Tribute to Robert Palmer

The late, great Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter Robert Palmer sadly passed away in Paris, France, on 26th September 2003 at the age of 54. Born 19 January, 1949 in Batley, Yorkshire. He was known for his distinctive voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues. He found success both in his solo career and in the musical act Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the US and the UK.  His  memorable music videos  for the hits “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love”, which were directed by Terence Donovan feature  identically dressed dancing women with pale faces, dark eye makeup and bright red lipstick, which resembled the women in the art of Patrick Nagel and have since become  much-parodied. Sharp-suited, his involvement in the music industry commenced in the 1960s, & covers five decades.

He released his first album “Pressure Drop” in 1975, which mixed reggae and rock music. In 1978, he released Double Fun, a collection of Caribbean-influenced rock. Palmer’s next album 1979′s Secrets produced his second Top 20 single “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)”. During The 1980s  Palmer became even more popular with his next album Clues, which contained the singles “Looking for Clues” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck”. In April 1983 Pride was released, which featured a cover of The System’s “You Are In My System”.  Palmer also performed at Duran Duran’s charity concert at Aston Villa football ground where he became friends with members of Duran Duran which would spawn the supergroup Power Station, who had two hit singles “Some Like It Hot” and a cover of the T.Rex song “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”.

In 1985 Palmer recorded the album Riptide featuring the  single “Addicted to Love“ which garnered him the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance  in 1987.The album also contained The singles “Hyperactive!” and “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”. In 1987 he released Heavy Nova and returned to experimenting, this time with bossa nova rhythms, heavy rock and white-soul balladeering. He repeated his previous success with the video of “Simply Irresistible“, again with a troupe of female “musicians”. The ballad “She Makes My Day” was also a hit. In 1989, he won a second Grammy for “Simply Irresistible” which was featured in the Tony Award winning musical Contact. Rolling Stone magazine voted Palmer the best-dressed rock star for 1990. The same year Palmer expanded his range even further for his next album, Don’t Explain, which featured the Bob Dylan penned single “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, in a collaboration with UB40. Marvin Gaye cover “Mercy Mercy Me”. Throughout the 1990s, Palmer ventured further into diverse material and his 1992 album Ridin’ High was a tribute to the Tin Pan Alley era.

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