(Debuted October 22, 1988, Peaked #19, 14 Weeks on the Chart)
Robert Palmer was a very good interpreter of songs. Not only that, but he was able to draw from a wide variety of styles and influences. In the case of "Early in the Morning," he put his mark on a song that had already been a #1 R&B hit for The Gap Band in 1982.
In my case, I never heard the original version when it came out. They weren't played by the station I listened to in 1982, and the band didn't get much exposure on MTV. A song about realizing what you had after she's walked out the door, Palmer's version was smoother, more slickly produced and given a more "modern" treatment.
However, it helped some suburban kids like myself to eventually seek out the original. No matter how much I enjoyed the newer version, it's a different take and the version by The Gap Band definitely deserved to be heard on its own terms. That's the value of having a singer like Robert Palmer, and the value of being able to draw from different styles.