Tuesday, October 11, 2022

"Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming" by Robert Palmer

Song#:  3950
Date:  07/01/1989
Debut:  91
Peak:  60
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  In the summer of '88, Palmer released his ninth studio album Heavy Nova. It would become a #13 platinum seller thank mainly to the #2 Pop single "Simply Irresistible." A second single, the cover tune "Early in the Morning," would do fairly well reaching #19. A third single would fail to chart. Then it seems the label tried to promote a fourth track for potential release but it didn't pan out. That should have been it for the album, yet it seems like Palmer's label EMI wasn't ready to give up. They chose to release this next track as the LP's official fourth single. It would debut on the Pop chart almost exactly a year after "Simply Irresistible" debuted (a one day difference). The tune would get a little attention and was able to stay on the Pop chart for a couple of months. The late single didn't do much to push album sales.

ReduxReview:  This song was ripe for being covered. Since it was blocked from being a potential hit the first time around (see below), there was a good chance for it to do well as a remake. While Palmer and his duet partner (see below) do well with the tune, I just think it came a little too late. My guess is that after releasing the cover "Early in the Morning" the label didn't want to issue out another remake and was trying to push originals for singles. When that didn't work, then they went back to this cover, however a year later was just too much time gone by and the tune had a hard time finding an audience. While I prefer the original, Palmer's cover is pretty good.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by Jermaine Jackson. Written by Bruce Sudano, Michael Omartian, and Jay Gruska, the song was recorded for Jackson's #19 gold selling self-titled 1984 album. The track featured vocals by Michael Jackson. There was intent for it to be a single from the LP, but disagreements between the artitsts' labels (Arista and Epic) kept it from being released. Despite that, the tune picked up quite a bit of airplay after the album was released, especially in clubs and that helped it get to #1 on the Dance chart.  2) The female vocal part on the track was performed by B.J. Nelson (Brenda Joy Nelson). After years of experience performing with various bands, she started to get session work as a backing vocalist. She would work on Duran Duran's 1983 LP Seven and the Ragged Tiger and that led to work on Power Station's 1985 self-titled debut. That association then got her work with Palmer. While working with him on Heavy Nova, Nelson would get signed by EMI. She would release a self-titled debut album in '89 that was produced by Palmer. Unfortunately, it didn't get any attention and disappeared quickly.  3) Palmer's next album would be 1990's Don't Explain. Its lead single, "You're Amazing," would make it to #5 Rock, but only reach #28 Pop. A remake of Marvin Gaye's classic hit "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" would do a bit better getting to #16 Pop/#4 AC/#90 R&B. It would end up being Palmer's final Pop chart single. The album would top out at #88. Palmer would continue to record and perform over the years, but it all came to an end when he suddenly died of a heart attack in 2003.


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