Saturday, July 20, 2019

"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" by Robert Palmer

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2835
Date:  08/16/1986
Debut:  79
Peak:  2
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rock, Synthpop, Electro-Funk

Pop Bits:  As far as hit singles go, Palmer's album Riptide was one-for-three. The song "Addicted to Love," was a #1 smash while the other two released tracks faltered including the LP's third single "Hyperactive," which stalled at a lackluster #33. Despite that result, the record label charged ahead and decided to release this fourth single. It ended up being a smart move. The tune started out a bit slow on the chart, but it picked up steam thanks to its popular MTV video that was similar in style to the one done for "Addicted to Love." The song would just miss out on the top spot at had to settle for a #2 showing at Pop. It would also get to #26 Dance and #41 Rock. The second hit sparked further sales of the album, which would eventually go double platinum.

ReduxReview:  Finally, the record company gets it right and releases this song. As I've mentioned before, I think they all got lucky as normally the two singles that failed would have been enough to sink the album, but this one and "Addicted" were strong enough to overcome the bumps in the road. I've always loved this track. The sputtering, percolating synth lines and the bass really drove this tune with Palmer's very chilly reading stitching it all together. It's dark and cool, yet groovy enough to make ya move. It was certainly different from the Minneapolis/Prince sound of Cherrelle's original (see below).  I like both versions, but for me this one with its calculated, mechanical funkiness really drew me in. It was also the perfect song for Palmer to continue the video concept first seen in "Addicted."

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by R&B singer Cherrelle. Her version was a Top 10 hit at R&B (#8) and Dance (#6), but it failed to catch on as well at Pop stalling at a low #79. The song was written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis with the duo producing Cherrelle's record. Chic's Bernard Edwards handled production on Palmer's version. In 2001, Mariah Carey covered the song for the soundtrack to her film Glitter. Jam & Lewis produced the song, but instead of creating a new recording from scratch, they utilized the backing track that they originally created for Cherrelle and then had Carey sing over it. I guess you could say it was like a recorded karaoke version. It was not issued as a single.


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