Music / R / Robert Palmer / Biography
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Robert Palmer - Biography
|last update : 29-03-2011 23:19|
|Robert Palmer (real name Alan Palmer) was born on January 19, 1949 in Batley, England. His father was a Navy Officer. Robert grew up in Malta and listened to Billie Holiday & Nat King Cole. Back in England, he studied in Scarborough Technical College and founded the band The Mandrakes at 16. In 1969, Robert joined the Alan Bown Set, replacing the singer Jess Roden. The album Listen was released on Island in 1970. He also was in the bands Dada & Vinegar Joe from 1970 to 1973. Chris Blackwell, head of Island, convinced Robert to do a solo career.
Robert recorded his first album in New Orleans, between R&B and funk : Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley was a success in the USA, and the singer decided to live in New York. The two following albums, Pressure Drop in 1975 and Some People Can Do What They Like in 1976, were in the same vein, however Robert started singing tropical music : he covered Toots & The Maytals' "Pressure Drop" on his second album.
In 1978, with his fourth album Double Fun, Robert knew his first hit with the song "Every Kinda People", written by Andy Fraser from Free. "Best of Both Worlds" and "You're Gonna Get What's Coming" were covered by Bonnie Raitt. Robert went to the Bahamas where he recorded his fifth album Secrets, released in 1979. "Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor Doctor)" was his second hit, written by Moon Martin. He also covered Todd Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends ?".
In 1980, Robert changed his musical style and turned to electronic with his sixth album Clues. "Johnny And Mary" was a huge success in Europe, especially in France where the song became a music for a car-company commercial. In 1982, his concert at London Dominion was released on the live album Maybe It's Live. In 1983, his seventh album Pride was a moderate success.
In 1984, Robert joined Andy Taylor, John Taylor & Tony Thompson and formed the band Power Station. The self-titled album was released in 1985. Some months later, Robert released his eighth album Riptide, produced by Bernard Edwards. The song "Addicted To Love" was number 1 in the USA in May 1986. Palmer left the label Island and signed to EMI, and went to live in Switzerland.
In 1988, his ninth album Heavy Nova was a mix of heavy-metal and bossa-nova. At 39, the singer gained his popularity with "Simply Irresistible". His former label Island released two compilations, Addictions 1 in 1989 & Addictions 2 in 1990. His tenth album Don't Explain was composed by covers of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" with UB40 and "Mercy Mercy Me". His eleventh album Ridin' High, released in 1992, was a compilation of covers of jazz standards, but the audience was disappointed.
Robert came back in 1994 with his twelfth album Honey, and the singles "Know By Now" & "You Blow Me Away" were successful. But the album was another disappointment. In 1997, he released the compilation The Very Best Of and left EMI.
In 1997, the second Power Station album Living In Fear passed undifferent. The compilation Woke Up Laughing was released the following year on Metro Blue. In 1999, he released his thirteenth album Rhythm & Blues and made his last tour in the USA.
After the compilation At His Very Best in 2002, Robert decided to change his musical style again. His last album Drive, released in May 2003, got good critics. On September 26, 2003, he died of a heart attack in a hotel room in Paris, France, 2 days after recording his last TV show. He was 54.