Robert Palmer — R.I.P.
This thread is dedicated to celebrating a remarkable man who's among my very favourite singers, the late Robert Palmer. Sadly upstaged in his own music videos by "a miasma of minge" (as their director Terence Donovan described the heavily made-up and ineptly gyrating women in them), in actuality Robert had one of the most diverse recording careers imaginable. He was comfortable mixing hard rock with calypso, bossa nova and reggae... and also happened to be one of those rare examples of an intelligent and well-spoken pop star gifted with real musical integrity. In the late 60's and early 70's he cut his teeth singing with various R&B bands, including Vinegar Joe.
Palmer went solo in 1974 with Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, one of the all-time greatest debut LPs and an uncanny masterpiece of blue-eyed soul. Several radio hits followed in the late '70s, with more funk-oriented material like this gem:
Every Kinda People
In 1980 he released the album Clues, which embraced New Wave textures and harder-edged rhythms (also unique for containing both a Gary Numan song and a Beatles cover on the same record). As a record producer, he reached a fantastic peak during this period and gained worldwide popularity.
a Beatles cover
Taking a break from recording the 1985 blockbuster Riptide (which spawned the aforementioned "bimbo period" of videos) along with producer Bernard Edwards he formed a supergroup called The Power Station that included two guys from Duran Duran and super-heavyweight drummer Tony Thompson.
Tony Thompson killing it
After years of bona fide stardom, Robert returned to the music of his youth (spent growing up on naval bases in the Mediterranean, where he heard Lena Horne, Nat King Cole and Billie Holliday on American Forces radio) with an excursion into big-band crooning.
His last and in my opinion greatest album Drive was full of raucous barroom stompers, and it just about looked like he was going to turn the corner into full-on crotchety bluesman status before his untimely passing in 2003 at the age of fifty-four.
Crotchety blues stompers
Last edited by botley; 10-04-2015 at 01:50 AM.
Reason: Replaced a broken video
I do like Robert Palmer. He's awesome though he did get dissed by the Cure back in 1981 at a music festival in Belgium when Palmer's roadies tried to get the Cure to end their performance early. Instead, the band played a long version of "A Forest" and after the performance. Bassist Simon Gallup said "Fuck rock n' roll and fuck Robert Palmer".
& then palmer's crew threw the cure's gear off the side of the stage!
hardly familiar with palmer (surprising, given that my tastes are 95% drenched in the 80s), but damn do i love 'johnny and mary'
I'd never heard that story before... what a childish thing to do (on the side of both parties). I'm sure Robert would've sacked the crew for engaging in such behaviour, he was too classy for that shit.
TBH i'm not that familiar with Mr Palmer's music. I did make a recent purchase of The Power Station album on cd. It's a 2 disc version with extra tracks and a dvd.
Very powerful pop album, a right royal slab of 80's goodness.
I really recommend it for those who do not know it.
They also made a follow-up album — more than ten years later — called Living In Fear. It's great too... I'd have loved to see another reunion of The Power Station if only Tony Thompson hadn't died the same year as Robert.
Originally Posted by Agent Dale Cooper
A small label in the US called Culture Factory is reissuing a whole bunch of Robert's earlier albums (from Pressure Drop up to Pride) on CD. They are all worth owning IMO. Some really great, catchy songs and plenty of hidden gold on each one...
Start with Clues.
Last edited by botley; 12-25-2011 at 12:26 AM.
^^ Thank you for the info.
None of these are RP compositions, but he certainly made each song his own.
Here he is playing weird tricks with the backbeat on this Albert King tune:
Lovin' this quirky little video:
Appearing with The World's Most Dangerous Band and Buddy mutherfuckin' Guy:
Performing a duet with B.J. Nelson (who toured with Robert as his "singing partner" in the late 80s):
Wow, this brings back some memories. Especially 'Doctor Doctor'. He was played a lot in our house. Im pretty sure it was mainly 'Addictions' I used to listen too.
Last edited by YKWYA; 01-12-2012 at 03:50 PM.
Addictions Vols. 1 & 2 are great on their own, but they are designed to be stand-alone projects, not a representation of the original recordings. Robert went back into the studio and re-mixed (and even re-sang) many of the tracks to his liking. If you get the original LPs (or the new "Collector's Edition" CDs that are now available on Amazon), many of the songs sound quite different.
Originally Posted by YKWYA
Last edited by botley; 02-02-2012 at 12:42 PM.
Got my hands on a couple of the Collector's Edition CDs; they look and sound fantastic. Just like the original LPs.
If you're looking for a good overall introduction to the Palmer catalogue, I'd recommend the 2-disc compilation called Gold. It's 33 tracks (basically the same lineup as the Addictions anthologies but more faithful to the original versions) and cheap at under $15. Then, if you like what you hear, pick up Drive — it's not only his swan song but a fucking awesome record, and none of it is repeated on any compilation.
Pertinent is that Palmer was headlining and the Cure started late, too (everything was knocking on), about 20 minutes late if I recall correctly. I doubt there was any longer lasting feud than this, plus the Cure were falling apart (this was the Faith tour, right? So they split up very shortly after this gig) so I think this incident sinks into that whole imbroglio [ edit: no wait it was the P tour in 1982 when they split up ]
Originally Posted by thevoid99
^correct on the band splitting in late 1982.
I've never even seen Palmer acknowledge this happening, so the word "feud" hardly applies. Bonus points for using "imbroglio" in a sentence, however!
Every time I see this thread I think it says Carl Palmer.
When I read the initial post in this thread I unconsciously read it in Christian Bale's voice and pictured him dancing around with an axe in his hands.
There was a rock critic also named Robert Palmer (also RIP). I think the only thing I've read of his was the liner notes to one of the reissues of Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue.
I watched half of that movie last night Although that scene was "Huey Lewis and the News"
Originally Posted by Fixer808
I'm trying to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape (in the movie, this would be Heavy Nova) but these so-called music fans keep buzzing in my ear!
There needs to be a deluxe DVD of his live performances and this needs to be on it:
Here is a memorable event in my life... performing Robert's version of "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" as part of the faux German minimalist pop band Autofollow (yup, that's me, singing and dancing like an idiot, and I didn't even save any of those pairs of panties thrown from the crowd)...
Last edited by botley; 10-04-2015 at 01:53 AM.
Okay. Enough fuckin' around. Time to man up and buy ALL of the back catalogue on CD. They're all being reissued with bonus tracks, finally!
Last edited by botley; 08-16-2013 at 06:04 AM.
Robert died ten years ago, tomorrow.
Here he is rocking out with the Godfather of Soul. This puts such a smile on my face.
Tags for this Thread