Sensual electro-carribean vibes
John Dennett | Longmont, CO USA | 12/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A real masterwork of production perfectly meshed with Palmer's effortless vocal magic!Despite my friends' admonishments, this is one of my all-time favorites. After recently replacing my long-lost vinyl copy with a CD, I have to say it has hardly aged a minute and what has is like fine wine.Before his sad turn as rock lover boy, Robert Palmer knew how to make records that transcended pop as passionate, atmospheric love songs. I'll go ahead and compare his work during this period to Marvin Gaye's peak for pure vocal sexuality, even though you won't believe me...."
Mr. S. St Thomas | UK | 02/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is on my list of those 10 Desert Island Discs.
''What?'' you say. A Robert Palmer album that has no Addicted To Love on it? ''Yes'' I would answer. Pride goes with me to that Desert Island.
I played this album so many times when I bought it, it should have come with a disclaimer. Repeated Plays Will Cause Damage To Product. I must have heard ''You Are In My System'' first, if my memory recalls things that well. And from that song I purchased this album, and it has become one of my favourite albums of all time, and one of the most important to me. It was my introduction to Robert Palmer, his voice, and his skills as a composer/producer, that made me a lifelong fan, and one that was particularly sad when Palmer left this mortal coil. He left too soon, and didn't get enough accolades in his lifetime. A severely underrated singer/writer, even though Addicted To Love/Riptide and Powerstation were massive successes. His entire catalogue is worth purchasing, often times each album is completely different than the last, and he always made wise choices when it came to cover material. And musicians.
With 1980's 'Clues' Palmer went down a synthesiser, new wave path that rendered some truly great material, particularly ''Looking For Clues'' and ''Johnny and Mary'', and also teamed him with Gary Numan. But with 1983's Pride, Palmer did an amazing thing. He made an almost totally electronic/synth laden album sound warm and inviting. It's not that he was doing something completely different than The System were writing when they came up with You Are In My System. But his version of their song is a completely different piece of music. Though retaining the main hook of the song that made it great, he adds an amazing amount of personal touches that made Palmer, the producer/arranger/composer, stand out. At least to me it did. I own both versions of this song, by The System and by Robert Palmer. And Palmer took that song and made it his own, and somehow made it 50x better than the original.
If that was the single track making it worth purchase, I'd stop there. But it's not. This album is truly incredible, and full of great songs, one after the other. The album flows from one song to the next, and one of my favourite moments is ''Want You More'' into ''Dance For Me''. The album has some serious funk on it, touches of Reggae, Calypso, Rock, Arabic and certainly some strangeness. There are touches of the bizarre here on this album ,particularly in the harmony vocal departments. ''Say You Will'' being one of those.
''Say You Will'' has the title repeatedly sung like it's ... well, hard to describe. It's almost threatening the way it's hammered across. But then you have Palmer's beautiful falsetto singing 'Please surrender' over this juggernaut chant, and then the lead vocal snakes in. It's just an incredible song. The music jumps about, it's literally ''jerky''. The album is full of moments like this. Completely different types of music juxtaposed against eachother to turn into some hybrid beast of an album.
Palmer also does a stellar cover of Kool & The Gang's ''You Can Have It (Take My Heart)'', which is just as good as the original. It doesn't vary much from what the original sounded like, but it was such a catchy song to begin with, I imagine Palmer saw no need to mess with its structure. But what he does with the vocal is fantastic. It's once again where Palmer turns the song into his own that makes Pride truly an album worth having.
''Dance For Me'' probably has my favourite Palmer vocal from Pride. Truly a person gifted in voice, Palmer could make a melody line move. He knew when to hold back, and when to let go, and ''Dance For Me'' has many a moment illustrating his sensibilities as a soul vocalist. He's one of the few Caucasian singers I can think of that actually understood Soul. A lot sing it, but few get it. And Palmer got it. And I never felt like he was faking it either. He seemed to have a massive appreciation for R & B, Soul and African American artists, and Pride is an album full of this influence. If you've ever heard his version of Andy Fraser's ''Every Kinda People'' , then you'd know that Palmer had a great degree of Soul, even if it was well-tailored.
But with Pride, out came this elastic, synthsoul, just at the experimental edge of Palmer that makes this album a work of pure beauty. It's an amazing album. I've played it for 22 years, and it has never lost its veneer. It's actually gotten better with time.
Try and find Robert Palmer's Pride. It is one of those albums I will never be without. I'd like it to turn into that album for you as well.
HEY, ISLAND RECORDS! HOW ABOUT REMASTERED VERSIONS OF ALL OF
Wayne Racine | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... also featuring the 12" mixes of "You Are In My System" and "You Can Have It (Take My Heart)" as bonus tracks would be terrific for this CD, perhaps RP's most adventurous recording.
I saw Robert perform live in support of this album back in '83 (before he became big with "Addicted To Love")... it was a sold-out, 500-capacity venue that was standing-room only... the stage set-up included two drummers positioned at each corner to hammer out the syncopated rhythms of tunes like "You Are In My System"... a cool touch was when the band played about 30 seconds of "The Pink Panther Theme" before Robert strolled out onstage, the picture of casual elegance and longer-and-blonder-than-usual hair (David Bowie's "Let's Dance" period had a significant impact on fashion at the time)... as I recall, they immediately segued into the punchy new wave dance-rock of "Looking For Clues" and the crowd went wild... thanks for the memories, Robert."