Frank Blair - bass; Michael Blair - drums; Alan Mansfield - keyboards; Robert Palmer - vocals, guitar, keyboards; Jack Waldman - keyboards; Donny Wynn - drums; John Staehely - guitar
This brilliant live recording by the late British singer Robert Palmer is a classic example of why his live shows were so captivating. A musical adventurer, Palmer could cohesively blend a wide swatch of styles ranging from rock, blues, reggae, world beat, soul/R&B, and heavy metal into a single live performance, never losing perspective along the way. Recorded at the sonically near-perfect Ritz Auditorium in New York City in 1983, this live show was originally aired on the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Palmer was out promoting his Pride album, which was helping to further break his career from critics' darling to bona fide commercially successful superstar. This show was recorded while Palmer was going through a musical transformation, moving a little away from the hard core reggae pop and funk of the earlier solo albums to a more cohesive blend of island music and hard hitting rock. It would culminate a few years later when Palmer, with Duran Duran members Andy and John Taylor, and Chic drummer Tony Thompson, would assemble the bombastic band, Power Station, with his own solo hit, "Addicted to Love."
Here he is on that cusp, showcasing songs like "Intro/Pink Panther Theme," "Johnny And Mary," "Deadline," "Pride," "Best Of Both Worlds," "Sulky Girl," and "You Are In My System." The popular pop gems are here too, with "Every Kind Of People" (written by ex-Free bassist Andy Frasier), "Woke Up Laughing," Allen Toussaint's great gem "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" from Palmer's first album, and "Some Guys Have All The Luck," which he nails. He closes with a rockin' version of his hit "Bad Case Of Loving You."
Palmer adapted to the traveling rock 'n' roll lifestyle early on, as he was born into a military family that often moved. He started joining bands at age 15, and within three years he was fronting a 12-piece horn group named DADA, which evolved (with co-vocalist Elkie Brooks) into Vinegar Joe. Palmer made three albums with that band before finally going solo in 1972.