Friday, January 19, 2007

Funky Friday Is In Your System

This week's funky Friday is dedicated to Robert Palmer. Possessed of a unique voice and a willingness to experiment, Robert's career began in 1970 when he joined jazz-rock fusion band Dada, which also featured singer Elkie Brooks. A year later the two of them formed the r'n'b group Vinegar Joe, who went on to release three albums. In 1973 Robert went solo, and his debut LP Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley was recorded in New Orleans. It featured The Meters and Little Feat's Lowell George, and was deep south flavored rock'n'r'n'b - a style he stuck with for several records. Over the years he went on to incorporate reggae and other Caribbean flavors. His early '80s recordings were new wave, defined by the classic Johnny & Mary. At this point he embraced electro and singing in Urdu (Silver Gun), which got him critical acclaim but poor sales. Then we have The Power Station, where mainstream American rock was mixed with a dash of dance beat gloss. Robert sang, 2/3rds of Duran Duran rocked the house and Chic drummer Tony Thompson provided the beats. This blueprint was then tweaked for Robert's most successful era, with it's monster hit Addicted To Love. Over the years he continued to record, although with much less success. He sadly passed away from a heart attack at the young age of 54 in 2003. A remarkably varied body of work is left, much of it funk-da-fied. Enjoy these four reminders of why he is missed - a couple of funky '70s tracks, an '80s electro classic and a great cover of a Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis song, originally by Cherelle.

Give Me An Inch
Pressure Drop

Every Kinda People
Double Fun

You Are In My System

I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

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