Rear View: Robert Palmer Sneaking Sally Through The Alley

Sneaking Sally.jpg

Robert Palmer is probably best known for being Addicted To Love, but for a while Hughesy was addicted to Palmer's first solo album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley.

I'm not, however, entirely sure how I came by it. I know where I bought it (a short-lived and long gone import shop in Brisbane's Adelaide Street on the site occupied by the Myer Centre) and I can guess that the purchase was prompted by the presence of Lowell George and The Meters and the fact that the album was produced by Allen Toussaint.

Apart from the fact that the album was released some time in 1974, I'm not entirely sure when I bought it. I was probably, however, in straitened financial circumstances, given the fact that 1974 was the year I went on study leave to finish my degree, and I couldn't afford to buy too much.

I'm reasonably certain exposure to the early Little Feat albums, Allen Toussaint's horn charts for The Band's Rock of Ages and Dr John's In The Right Place had more than a little to do with the decision, but beyond that, not much is clear in the recollection department.

It certainly had very little to do with Palmer's stint in Vinegar Joe, given the fact that their recording career kicked off in 1972, by which time I wasn't spending as much time as I had been in the ground floor treasure trove that was my mate Eric's record collection. I certainly don't recall him raving about either Vinegar Joe or Rock'n’Roll Gypsies, though he may well have owned copies thereof. In any case, I knew of Vinegar Joe, and would have been able to identify Elkie Brooks and Palmer as the band's vocal duo. Deep immersion in the English music press does that sort of thing to you.

So, to cut a long story short, I have no idea what prompted me to ask to hear a track or two off the album in that import shop, but I know what happened when I did.

Two words: Sailing Shoes.


© Ian Hughes 2012