1979 Promo Cards
En juin 1979, pour promouvoir la sortie du nouvel album de Robert Palmer Secrets, Island Records a édité une série de 8 cartes illustrées retraçant la carrière du chanteur jusqu'alors. Palmer et les responsables d'Island Records semblaient avoir suffisamment d'humour pour reproduire une critique particulièrement mauvaise de l'album Double Fun! Lire plus
In June 1979, to promote the release of Robert Palmer's new album Secrets, Island Records published a series of 8 illustrated cards tracing the singer's career up to that time. Palmer and the folks at Island Records seemed to have enough humor to reproduce a particularly bad review of the Double Fun album! Read more
1. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley
"Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley is an impressive album. It begins with a cover of Little Feat's Sailin' Shoes that has even more surprises and chunky layers than the original. The Meters put down an incredibly dense, machine-like rhythm, Lowell George's guitar plays through it like oil, and Palmer's voice is husky and pushing. Sailin' Shoes blends into Hey Julia, a teasing piece with strange cooing background vocals... like a logical scientist Palmer has selected the ingredients for his dream album: a bit of the Meters from New Orleans, some soul from the Motown rhythm section, and a crazed perfection from Little Feat. Sneakin' Sally turned out to be a synthesis of all this music, but moulded to palmer's own identity."
"An excellent first solo album... the real tour de force is Palmer's extended composition Through It All There's You, which take up half the second side. It's one of those numbers which starts off quietly and gradually creeps up on you and builds up to quite an erotic climax. On the first side Sailin' Shoes and Julia lead beautifully into each other, linked by a drum machine and adding a touch of slightly crude humour to a very vital album."
2. Pressure Drop
"Pressure Drop is an elegant and accomplished testament to Robert Palmer's talents; the man has refused to set precise limits to his musical imagination... the new album revels in a diversity of style and musical form which, nevertheless, knits together as a revealing synthesis of Palmer's taste. Pressure Drop encompasses the New Orleans raunch of Allen Toussaint's River Boat, the grease-action rock 'n' roll of Work To Make It Work, the intimacy of Back In My Arms and the reggae back-beat of the title track - and it all works magnificently... few white singers would even attempt a version of Toots & The Maytals' classic Pressure Drop, yet Palmer has the essential feel for the music to produce a superb re-working of the song... Palmer has put together a stellar list of musical luminaries, including most of Little Fet, to work on his album... Robert Palmer's own songs, particularly Give Me An Inch and Which Of Us Is The Fool, emerge strongly as highlights of the album... Pressure Drop opens a new chapter in a fascinating musical career. Robert Palmer ain't just a pretty face."
3. Some People Can Do What They Like
"The album is one of the most brilliantly constructed works of the Seventies, an album which instills compelling fascination at every turn... he gives us soul, r&b, rock, reggae and a variety of variations which are fascinating in their widespread yet continuing appeal."
"Palmer's songs are cocktails. He throws in his own bluesy-growl vocals, adds whistles, timpales and an assortment of other percussion, a rhythm guitar plays offstrokes... just listen to the galloping, diesel train shuffling of the album's stunning title track. It says it all."
"It's hardly magic but it's still quite a record."
"Robert Palmer is doing amazing things with his highly individual sound these days. A trace of reggae, a snatch of blues, a lot of rhythm... Palmer sings across the spectrum with aplomb and even taste."
"He possesses a sinewy, soulful voice - very sexy. He's a talented writer, too, as Keep In Touch and Off The Bone testify."
"The music is superb. Not flamboyant or exorbitant but tightly-knit and experienced. Yet, even so, it is underlined with the feeling of a good-time atmosphere. From the junk funk delight of Man Smart Woman Smarter to the more powerfully lyrical imagery and intense performance of Spanish Moon Palmer and his backing band display a flair for getting to the nerve centre."
4. Double Fun
"Double Fun is an album so frighteningly banal it makes Johnny Mathis sound like Johnny Rotten by comparison. The lyrics are a stream of glittering cliches under a gossamer-thin veil of cloying literacy, and Palmer doesn't even try to convince you he means a word of it - the songs exist only to let him play out his mellow-stud, hip-crooner rôle... the nine tracks here are aural sludge, reaching a nadir with a disco version of You Really Got Me - what kind of mind would even concieve of doing that, much less commit it to vinyl?"
"Robert Palmer is the best of both worlds. He makes music like summer wine. He just gets better and better. The Music on Double Fun is as fresh as the drops of water in a millionaire's swimming pool. In the tradition of earlier masterpieces, notably Pressure Drop, Double Fun is outdoor sun, sea and sand calypsos, flavoured by the special Palmer warmth and smoothness. This album is one long silver sunset, from the opening exotic Every Kinda People to the final burst of static in a reworking of the Kink-Klassic You Really Got Me. Even the sytlus seems reluctant to leave the groove."
Side one : 1. Bad Case Of Lovin' You (Doctor, Doctor) (J. Moon Martin) / 2. Too Good To Be True (R. Palmer) / 3. Can We Still Be Friends (T. Rundgren) / 5. Mean Ol' World (A. Fraser) / 6. Love Stop (J. David)
Sine two : 1. Jealous (Jo Allen) / 2. Under Suspicion (D. Linde/A. Rush) / 3. Woman You're Wonderful (R. Palmer/A. Powell) / 4. What's It Take (R. Palmer) / 5. Remember To Remember (R. Palmer)
Robert Palmer (vocals), Pierre Brock (bass), Dony Wynn (drums), Kenny Mazur (guitar), Jack Waldman and Steve Robbins (keyboards).
Album recorded at Compass Point Studios, New Providence, Bahamas. Produced by Robert Palmer. Mixed by Karl Pitterson, assisted by Benjamin Ambrister and Kendall Stubbs.
6. Dr Pepper Festival/Central Park, N.Y. August 1978
"First he ran through Love Can Run Faster, then added an organ, Pierre Brock's hard bass and a tambourine along the way as the six piece band (much like Tower of Power without the horns, but better) steadied into a slow grind... girls are suddenly dancing and even though it's not Elvis, it's certainly a run above Boz Scaggs' jive or Rod Stewart's raunch... most pop-type vocalists would have cooled down with a ballad but here again Palmer displayed his singularity by opting for the Maytals' classic Pressure Drop. He followed with the women's song of the decade, Man Smart Woman Smarter, which is more of a rocker than anything else... funky rocker, plain old rockers and more reggae brought the crowd to their feet for the finale and encore. By this point the stage was producing more sweat per second than the local Y... when the music finally stopped, after an hour-and-a-half drive, bassman Brock's wide-eyed sigh of relief/satisfaction told the story: This band just played their asses off."
"From the minute he stepped on stage to the final show-ending encore, Palmer displayed his charm, vitality and matinee idol good looks in a constant stream of bouncy rock laced heavily with reggae... his shirt soaked in perspiration, Palmer prowled the stage all night, blending down to acknowledge the tittering nubiles congregated at the base of the stage."
7. Robert Palmer Live
"Robert Palmer, the English blues singer, went to America a few years ago to get slicked up. He's returned home this week with a sound that sweats pearls. His Hammersmith Odeon shows this week were glossy yet gutsy displays of emotion timed to the instant. This is neo-blues. It's a Seventies evolution of rhythm and blues into something faster, louder, smoother and more accessible. It's blues in a suit... there's nothing more boring than a blues purist. Palmer isn't pure anymore, he's simply much better."
"Palmer enjoyed his singing, and showed real pleasure in the audience's stalwart support. Songs like Sneakin' Sally showed him in full control, both of his voice, an individual and memorable instrument, and of the dynamics of the band, whether punching home the Little Feat feel of Man Smart Woman Smarter or feeding the group gently into the solid punch of Gonna Get A Grip On You... Palmer proved his case - a good singer with r&b in his soul, a writer who gets better by the album and one of the best bands around. See him."
8. Robert Palmer
Born in Batley, Yorkshire, on January 19, 1949. Lived in Malta until he was nine-years-old.
Joined a semi-professional band, called the Mandrakes, when he was 15. Musical taste at that time included Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Byrds and ska. Eventually resigned his job as a graphic designer to concentrate on music full time.
In 1968 offered the job as vocalist with Alan Bown's band, one of Britain's first horn-equipped rock groups. Moved to London from Yorkshire.
The following year Palmer joined Dada. He toured America with the band - his first experience of the United States - before Dada transformed itself to the more compact Vinegar Joe. Stayed with Vinegar Joe for eighteen months, sharing vocals with Elkie Brooks.
In 1974 Palmer quit Vinegar Joe and embarked on a solo career.
First solo album, Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley (Island ILPS 9294), recorded in New Orleans and New York. Album released September 1974; became a considerable radio hit in the U.S. Palmer played series of show-showcase gigs in America and, because of the response, decided to base his career in the States (his London home also flooded - a contributory factor in his decisison to move to the U.S.).
Pressure Drop (Island ILPS 9372), released November 1975. Album recorded in Los Angeles and Baltimore, revealed new aspects of Palmer's musical taste. Played first nationwide tour of America.
Some People Can Do What They Like (Island ILPS 9420), released October 1976. Album recorded in Los Angeles, explored new syncopations. Its release coincided with Palmer's biggest tour-yet of America. Moved to Nassau to make a base for writing and relaxation.
Double Fun (Island ILPS 9476), recorded in New York and Philadelphia, released March 1978. Every Kinda People, first single from the album, a major hit in the United States while Best Of Both Worlds charted throughout Europe, opening the way for Palmer's European tour.
September 1978. Palmer played first-ever European tour, including two sell-out nights at London's Hammersmith Odeon.
New album, Secrets (Island ILPS 9544), recorded in Nassau with the touring band from previous six months solid road work. Album released June 1979. Bad Case Of Lovin' You first single from the album. Palmer prepares for nationwide U.S. tour in August and European concerts series in October.