ROBERT PALMER Best Of Both Worlds – The Robert Palmer Anthology (1974-2001) 3CD Deluxe ‘Addition’

Best Of Both Worlds DeluxeBest Of Both Worlds (2002)
Excellent Multi-Label Anthology

UPGRADED A chronicle of Robert Palmer’s wonderfully erratic career, including his funky sides with Little Feat & The Meters, cosmo-World Music for Island Records and his mega-fame hits via MTV & Power Station. This 2CD collection has it all, covering Palmer’s undervalued 20 year stretch of musical invention from 1974-1994, with a few new millenia bonuses to explain the title. I’ve heard, known and owned many of these tracks over the years, but hearing them all back-to-back is a revelation. Despite his top-notch material, expressive 70s vocal chops and aching 80s cool, it requires an expansive collection like this to truly appreciate some of Palmer’s outside-the-box choices (his interpretations are some of his best work). It’s easy to bitch about the curious inclusion of remixed hits (from the compilations Addictions Volumes 1 & 2), but what are you gonna do? [Note: we did it… below.] Early in his career, Palmer wasn’t much of a sales machine, so most know him only from his 80s video successes. That’s unfortunate, because there’s a whole world of Robert Palmer before MTV, and this collection provides a great opportunity to re-investigate his wild variety and consistent excellence. We’ve got some live Palmer in the archives, Live At The BBC (1983/2010) and Nijmegen, Netherlands – 10/15/80 (FM Broadcast), both HERE. Find the original 2CD Best Of Both Worlds at Amazon, HERE.

THE DELUXE “ADDITION” More than a few have expressed dismay that Best Of Both Worlds contains a number of remixed versions of Palmer’s classic material, culled largely from RP’s history-updating collections, Addictions 1 & 2 (HERE & HERE). In and of themselves, the Addictions collections are quite cool, as Palmer details in the liners notes his reasoning for tinkering with past work, and as added CDs in any RP collection, they’re great to have. But, Palmer took his addictions a step too far (for some) when he used those altered versions on the Best Of Both Worlds anthology. So thanks to Allen B. who suggested an alternative… which was to gather together the original versions for this Deluxe “Addition,” to actually have the best of both worlds. Since we like to tinker with history around here, too, this becomes another in our series of fake Deluxe Editions.

Sailin’ Shoes (2:42)
Hey Julia (2:25)
Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley (4:47) (Remix)
How Much Fun (3:08)
Give Me An Inch (3:01) (Remix)
Pressure Drop (5:23)
Trouble (3:03)
Which Of Us Is The Fool (3:23)
Spanish Moon (6:00)
Man Smart (Woman Smarter) (2:35)
Some People Can Do What They Like (4:11)
You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming (4:00) (Remix)
Every Kinda People (3:26) (Remix)
Best Of Both Worlds (4:12) (Remix)
Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) (3:13) (Remix)
Jealous (3:17)
Can We Still Be Friends? (3:40) (Remix)
I Dream Of Wires (4:37)
Not A Second Time (2:52)
Some Guys Have All The Luck (3:10)
Pride (3:31)
What Do You Care (2:23) (Live In London 1980)

You Are In My System (5:02) (Revoiced)
Some Like It Hot (5:07) – The Power Station
Get It On (Bang A Gong) (3:40) (Single Version w/ Intro Edit) – The Power Station
Addicted To Love (4:27) (Remix)
Hyperactive (5:12)
I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On (3:38)
Sweet Lies (From The Movie Sweet Lies) (3:11)
She Makes My Day (4:24)
Early In The Morning (4:02) (Single Version)
Simply Irresistible (4:17)
You’re Amazing (3:19) (Remix/Edit)
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (3:28) – with UB40
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology Song)/I Want You (3:56) (Single Edit Version)
Want You More (4:10)
Know By Now (4:13)
Stone Cold (4:33)
Milkcow’s Calf Blues (2:24)
Johnny And Mary (3:16) (Live At The Apollo, 2000)
Riptide (2:17) (Live At The Apollo, 2000)
Looking For Clues (3:44) (Live At The Apollo, 2000)

3 – DELUXE “ADDITION” (Original Versions)
Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley (4:23)
Give Me An Inch (3:17)
You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming (3:17)
Every Kinda People (3:14)
Best Of Both Worlds (4:11)
Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) (3:12)
Can We Still Be Friends? (3:38)
Looking For Clues (4:08)
Johnny And Mary (3:56)
What Do You Care? (2:46)
You Are In My System (4:25)
Get It On (Bang A Gong) (5:30) – The Power Station
Riptide (2:28)
Addicted To Love (3:56)
Early In The Morning (4:42)
You’re Amazing (3:51)
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology Song)/I Want You (5:51)

Stripped DeluxeSugar Cane's Got The BluesThe Gold Experience (Deluxe)
Shotgun Willie DeluxeFlashback DeluxeRagged Glory Deluxe


  • Capt. Willard
    September 2, 2009 - 17:54 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Tony Ormond
    September 3, 2009 - 14:20 | Permalink

    Thanks for this!!! Robert Palmer is one of the greatest singers ever…I heard him sit in with James Brown way back. He held his own…

  • sluggo
    September 3, 2009 - 17:03 | Permalink

    cool cool cool..imagine if little feat would`ve brought him on board as their singer..what a fit..thanks for this..

  • drfeelgoed
    September 3, 2009 - 23:32 | Permalink

    Thanks for this, Palmer was great. Check out his last, 'Drive', very convincing blues album!
    By the way, does anyone know if the expanded rereleases (with bonus tracks) of his first few albums ever were released? They were listed for a while on Amazone, but later disappeared…

    • Willard
      October 15, 2011 - 17:44 | Permalink

      Never heard that one. Thanks for the tip.

  • ShawdyWhatItDo
    September 4, 2009 - 00:11 | Permalink

    Unfortunately the reissues have still not been released.

    BTW, for some reason, to me anyway, every album after Heavy Nova seems to lack soul for some reason. I really hope we find out the truth of what was going on with him in that last decade of his career. I wish the family wouldn't hide everything about him. I get the feeling that he was at the hands of an industry that chewed him up and spit him out. There are now rumors that he died from cocaine rather than heart failure, just like Billy Mays.

  • drfeelgoed
    September 4, 2009 - 01:50 | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that. Still waiting for a neat overview with some unissued tracks. As for being at the hands of the industry, perhaps…, but if you read his (very detailed) liner notes for compilations like Addictions 2 & (especially)'Woke Up Laughing – Adventures in Tropical Music: 1977-1997' you do get the impression of someone who loves making music in whatever style suits him.

  • Art Ducko
    September 4, 2009 - 04:38 | Permalink

    Thanks again, Willard for the musical history trip. Two of my favorite albums from the 70's were "Sneaking Sally…" & "Pressure Drop". These were the cool albums you slipped onto the turntable to impress your friends. Robert had such great taste, & he did it so effortlessly. I think of him as the Fred Astaire of rock. Even the slick stuff still sounds good.

  • Anonymous
    September 4, 2009 - 12:39 | Permalink

    He must have been coked up to agree to these inferior remixes, they're all shiny & harsh and lacking the phunk of the originals….I agree with the Pixies not remixing their box set, saying that's the way it was recorded.. I'll go back to the vinyl to feel the warmth..still it's a reminder what an eclectic soulful dude he was….
    Goma Soma III

  • boboquisp
    September 5, 2009 - 01:05 | Permalink

    Thanks for the taste. I always liked some of his tunes. bbq

  • Paul McClelland
    September 5, 2009 - 01:19 | Permalink

    My Gawd ..Wotta voice. Yowsah!!

  • Loren
    September 7, 2009 - 19:31 | Permalink

    Willard, just a note to say thanks for this and many other wonderful shares. Robert Palmer could have been hard to pin down, but so long as you remember the man just loved to sing, then that's all you need to know. Eclectic, erractic, loved his music, and would have loved to hear more. Thanks.

  • Private Beach
    September 9, 2009 - 14:28 | Permalink

    I first saw Palmer with Vinegar Joe – a wonderful band, also featuring Elkie Brooks before she decided to become Britain's answer to Melissa Manchester.

    • Willard
      October 15, 2011 - 17:45 | Permalink

      Lucky. I never even had the chance to see the guy.

  • buzz baby jesus
    October 15, 2011 - 21:42 | Permalink

    I’m going to have to get this. I was always aware of Robert Palmer, but I already had Little Feat’s “Sailin Shoes”, and Toots and The Maytals “Pressure Drop”, so I never thought I needed him.
    I’m sure I’ll dig this now.

    • Willard
      October 15, 2011 - 23:17 | Permalink

      There’s a lot of quality material. You’re bound to like some of it.

  • Rah
    October 16, 2011 - 06:36 | Permalink

    Yowza. Sneakin’ is like a ball peen hammer right on my groove center. Neverending Saturday night.

  • Otiselevator
    October 16, 2011 - 07:55 | Permalink

    By complete coincidence I dug out my old vinyl copy of “Sneakin” the other day. I’d forgotten what a great record it was and agree it’s long overdue for a remaster and bonus tracks reissue. I rather lost sight of RP after Pressure Drop, disliked the “video years” and reconnected with him for “Drive” just before his untimely death. I’d love to know more about the man’s real story but in the meantime thanks for the chance to reassess this gifted singer.

  • JB
    October 16, 2011 - 08:39 | Permalink

    Was fortunate to see RP open for Little Feat back in the day. Great singer, gone too soon.

  • Marvin Rhodes
    May 5, 2012 - 15:42 | Permalink

    I saw Robert perform several times and he was great every time. There were those who attacked him, calling him the ‘Fraud of Funk.’ Despite their jealous disparagement, Robert was the real thing! The assassination of his character is still going on and it’s disgusting. Enjoy his music but please, let him rest in peace.

  • Supersonic75
    July 27, 2013 - 05:23 | Permalink

    Palmer was a fascinatingly creative guy who style-hopped from album to album in a manner that was really unusual, even more so given how consistent and successful many of the records were (through Heavy Nova, to my taste anyway). He wrote very interesting songs that were arranged in really fresh ways that for a time, and despite how many hits he had, often steered towards the “artsier” side of things (I’m thinking of Pride in particular, though all of the records had some more experimental things on them). I got to know Palmer a bit in the 80’s (I used to work at the Power Station) and at that time, the whole scene at that studio had gotten so coke-y that it was (truly) scary at times…nobody wanted to sleep (not uncommon in that era), but sadder than that, a lot of folks just wouldn’t even begin their sessions until the dealer arrived (and I think the book rate for a studio back then was around $280 per hour, which was a high meter rate for just idling around in the various reception areas). But the scene that Palmer was involved in at that time was at the heart of that vibe in and out the studio, and I do believe (in my heart; I don’t know enough of the facts obviously) that his death was caused from complications from cocaine, either directly or indirectly. Bernard Edwards’ as well. RP made some really wonderful music and this is a good collection though I do prefer a lot of the individual records. Thanks; I don’t feel like enough people remember how interesting an artist he really was.

    • Willard
      July 27, 2013 - 09:59 | Permalink

      Agreed. He was a bit too eclectic for people to latch onto. If it wasn’t for those few years on MTV, there’s no telling how obscure he might have been.

  • Supersonic75
    July 27, 2013 - 05:26 | Permalink

    PS-I’m not bashing RP in the least, he was a sweet, friendly and smart guy even in that setting and stood out from a lot of less gracious folks who were fixtures there. Made me feel even sadder about his death when he passed.

  • puffinrandy
    May 11, 2015 - 11:07 | Permalink

    Thanks Cap’n W… Looks like fun.

  • Dwight
    May 11, 2015 - 12:00 | Permalink

    its almost a sin to have the remixed version of sneaking sally in the first volume –
    the 1,2,3 punch of sailing shoes – Hey Julia and Sneaking sally through the ally is one of my all time favorite set pieces of music. You can’t listen to one without the other. Well you can – but you shouldn’t. I advise everyone to substitute the original version from disc three to listen to how it was originally released – in fact go back and get the whole first album – its really a masterpiece in my eyes. One of my top ten, desert island whatever you want to call it.

  • May 11, 2015 - 13:10 | Permalink

    Thanks for fixing this! Much more enjoyable to sub out the remixes and put them on a third disc as “alternates”.

  • May 13, 2015 - 11:04 | Permalink

    Thanks for this. I am always fascinated by early footage of Robert Palmer with Vinegar Joe, snake-hipped, leather trouser wearing, with that R’n’B voice as seen in this clip from Old Grey Whistle Test and guitar playing in this

    • Willard
      May 13, 2015 - 14:50 | Permalink

      You know… I never checked out Vinegar Joe, so thanks for the link. As much as I like Palmer, I’ve never bothered before, though I’m watching more now. Good to see he could rock an island-esque shirt even then.

      • May 13, 2015 - 16:09 | Permalink

        Also the other singer is Elkie Brooks, who later on in the UK had hits such as Pearls a singer and lilac wine, a bit mor, so quite a surprise on seeing her slightly raunchier past

  • May 14, 2015 - 08:49 | Permalink

    Robert Palmer sang songs, and his bands grooving gave me goosebumps and released endorphins in my brain. Not many could do that.
    I agree from above, that 1,2,3 punch of Sailing Shoes – Hey Julia and Sneaking Sally Through the Alley are seriously kick ass…Thanks for putting the new compilation together!

  • courtney
    May 15, 2015 - 19:51 | Permalink

    This is exactly the way (I tbelieve) to approach altered history…by offering the original versions in the precise context of the re-jiggerings. Great curation going on here, and thanks for the collection!

  • Jimmy the Exploder
    May 22, 2015 - 22:45 | Permalink

    Thanks bunches for the extra disc!

  • Bloudie
    May 23, 2015 - 20:40 | Permalink

    Domo Arigato

    • Roger
      June 8, 2015 - 07:46 | Permalink

      I grew up in the 80s when those MTV hits elicited contempt and scorn from everyone I knew, but over the years I’ve heard countless gems here and there suggesting a bigger talent than those (why-so-many?) cover versions ever could. As per usual, the blog remains a place to stretch and grow. Thank you for new experiences Willard. I think I will enjoy this.

  • Grant
    July 9, 2015 - 06:48 | Permalink

    Sweeeet! Thanks for this one, Willard!

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