One cool discovery I’ve made in the last few years has been Robert Palmer’s ‘70s discography. I knew of albums like Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley, but hadn’t listened to them. They’re pretty solid records, and they’re steeped in soul and funk, which may not be what you expect if all you know of Palmer comes from his “Addicted To Love”/”Simply Irresistible” commercial heyday. If you’re an ‘80s cat, like I am, it might behoove you to go a little further back in the man’s discography. There’s some excellent shit there-even beyond his slightly annoying habit of covering R&B hits before the bodies are even warm (“You Are In My System”, “Take My Heart”, etc.)
One of the best of the tracks I’ve uncovered during my deep dive into Palmer’s discography is “Give Me An Inch”, which is the opening track from Palmer’s second studio album, 1975’s Pressure Drop, and it’s a keeper. The song smolders. Gene Page (Barry White’s faithful string arranger) keeps the orchestration tasteful, the band pushes the groove along steadily, and Palmer’s delivery is passionate (he’s begging as much as in any Keith Sweat song, but doesn’t sound nearly as desperate) without being over the top. It’s smooth soul, plain and simple. You can lay back and drink some cognac to it.