Top 10 Robert Palmer Songs

Robert Palmer Songs

Photo: Nathan Callahan from Southern California, USA / CC BY (

Our Top 10 Robert Palmer songs list takes a look at 10 great songs from Robert Palmer’s wonderful musical catalog. Robert Palmer was one of the most unique singers in the rock and roll business. Robert Palmer never really look like a rock star. Palmer looked more like James Bond, and in many ways acted more like James Bond at least on the ladies front. Nonetheless, the extreme musical talents of Robert Palmer developed a cult following in the 1970s before he became a huge star in the 80s and 90s fueled by a series of massive MTV hit videos.

Robert Palmer’s music crossed many musical styles especially in the 1970s. One can find elements of soul, R&B, jazz, Rock and Roll and Dixie blues on all his early albums. Robert Palmer employed some of the greatest musicians in the business on his solo records including many members of Little Feat. The legendary Lowell George was very influential on some of Robert Palmer’s earlier records.

Robert Palmer’s musical career shifted directions dramatically in 1985 when he formed the band The Power Station with Duran Duran’s John and Andy Taylor on bass and guitar and Chic’s Tony Thompson on drums. The band was extremely successful with two big hits and plenty of  MTV exposure as Duran Duran had been an MTV favorite. The Sound was big, it was addicting and it didn’t last as Robert Palmer left the band after only one album. However, the new sound Robert Palmer had developed with the Power Station would be utilized on his next series of albums landing him the biggest hits of his career.

This Top 10 Robert Palmer songs list covers the various different musical periods of Robert Palmer’s career. It’s by far not a definite list as it only includes 10 Robert Palmer songs. However if you aren’t familiar with this extraordinary talent, we think this is a good place for you to start.

# 10 – Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley

We open up our top 10 Robert Palmer songs list with the great track “Sneaking Sally Through The Alley.” The song was the title track released on Robert Palmer’s album Sneakin’ Sally Through the AlleyThe album was released in 1974. It stands as Robert Palmer’s debut album.

# 9 – Mama Talk To Your Daughter

If you only know the Robert Palmer of the mid 1980’s MTV fame, than you probably would never know this one was Robert Palmer if your weren’t told so. If there’s one thing that defined Robert Palmer the most,  it was his incredible vocal chords and his ability to phrase and put over a song regardless of whatever style of music he was performing. “Mama Talk To Your Daughter,” was the opening track to the album Drive. The album was a hard rocking blues based record. The album was released in 2003. It would become the final album of Robert Palmer’s career as he died the same year the album was released.


# 8 – One Last Look

The photo of Robert Palmer playing strip poker with Playboy Playmate Denise Michele on the cover of his album Some People Can Do What They Like was definitely another testament to Robert Palmer’s playboy image. Talk about wanting to become a rock star. That album cover probably inspired many young rock and rollers looking to make it big. “One Last Look,” was the album’s opening track. Smooth and brilliant.

# 7 – Looking For Clues

Robert Palmer’s “Looking For Clues,” was released on the album Clues. The album was released in 1980. The song was released as the second single from the record. While the song was not a big hit, its historic values outside of it just being a great songs was that it was one of the first videos ever played on MTV as it was played on the first day the channel went live.

# 6 – Johnny and Mary

Johnny and Mary was the first single released from the great album Clues. The song represented a certain sound that was gaining popularity during the dawn of the 1980s. New Wave was very much the “in thing,” at the time with bands like The Pretenders, The Cars, Blondie and Flock of Seagulls and so many more enjoying great success.

# 5 – Some Like It Hot

We couldn’t compose a Top 10 Robert Palmer songs list without including at least one Power Station song. The song “Some Like It Hot,” was the band’s biggest hit. It was written by Robert Palmer, Andy Taylor, and John Taylor. The song was a top 10 hit in the United States in 1985. It was released in the album The Power Station.

# 4 -“I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”

Robert Palmer’s third single from the very successful Riptide album continued the series of videos in which Robert Palmer was backed by an all female cast. The women in the video were all modeled apparently to simulate the art work of Patrick Nagel. The artwork was responsible for the iconic Duran Duran album cover Rio which featured a female face. Nagel’s artwork had appeared in almost every issue of Playboy Magazines since the mid 1970s. There were many connections between Robert Palmer and Playboy over the years.

# 3 – “Simply Irresistible”

“Simply Irresistible” was the first single released of Robert Palmer’s album Heavy Nova. Arriving on the heels of his incredibly successful album Riptide, Robert Palmer’s Heavy Nova spawned three singles. The song “Simply Irresistible,” became the second biggest single of his career from a commercial perspective as it hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and also the Canadian music Charts. Although, it did hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Rock Tracks charts. The song did also reach number one in Australia.

# 2 – “Addicted to Love”

“Addicted to Love, was a huge hit for Robert Palmer. It was clearly inspired by the sound that he had developed with The Power Station a year earlier. It would become Robert Palmer’s only number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was released as the second single from the album. This was the first of three Robert Palmer videos that utilized the “Nagle models.

# 1 – “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)”

We close out or top 10 Robert Palmer songs list with our favorite Robert Palmer song “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor).” The song was originally released on the album Secrets. The album was released in 1979. “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor).” was written by Moon Martin. I remember being a freshman college student siting in a town college bar called Gwens in Sullivan County New York watching a bar full of female college students singing every line in the song. If you know the lyrics in the songs middle section, you’ll understand. Its a memory for obvious reasons that has never disappeared. This one will always be special.

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