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Robert Palmer

The career of blue-eyed soul singer Robert Palmer was a study in style versus substance. While the performer's earliest work won praise for its skillful assimilation of rock, R&B, and reggae sounds, his records typically sold poorly, and he achieved his greatest notoriety as an impeccably dressed lounge lizard. By the mid-'80s, however, Palmer became a star, although his popularity owed less to the strength of his material than to his infamous music videos: taking their cue from the singer's suave presence, Palmer's clips established him as a dapper, suit-and-tie lady's man who performed his songs backed by a band comprised of leggy models, much to the delight of viewers who made him one of MTV's biggest success stories.

Born Alan Palmer on January 19, 1949, in Batley, England, he spent much of his childhood living on the island of Malta before permanently returning to Britain at the age of 19 to sing with the Alan Bown Set. A year later he joined Dada, a 12-piece, Stax-influenced soul group which soon changed its name to Vinegar Joe; after three LPs with the band -- a self-titled effort and Rock'n'Roll Gypsies, both issued in 1972, and 1973's Six Star General -- Palmer exited to mount a solo career, and debuted in 1974 with Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, recorded with members of Little Feat and the Meters.

With 1975's Pressure Drop, he tackled reggae, a trend furthered following a move to Nassau prior to 1978's Double Fun, which featured Palmer's first hit, "Every Kinda People." With 1979's self-produced Secrets, his music moved into more rock-oriented territory, as typified by the single "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)." Palmer's stylistic experimentation continued with 1980's Clues, a foray into synth-pop aided by Gary Numan and Talking Heads' Chris Frantz which yielded the club hit "Looking for Clues."

After 1983's Pride, Palmer teamed with the Duran Duran side project Power Station, scoring hits with the singles "Some Like It Hot" and "Get It On" (a T. Rex cover), which returned the singer to overt rock territory.

After exiting the band prior to a planned tour, Palmer recorded the 1985 solo album Riptide, a sleek collection of guitar rock which scored a number one hit with "Addicted to Love," the first in a string of videos which offered him in front of a bevy of beautiful women.

The follow-up, "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," continued to play with the sex symbol image and hit number two, as did "Simply Irresistible," the first single from 1988's Heavy Nova. By 1990's Don't Explain, Palmer returned to the eclecticism of his earliest material; without any attendant soft-core videos, sales plummeted, but he stuck to his guns for 1992's Ridin' High, a collection of Tin Pan Alley and cabaret chestnuts. Two years later, Palmer's wide array of worldbeat influences cropped up again on Honey, which also featured guitar work from Extreme axeman Nino Bettencourt. Woke Up Laughing followed in 1998, it was an adventurous, if somewhat odd, collection of non-hit album tracks remixed and in some cases re-recorded.Rhythm & Blues, a slick set of adult contemporary pop, came out in 1999 to lukewarm sales and reviews. After a live album in 2001, Palmer bounced back with the future blues of 2003's Drive. However, Palmer had little time to enjoy it's release. On September 26, 2003 he died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. He was 54. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The Island Years

1. Sailing Shoes

2. Hey Julia

3. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley

4. Give Me An Inch

5. Which Of Us Is The Fool

6. Man Smart, Woman Smarter

7. Every Kinda People

9. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)

10. Can We Still Be Friends?

11. Jealous

12. Not A Second Time

14. Johnny And Mary

15. Some Guys Have All The Luck

16. Pride

17. You Are In My System

21. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

23. Simply Irresistible (Live)

x

Track List: Drive

1. Mama Talk To Your Daughter

2. Why Get Up?

3. Who's Fooling Who?

4. Am I Wrong?

5. TV Dinners

6. Lucky

7. Stella

8. Dr. Zhivago's Train

9. Ain't That Just Like A Woman

10. Hound Dog

11. Crazy Cajun Cake Walk Band

12. I Need Your Love So Bad

x

Track List: Best Of Both Worlds: The Robert Palmer Anthology (1974-2001)

Disc 1

1. Sailin' Shoes

2. Hey Julia

4. How Much Fun

6. Pressure Drop

7. Trouble

8. Which Of Us Is The Fool

9. Spanish Moon

10. Man Smart, Woman Smarter

11. Some People Can Do What They Like

16. Jealous

18. I Dream Of Wires

19. Not A Second Time

20. Some Guys Have All The Luck

21. Pride

Disc 2

5. Hyperactive

6. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

8. She Makes My Day

10. Simply Irresistible

12. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (Feat. UB40)

14. Want You More

15. Know By Now

18. Johnny And Mary (Live)

19. Riptide (Live)

20. Looking For Clues (Live)

x

Track List: The Best Of Robert Palmer

1. Addicted To Love

2. Simply Irresistible

4. Early In The Morning

5. You're Amazing

6. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

7. Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming (Too Good To Be True)

8. You Can't Get Enough Of A Good Thing

10. Know By Now

x

Track List: Live At The Apollo

1. Some Like It Hot (Live)

2. Hyperactive (Live)

3. Discipline Of Love (Live)

4. Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming (Live)

5. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On (Live)

6. Looking For Clues (Live)

7. Change His Ways (Live)

8. Pride (Live)

9. Woke Up Laughing (Live)

10. Johnny & Mary (Live)

11. Riptide (Live)

12. Between Us (Live)

13. Flesh Wound (Live)

14. More Than Ever (Live)

15. Simply Irresistible (Live)

16. Casting A Spell (Live)

17. Addicted To Love (Live)

x

Track List: Ridin' High

1. Love Me Or Leave Me

2. (Love Is) The Tender Trap

3. You're My Thrill

4. Want You More

5. Baby It's Cold Outside

6. Aeroplane

7. Witchcraft

8. What A Little Moonlight Can Do (Road House)

9. Don't Explain

10. Chance

11. Goody Goody

12. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me

13. Honeysuckle Rose

14. No Not Much

15. Ridin' High

16. Hard Head

x

Track List: Addictions Volume 2

1. Remember To Remember (Remake)

2. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley (Remix)

3. Maybe It's You (Remix)

4. You Are In My System (Revoiced)

5. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

6. Can We Still Be Friends? (Remix)

7. Man Smart Woman Smarter (Remix)

8. Too Good To Be True (Remix)

9. Every Kinda People (Remix)

10. She Makes My Day

11. Best Of Both Worlds (Remix)

12. Give Me An Inch (Remix)

13. You're Gonna Get What's Coming (Remix)

14. I Dream Of Wires

15. The Silver Gun

x

Track List: Addictions Volume 1

1. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) (Remix)

2. Pride (Extended Version)

3. Addicted To Love (Remix)

4. Sweet Lies (Sweet Lies/Soundtrack Version)

5. Woke Up Laughing (Sweet Lies/Soundtrack Version)

6. Looking For Clues

7. Some Guys Have All The Luck

8. Some Like It Hot

9. What's It Take?

10. Every Kinda People

11. Johnny And Mary

12. Simply Irresistible

13. Style Kills

x

Track List: Heavy Nova

1. Simply Irresistible

2. More Than Ever

3. Change His Ways

4. Disturbing Behaviour

5. Early In The Morning

6. It Could Happen To You

7. She Makes My Day

8. Between Us

9. Casting A Spell

10. Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming

x

Track List: Riptide

1. Riptide

2. Hyperactive

3. Addicted To Love

4. Trick Bag

5. Get It Through Your Heart

6. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

7. Flesh Wound

8. Discipline Of Love

9. Riptide (Reprise)

x

Track List: Pride

1. Pride

2. Deadline

3. Want You More

4. Dance For Me

5. You Are In My System

6. It's Not Difficult

7. Say You Will

8. You Can Have It (Take My Heart)

9. What You Waiting For

10. The Silver Gun

x

Track List: Maybe It's Live

1. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley (Live, London, 1980)

2. What's It Take? (Live, London, 1980)

3. Best Of Both Worlds (Live, London, 1980)

4. Every Kinda People (Live, London, 1980)

5. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) (Live, London, 1980)

6. Some Guys Have All The Luck

7. Style Kills

8. Si Chatouillieux

9. Maybe It's You

10. What Do You Care (Dominion Theatre Live Version)

x

Track List: Clues

1. Looking For Clues

2. Sulky Girl

3. Johnny And Mary

4. What Do You Care

5. I Dream Of Wires

6. Woke Up Laughing

7. Not A Second Time

8. Found You Now

x

Track List: Some People Can Do What They Like

1. One Last Look

2. Keep In Touch

3. Man Smart, Woman Smarter

4. Spanish Moon

5. Have Mercy

6. Gotta Get A Grip On You, Part 2

7. What Can You Bring Me

8. Hard Head

9. Off The Bone

10. Some People Can Do What They Like

x

Track List: Pressure Drop

1. Give Me An Inch

2. Work To Make It Work

3. Back In My Arms

4. Riverboat

5. Pressure Drop

6. Here With You Tonight

7. Trouble

8. Fine Time

9. Which Of Us Is The Fool

x

Track List: Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley

1. Sailing Shoes

2. Hey Julia

3. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley

4. Get Outside

5. Blackmail

6. How Much Fun

7. From A Whisper To A Scream

8. Through It All There's You

Comments

Report as inappropriate
He had such great songs in the mid to late 80's during my high school years in downstate NY, my fav? His remake of Marvin Gaye's song-- Mercy Mercy Me, remember driving along the Hudson River to that song. Missed one of his concerts here in Las Vegas, I wish I hadn't. RIP Mr. Palmer, your fans miss you.
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Yes it's really ironic that Robert Palmer was noted for the latter part of his work when his earliest music provided the deepest look into his creative ability he is one of the most underrated artists this era
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I had no idea this guy could sing with any soul. I only ever knew RP from the 80's and the bad stuff that he put out for those horrible videos. I guess a lot of great 70s acts went bad in the 80s.
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SAW him in the mid 80's, what a show! Sure do miss the man !
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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dodea48
How's a Brit find this great Allen Toussaint song
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Y✨O✨U

A✨R✨E

B✨E✨A✨U✨T✨I✨ F U L

:)
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⚡️♦️⚡️♦️⚡️♦️
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Chauw ❗️ she's a hot one int she :)
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Keywords : in the west :)
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Oh yeah , he's a sharp dressed suit :)
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I never liked his music. Liked his suits though.....
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sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Glad to have got to see him back in88, Great concert
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Picture looks like David Bowie
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Simply the best in the west :)
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Summer of 77 Chicago-Fest had 40,000 sweaty fans watching Marshall Tucker, so we blew that off and wandered down the Pier. As a huge full moon rose
out of Lake Michigan we checked out the "rock stage" maybe 500 people caught RB at his best. The tune: Spanish Moon of course; RIP Bobby...
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garammasala1 9 6 8
R.I.P. Robert Palmer, Michael Hutchence and Falco. The fabulous '80's wouldn't have been the same without you. All gone too soon:(
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I saw him at the Arizona State Fair in 1988, he was quite a showman. Loved it!
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Saw him in concert in '91....greaa a a a a a t !
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Robert YOU OVERDOSED ON COOL AND CLASS MY BROTHER! MY HERO! SEE YA ONE DAY AT THAT CLOUD CLUB IN THE SKY!
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Robert Palmer died way too young at 54...
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Tremendo cantante!!!
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Love you Robert Palmer missing you always !!!! R I P ��
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This is a strangely dismissive bio. Seems as if it's been written by someone with an axe to grind.
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The Extreme guitarist in the bio was Nuno Bettencourt, not Nino.
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I was saddened when I learned of his death. I thought he was was a talented writer,vocal i s t and musician. Addicted TO Love is my fav! "You might as well face it..."
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david.blahni k
Saw him at the Fox in Atlanta spring of 1978, great show, died too young
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another kiss is all you need
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I remember the MTV video any follow up on another one and then later Shania Twain it is a version on it
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blueyedmom00 7
Addicted to Love...oh yeah!!! Great song, good to dance to. Love his voice!!!
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She's anything but typical!
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An 80s icon. I will always love his music!
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I write this in the hope that the programmers at Pandora actually read these. Although as you state, Robert Palmer didn't get much air time on radio until he had the lounge lizard rep, for a true music fan his early work was his best. I hope to hear some of that work on this station in the future.
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
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So much cool. Broke my heart when found out he passed away! Sneaken sally till this day ROBERT! !!
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One of the tightest bands, caught the end of 90's tour with the black male choir from London doing backups and harmonies... A m a z i n g voice and stage presence...H e loved the bottom end, bass and rhythm ruled...
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Oh how I love this song, Simply Irresistible , the lyrics are brilliant and so is Robert Palmer. SEXY.
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I miss Robert. Especially as I approach the age we lost him. Loved seeing him at Concord Pavillion.
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bluesfan915
Tom Walk, Silver Kittygirl is referring to a cover of Todd Rundgren's 'Can We Still Be Friends' and I agree... It is awesome! Robert Palmer did a lot of covers from the Beatles to ZZ Topp! Of course, I always thought his versions were better than the originals... b u t I was CRAZY about Him, and always thought he could do no wrong! I miss him :-(
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It hurts reading this at 54. Loved him in the 80's, had his LP's and sw him at Concord Pavillion.
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Silver Kittygirl, aren't you thinking of Todd Rundgren? Another great, underappreci a t e d , fondly-remem b e r e d artist.
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dawn1916
Funky - like Little Feat. Miss this type of music!
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Oh f**k yes!
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lindamast641 5 5
left us way too early; special musician
Report as inappropriate
Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley,NUFF SAID
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kvons1
Very talented artist of the time. A sad and untimely departure--- R I P : Robert Palmer
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One hot and classy guy loved Power Station!
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