Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Robert Palmer Woke Up Laughing 1998 and At The BBC 2010

I covered pretty much the entire Robert Palmer catalog back here in 2010. But these two items escaped that treatment, mainly because I hadn't heard them at the time. At The BBC is an excellent live recording from 1983 that is well recorded with a hot band touring in support of Palmer's Pride album. It is the only posthumous release from Palmer since his untimely death in 2003, other than a few redundant "Best Of"s and a nearly complete/only somewhat flawed 2-CD Anthology. This is either a remarkable level of restraint from Palmer's estate, or there's just too many lawyers involved. Anyway, it is a worthwhile recording that fans deserved to have released.

Woke Up Laughing is a collection of previously released material put together by Palmer in his lifetime, and as such is not wholly original. But half of the songs are either (significantly) remixed or rerecorded, and the theme of collecting Palmer's African and Caribbean rhythm explorations in one place makes for an unusually coherent, and really good, Robert Palmer record. The remixed material is generally at least the original's equal. I always liked what these songs contributed to their respective releases, but putting them all in one place would not have occurred to me as a great idea. I'd have been wrong.

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