When I first got onto the Internet in 1993 — right around the time Duran Duran’s The Wedding Album gave the band a momentary comeback — I noticed most fans were far more interested in off-shoot project Arcadia than the Power Station.
Chart-wise, the Power Station was far more successful than Arcadia back in 1985, but over time, Arcadia became the fan favorite. There’s a simple explanation: the project’s sole album, So Red the Rose, was essentially Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Part II.
Produced by Alex Sadkin, who worked with Duran Duran on Seven and the Ragged Tiger, So Red the Rose expanded on the lush, busy ambiance of Duran Duran’s third studio album. The music was far more interesting, but none of the tracks could be considered strong contenders for singles. (Don’t tell me "Election Day" is anywhere near as catchy as "New Moon on Monday".)
So Red the Rose wasn’t an album to like on first listen. I sure didn’t. I had to force myself to listen to the long-winded Side B — I was listening to it on vinyl — before I grew to appreciate it.
One track that eluded me for years was "Lady Ice". As a teenager, I didn’t appreciate the strange effects that occupied a good portion of the song’s introduction. It just seemed like needless noodling. I loved the song once it got going, but man did it take a while for that to happen.
My opinion of "Lady Ice" took a 180-degree turn after I had been exposed to the electronic music of Edgar Varese. Naked City’s Absinthe certainly helped as well.
Now, that introduction is the most interesting thing on the album for me. I almost wish it was even weirder. I still love how the oboe solo turns into feedback toward the end of the song.
Listen (10.6 MB, 7:31)