Riptide (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1985
RecordedJuly–September 1985
StudioCompass Point (Nassau, Bahamas)
GenreHard rock[1]
ProducerBernard Edwards
Robert Palmer chronology
Heavy Nova
Singles from Riptide
  1. "Discipline of Love"
    Released: October 1985
  2. "Riptide"
    Released: December 1985 (UK)
  3. "Addicted to Love"
    Released: January 1986 (US)
  4. "Hyperactive"
    Released: May 1986 (US)
  5. "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On"
    Released: July 1986 (UK)

Riptide is the eighth studio album by English singer Robert Palmer, released in November 1985 by Island Records. The album was recorded over a period of three months in 1985 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. The album peaked at No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart and at No. 8 on the US Billboard 200. It was certified double Platinum in the US by the RIAA in March 1996 and certified Gold in the UK by BPI in August 1986. It features the songs "Addicted to Love", "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On", "Hyperactive", "Discipline of Love", and "Riptide" which were all released as singles.[2][3] The single "Addicted to Love" was accompanied by an iconic and much-imitated music video, directed by Terence Donovan, in which Palmer is surrounded by a bevy of near-identically clad, heavily made-up (and appropriately pouty) female "musicians" (the killer bimbo clones), either mimicking or mocking the painting style of Patrick Nagel.[4] In September 1986, Palmer performed "Addicted to Love" at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.[5] In 1987, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for "Addicted to Love". At the 1987 Brit Awards, Palmer received his first nomination for Best British Male.[6]

Another single from Riptide, his cover of R&B singer Cherrelle's "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On", also performed well (US No. 2, UK No. 9).[4] The song, "Trick Bag," was written by one of Palmer's major influences, New Orleans blues artist Earl King.

For the album, Palmer collaborated with two former members of his band the Power Station: guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Tony Thompson. The Power Station's producer Bernard Edwards also played bass and produced the album. The album also features contributions from Chaka Khan and notable session musicians such as Guy Pratt, Wally Badarou, Jeff Bova, Eddie Martinez, Dony Wynn, and Jack Waldman (who died a year after the album's release).[7]

The title track of the album is a cover of a 1933 song written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn and first recorded by Eddy Duchin and his orchestra.[citation needed][8]

2013 reissue[edit]

Riptide was reissued on 30 April 2013 by Culture Factory USA, an independent label that specialises in cult artists. The reissue CD was packaged in a miniature replica of the original quality vinyl packaging complete with an inner sleeve that features the original lyrics, photographs of Palmer and credits for the album. The label side of the CD features a replica of what the original Island label looked like at the time of issue and even features "grooves" as if the black CD is made of vinyl.

The reissues did not have any additional outtakes or bonus tracks.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Record Mirror[11]
Robert ChristgauC+[12]

In a contemporary review music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a "C+" and described it as "his pop breakthrough" and added that "what makes him barely listenable is his holdings in r&b."[12]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, critic Tim DiGravina gave the album four and a half out of five stars and wrote that "Riptide packages Robert Palmer's voice and suave personality into a commercial series of mostly rocking songs that seem custom-tailored to be chart hits."[10]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
3."Addicted to Love"Palmer6:03
4."Trick Bag" (Earl King cover)Earl King3:01
Side two
5."Get It Through Your Heart"Palmer2:49
6."I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" (Cherrelle cover)
  • James Harris III
  • Terry Lewis
7."Flesh Wound"
  • Frank Blair
  • Palmer
8."Discipline of Love"
9."Riptide" (Reprise)
  • Donaldson
  • Kahn
Total length:34:55

Additional tracks

In popular culture[edit]

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic included a parody of Palmer's hit "Addicted To Love" on his 1986 album Polka Party! ("Addicted To Spuds").
  • The track "Hyperactive" was used in the 1987 film The Bedroom Window, as well as in the popular American TV series Moonlighting.


Credits are adapted from the Riptide liner notes.[13]


  • Producer – Bernard Edwards
  • Post-production – Eric "ET" Thorngren and Robert Palmer
  • Engineer – Jason Corsaro
  • Assistant engineers – Michael Abbott, Benjamin Armbrister, Steve Boyer, Jamie Chaleff, John Davenport, Billy Miranda, Dan Peterkofsky and Steve Rinkoff.
  • Mixed by Eric "ET" Thorngren
  • Recorded at Compass Point Studios (Nassasu, Bahamas).
  • Mixed at The Power Station, Electric Lady Studios, The Hit Factory and Right Track Recording (New York, NY).
  • Mastered by Jack Skinner at Sterling Sound (New York, NY).
  • CD mastering by Barry Diament at Atlantic Studios (New York, NY).
  • Illustration – Susan Palmer
  • Design – Robert Palmer
  • Photography – Giuseppe Pino



Certifications for Riptide
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[22] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Label Cat. No. Format Date
Island 90471-1, 7 90471-1 US Vinyl 1985
Island 7 90471-4 US Cassette 1985
Island 610 541-222, CID 130, 90471-2 GE CD 1985>
Island ICT 9801 UK Cassette 1985
Island 407 083-630, 407 083 GE Cassette 1985
Island ZCI-9801 UK Cassette 1985
Island A4-90471, A4 90471 US Cassette 1985
Island ISLC-1066, ISLC 1066 CA Cassette 1985
Island ILPS 9801 UK, IRE, PO, SC Vinyl 1985
Island R25D-2014 JP Vinyl 1985
Island ISL 1066 CA Vinyl 1985
Island 7 90471-2 US CD 1986
Island P35D 20010 JP CD 24 April 1987
Island, Island Masters 826 463-2, IMCD 25 EU CD 1989
Island Masters PSCD-1152 JP CD 25 November 1991
Island Masters UICY-6600 JP CD 22 November 2006
Culture Factory 782026 FRA CD 30 April 2013


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Robert Palmer - Heavy Nova Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic". allmusic. Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2014). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Mojo Books. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-1-84195-017-4.
  5. ^ 1986 MTV Video Music Awards Retrieved 5 December 2011
  6. ^ BRITs Profile: Robert Palmer Archived 23 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 14 April 2012
  7. ^ "The Estate Project". 1 October 2006. Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  8. ^ "1934 Eddy Duchin - Riptide (Lew Sherwood & The De Marco Sisters, vocal)". YouTube. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Home". Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b DiGravina, Tim. "Riptide – Robert Palmer". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Mike (16 November 1985). "Albums". Record Mirror.
  12. ^ a b "Robert Christgau: CG: Robert Palmer". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  13. ^ Riptide (CD booklet). Robert Palmer. Island Records. 1985.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 228. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ "LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA". Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  16. ^ " – Robert Palmer – Riptide" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  17. ^ " – Robert Palmer – Riptide". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Robert Palmer | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Robert Palmer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1987". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Robert Palmer – Riptide". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Robert Palmer – Riptide". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Robert Palmer – Riptide". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 August 2022.

External links[edit]