Robert Palmer

Ultimate Collection

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There's a lot of great music here, but "ultimate"? The world still awaits the "ultimate" Robert Palmer collection, since none have included tracks from his early band Vinegar Joe, or outtakes, or anything from the second Power Station album, which was a lot better than you probably remember (if you actually got to hear it). Released in 2002, Best of Both Worlds came close to rightfully representing Palmer's career, but Ultimate Collection doesn't even make an effort, at least not where it counts. It does make an effort to mislead potential buyers with a "bonus disc" of live performances that is nothing more than every live track from the Maybe It's Live half-live, half-studio album. What kind of "bonus" is that? Palmer's early catalog has such a wealth of great material that it's easy to enjoy the collection, but there's the fact that "Woke Up Laughing," a fan favorite and staple of his live show, isn't here and there's nothing past the Riptide album (minus "Sweet Lies" from a soundtrack and remixes from the Addictions collections). Granted, most feel Palmer went downhill after Riptide, but isn't that why you want "ultimate" compilations? To help you grab the best moments from lackluster albums along with the hits? If you don't miss the post-Riptide hit "Simply Irresistible," Ultimate Collection is a good hits compilation with decent extras, a bogus bonus, and a fly-by-night title.

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