Musical Monday: Robert Palmer

Again, I’ve seen today’s artist in concert a number of times and I’m sure many of you will remember some of his iconic music videos.

Robert Allen Palmer (1949 – 2003) was an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer known for his powerful, distinctive, gritty, soulful voice and sartorial elegance and for combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues.

Palmer’s involvement in the music industry began in the 1960s and included a spell with the band Vinegar Joe. He found success both in his solo career and with the Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in the UK and the United States in the 1980s. Three of his hit singles, “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”, “Addicted to Love” and “Simply Irresistible”, were accompanied by stylish music videos directed by British fashion photographer Terence Donovan.

This single hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 nearly 36 years ago – where’s the time gone? It’s best known for its brilliantly idiotic video, which features the singer performing in front of five stunning mannequin-like models bearing vapid facial expressions and holding musical instruments that they’re not even pretending to convincingly play. They can’t dance either, and only occasionally move in time with the song’s rhythm. It’s utterly ridiculous (Palmer’s face throughout the video shows he knows it, too) and absolutely iconic at the same time.

There’s little question that the video played a pivotal role in driving the song to the top of the charts. The video is oddly unforgettable and spawned countless imitations and whatever passed for memes in the mid-1980s — so much that it overshadowed the song, which is in a league of brilliant stupidity all its own.

Palmer received a number of awards throughout his career, including two Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and an MTV Video Music Award. He was nominated by the Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. He sadly died aged 54, following a heart attack in September 2003.

13 Comments on “Musical Monday: Robert Palmer

  1. Pingback: Musical Monday: Robert Palmer – MobsterTiger

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