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Reissue Theory: Robert Palmer – “Riptide”

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge Duran Duran fan (these upcoming reissues are seriously a thing of beauty). But I also credit them with opening me up to a whole lot of other acts. Had I not started listening to them in middle school, I would not have been drawn to other synth/New Wave bands, CHIC, Madonna, David Bowie or Robert Palmer.

Palmer in particular was quite the performer. His Duran connections were smallish – he was the lead vocalist for DD side-project The Power Station – but he was a soulful singer who put out a very diverse body of work. I’ll be honest; his death in 2003 made me more than a little sad.

Sadder still is the relative lack of love given to Palmer’s discography on the catalogue side of things. Maybe it’s because his material (on his own and with The Power Station) was split up between multiple labels, but his solo records definitely deserve the kind of reissue attention that the Power Station LP got. (Bonus remixes and a DVD? Yes, please.) As a tribute to Robert Palmer, I present a Reissue Theory look at Riptide, one of his most commercially successful albums with enough hits and rarities to appeal to every kinda people.

Robert Palmer, Riptide (Island ILPS 9801 (UK)/90471-1 (US), 1985)

Disc 1: Original LP and Bonus Tracks

  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. Let’s Fall in Love Tonight (B-side to “Addicted to Love” single – Island 7-99570, 1986)
  11. I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On (Extended Dance Mix) (12” A-side – Island 0-96804, 1986)
  12. I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On (Dub Version) (12” B-side – Island 0-96804, 1986)
  13. Addicted to Love (Previously Unreleased Duet Version with Chaka Khan)*

* I have no idea if this exists, to be honest. I know it was intended as a duet with Chaka, but Warner Bros. allegedly wouldn’t let her appear on the record. She is credited on the album with “vocal arrangements.” What could have been (and may be, in some vault)!

Disc 2: DVD

I always thought a DVD would be neat, especially for the videos to “Addicted to Love” and “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On.” I’m sure there must be more to release though; maybe some live performances or something. Maybe a reunion of those models from the “Addicted” video. (A good choice for DVD content – although one that doesn’t match the time period of this album – would be the Super Nova video compilation released to tie in with Palmer’s next record, Heavy Nova. It had all the videos from that set plus some live content.)

Written by Mike Duquette

March 4, 2010 at 14:04

Posted in Features, Reissues, Robert Palmer

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