Want List: Robert Palmer BSOG of Complete Island Albums UK 9xCD

Robert Palmer ran the gamut from Funky R+B to Rock, to New Wave…and many points in between

We were slow to acknowledge the many charms of Robert Palmer at first. In 1978, when he got his first US Top 40 hits on his ’78/’79 albums with “Every Kinda People” and “Bad Case Of Loving You” I thought of him as just a mainstream Rock singer. The songs were okay but my interests were elsewhere. All that changed when he released “Clues” in 1980 and, woah Nellie… Gary Numan was writing and performing with Palmer on the album. So I bought that album. Found it to be an excellent, if wildly eclectic, album and let the Palmer bus move on to the next stop. Little did I know that “Clues” was not an aberration, but instead was as accurate a snapshot of Palmer’s peripatetic muse as conceivably possible!

I next heard him three years later with the electro cover of “You Are In My System” which I admired during its several plays on MTV. But I still had not had the coin drop on Palmer. His next move was forming The Power Station and seeing as how he had hooked up with Chic and Duran Duran players to form a supergroup, this was the point where I realized that this guy just wasn’t slumming in New Wave. He quite literally liked every kind of music out there and didn’t want to be fenced in.

From ’85 onward I was buying his albums and eventually worked my ways backwards over time. I saw the man on his amazing “Heavy Nova” tour and it was a startling and eclectic show and my date was the site where they filmed the performance of “Early In The Morning” for the music vid. But that was small potatoes. The biggest jawdropper was an amazing cover of Motörhead’s “Eat The Rich” which I am still trying to obtain. It’s sitting on a pricey syndicated radio concert of that tour that I need to break down and buy as it’s not getting any cheaper!

The last time I saw Palmer perform was in 1997 on the second Power Station tour. The one with him that time, but not John Taylor! It was always something with The Power Station. By then Palmer was off of EMI and his final releases were on Eagle and Universal and hard to find, though I have them now. By the late 90s, I was all-in on Palmer, and in the 21st century, I’ve been buying all of his singles and compilations with weird variants. I have all of his albums except for “Some People Can Do What They Like,” “Double Fun,” and “Maybe It’s Live.” But now those will be in this upcoming Boxed Set Of God.

Edsel | UK | 9xCD | 2023| EDSL0115

Robert Palmer: The Island Records Years – UK – 9xCD [2023]

Disc 1: Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley + 4

  1. Sailin’ Shoes
  2. Hey Julia
  3. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley
  4. Get Outside
  5. Blackmail
  6. How Much Fun
  7. From A Whisper To A Scream
  8. Through It All There’s You
  9. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley [single mix]
  10. Epidemic
  11. Blackmail [alternate take]
  12. Get Outside [alternate take]

Disc 2: Pressure Drop + 2

  1. Give Me An Inch
  2. Work To Make It Work
  3. Back In My Arms
  4. River Boat
  5. Pressure Drop
  6. Here With You Tonight
  7. Trouble
  8. Fine Time
  9. Which Of Us Is The Fool
  10. Willin’ [demo]
  11. Hope We Never Wake [demo]

Disc 3: Some People Can Do What They Like

  1. One Last Look
  2. Keep In Touch
  3. Man Smart, Woman Smarter
  4. Spanish Moon
  5. Have Mercy
  6. Gotta Get A Grip On You (Part II)
  7. What Can You Bring Me
  8. Hard Head
  9. Off The Bone
  10. Some People Can Do What They Like

Disc 4: Double Fun

  1. Every Kinda People
  2. Best Of Both Worlds
  3. Come Over
  4. Where Can It Go?
  5. Night People
  6. Love Can Run Faster
  7. You Overwhelm Me
  8. You Really Got Me
  9. You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming
robert palmer - secrets

Disc 5: Secrets +1

  1. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
  2. Too Good To Be True
  3. Can We Still Be Friends?
  4. In Walks Love Again
  5. Mean Old World
  6. Love Stop
  7. Jealous
  8. Under Suspicion
  9. Woman You’re Wonderful
  10. What’s It Take?
  11. Remember To Remember
  12. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) [12” Mix]
robert palmer clues

Disc 6: Clues + 3

  1. Looking For Clues
  2. Sulky Girl
  3. Johnny And Mary
  4. What Do You Care
  5. I Dream Of Wires
  6. Woke Up Laughing
  7. Not A Second Time
  8. Found You Now
  9. Good Care Of You
  10. Johnny And Mary [alternate take]
  11. What Do You Care [alternate mix]

Disc 7: Maybe It’s Live

  1. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley [live]
  2. What’s It Take? [live]
  3. Best Of Both Worlds [live]
  4. Every Kinda People [live]
  5. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) [live]
  6. Some Guys Have All The Luck
  7. Style Kills
  8. Si Chatouillieux
  9. Maybe It’s You
  10. What Do You Care [live]

Disc 8: Pride + 7

  1. Pride
  2. Deadline
  3. Want You More
  4. Dance For Me
  5. You Are In My System
  6. It’s Not Difficult
  7. Say You Will
  8. You Can Have It (Take My Heart)
  9. What You Waiting For
  10. The Silver Gun
  11. You Are In My System [12” remix]
  12. Ain’t It Funky [Si Chatouillieux – extended version
  13. Pride [12” mix]
  14. Parade Of The Obliterators
  15. You Can Have It [12” mix]
  16. You Are In My System [instrumental mix]
  17. Deadline [12” mix]

Disc 9: Riptide + 8

  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)
  10. Discipline Of Love [12” mix]
  11. Riptide Medley
  12. Sweet Lies [12” mix]
  13. Let’s Fall In Love
  14. I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On [12” mix]
  15. No Not Much [live on The Tube]
  16. Trick Bag [live on The Tube]
  17. Les Planches

That’s 25 bonus tracks added to the running. Of course, there are many tracks not accounted for here, giving this selection a faintly late 90s whiff from the era when we were happy to get crumbs and not everything. Sort of like those Eurythmics remasters. The bigger concern is the provenance of the mastering. Apparently, in 2013, Edsel also released Palmer 2xCD DLX RMs that were sourced from MP3s. Ouch! And damningly, the track listings for each disc were exactly what is to be in this boxed set.

robert palmer twofer CD
The Edsel Twofer I would want to get to complete my collection, but for the mastering snafus

However, the Demon Records website assures us that that these were newly mastered from the Universal files by Phil Kinraid at Air Mastering, but Phil was the engineer credited on the 2013 discs as well. Since the set will be released on February, 17th, 2023, we have a few months for the data to trickle out. I suggest adopting a wait-and-see posture. Given Edsel’s history of a somewhat tenuous grip on QC, it’s best to see what the word on the street is before committing. The set is in preorder for £89/$105 from the usual suspects, and for anyone who had maybe only a CD of “Riptide” laying around, this would be a heady dive into a large body of some fantastic music by one of the most fascinating singers of his era.


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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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8 Responses to Want List: Robert Palmer BSOG of Complete Island Albums UK 9xCD

  1. schwenko says:

    I might have to spring for this. When it comes to Robert Palmer I will always have this video embedded in my mind; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txrrq5onbtA


  2. chasinvictoria says:

    As much as I admire Mr Palmer’s work for the most part, at this price I’ll probably pass on this. It’s more a case of “the Canadian price is likely to be 40-50 percent higher than the US price” rather than “meh, not enough great stuff for me to bite.”

    My interest hinges heavily on the remastering job, so I’ll have to rely on Apple Music to let me listen to that before reconsidering the purchase.


  3. David Rafter says:

    Hi! I can help you with the Motorhead cover. The bootleg source was one of the three Westwood One Superstar Concert Series broadcasts of songs from Palmer’s concert at James L. Knight Center, Miami, FL, USA on September 7, 1988. I’m digitizing #90-07, did a search for the Motorhead cover to see if it was on bootlegs (it was…) and found your website. I use a good turntable (Music Hall MMF-5) and the vinyl’s mint, plus I listen and remove clicks n’ pops. I’ll have it finished by tomorrow at the latest (I’m Pacific Standard Time here…). If you’re interested, write to me and I will send you a link to download a copy of the entire show…or if you just want that track, I can email it to you as a flac, wav, or mp3@320 file. – yours, draftervoi


    • postpunkmonk says:

      David Rafter – Welcome to the comments! Interestingly enough, the gig on the Westwood One radio show was recorded at the date the day prior to my first concert with Palmer [Sept. 8, 1988] in Daytona Beach. Your offer of files is most kind, but seeing as I am building a focused Palmer collection, at this point I’m still interested in buying a copy of the radio show myself for the collection and going all DIY on the CD of that show.


      • David Rafter says:

        I understand, it’s my hobby, too! :) If you’re interested, I’ve also got Superstars In Concert 91-30 (Town & Country Club, London), BBC Rock Hour 439, and an NBC The Source show from 1980.

        My first (and last) Palmer show was at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco in November 1976…great show! I had that first solo LP, and had picked up a Vinegar Joe LP earlier that year.


        • postpunkmonk says:

          David Rafter – I still need to hear Vinegar Joe!


          • David Rafter says:

            Vinegar Joe (from what I recall, it’s been a few years since I played it) was a bit “boogie” in the early 70s British style of “rockin’ out.” Palmer shared vocal duties with Elkie Brooks who was a tiny bit Janice Joplin in her approach (although a lot smoother).

            The Internet just led me to your blog a second time for “Surface Tension.” I’m in the middle of a “let’s tag every file run through my Palmer folder, and he did a live version of that song at the Torhout / Werchter festival in 1981 and my search for the songwriter led here (again). :)


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