"The Hub of 80's Buzz on the web" - Vancouver Province
The Super Community For 80's Fans Around The World

Biographies: Robert Palmer

add a biography

Reviewer: Iluvthe80s

b. Alan Palmer, 19 January 1949, Batley, Yorkshire, England. Britain's leading "blue-eyed soul" singer has served a musical apprenticeship over four decades in which time he has participated in many different styles of music. In the UK progressive music boom of the late 60s, Palmer joined the interestingly named Mandrake Paddle Steamer part-time, so as not to interfere with his day job as a graphic designer. Shortly afterwards he left for the lure of London to join the highly respected but commercially unsuccessful Alan Bown Set, replacing the departed Jess Roden. The following year he joined the ambitious conglomeration Dada, an experimental jazz/rock unit featuring Elkie Brooks. Out of Dada came the much loved Vinegar Joe, with whom he made three albums. Already having sights on a solo career, Palmer had worked on what was to become his debut Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley in 1974. Backed by the Meters and Lowell George, the album was an artistic triumph. A long-term relationship with Chris Blackwell's Island Records began. Blackwell had faith in artists such as Palmer and John Martyn and allowed their creativity to flow, over and above commercial considerations. Little Feat appeared on his follow-up Pressure Drop, recorded after Palmer had relocated to New York.

Still without significant sales, he moved to the luxury of the Bahamas, where he lived for many years. In 1976 he released Some People Can Do What They Like to a mixed reaction. Palmer persevered, and his first major US hit single came in 1979 with the R&B Moon Martin rocker, "Bad Case Of Loving You". He collaborated with Gary Numan on Clues which became a bigger hit in the UK than in America. The infectious "Johnny And Mary" sneaked into the UK charts and two years later "Some Guys Have All The Luck" made the Top 20. Seeming to give up on his solo career, he joined the Duran Duran -based, Power Station in 1985. Continuing his own career, Riptide, released at the end of that year, gave him his biggest success. The album was a super-slick production of instantly appealing songs and it made the UK Top 5. In 1986, in addition to singing on John Martyn's Sapphire, he found himself at the top of the US charts with the beautifully produced "Addicted To Love". The record became a world-wide hit, making the UK Top 5. It was accompanied by a sexy (or sexist) video featuring a number of identical-looking girls playing instruments behind Palmer. He followed this with another catchy hit "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On".

Following a move to Switzerland with his family he left Island after 14 years, and joined EMI Records. Heavy Nova was accompanied by the UKTop 10 hit "She Makes My Day" in 1988. The next year a formidable compilation of his Island work was released, and found more success than Heavy Nova. He returned to the UK Top 10 with UB40 in 1990 with the Bob Dylan song "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", and, in 1991, with a medley of Marvin Gaye songs, "Mercy Mercy Me"/"I Want You". Honey was another credible release with notable tracks such as "Know By Now" and the title song. Rhythm & Blues contained the excellent "True Love", although his interpretation of Lowell George's beautiful "20 Million Things" lacked the heartfelt emotion of the original. Palmer remains a respected artist, songwriter and the possessor of an excellent voice. He is also to be admired for his wardrobe of suits, having worn them when they were anathema to most rock stars. Nowadays, Palmer finds himself praised for being a well-dressed man.

*Courtesy sonicnet.com

**It doesn't mention it in here, but in 1996, Robert Palmer joined up again with Andy Taylor, Tony Thompson, John Taylor for another Powerstation album called "Living In Fear".

© 2014 Madison Ross Media Group