.
|1999||The Spanish Sessions EP
(with Luke Morley)
|1986||Take It Easy||95||24||-|
|1986||When The Rain Comes Down||-||73||-|
|1987||I Might Lie||-||-||17|
|1987||Don't Let Me Die Young||-||-||36|
|1990||Stone Cold Sober||94||-||-|
"(Reach Up for The) Sunrise" is a song recorded by English pop rock band Duran Duran. It was released as the lead single from their eleventh studio album, Astronaut (2004) and their 31st single overall. It was the first single since "A View to a Kill" in 1985 to feature all five of the original members of the band. Upon release, the song debuted and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart, giving the band their fourteenth top-ten hit in their native country. It was highly successful in Italy, where it reached number two, as well as in Denmark and Spain, peaking at number six in both countries. In the United States, the single topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, Duran Duran's third and last song to do so.Burning the Ground
"Burning The Ground" is the 20th single by Duran Duran, released in December 1989. It was created as a stand-alone single to promote the compilation album Decade: Greatest Hits. However, its music video was included on the band's audiovisual compilation Greatest, released on 1999 (VHS) and 2003 (DVD). The song is essentially a megamix of Duran Duran's history, featuring tidbits of all of the band's hits of the previous ten years.Careless Memories
"Careless Memories" is the second single by Duran Duran, released on 20 April 1981.
The band's debut single "Planet Earth" had been a Top 20 hit, so it was regarded as a major setback when "Careless Memories" stalled at No. 37 in the UK charts, particularly as it was to herald the June release of the debut album Duran Duran.
It has since come to light that the decision to release the single was not the band's but EMI's. After its failure, executives decided to let Duran Duran choose their own single releases. The band's first selection was "Girls on Film" and it duly became their first Top 5 hit in the UK.Communication (Power Station song)
"Communication" was released as the third single from The Power Station's 1985 debut album. It featured "Communication" (Special Club Mix), "Communication" (Remix) and "Murderess" as the B-side. The remixes were done by Bernard Edwards and Josh Abbey.
The video contained an array of footage showing communication in the world with clips of the band performing the song in the studio.Falling Down (Duran Duran song)
"Falling Down" is a single by English band Duran Duran from their 2007 album Red Carpet Massacre, which was sent to radio and made available to download from iTunes USA on 25 September 2007 (2007-09-25). It was recorded in two sessions in Blueprint Studios, Manchester and Sarm Studios, London. It is the only song on the album produced solely by Justin Timberlake and the band. All other songs are produced by Danja and Timbaland.
According to the band's official website, the single wasn't released on CD in the USA, due to the decline of physical singles being released in the US over passing time. However, the single was still released on CD in several European countries on 12 November 2007 (2007-11-12) and an 8-track promo CD was also released featuring remixes by artists such as Sebastian Leger and T-empo.
The single was the band's last to be released on Epic Records.Girls on Film
"Girls on Film" is the third single by Duran Duran, released on 13 July 1981.
The single became Duran Duran's Top 10 breakthrough in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at Number 5 in July 1981. The band personally selected the song for release following the failure of its predecessor, "Careless Memories", which had been chosen by their record company, EMI. Its popularity provided a major boost to sales of the band's eponymous debut album, Duran Duran, which had been released a month earlier.
The song did not chart in the United States on its initial release, but it became popular and widely known after receiving heavy airplay on MTV when the Duran Duran album was re-issued in 1983. The song was used as the opening theme song for the anime series Speed Grapher in the Japanese language version (the song wasn't able to be licensed for releases outside of Japan), and the night version appeared on 2012 Square Enix video game Sleeping Dogs.Into Your Eyes
"Into Your Eyes" is the third single from the American DJ Armand Van Helden's sixth album Nympho. The song's refrain is lifted from "I Might Lie", a 1987 rock hit by Andy Taylor.Is There Something I Should Know?
"Is There Something I Should Know?" is the eighth single by British pop band Duran Duran, released on 19 March 1983.
The song was released as a stand-alone single and became the band's first UK number one record. It debuted in the number one position on the UK Singles Chart on 26 March 1983. The single also had great success in America, where it was released in late May: The song debuted on the charts on 4 June at #57, and it reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 August 1983 and sold more than a million copies.My Own Way (song)
"My Own Way" is the fourth single by Duran Duran, originally released as a single on 16 November 1981.
The single was designed as a stop-gap release to capitalise on the Top 5 success of the band's previous single, "Girls on Film", but prior to the recording and release of the band's second album Rio (which was recorded in the early months of 1982).
"My Own Way" was another hit, peaking at #14 on the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at #10 in Australia.
Despite its success, the single has often been cited by the band as one of their least favourite and is rarely played live. Keyboardist Nick Rhodes has expressed astonishment that "My Own Way" performed better than 1987's "Skin Trade", which ended the band's record of twelve consecutive Top 20 hits in the UK.New Moon on Monday
"New Moon on Monday" is the tenth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 23 January 1984 in the United Kingdom.The second single to be taken from the band's third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), the song was another success, reaching the top-ten on both the UK and US charts. On 11 February 1984, the single reached number nine on the UK Singles Chart and on 17 March, it reached number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100, after entering on 14 January 1984 at number 56. It did not chart well in Australia and Scandinavia, territories where its predecessor, "Union of the Snake", had been a big hit. This trend was reversed with the next single, "The Reflex", which became a worldwide number-one hit.New Religion (song)
"New Religion" is a Duran Duran song and the sixth track on their second album Rio.Nice (song)
"Nice" is the 34th single by British pop band Duran Duran. Released in 2005 to radio in Europe and as download only, it was the third single to be lifted from the group's Astronaut album.Planet Earth (Duran Duran song)
"Planet Earth" is the debut single by the English pop rock band Duran Duran, released on 2 February 1981.
It was an immediate hit in the band's native UK, reaching #12 on the UK Singles Chart on 21 February, and did even better in Australia, hitting #8 to become Duran Duran's first Top 10 hit anywhere in the world.
The song later appeared on the band's eponymous debut album Duran Duran, released in June, 1981.Save a Prayer
"Save a Prayer" is the sixth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 9 August 1982. The song was the third single taken from their second album Rio (1982). It became Duran Duran's biggest hit (at the time) in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number two, held out of the top spot by Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger".
It was not originally issued as a single in the United States, although the music video was very popular on MTV. A special US single version was finally released in January 1985 and reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.Serious (Duran Duran song)
"Serious" is the 22nd single by the English rock band Duran Duran. It was released 1 October 1990 as the second single from the Liberty album.Some Like It Hot (song)
"Some Like It Hot" is a song recorded by The Power Station. It was the first single released from the group's 1985 eponymous debut album. Released by Parlophone Records in 1985, the song features heavy drum beats from Tony Thompson and vocals from Robert Palmer. It was the band's biggest hit, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The video featured the transgender model Caroline Cossey (also known as Tula). The song was featured in the 1985 film National Lampoon's European Vacation. It was also featured in "It's a Trap!", the Family Guy parody of Return of the Jedi.The Chauffeur
"The Chauffeur" is the ninth and final song on Duran Duran's 1982 album Rio. The lyrics were first written by Simon Le Bon as a poem in 1978, two years before he joined the band. Two different versions of the song were originally recorded by Duran Duran, and the song has been covered by three mainstream artists. Two music videos of the song have been made at different times, by different directors. Unusually for the band, the song's title does not appear anywhere in the song's lyrics, but the refrain from the song has been used by Duran Duran as the title of both a tour video and a book.Thunder (Andy Taylor album)
Thunder is the first solo album by British guitarist Andy Taylor, released in 1987. It features former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones on guitar. Jones also co-wrote most of the songs on the album. Taylor had been previously known as a member of popular pop/rock bands Duran Duran and the Power Station.
The album went out of print in 1990, but would reemerge in a newly expanded version on online music services like iTunes when Taylor made his entire catalog available in 2010. In addition to the original version of Thunder, Taylor's previous solo singles such as "Take It Easy" were included as well.
British hard rock band Thunder would later take their name in partial reference to this album.Union of the Snake
"Union of the Snake" is the ninth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 17 October 1983.
"Union of the Snake" was the lead single from the band's third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), and preceded its release by one month. It became one of Duran Duran's most popular singles, hitting number one on the US Cash Box and peaking at number three on both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 at the end of 1983.
EPs and remixes