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Heavy Nova

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It may have seemed virtually impossible to follow up the massive popularity of “Addicted to Love,” but Robert Palmer managed to hit another home run with “Simply Irresistible,” the leadoff track from his 1988 album Heavy Nova. “Simply Irresistible” built on the appeal of “Addicted to Love” without aping it. By blending hard-charging '80s rhythms with his love for traditional R&B song structures, Palmer had found an ideal formula. The ferocious funk rhythms he'd perfected while playing with The Power Station reappear on “More Than Ever,” “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming," and “Casting a Spell,” which could be seen as hard rock songs or funk songs, depending on the angle at which they’re viewed. Palmer’s name may have become synonymous with riff-heavy singles, but the finest moments on Heavy Nova are hushed and jazzy—a throwback to his early solo work. “She Makes My Day” and “Between Us” relate to both Marvin Gaye and the '80s British seductress Sade, whose singularly hypnotic take on American jazz and R&B had obviously had a great effect on Palmer.


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 suave...
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Heavy Nova, Robert Palmer
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