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Hits 5 Revisited: Robert Palmer ‘Addicted To Love’

Well, it’s been quite some journey through the tracklisting of Hits 5. Along the way we’ve reminisced about the mercurial television career of Felix Howard, likened Bruce Hornsby & The Range to burnt toast in audio form, attempted to form a religion based around Nick Kamen, stuck several boots into Live Aid, and been a bit sarky about Roses by Haywoode. We’ve even mentioned ‘Belouis’ ‘Some’ once or twice. No doubt, then, you’re not unreasonably expecting the last track on the album to be some era-defining uber-of-its-time forgotten left-field cerebral pop marvel that will have even Red Box turning in their ‘1986’ pass at reception, and finish this epic series of articles with all the spectacle of a post-Bratpack imagined-fifties-Americana-riffing advert recreating one of those big budget gaudy technicolor Hollywood synchronised swimming setpieces, only performed by the Yes Of Course Christmas On 4 robots with Phil Cool emerging from the middle in a fountain of Citrus Spring. And then go on to finally make that third series of The Tripods.

Well, you might indeed be expecting that, but you’d be wrong. The final track on a double album collecting the hits of the closing weeks of 1986 is a song that was a hit back in January 1986. For that was when Robert Palmer, longtime resident of the lower reaches of the top forty and more recently featured vocalist on bizarre rock-and-disco combining Duran Duran offshoot The Power Station, finally broke through to megastar status with Power Station album in all but name Riptide, pioneering designer-clad Madeley-aped ‘smoothie’ image, and – most importantly – catchy radio-dominating single Addicted To Love, decidedly unhindered in its chart prowess by a feminist-and-Musician’s-Union-enraging video featuring Palmer miming in front of a ‘band’ of android-ish Vogue cover-esque lovelies, once perplexingly rumoured to have been Duran Duran in drag, but since revealed to have been genuine models, including ludicrously-knockered future Big Brother housemate Susie Verrico. As you all know the song already, and it doesn’t really belong on Hits 5, there’s not much point in saying much else about it, other than to speculate that the compilers had been holding out for Palmer’s more recent model-assisted hit I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On, only to see that snapped up by rival compilation Now That’s What I Call Music! 8 at the last minute. Like Michael Palin being refused entry to The Reform Club at the conclusion of Around The World In 80 Days, we’ve been left waiting for a bus while 1986 parties on behind closed doors. But that, of course, was in 1989. Anyone got a spare copy of Monster Hits ..?

And, well, that’s Hits 5. Ahead for the listener would lie Bomb The Bass, GCSEs, Alison Lee’s Pants and, yes, Hardwicke House. Ahead for the reader, meanwhile, there’ll be a lot of interesting stuff going on around here in December, and there’ll be more about that soon. Of course, there was a Hits 5 video with some exclusive non-album tracks on it, not to mention Now That’s What I Call Music! 8… but that’s another story…