Category Archives: Robert Palmer

Rocks In The Attic #770: Robert Palmer – ‘Riptide’ (1985)

RITA#770Addicted To Love: the sound of mid-80s AOR. It’s the kind of song we would hear on Atlantic 252, while driving around North Wales on family holidays. This, Simply Red and late-period Genesis became the accidental soundtrack to the towns of Prestatyn, Rhyl and Llandudno.

I recently met a colleague at work who was born and raised in Mold, just over the border into North Wales from Chester. We’ve been reminiscing about Rhyl, and how it was just the best place for kids in the 1980s. The Rhyl Sun Centre almost felt futuristic, with its car rides descending from the ceiling, and its wave pool that seems par for the course in today’s leisure centres. Alongside its funfair – a scaled-down version of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach – Rhyl even had a monorail along its waterfront. However, the project descended into bankruptcy just a few weeks after its opening in 1980, and abruptly closed.

RITA#770aRobert Palmer’s catchy rock-by-numbers anthem reminds me of those days, of riding around the BMX course on Rhyl’s seafront, or going down the Sun Centre’s tube-slides. My parents owned a static caravan on a site in Gronant, just outside Prestatyn, which we used to go to on weekends between Spring and Autumn.

Those times make up some of my happiest childhood memories. The local arcade had the original Star Wars game in which you sat inside an X-Wing flying across the Death Star, one of the local café’s introduced me to the joy of toasted currant teacakes, and I used to regularly play with a friend and his sister, recreating scenes from our favourite sci-fi show V. Happy days.

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The music video for Addicted To Love deserves a mention too; one of the most iconic videos of the original MTV era. Not a great deal happens in the video, it’s essentially a performance piece. Palmer performs the song backed by a band of attractive models who are wearing heavy lipstick and tied-back hair. This look pays homage to the art of Patrick Nagel, the original artist behind Duran Duran’s Rio sleeve. It’s a joy to watch.

Hit: Addicted To Love

Hidden Gem: Hyperactive

NOTE TO THR: DO NOT REUSE AFTER 2/16/19_ONE TIME USE WITH CONTRACT FROM PLAYBOY

Rocks In The Attic #538: Robert Palmer – ‘Double Fun’ (1978)

RITA#583
Now this fella had a good voice. I remember shopping in Kingbee Records in Manchester on the morning that I heard he had died, and toying with the idea of buying one of his records. I didn’t buy it in the end. I hadn’t heard anything by him other than the ubiquitous late ‘80s singles Addicted To Love and Simply Irresistible, and surely I wouldn’t appreciate a full album of his yuppy rock songs.

I don’t think I ever saw any of his records in the wild again until I picked this up – studio album number four. It’s a damn good record, and Palmer’s blue-eyed soul voice is really a wonderful thing. Genre-wise, it reminds me of early Hot Chocolate – a poppy mixture of groove-based rock and grown up soul and R&B. Anybody with the confidence to work up a decent funk version of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me is worth more than five minutes of my time.

By this stage, Palmer wasn’t pulling in the likes of the Meters or Little Feat to back him in the studio, as on his first two records. I don’t immediately recognise any of the musicians who contributed to the sessions, but there are definitely a lot of them – twenty nine players in total – suggesting that the sessions were a casual, unstructured affair.

Hit: Every Kinda People

Hidden Gem: Come Over