Celebrating thirty years of Robert Palmer's 'Simply Irresistible'

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrGw_cOgwa8

When I was seven, in the summer of 1988, this was my favorite song ever.

By the time I heard Fresh Prince + DJ Jazzy Jeff's 'Summertime' some years later, I was embarrassed by my former favorite. 1980s backlash kicked in, I was a teenager, Snoop Dogg was way cooler, etc.

Don't get me wrong, it's an absolutely atrocious song with an accompanying promo clip that must have seemed dated within six months.

But to quote a much smarter man than myself: and yet.

(thanks Ned)

Why do I still like this song? Is it because I now am able to not take it so seriously and appreciate it with a cheeky wink? Is it just a funny song that I've heard too many times and can now subsequently laugh at with no harm? Is it actually just kind of a good song, structurally speaking?

(brace yourselves for the worst pun you've encountered in quite a while)

Is it because this song is, after all, simply irresistible?

In any case, it's been thirty summers since that summer. This feels like something worth memorializing.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 16:51 (five months ago) Permalink

It's quite resistible, for reasons I explained here.. And I love Robert Palmer.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 January 2019 16:53 (five months ago) Permalink

The emphatic two-note synth hook is an ice pick.

"Emphatic ice pick to the ear" is a 100% accurate description of that sound.

And the guitar solo. Man, it's bad.

Leaning towards "so bad it's good" right now.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:03 (five months ago) Permalink

i could have sworn there's another thread about this song, and the line "she's so fine, there's no telling where the money went." weird. song is good but i kinda overdid it when i got into it and, like a lot of corporate rock of that period, it's so loud and in your ears... it's in the service of the content, maybe, but there's not a lot of details or nuance for me to come back and discover.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:06 (five months ago) Permalink

but there's not a lot of details or nuance for me to come back and discover.

This observation made me actual lol. Come on, man. Big "corporate rock" single from 1988 and you want details and nuance???!?!?! We're making HITS here, Doc! Not ART!

Also, yeah: "She's so fine, there's no telling where the money went." <— Sure, maybe for you, but for the rest of us, it's a mystery. Did she spend all the money on makeup? Clothes? Cosmetic surgery?

The next line is even more bizarre: "She's all mine, there's no other way to go." <— So, you're not upset about the money being gone? Wait, are we even still talking about the money?

Gloriously ideotic.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:12 (five months ago) Permalink

Song is amazing

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:13 (five months ago) Permalink

I heard this at Walmart late last night.

It's "Addicted To Love"'s New Jersey, innit? Palmer doesn't even look to be having as good a time in the video.

Infidels, Like Dylan In The Eighties (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:14 (five months ago) Permalink

Palmer doesn't even look to be having as good a time in the video.

I think his super serious, stone-faced delivery in the video is what sells it. For me, anyway.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:16 (five months ago) Permalink

Because he fucking MEANS it, y'know?

Or that's how I take it.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:16 (five months ago) Permalink

Industrial high-gloss funk-pop soul-metal. Rhyming "inscrutable" with "irrefutable." Amazing video that's totally Devo. I can't imagine any workable definition of "poptimism" where this song isn't considered incredible.

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:19 (five months ago) Permalink

I'll admit the bridge is bat shit crazy -- first time I heard "oblige" and "endorse" in sentences.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:21 (five months ago) Permalink

Just wanna post this in here too in case anyone hasn't heard it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92wCPfqyVbg

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:23 (five months ago) Permalink

(thanks Ned)

Here to help.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:25 (five months ago) Permalink

One of my favorite invocations of this song, via a link to this NYT piece that Alfred will want to read and which will give him hives. From 1988, on the campaign trail for Bush, one Ronald Reagan is quoted:

Mr. Reagan is particularly pleased, those close to him say, by signs of the effect he has had in making the country more conservative. The Bush campaign has asked that he go to rallies at colleges, because he remains extremely popular among young people.

''You know, it wasn't so very long ago that all I had to do to start a campus riot was show up,'' he told students at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich. Then, in response to cheers, the 77-year-old President added one of the references to popular music that he uses to reach across generations. ''If you ask me,'' he said, ''as Robert Palmer has been singing recently, 'You're simply irresistible.' ''

There are those who find Mr. Reagan resistible, of course. ''He's blowing smoke, telling everybody how he got jobs for everyone,'' said James Coyle, a 28-year-old electrician and Dukakis supporter who was working at the Republican rally at Voorhees. ''What about the homeless? We didn't even see that as a major issue eight years ago? Now there's a whole new class called the working homeless.''

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:28 (five months ago) Permalink

i enjoy this song

tylerw, Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:29 (five months ago) Permalink

Whatever virtues it ekes out, it can't help but crumble under the shark-jumpiness/New-Jerseyness/Twist-again-like-last-summerness of it all. Given how many moderately successful singles he had before and immediately after "Addicted", I wonder how it felt to retread the tires and skid to the top again? "Is this all they want from me?"

eva logorrhea (bendy), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:30 (five months ago) Permalink

and he did it again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y1cchniY2Y

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:32 (five months ago) Permalink

Also when RP comes up, I always feel compelled to mention that on the day he died, I pulled into a rainy parking lot and saw a Delorean in a handicap space, with the correct tags.

eva logorrhea (bendy), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:33 (five months ago) Permalink

it’s what he would have wanted

an erotic picnic with Ming (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 3 January 2019 17:37 (five months ago) Permalink

"You're Amazing" stirs some distant memory that hitting 5 on the US charts is plausible, yet I can't say for sure I'd ever heard it. As a scroll down the wikipedia page I see he released a cover of "Girl U Want" in 1994, which fits as an attempt for a four-peat while being incredibly sad.

eva logorrhea (bendy), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:03 (five months ago) Permalink

"You're Amazing" barely crawled into the top thirty.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:07 (five months ago) Permalink

I’ve come to love a lot of Robert Palmer songs but this one is the sort of thing that put me off him for years, that whole suited-up sexpest-cum-malfunctioning boogie-bot vibe

my name is leee john, for we are many (NickB), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:08 (five months ago) Permalink

This “version” of RP seems like a westworld robot copy of the guy who worked with Lowell George and the Meters years earlier

calstars, Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:28 (five months ago) Permalink

He was also a Comsat Angels fan.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:29 (five months ago) Permalink

Would’ve loved to hear him cover Independence Day or I’m Falling tbh

my name is leee john, for we are many (NickB), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:40 (five months ago) Permalink

He duets on Chasing Shadows. It's alright.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:56 (five months ago) Permalink

1980s backlash kicked in

People need to get that this was a real thing.

billstevejim, Friday, 4 January 2019 23:00 (five months ago) Permalink

I love this song.

i stan corrected (morrisp), Friday, 4 January 2019 23:03 (five months ago) Permalink

I like Addicted to Love a lot better. Makes me feel human.

brimstead, Saturday, 5 January 2019 07:16 (five months ago) Permalink


1980s backlash kicked in

People need to get that this was a real thing.

If there's anyone who denies that it happened, they didn't live through it.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Saturday, 5 January 2019 15:29 (five months ago) Permalink

I stood tapping my foot for most of the nineties and hugging my New Order albums waiting for the backlash to end.

The first eighties comps came out in 1992-1993, by the way.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2019 15:32 (five months ago) Permalink

Whenever I think of this song I picture Donald Trump listening to it in 1988 wondering what some of the words mean.

Chris L, Saturday, 5 January 2019 15:51 (five months ago) Permalink

we sang this in high school choir and my friend (a sophomore) hadn't heard it before. the choir teacher played the Palmer recording and he said "THIS SOUNDS LIKE DEATH METAL".

also the song is classic for its cheez

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Saturday, 5 January 2019 16:04 (five months ago) Permalink

The first eighties comps came out in 1992-1993, by the way.

Living in Oblivion!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 7 January 2019 23:09 (five months ago) Permalink

yep! Intelligently compiled too.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 January 2019 23:10 (five months ago) Permalink

Very. Getting those on release was quite refreshing.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 7 January 2019 23:16 (five months ago) Permalink

What about “I didn’t mean to turn you on”

calstars, Monday, 7 January 2019 23:22 (five months ago) Permalink

^^yeah that's the one

constitutional crises they fly at u face (will), Monday, 7 January 2019 23:44 (five months ago) Permalink

See, another massive #2 hit, an example of how adroitly Palmer could adapt electronic R&B to his own ends.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 January 2019 23:46 (five months ago) Permalink

had always assumed this was a cover. apparently written by the bassist from FRee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwCHFaarTjY

A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Chooglin (will), Sunday, 13 January 2019 22:18 (five months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.