We just past the 30th anniversary of my favorite Robert Palmer album, Secrets. Released in 1979, I had rushed out to buy it because of the strength of Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor), and the fact I thought the cover art - a line drawing of him shaving - was hot. Yes, there are times I am that shallow. And for the rest of his career, I thought Robert Palmer was outrageously hot, just sexy for days. When I got it back to my dorm - I was in college at the time - I put it on right away, and listened to Bad Case of Loving You.
Then I listened to the rest. Wow. His infusion of blue-eyed soul and rock did it for me. There is an ease to his vocals, a soft warmth that envelops me, my soul. They feel so organic, so heartfelt. And prior to being the man in a suit, he was a jeans and t-shirt guy, and looked damn good in them. He covered Can't We Still Be Friends by Todd Rundgren, shifting the rhythms of the drums and adding a strength to it.
He also covered Andy Fraser's Mean Ol' World, a wonderful song.There is a slight jazz feel, coupled with a pop styling that just made it sort of magical for me. And there was Jealous, another balls-out rocker. And his own song, Remember To Remember. Just a great album.
But Palmer is more likely to be remembered for his hits like Addicted To Love, Simply Irresistible, or I Didn't Mean To Turn You On. Or maybe with his time as lead singer for the power-group Power Station, singing Some Like It Hot or Bang A Gong.
Oh, they are good, but I like the other side of Palmer juat as much, maybe even a bit more. Like when he did a cover of Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You. A softer, more delicate song with a lyric he obviously felt down deep, and delivers with such beauty.
Robert Palmer passed away in 2003, suffering a heart attack at the age of 54. Such a talent, taken away so young.