ROBERT PALMER -- The Very Best of Robert Palmer (Guardian)

Robert Palmer seems to be the epitome of classic rock these days. How often have you seen a commercial on TV for a classic rock station--or worse yet, actually turned on a classic rock station--without hearing "Bad Case of Loving You" or "Addicted to Love"? Well, Palmer has a new label these days and they have just released a new greatest hits CD. Unfortunately, there's no material here prior to 1978. You won't be sneaking through the alley with Sally when you hear this CD.

Instead, you're left to suffer through an absolutely awful "Addicted to Love '97" and a mediocre cover of the Staple Singers classic, "Respect Yourself." Guardian should have taken the opportunity to release something more comprehensive. They could have left off tracks like "Some Guys Have All the Luck" (Palmer's original actually makes Rod Stewart's version sound good) or "You Are In My System," and put on "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley" or "You're Gonna Get What's Coming."

On a positive note, they did include 2 Power Station songs and Palmer's rendition of "Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You." The bad thing about this particular cut is the placement on the CD. It comes right after "Every Kinda People" and the musical arrangements are so similar, it almost sounds like the same song. On top of all this, the liner notes are practically nonexistent. Unless you're a completist, avoid this CD like the plague.

© 1997 Steve Marshall