January 19 ~† Vitality of It Very Best Of Robert Palmer

"Love songs should be intense. Why not sing about the vitality of it?" ~ Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer

Stylish rock singer/songwriter Robert Allen Palmer (1949-2003) was born on this day in Yorkshire, England. The son of an officer, he grew up in Malta, joined his first band as a teen, and was known for his passionate voice and classy clothes.

"I just always felt comfortable in a suit and tie," he once explained. "Itís served me well, because I never got aligned with any fashion trend. I simply believed that if youíre going to be in public, dress up."

Throughout his long career, Palmer experimented with many musical genres--rock, gospel, rhythm and blues, and funk. His blues band, Vinegar Joe, opened for Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.  He scored his first big hit, Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) as a solo artist in 1975.

"Love's the only goal," he wrote in another hit, Every Kinda People (1978). "That could bring a peace to any soul."

A celebration of soul and talent, in 1984, Palmer teamed up with John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran and sang lead vocals with Power Station. Their hits included Bang a Gong (Get It On) and Some Like It Hot.

He said about his craft, "I find a new way for the groove to sit by doing something totally unorthodox and it makes my week. Writing is the hardest thing. Every song I've written has been real work. The music I make was always designed to create a mood."

The British singer is best known for his hit Addicted to Love (1986). The song took on iconic dimensions thanks to the unforgettable video with elegantly-dressed Palmer backed by a crew of identically clad, mini-skirted, dark-haired, and red-lipped models. Ironically, Palmer filmed the famous video to a blue screen and the girls were added in the edit room.

The solo Palmer followed up with I Didn't Mean to Turn You On (1986) and Simply Irresistible (1988). "I loved the music, but the excesses of rock music never really appealed to me at all," he said. "I couldn't see the point in getting up in front of a lot of people when you weren't in control of your wits."

More ROCK & ROLL Quotations

Why not live with vitality?