‘Secrets’: Robert Palmer’s Rock And Soul Confidential

By the late 1970s, Palmer’s smooth, sophisticated and brilliantly-produced blue-eyed soul-rock was becoming more and more established.

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Robert Palmer 'Secrets' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Robert Palmer 'Secrets' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

On July 2, 1979, the Yorkshireman with a penchant for the Bahamas released his fifth studio album in the UK and raised his profile even further. He was the ever-stylish, much-missed Robert Palmer, and the album was Secrets.

By the late 1970s, Palmer was yet to have a big breakthrough hit back home in Britain. But his position as a master of sophisticated, brilliantly-produced blue-eyed soul-rock was becoming more and more established. After his time in the jazz-rock band Dada and the rhythm and blues-influenced Vinegar Joe, both with Elkie Brooks, Palmer began to emerge as a solo artist with the 1974 release of Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley. His first substantial hit single, “Every Kinda People,” rose from the Double Fun album into the US Top 20 in 1978. That paved the way for the follow-up album.

Robert Palmer - Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor Doctor) [Official Video]

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The self-produced Secrets was introduced by a single that reminded Palmer’s fans that he could do rock just as well as smooth soul. Not to mention that he was a skilled interpreter of other writers. American artist Moon Martin had released his original of “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” as a single on Capitol the year before, but Robert got the hit. The rockier sound paved the way for later Palmer hits like “Addicted To Love” and “Simply Irresistible.” The Secrets album followed “Bad Case” into the US Top 20.

Equally adept at covers and originals

Another cover on Secrets, of Todd Rundgren’s “Can We Still Be Friends,” also made the Billboard Hot 100. The album also included “Mean Old World,” written by former Free bassist Andy Fraser, who had penned “Every Kinda People.” Other composers included Jo Allen and John David; Palmer himself contributed four originals and one more co-write. Tracks like the reggae-flavored “Too Good To Be True” reflected the album’s recording location of New Providence, Bahamas.

Listen to the best of Robert Palmer on Apple Music and Spotify.

Secrets may not be one of Palmer’s best-known albums, but it’s a charming record that connects the 1970s soul boy with his 80s MTV-friendly sound.

Buy or stream Secrets.



  1. Sherry Owings

    August 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Loved Robert Palmer since the 70;s so sad he is gone, what a great talent. He always presented himself as a very classy…still enjoy his music…he lives forever.

  2. Solitaire

    August 7, 2014 at 8:10 am

    It’s so sad to remember that we’ll never have new music from Robert Palmer again. Bad Case of Loving You introduced me to him; still adore playing his discs. May he continue to rest in peace.

  3. Jamie ling

    August 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    RIP Robert Palmer,love your music and it will live forever,my kids will be listening to your awesome vibes.

  4. Jean Proctor

    August 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I didn’t really come into contact with Robert’s music until he sang with The Power Station. Some of the best music of my schooldays and Addictions Vol 1 & 2 remain amongst my favourites. When he died it was like a piece of musical history had been stolen from us and I was devastated. But his legacy lives on through the music he left behind… RIP Robert.

  5. mark chaple

    August 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Robert was pure class

  6. Germán

    August 28, 2014 at 6:45 am

    When I saw the video I didn’t mean to turn you on 1986… I was impressed since that day …I brought all his music …is very sad… Very sad

  7. sandy

    October 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I miss him, I loved his music and he was super sexy. I saw him at Kings Dominion in 1986, saw in the front bleachers and totally enjoyed the show. R.I.P. Robert

  8. Deidra

    October 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I just adored him. Such a classy, handsome, smooth style singer that with his vocal inflections he could paint images in your mind. I remember him from very early days, appearing on American Bandstand, performing Every Kinda’ People. I became a fan from then on. I was heartbroken when I learned of his passing. I still play his music regularly. Always a favorite. Continue to rest in peace Mr. Palmer.

  9. charlie

    June 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Listened to Robert before I actually got to see him open for Heart at the L.A. Forum. This was before the suits in the 80’s. Remember he wore jeans, white t shirt, and chuck taylor nike’s. He was great!

  10. Gary Pighetti

    July 4, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    My bit of lore about Hammonds was they originally didn’t sound that great without a Leslie. True?

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