Robert Palmer – Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley – His Best Album By Far

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A distinguished member of the  Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this British Sunray Island pressing. SSTTA is very hard to find nowadays, but we managed to put together a big enough stack to make a shootout possible, and this copy acquited very well indeed — it was miles ahead of the typical pressing. As is usually the case with these originals, the vinyl is a bit noisier than ideal at Mint Minus Minus.

No doubt this is the best album Robert Palmer ever made. With Lowell George’s unmistakable slide guitar and members of the Meters providing backup, as well as the amazing Bernard Purdie on drums, it’s the only Robert Palmer release that consistently works all the way through as an album. The entire first side is excellent from top to bottom, with the title track being our favorite RP song of all time. 

If you love the funky stylings of Little Feat, this surprisingly fun and engaging album should be right up your alley. We could play it every day for a month and never tire of it. The New Orleans-style groove of syncopated funk these guys lay down on practically every track is exactly what Robert Palmer needs to work off of as a vocalist.

Sneakin’ Sally is the closest thing to classic Little Feat — outside of the band itself in its heyday, pre-Times Loves a Hero — that we know of.

The sound on the best copies is superb as well; our old friend Rhett Davies engineered some of it — who knows what, they don’t break it down — but the other engineers must have done a great job as well as the sound is some of the best analog from the Classic Era, in this case 1974.

Side One

A++, with the analog sound we love: good and fat. The bottom end is big and solid here, and the energy is off-the-charts! When you have sound like this, this music is a ton of FUN. So good!

Side Two

A++ again, really jumpin’ out of the speakers with amazing presence and ZERO smear! There’s some real richness and fullness here as well, a combination that easily earns it two pluses in our book. 

AMG Review

Before becoming a slick, sharp-dressed pop star in the 1980s, Robert Palmer was a soul singer deeply rooted in R&B and funk. Those influences are on full display on his debut album Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley. With a backing band including members of Little Feat and the Meters, the music has a laid-back groove whether Palmer’s covering New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint (the title track) or singing originals (“Hey Julia,” ” Get Outside”). While the music is tight and solid, it is Robert Palmer’s voice that is revelatory — he sounds supremely confident among these talented musicians, and they seem to feed off his vocal intensity. Fans of the Meters or people who want to discover the funky side of Robert Palmer should check this one out.