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The Very Best of the Island Years

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Robert Palmer 7/19/2005

Review

Island's 2005 compilation The Very Best of the Island Years is a near-perfect single-disc overview of Robert Palmer's stint at Island Records, which ran from 1974's Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley to 1985's Riptide. This is regarded by fans and critics alike as his peak creative period, and it also contained his best-known hits, including 1978's "Every Kinda People," 1979's "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)," 1980's "Can We Still Be Friends," 1981's "Johnny and Mary" and "Looking for Clues," and, of course, 1986's "Addicted to Love" and 1987's "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On." While he continued to chart into the early '90s, only one song -- 1988's "Addicted to Love" rewrite "Simply Irresistible" -- could hold a candle to those hits, and it's here in a live version that concludes the album. While it would have been nice if the original studio version had somehow made the cut, the rest of this is such a terrific listen, charting Palmer's progression from laid-back New Orleans-styled blue-eyed soul crooner through new wave pop guy through his sleek rock makeover with Riptide, that most listeners won't mind that it's a live version, and choose to simply enjoy the best single-disc Palmer compilation yet assembled (and anybody wanting to dig deeper should turn to 2002's similarly excellent double-disc set Best of Both Worlds). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Sailin' Shoes Robert Palmer 2:42
  3. 2 Hey Julia Robert Palmer 2:25
  4. 3 Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley Robert Palmer 4:21
  5. 4 Give Me an Inch Robert Palmer 3:13
  6. 5 Which of Us Is the Fool Robert Palmer 3:18
  7. 6 Man Smart, Woman Smarter Robert Palmer 2:30
  8. 7 Every Kinda People [Cover] Robert Palmer 3:12
  9. 8 You're Gonna Get What's Coming Robert Palmer 3:15
  10. 9 Bad Case of Lovin' You (Doctor, Doctor) Robert Palmer 3:10
  11. 10 Can We Still Be Friends? [Cover] Robert Palmer 3:36
  12. 11 Jealous Robert Palmer 3:12
  13. 12 Not a Second Time Robert Palmer 2:47
  14. 13 Looking for Clues Robert Palmer 4:7
  15. 14 Johnny and Mary Robert Palmer 3:55
  16. 15 Some Guys Have All the Luck [Cover] Robert Palmer 3:6
  17. 16 Pride Robert Palmer 3:26
  18. 17 You Are in My System [Cover] Robert Palmer 4:22
  19. 18 Hyperactive Robert Palmer 3:53
  20. 19 Addicted to Love Robert Palmer 3:54
  21. 20 Discipline of Love Robert Palmer 3:21
  22. 21 I Didn't Mean to Turn You On [Cover] Robert Palmer 3:42
  23. 22 Sweet Lies Robert Palmer 3:7
  24. 23 Simply Irresistible Robert Palmer 4:11

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