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Sneakin' Sally through the Alley

Robert Palmer

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Album Review

Before becoming a slick, sharp-dressed pop star in the 1980s, Robert Palmer was a soul singer deeply rooted in R&B and funk. Those influences are on full display on his debut album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley. With a backing band including members of Little Feat and the Meters, the music has a laid-back groove whether Palmer's covering New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint (the title track) or singing originals ("Hey Julia," " Get Outside"). While the music is tight and solid, it is Robert Palmer's voice that is revelatory — he sounds supremely confident among these talented musicians, and they seem to feed off his vocal intensity. Fans of the Meters or people who want to discover the funky side of Robert Palmer should check this one out.

Customer Reviews

Musician credits at last!

There were never any music credits listed on this album but here they are - thanks to Steve York! Tracks 1 & 3 are The Meters’ Art Neville (keyboards), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), George Porter (bass), Joseph Modeliste (drums). Steve York (harmonica solo) on Track 3. Track 2 was recorded with UK musicians including Jim Mullen (guitar) and Jody Linscott (percussion). Jim & Jody may have overdubbed on other tracks. I am not sure which band plays on track 4. Tracks 5, 6, 7 & 8 is the New York rhythm section of Cornell Dupree (guitar), Richard Tee (piano), Gordon Edwards (bass) & Bernard Purdie (drums). Lowell George is present on guitar on most of the album. Allan Toussaint also was involved in this record - his studio in New Orleans was used for some of this & two of his songs are on the record. I recall Robert telling me that Allan co-produced some of this record but in do not know for sure. - per Steve York

Thanks iTunes 7!

I concur with the aformentioned praise and want to applaud whomever included the "gapless" album option. It's the only way to achieve true bliss from the "Trilogy", which is invariably what listeners called it when requesting it back in the day.

"Everyone Will Start To Cheer!"

.."When You Put On Your Sailin' Shoes!".."Tryin' To Keep Her Out Of Sight!"..Oohh; Yeah!-This is "Blue-Eyed Soul Music!" at it's finest! Way before the Monotonous Models & the Suave Suits; Robert Palmer was a strong singer back in his native England with quite a few Rock & Blues Bands! "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" finds him hooking up with members of Little Feat & The Meters; and let me tell you; "How Much Fun" it was when this LP got much radio play @ 1974! {Especially the Triology of: Sailin' Shoes/Hey Julia/Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley=Talk about "Gettin' The Party Started; Y'All!"} Robert Palmer had a great run of Good albums; Hit singles & He was "Music-Video Savvy"; to boot! (Gone too soon; like many of our best "Soul Men!") "Sally" is yet another "Sweet Seventies Set!" Grimmbo.


Born: January 19, 1949 in Batley, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The career of blue-eyed soul singer Robert Palmer was a study in style versus substance. While the performer's earliest work won praise for its skillful assimilation of rock, R&B, and reggae sounds, his records typically sold poorly, and he achieved his greatest notoriety as an impeccably dressed lounge lizard. By the mid-'80s, however, Palmer became a star, although his popularity owed less to the strength of his material than to his infamous music videos: taking their cue from the singer's...
Full Bio

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