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Robert Palmer Overlooked and Forgotten Now?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Klen7000, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Klen7000

    Klen7000 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Sea Cliff, NY
    Seems like a pretty underrated artist given how big he was in the 80s (not superstar league, but certainly a respectable talent). I don't see him discussed much here, but what is the forum's opinions on him, especially his work with the Power Station and his solo albums in the 80s?
  2. deadcoldfish

    deadcoldfish Senior Member

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Nah, Sneakin’ Sally is the epitome of his career!
    M321115, Dave Mac, Ray29 and 31 others like this.
  3. Crimson jon

    Crimson jon Forum Resident

    "Miiiight as well face it....."

    He is middle of the road boring and not mentioned much for reason.
  4. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    I think of him as about a three-hit wonder and that's it.

    Which is better than being a one-hit wonder I suppose.
  5. Osato

    Osato Forum Resident

    He was the poster boy for yuppie-ism - ever watch American Psycho? Patrick Bateman is a good representative of his fanbase at the time. And, of course, Most good rock n' rollers don't look like Wall Street bankers.

    I do like The Power Station, all things being equal, but that wasn't really his sound - it was Bernard Edwards'. I didn't mind I Didn't Mean To Turn You On, but once again, it's a cover of a black artist's song.
  6. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I saw his Riptide LP at a flea market the other day. Nearly bought it. Was this his biggest album?
  7. johnbs@mac.com

    johnbs@mac.com Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    Hmm, there is no way that his early solo albums are middle of the road. Anyone who loves Little Feat or Allen Toussaint funkiness should explore Sneakin' Sally, Pressure Drop, Some People and Double Fun. John
  8. Really? How much have you heard aside from the hits. Palmer tried on a variety of styles and also supported other artists by producing them, getting them signed, etc. He was a talented musician. I love Crimson BUT just because you're devoted to a classic prog band doesn't make Palmer any less significant or less talented. He doesn't appeal to you, that's OK. You dislike him, ditto but don't crap on the man's career or others who might like him. He's not mentioned much now because he's been dead for quite a while and his best albums didn't sell much.
  9. Yep.

    It's a solid album that connected with the public in a big way courtesy of MTV. It was nice to see him get success although the albums after "Riptide" weren't as good as his earlier albums.
  10. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Not familiar with his albums but love a lot of his singles. His new wave singles were cool.

    Bad Case Of Loving You
    Johnny & Mary
    Looking For Clues
    Addicted To Love
    She Makes My Day

    The Power Station stuff is good too.
  11. Palmer would discover other artists and try and bring them to a wider audience. I can't fault him for that. No, Patrick Bateman and American Psycho are NOT a good representation of his fan base anymore than Phil Collins fanbase. The "yuppie" group discovered him with MTV but Palmer had been making terrific albums going back to the early 70's. Man, it amazes me the ignorance on display in this thread.
    grouploner, Paully, M321115 and 63 others like this.
  12. philly67

    philly67 Forum Resident

    Entitled to your opinion of course, but if you're deciding someone solely on their best known hits, then you're missing out on a lot. Doesn't just go for Palmer. You manage to get caught up in the whims of popular taste and think that's really anything at the end of the day, you'll die by that sword soon enough.
    Karnak, Ro-Go, bhazen and 16 others like this.
  13. Yam Graham

    Yam Graham Senior Member

    West Midlands,UK.
    The Power Station was one of the last albums on vinyl I picked up....I got Riptide on CD the following year as I liked the singles off it. I like both.
    Matthew Tate and Diablo Griffin like this.
  14. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident

    Looking for Clues is a good number. His hits were awesome. Did a good version of It could happen to you on Heavy Nova. Saw him live in 89 in a large venue. Pretty dull show but a cool guy who had a nice soulful voice.
  15. pseudopod

    pseudopod Forum Resident

    Winnipeg, Canada
    I don't give a damn what anybody else says, I think he was great. I like all his hits, and there are quite a few of them. 19 Billboard hits between 1976 and 1991. "Bad Case Of Loving You" was an AM radio favorite of mine when I was 8. I also like "Johnny And Mary" (which charted here in Canada and Bryan Ferry recently covered) and the very soulful "Every Kinda People" a lot. But there is much more than his hits if you're willing to dig a little. Check out "Work To Make It Work" from his 1975 album "Pressure Drop". It's funky as hell!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  16. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Way up in the middle of the air

    Pacifica, CA
    It really is. Doing an album with Little Feat wss a great idea for him. I wonder who put them together.

    But I also like "Bad Case of Loving You."
    mr. k and audiotom like this.
  17. I have a few of his albums and enjoy them well enough. Never enough of a fan to maintain a continuing interest though.
    Purple likes this.
  18. Gregster

    Gregster Forum Resident


    I've actually in recent years grown to admire Robert Palmer's skills, musicianship & showmanship, & not just as a passing hit-maker through the late 1970's & 1980's...

    In a great many ways, he was not too dissimilar to David Bowie, especially in a professional sense, of being able to change both his image & musical-styles to suit the times.

    It was from myself needing more Little Feat, & discovering that Lowell George worked & performed on his 1st album "Sneaking Sally Through The Alley", followed by all of Little Feat backing him on his second album "Pressure Drop", that allowed me to rediscover Robert, & appreciate his musicianship much better. These are GREAT albums too BTW, highly recommended.

    These records also reveal the extremely wide scope & many varied textures of his voice, which I found really surprising, & very impressive.

    IMO, I think he deserves a little more respect & appreciation. But his world-wide successes have already spoken for themselves too. He "made it" & was good enough to reach the top, & stay there for several years.


  19. spacer

    spacer Forum Resident

    Never knew much about his personal life but always liked his music and his style. Big fan of his work with Bernard Edwards. A really versatile singer. His choice of material was often unexpected. Sort of in the same way Dusty Springfield was more with it than her outward image might convey. He racked up about 25 Top 40 hits, most were Top 10s somewhere in the world. But to many he'll probably always just be the guy in the videos with those models.
  20. Sammy Waslow

    Sammy Waslow Just watching the show

    The diversity of his first few albums is testament to his talent. Admittedly, there might be six years between them, but Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley (1974) and Clues (1980) are poles apart, musically, and he covered a lot of ground in between.
    Like any other act who's had the (mis)fortune to have a handful of massive hits for which they are forever associated, it can be a hindrance, as they can become the sole points of reference for the casual observer. There are those who think of the latter Riptide/Heavy Nova era as being what he was all about. There was much more to him, and most of those early albums are worth investigation.
  21. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    His first album is unbelievable. Second album is pretty great too but that first one...wow. Anyone who hasn't heard that one should check it out. You'll be glad you did.
  22. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Eugene, Oregon
    I had most of his LPs at one time or another, but I kept Sneaking Sally Through the Alley and Clues. I think I have Riptide or Heavy Nova On CD. oh... and Power Station is cool! I found a French pressing on CD just the other day. It sounds great! In better condition than my old LP, for sure.

    I dig his voice, but I don’t need a lot of him. It is much the same way I feel about Hall & Oates.
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  23. correctodad

    correctodad Forum Resident

    Nicely put. I particularly like the comparison to Dusty.
    Matthew Tate, Davmoco and bluerondo like this.
  24. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    "Heavy Nova" is a perfect example for his broad variety - where else would you have heard yodeling in a pop rock song during the 80s?? ;)
  25. Osato

    Osato Forum Resident

    Woah, let's back up a little bit. I was trying to answer the question - which I've seen before - of why he is underrated or not talked about much. I think, objectively, that is in large part due to the the image he projected (the straight out of Savile Row suits + the austere and very clinical videos). I don't disagree that he has other fans, certainly these days, and his 70s work is fine in my book, but the OP was specifically asking about the 80s, which is the context for my reply (hence the "at the time" comment). Sorry for any confusion, and I certainly wasn't aiming for ignorance.
    pwhytey, NunoBento, Kristofa and 2 others like this.

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