Friday, May 11, 2007

Robert Palmer - Pressure Drop

I won't ever forget the first time I saw this album cover. It was 1979, three years after Robert Palmer's Pressure Drop was released. On the outer rim of Baltimore was where I lived at the time, and though it's not there anymore, there used to be a Farmer's Market that had flea markets on the outside, plus produce, products, etc. on the inside. Each booth was fenced in with chicken wire, which was a hilarious effect, and one booth was a record stand. Every time we went, I always gravitated here to listen to the 45s the proprietor spun, and there was one particular day I spotted Pressure Drop with nine year old eyes. Blondie's "Call Me" from American Gigolo was spinning, which is kind of apropos when you look at the laissez faire Palmer standing almost nonchalantly with his nude one night stand peering out the balcony from his playboy apartment. At the time, I was infatuated with the nudity, but now I'm all about wondering what Palmer has on his mind with that remote in his hand. Has he already bedded the model yet? Is he about to? Is he trying to set a mood? Does he even care she's naked?

It's the question of what next that appeals to me about the cover of Pressure Drop. Palmer, who was always projecting himself as a debonair sophisticate, a James Bond of the rock and soul jet set, looks absolutely in control here with only the question of what to do next with a naked vixen in his stead. Personally, I like to think he toys with her and sends her on her way, but most likely by her wet hair, it's the morning after and she wants more time with him while he's already thinking about the rest of his day, which doesn't include her. That dog!


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Did this cover ever get edited? I know Roger Waters' Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking ended up with a black bar over the bare rear end.

I have this album and the back features a close-up of the bare behind with Palmer on a TV looking up at it with a sly grin on his face.

Palmer's cover of "Pressure Drop" doesn't stand up next to Toots and the Maytals' original or the Clash's cover.

May 12, 2007 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I first saw this on at a record store. Never really caught my eye that much. I didn't think it had ever been edited.

May 12, 2007 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I don't remember it getting edited, but do remember Waters getting edited. Now see, I don't ever remember flipping it over to get my answer as it appears to do. I also meant to put as an addendum to my little narrative that I bought that Blondie "Call Me" 45 the same day. I do remember the proprietor shooing me away from the Palmer album because I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

May 12, 2007 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...

I always loved Robert, he had class and talent and always seemed to be surrounded by least on his album covers and in videos!

May 14, 2007 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, Layla, you covered what I was thinking by bringing this album into discussion. I didn't want to get too carried away, but truly Palmer projected a sauveness that was accented by those chilly--though admittedly hot--clone girls during his Riptide era. I think subtly Palmer had a great cheekiness about him.

May 15, 2007 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Robert Palmer epitomized self-conscious cool. This is a classic, underappreciated cover.

-- david

May 15, 2007 at 11:10 AM  

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