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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

After stints with THE ALAN BOWN in the Sixties, DADA in 1970 and three albums with VINEGAR JOE (featuring Elkie Brooks) between 1972 and 1973 – ROBERT PALMER was finally ready to go Solo. I’ve already reviewed Volume 1 with "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" and "Pressure Drop", Volume 2 with "Some People Can Do What They Want" and "Double Trouble" and Volume 3 with “Secrets”, “Clues” and “Maybe It’s Live”. This 2CD reissue on Demon's Edsel label celebrates the next stage – his 8th and 9th album breakthroughs in the 80’s.

UK released 26 August 2013 - Edsel EDSK 7040 (Barcode 740155704032) breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (78:49 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 8th studio solo LP "Pride" – UK released March 1983 on Island ILPS 9720
Tracks 11 to 17 are BONUS TRACKS: “You Are In My System (12” Mix)”, “Ain’t It Funky (Si Chatouillieux - Extended Version)” [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED], “Pride (12” Mix)”, “Parade Of The Obliterators” [Non-Album B-Side of “Pride”], “You Can Have It (7” Mix)”, “You Are In My System (Instrumental Mix)” and “Deadline (12” Mix)”.

Disc 2 (68:39 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 9 are his 9th studio solo LP "Riptide" – UK released November 1985 on Island ILPS 9801
Tracks 10 to 17 are BONUS TRACKS: “Discipline Of Love (12” Mix)”, “Riptide Medley”, “Sweet Lies” [from the film of the same name], “Let’s Fall In Love” [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED], “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On (12” Mix)”, “No Not Much (Live On The Tube 30/10/85)” and “Trick Bag (Live On The Tube 30/10/85)” [both non-album B-sides to “Riptide”] and “Les Planches” [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED].

Fans will also know that outside of the "Gold" anthology on Universal – Palmer’s Island catalogue has been languishing without remasters for decades. Although it doesn’t say who mastered these album at Universal – they’re licensed from the Music Giant and the sound quality is leagues ahead of the dull Eighties discs we’d had for years. One reviewer is ranting on about MP3 files but I don't hear anything of the sort - and if these are sourced from Universal's 2006 remasters (prepped but never released for some contractual reason) then they are vast improvements on what we had before.

The outer card wrap is generic to all these Edsel reissues and certainly gives the whole thing a classy feel. The chunky 28-page booklet is substantial – pictures of the front covers, full-page colour photos of Palmer in various Eighties garb, lyrics to both albums and affectionate and knowledgeable liner notes by CHRIS JONES – (same as all the others) it’s a bang-up job done.
With only two covers and eight of 1983’s “Pride” tracks written by Palmer – the album say him take the sound he’d pioneered on 1980’s “Clues” and surrender completely to the synth sound of the Eighties. The results worked. Even his cover of Kool & The Gang’s “You Can Have It” has that electronica feel as does the hit single “You Are In My System” (penned by David Frank and Michael Murphy) while the menacing pump of “Say You Will” is a co-write with Rupert Hine. But then he finally hit commercial paydirt with his next album…

Almost as famous for its videos as its music – “Riptide” was Robert Palmer’s “So” (Peter Gabriel) and “Back In The High Life” (Steve Winwood) – an old timer suddenly modern - and with the dancefloors of the globe digging it the most. Even now the sheer punch of “Addicted To Love” is visceral and the funked up version of Earl King’s “Trick Bag” is a brilliantly reworked interpretation. And I’m utterly soppy for the dancefloor slayer “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On” written by hit-maestros Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. But I could probably do without the heavy-handed “Flesh Wound” and “Discipline Of Love” though which now sound dreadfully dated.

Best of the extras is the radically reworked (and almost unrecognizable) smooth-as-silk seven-minute 'Instrumental' of "You Are In My System" that will catch the ears of any DJ wishing to mix up his dance and Rock. The near seven-minute previously unreleased mix of "Ain't It Funky (Si Chatouillieux)" is full of wild ZTT guitars and spoken French language (Trevor Horn would be proud). Just as good are the surprising good and previously unreleased “Let’s Fall In Love Tonight” and the reggae-vide of “La Planches” which sounds like “Some Guys Have All The Luck” but with French lyrics. The others are good but feel like so many 12” mixes of the Eighties – over the top and superfluous to requirements.

I’ve always thought Robert Palmer was a class act – not just as singer – but also as a vessel for other people’s songs – and the two studio sets on these 2 CDs provide wads of both. And the extras are both substantial and good.

There’s a lot of primo Robert Palmer on here for the money and I for one am glad to be rehearing it in such style…
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on 20 August 2014
It's been a good 6 months, and perhaps up to a year, since I bought this 2CD set and these CDs have been some of my most consistently played in the year.

The first moment I heard Robert Palmer would have in the late 80s/early 90s as a child, and the menacing delivery "the lights are on but no-one's home, you're mine and not your own" left an indelible mark on my childhood and I've always regarded Addicted to Love as a perfect example of how a pop/rock song should sound, in terms of intro, groove, structure and production.

In recent years, I've looked to discover more of Robert Palmer's music and introduced myself to the Riptide album. When buying this set, I questioned whether I needed a deluxe edition with the Pride CD included or whether a standalone Riptide would be all I needed. Since getting this set, the question has undeniably answered as both CDs and the additional bonus tracks are excellent and well worth buying.

My main surprise upon buying the album was that whilst I'd bought the set principally for Riptide, I found myself playing Pride more often initially. This was pleasing as it was immediate justification that I'd made the right decision.

My RP collection currently includes Pride + Riptide and Heavy Nova + Don't Explain, and of these 4 albums, Pride stands out as the most interesting of these 4 albums. Robert Palmer's output seems to have always been eclectic with Pride and Heavy Nova standing shoulder to shoulder in terms of his most eclectic works. However, Pride gets the nod for me in terms of interest as there seems to be more risk taking involved.

Jumping from genre to genre, Palmer switches through styles ranging from calypso, funk, electronic music, R&B and culminating in the track The Silver Gun, which palmer effortlessly delivers in Urdu(!). Despite hurdling from one genre to another, the album pulls together very well. Even if some moments don't hit so well, there's interest waiting around each new corner to keep listeners engaged. Not everyone will appreciated this album but those with adventurous and eclectic tastes in music should find plenty on offer in Pride.

The strongest tracks for me are (currently):
-Want You More (there's the same urgent menace evident here that would reappear on Addicted to Love)
-Dance for Me and You Are in My System offer funk and pop respectively
-The Silver Gun (dark and brooding and reminds me of industrial band Skinny Puppy's experiments in places)

The bonus tracks are largely strong and varied. Of the remixes, the instrumental mix of You Are In My System is particularly notable with early House Music vibe.

Riptide is an absolute classic. The musicians selected, including Bernard Edwards of Chic, Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Guy Pratt (who has worked Pink Floyd amongst others), Eddie Martinez and members of The Meters are exceptional choices. Riptide is not wildly eclectic as neighbouring albums in his discography. Instead, it is the album that the different genres are brought in to gel together rather than to stretch the listener.

The most iconic moments on the album are Palmer's thoroughly successful fusing of funk with hard rock, most notably on Hyperactive, Addicted to Love and Discipline of Love. Providing counterpoint to the punchy songs are Palmer's homage to jazz on tracks such as the opening and closing Riptide and Get it Through Your Heart.

Palmer's reputation as a suave sex symbol is cast in stone on the album from the lustful phrasing of Addicted to Love to his not-exactly-apologetic growling purr on the Cherelle cover, 'I Didn't Mean to Turn You On'.

If the album feels just a touch too short, this is made up for by the bonus tracks which are again largely fairly strong. The remix of Discipline of Love comes a little too close to comfort to the not-dissimilar album version just 2 tracks earlier but that's a minor point. Of the bonus tracks, Sweet Lies (from the film of the same name) is particularly strong.

In summary, this package gives you one of the 80s most iconic albums in Riptide, the adventurous Pride, a number of bonus tracks which are well worth a regular listening, and a well put together 28 page booklet with lyrics, history of the albums and a number of photographs.
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on 16 August 2016
Purchased mainly for Pride which continues Palmers musical foray from CLues.
Riptide is a bit staid an dull in comparison. Still love him though
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on 20 April 2016
It's Robert Palmer and the price and delivery was good to.
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on 6 March 2016
great albums
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on 8 July 2014
Get it for the bonus tracks, first time on CD.. although the mix on "Let's fall in love tonight" (the reason I bought it) is a little strange. So don't throw away your 7" records yet!
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on 4 October 2013
Pride includes "You Are In My System" and the bonus tracks are extensive. Riptide includes "Addicted To Love" and the bonus tracks are awesome!
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on 27 December 2014
Bought as a Christmas present for my son whom I see infrequently,as he requested it I assume he will like it1
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 September 2013
This entire series of Robert Palmer re-releases is excellent, each comprising two classic albums at a bargain price. Here are his 1983 Pride and the brilliant Riptide from 1985.

Robert Palmer fans won't need me to say anything more about these albums - Riptide especially is legendarily great and has stood up very well in the decades since its release. There is a good deal of "bonus" material here, too. Personally, I'm not that fussed about bonus material in general and I just wanted CD versions of the albums (I was still at the vinyl and cassette stage then), but a lot of people feel differently and I know many will appreciate the 12" mixes and other stuff here.

There's not much point in banging on further, I think. The re-mastering is well done and the quality is just as good as the originals, and you get one good and one great album at a ridiculously low price. Warmly recommended.

Update: I've read that this series is remastered from mp3 files but doesn't say so anywhere on the discs. If it is true it is a shabby trick to play on the buying public, but I have to say that I haven't really noticed any problem with the sound quality. It may trouble some audiophiles, but I don't think it will be a problem for ordinary fans like me. I've just been enjoying these discs since I got them.
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on 6 October 2013
The audio is transcoded from an mp3 source... incredible. And I bought the whole discography!! I really don't know what to say...
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