Drive (Robert Palmer album)

Drive (Robert Palmer album)
Studio album by Robert Palmer
Released May 12, 2003
Genre Blues
Length 42:57
Label Compendium Records
Producer Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer chronology
Live At The Apollo
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Independent 4/5 stars[1]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[2]

Drive is a 2003 album by British musician Robert Palmer, and his last album before his death.

Although Drive was released in 2003, all work on the project was completed by November 2002. The release date had to be delayed due to the length of the recording. Compendium Records wanted to cut two additional songs from the project which Robert Palmer had written and Palmer wanted to keep the songs on the recording. Eventually Robert Palmer agreed with the record company in 2003 and allowed the two songs to be cut, accounting for its delayed release date. Drive was originally slated to be released in December 2002.

Drive was critically hailed as the grittiest and most heartfelt album of his career.[3] Initially approached by guitarist Carl Carlton to contribute to the 2001 Robert Johnson tribute album Hellhound on My Trail, for which Palmer recorded "Milk Cow's Calf Blues" with Carlton on guitars, Palmer was then invited by Faye Dunaway to provide the soundtrack to her 2001 directorial debut The Yellow Bird, set in Mississippi and New Orleans during the 1940s and 1950s. Palmer took both signs as a good omen, and the impetus for Drive was born. After more thoroughly researching this particular genre of music, Palmer assembled a list of fifty possible tracks, and then began the arduous task of whittling that list down to a manageable set of twelve. The selections from Drive can best be described as a loose collection of both standard and contemporary blues compositions (Robert Johnson, Little Willie John, Keb' Mo'), with a smattering of other genres, including folk (Nicolai Dunger) and calypso (Mighty Sparrow), prompting Palmer to call the end result "a gut-buckety swamp thing." The recording and mixing of Drive took place in both Logic Studios (Milan, Italy) and Palmer's home studio (Lugano, Switzerland), with his long-time, trusted engineer Pino "Pinaxa" Pischetola at the mixing board. Because of the satisfaction and enthusiam having recording the initial twelve songs, Palmer decided to cut three more tracks ("29 Ways [To My Baby's Door]," "It Hurts Me Too," "Stupid Cupid"), this time at the Sphere in London, England, with Ben Georgiades engineering the sessions.

The album peaked at #10 on the US Blues albums chart.[4]

Track listing

  1. "Mama Talk To Your Daughter" (J. B. Lenoir, Alex Atkins) (2:27)
  2. "Why Get Up?" (Bill Carter, Ruth Ellsworth) (3:01)
  3. "Who's Fooling Who?" (Steve Barri, Michael Omartian, Harvey Price, Daniel Walsh) (2:49)
  4. "Am I Wrong?" (Kevin R. Moore, aka Keb' Mo') (2:04)
  5. "TV Dinners" (Frank Beard, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill) (3:24)
  6. "Lucky" (Carl Carlton, Robert Palmer) (2:22)
  7. "Stella" (Slinger Francisco) (3:59)
  8. "Dr Zhivago's Train" (Nicolai Dunger) (3:58)
  9. "Ain't That Just Like A Woman" (Claude Demetrius, Fleecy Moore) (1:59)
  10. "Hound Dog" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) (2:03)
  11. "Crazy Cajun Cake Walk Band" (Jim Ford, Lolly Vegas, Pat Vegas) (3:08)
  12. "Need Your Love So Bad" (Mertis John Jr.) (2:14)
  13. "29 Ways (To My Baby's Door)" (Willie Dixon) (2:42)
  14. "It Hurts Me Too" (Melvin R. London) (2:17)
  15. "Stupid Cupid" (Howard Greenfield, Neil Sedaka) (2:10)
  16. "Milk Cow's Calf Blues" (Robert Johnson) (2:20)


  • Robert Palmer - vocals, bass
  • Carl Carlton - guitars
  • Mauro Spina - drums, percussion
  • James Palmer - drums, percussion, on "Dr. Zhivago's Train"
  • Dr. Gabs - piano, organ, synthesizer, bass on "Stella"
  • Franco Limido - harmonicas
  • Sharon O'Neill, Tina Ann Hart, Mary Ambrose - Backing Vocals


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