Robert Palmer / 5 Classic Albums


While we wait for Hidden Masters to do a proper job with Robert Palmer‘s Island archive, Universal Music are putting out this frills-free, five-CD box set that benefits from great cover art and a hard-to-argue-with selection of long-players from the Island Years.

5 Classic Albums features Palmer’s fine 1974 solo debut Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley, and its follow up, Pressure Drop (1975). It skips the mid-seventies offerings Some People Can Do What They Like and Double Fun (the latter includes Every Kinda People) preferring Secrets from 1979 – which includes Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) and Robert’s great version of Todd Rundgren’s Can We Still Be Friends.

The last two albums are the new wave influenced Clues (which includes Renault’s RB favourite, Johnny and Mary) and Riptide from 1985, the album that spawned mega-hits Addicted to Love and I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On. Its subsequent success saw Palmer end his time with Island, seduced by a ‘Godfather’ offer (one he couldn’t refuse) from EMI. Unfortunately, despite a decent start with Heavy Nova, he never bettered any of his Island-era rock/pop efforts on his new label, although the Big Band/orchestral excursions of Don’t Explain and in particular Ridin’ High were very rewarding records.

Assuming Universal have used the right sources for this set (see this post) it’s a bit of a no-brainer for less than £12. If you haven’t dipped your toes into classic 1970s Palmer then you’re in for a real treat.

5 Classic Albums is packaged in a “new slim line slipcase” and is released on 15 April 2016.



CD1: Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley
1. Sailing Shoes
2. Hey Julia
3. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley
4. Get Outside
5. Blackmail
6. How Much Fun
7. From A Whisper To A Scream
8. Through It All There’s You

CD2: Pressure Drop
1. Give Me An Inch
2. Work To Make It Work
3. Back In My Arms
4. Riverboat
5. Pressure Drop
6. Here With You Tonight
7. Trouble
8. Fine Time
9. Which Of Us Is The Fool

CD3: Secrets
1. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
2. Too Good To Be True
3. Can We Still Be Friends?
4. In Walks Love Again
5. Mean Ol’ World
6. Love Stop
7. Jealous
8. Under Suspicion
9. Woman You’re Wonderful
10. What’s It Take?
11. Remember To Remember

CD4: Clues
1. Looking For Clues
2. Sulky Girl
3. Johnny And Mary
4. What Do You Care
5. I Dream Of Wires
6. Woke Up Laughing
7. Not A Second Time
8. Found You Now

CD5: Riptide
1. Riptide
2. Hyperactive
3. Addicted To Love
4. Trick Bag
5. Get It Through Your Heart
6. I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
7. Flesh Wound
8. Discipline Of Love
9. Riptide (Reprise)


SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Anyone heard this 5CD set yet? I really want to buy this collection, but NOT if it is the lousy mp3 versions, which I am sadly expecting it will be :(


Any review on the sound quality of these?

Myron Myers

I bought a couple of these 5 CD packages and what they are is 5 CD’s of the original album/CD that was previously released, which means they should be the original uncut LP with every song that is on the original LP when it first came out and they do this with certain bands or artists where they offer two of their best CD’s along with three of their not so well known CD’s so if you like a certain band/artist you get 5 CD’s for an amazing price. I have one by YES, KANSAS & JOURNEY and I’m very glad I bought them !


What’s the betting that Universal use the same mp3 sourced masters that they give to Edsel for this box set.

Wayne Klein

If they are smart they will use the Japanese remasters for this set.

The reason this isn’t chronological is that the two albums missing were, as I recall, the two worst selling that he made.

Paul Murphy

Given that Six Star General is only available on CD as a poor vinyl transfer, it would be VERY nice if someone could get a comprehensive Vinegar Joe box set out. How are your contacts at Island, Paul?

wayne klein

Indeed. I’ve been waiting for someone to do proper justice to the Vinegar Joe releases for some time.

Paul Murphy

Well, that’s two of us, that’s more than bought the Nick Kamen Deluxe [probably] – come on Paul, make the call!

Thomas Staudt

Definitely interested for the right price – I hope the 51 euros currently requested on Amazon Germany are not correct.

Thomas Braun

at JPC 21,99 €


A friend of mine used to work with him. Said he was a very nice man – Not at all stand-offish or starry.

He was one of the first people to cover Gary Numan tracks so respect is due for that at a time when others derided him, Palmer could see there was real talent there.


I’m the proud owner of the Japanese box set of mini lp’s (cardboard sleeve replicas) which was released a few years ago with all of his albums. Totally depleted and probably very expensive.


Once more, this is aimed at people who don’t own Robert Palmer albums. Don’t buy it for mastering, sleeve notes, nice packaging etc.


I will go for this one.
Agree with you Paul, that cover art is fantastic, he looks almost Heroes era Bowie I would say.
Happy holidays to those who celebrate it.

Michael Gershbein

Great albums but they couldn’t have just gone through chronologically? Skipping past Pride and Some People Can Do What They Like?


I already have the Edsel reissues (which are worth it for the bonus cuts, if not the sound quality). If these turned out to be the “original” CD masters – particularly Clues, which ain’t cheap in its original format – I’d be all over this in a minute.

Going to wait for some reviews to roll in before splashing out on this though.