Thursday, August 27, 2020

Robert Palmer goes synth pop on new single "Johnny and Mary"

Robert Palmer : Johnny and Mary

In August of 1980 Robert Palmer released his UK#44 hit "Johnny and Mary", a flirtation with synth pop at a time Palmer was trading song  ideas with Gary Numan of all people. Two of their collaborations, "I Dream of Wires" and "Found You Now"  appear on the forthcoming album Clues. Though he had recently had two hits in the US, "Bad Case of Loving You" and "Every Kinda People", Palmer had not found his audience in the UK until now.

He told Smash Hits where the song came from: 

It was a total accident. Usually the way I work is to put down endless beats on the tape recorder and if one stands out when I play it back I make a song out of it. I put down the lyric at 2 AM and I remember playing it back the next day and thinking 'What the he''s that ?' But then I kept on whistling it and I thought if that isn't a hit..."

Palmer said the song is a "parody of old style values, about a couple who live on habit and just put with each other."

  Palmer lived with his wife and kids in The Bahamas where he played percussion on the upcoming Talking Heads album Remain In Light. Heads drummer Chris Frantz would return the favor on the next Palmer single.

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