Sunday, November 13, 2016

Robert Palmer-Riptide (1985)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 13, 2016

My continuance in getting the 'R' entries in my music library organized has led me to get reacquainted with another familiar voice from my childhood yesterdays: the late Robert Palmer. There's a trio of hits by him that will forever stand atop my list of definitive signature classics of the 80's, one of them found right here on his eighth solo album: "Addicted To Love". It'd been a long time since I enjoyed this unforgettable rockin' oldie, but never forgotten were the memorable lyrics and its awesome hook: ' might as well face it, you're addicted to love '. And let's just face it: I'm quite addicted to this song.....and just about everything else from the 80's, for that matter. Kinda hard to believe that I've only managed to hear exactly one cover of "Addicted To Love" in my lifetime: a special live version performed by rockin' queen Tina Turner (I'm suddenly drawing a blank as to when I did hear that live version), whose husky, divalicious vocals are every match for Palmer's own powerfully stinging voice when he's performing his 1985 original. Thinking about cover songs, as many of you well know, always excites me, and that's a second reason why I had purposely selected "Riptide" for listening tonight: to hear his remake of "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On". Of course, I had already fallen in love with the 7+ minute funky disco version sung by Cherrelle a year before, but there is something I've always found especially alluring about Palmer's more brooding, low-key approach, which is molded by the suspenseful underlying of the alternative chords of the music itself. Too bad he didn't turn his into the extended 7+ minute mega-jam that Cherrelle did, but then I could always treat myself to several replays and enjoy as many extended minutes of it as I want. I do, however, get to enjoy some extended instrumentals on "Discipline Of Love", a very close cousin to the lively and jazzy rock-spirit ed "Addicted To Love" and a fun song that totally captures the spirit of the decade altogether. But then there are a couple of songs here that totally don't sound as if they were recorded in my favorite decade. The opening title track is more of a graceful ambient piece than anything, yet it sounds so soothing on the ears; if it wasn't for the subtle backing synthesizing heard beneath the overtures, one would hardly notice anything 80's about the production. Then there's "Get It Through Your Heart", which offers a similarly graceful ambient charm. This one does have the 80's tagged all over it: "Hyperactive"—fun, spunky 80's pop/rock just as I like it—and one could guess that quirky, odd-structured new wave-inspired jams like "Trick Bag" and "Flesh Wound" only could've came out of the same decade as well. For only being nine tracks deep, "Riptide" ends up as being quite a versatile album, and the I'm sure Robert Palmer fans will agree that it was definitely among the highlights of his legendary career:

1. Riptide
2. Hyperactive
3. Addicted To Love
4. Trick Bag
5. Get It Through Your Heart
6. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On
7. Flesh Wound
8. Discipline Of Love
9. Riptide (Reprise)

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