ARTIST: Robert Palmer
TITLE: The Very Best of the Island Years
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #45 US, #10 UK
SINGLES: Top 40: Every Kinda People (#16 US, #53 UK), Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) (#14 US, #61 UK), Looking for Clues (#105 US, #33 UK), Some Guys Have All the Luck (#59 Mainstream, #16 UK), Addicted to Love (#1 US, #1 Mainstream, #5 UK), Hyperactive (#33 US, #21 Mainstream), I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On (#2 US, #3 Mainstream, #9 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Man Smart Woman Smarter, Johnny and Mary. Simply Irresistible is here as a live track.
LINEUP: Robert Palmer. Early on he had help from the Meters and Little Feat then played with all kinds of session musicians
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A pretty complete overview of the best tracks from the UK singer that goes through all of his twists and turns.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting out as a blue-eyed soul with a tinge of reggae singer (the first three tracks here are the first three from his debut album and show off all of the styles), then moving towards pop, album rock, new wave, and finally the huge arena rock sound, Robert Palmer was definitely a chameleon.
Palmer’s career was up-and-down for the longest time until he formed the Power Station with refugees from Duran Duran and Chic. That success catapulted him into stardom, and his Riptide album, with “Addicted to Love” cashed in big time.
Still, Palmer’s albums were inconsistent, and hearing “Man Smart Woman Smarter”, you can’t really think it’s the same guy who sang “Bad Case of Loving You”, or “Johnny and Mary”. But he is.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: A lot of the other compilations are ‘remixed’ and those remixes were…not good. And after Riptide, his stuff declined.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE B+: There’s some great stuff here, but it feels like product for the most part. Good product, but product just the same.