"One of the most memorable videos on MTV back in 86 featured Robert Palmer with powerful drums, a snarling guitar, and instruments played (mimicked, obviously) by some chic mannequin babes in black dresses, black hair, pale makeup, and rouged lips. That was "Addicted To Love", which became Palmer's first number one hit and helped sales of his ninth album, Riptide, which became his biggest success.The dreamy slow dance, "island in the sun" aura title track, written by Gus Kahn in 1935, serves as a soft introduction and interlude to what later follows."Hyperactive", which became the third single, has a partial melody that sounds like Madonna's "Angel", beginning as it does with Tony Thompson's power drums, Chic co-founder and Power Station producer Bernard Edwards' bass, and Eddie Martinez's crunchy guitars. The woman mentioned in the song is an energetic powerhouse, surprising the narrator, who seems to have a pulse on the corporate world (stock in IBM) and global-minded (a date for lunch in Singapore).Then comes "Addicted To Love" with vocal arrangements done by Chaka Khan, Thompson's pounding power drums, rhythm keyboards, and the snarling fiery guitar solo his Power Station colleague Andy Taylor, by then late of Duran Duran. The comparison of love to a drug is given in some pointedly clever lyrics: "A one-track mind; you can't be saved/Oblivion is all you crave/If there's some left for you/you don't mind if you do/Oh, you'd like to think you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah."His cover of blues man Earl King's "Trick Bag" gets a light synth treatment while maintaining the semblance of the original blues motif.The romantic slow-dance schmaltz of "Get It Through Your Heart" is similar in style to "Riptide." When I first got this, I impatiently waited for this song to hear so I could jam to the next one. Which was...The funky "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" proved ex-Time members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did well as songwriters even before their association with Janet Jackson. I was too busy nodding to the funky Jam-Lewis arrangements and watching the chic models in the video and only half-wondered whether the guy was a dupe or a cad. Now though, I think that despite his thinking he read the girl right, he may not have done so. This fourth single made it to #2 on Billboard, and was later covered by Mariah Carey on her Glitter album."Flesh Wound" is the closest to metal as Palmer will get, with frantically sung lyrics and grating snarly guitar. Then comes the first single which flopped, "Discipline Of Love" which mixes funk with rock. It probably didn't because Thompson doesn't do drums on this number. The chorus is sung accompanying by the same grating guitar on the previous song.And as it opened the album, a reprise of the title track bids the listener farewell.Coming as it did after his lead vocals on the Duran Duran side project The Power Station, produced by Bernard Edwards, Riptide, also an Edwards production, was well-placed to give Palmer his chance in the limelight, especially with two Top Five hits. Heavy Nova would be a strong followup, but Riptide got him there."
Addicted To This Album
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 06/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the essential rock album by Palmer that became (and still is) a classic 80's smash due to it's combination of thumping bass, powerful electric guitar punching elements and semi-soulful vocals. Only Mr. Palmer could take a pop-r&b hit like Cherelle's I Didn't Mean To Turn You On and give it a good dose of guitars and drums without the song losing it's integrity which was put in by the original artist. I refuse to call this project an 80's pop-rock album (despite it's overplayed and overkilled song and video Addicted to Love).I don't consider it pop because there were no "cute" candy filler tunes. Each track was very strong and addictive.In fact, the tunes on this album bordered on being called funk-rock. If this album was a bit too hyper or strong for some, then his next follow up Heavy Nova would be the more "tamed" version of this..."
Best Selling Riptide Solid But Not Spectacular
Thomas Leonard | Pittsburgh PA | 11/25/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Palmer's 1985 lp Riptide was a trans atlantic smash, one of the biggest selling albums of the year in both the UK and US in 1986. Here, the singer goes for a straight forward rock sound, abondoning his more R&B tinged songs or world music musings of previous efforts. There are no African, Latin, or Carribean influenced numbers here and not a lot of the funk rock of Palmer's early career. What this album does offer is a lot of Palmer's trademarked dance savvy pop rock, heavy guitar, and slick production. "Addicted To Love", the lp's second single, became Palmer's signature hit during his career, a US#1 and UK Top 5 that became the standard bearer for Palmer's rock/dance savvy sound. The less successful first single "Discipline Of Love" also has a strong dance groove sound to it, but decidedly darker lyrics. Palmer does display some R&B funk on the groove oriented "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On", a US and UK Top 10 single that became another signature hit for the artist. With only 9 songs, it's mostly Palmer's rock stuff that is featured, although the singer does a credible job remaking the classic 30's Torch song "Riptide", and excells further on a similair sounding original composition "Get It Through Your Heart". These songs give an early hint to Palmer's love of pre rock era jazz and romantic standards which would dominate much of his work into the mid 90's. Bernard Edwards (Chic) helped produce the album, re joining with Palamer after their successful stint in The Power Station. Likewise, guitarist Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) also rejoins with RP after their Power Station run. This is a solid album, but not as representative of the singer's career as other records. If it's Palmer's rock sound that you enjoy, then this album should work for you."
The best of his career, and that's saying something.
Adam J. Vogt | Ft. Collins, CO United States | 01/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album ranks as one of my favorite albums from anyone... clearly an 80's classic, up there with Duran Duran's "Rio" album. Yes, this has "Addicted" and "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" which everyone knows, but there's also the smaller hit "Hyperactive" and "Discipline Of Love" both of which are among his best songs ever. The album goes into several different styles and moods, but it holds together remarkably well, and thanks to Bernard Edwards, Palmer never sounded better."
B. Bates | Santa Fe, NM USA | 03/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A classic for anyone's collection. Robert died too young and I think this was his best album."