Thursday, March 29, 2012

Robert Palmer - "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On"

I Didn't Mean to Turn You On - Riptide

(Debuted August 16, 1986, Peaked #2, 21 Weeks on the Chart)

This is the second Robert Palmer song I've featured in this blog ("Early in the Morning" was the first), and both songs are remakes of previous R&B hits done in Palmer's unique style. Both were also songs that I hadn't realized were remakes until much later, since MTV and the radio stations I listened to weren't likely to play the originals.

"I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" was originally a hit for the singer Cherelle, who took it to #8 on the R&B chart and to #79 pop in 1984. As an apology for not wanting to take a relationship to any physical level, the song had a skewed perspective coming from the male point of view. Because in my own experience, we're dogs...and there's no getting past that.

That said, as Palmer slyly purrs his way through the song, he seems to be politely explaining that he was just interested in a night of dancing and conversation...but the invitation to accompany him to his place for a drink wasn't meant to be an invitation to slip into anything more comfortable. While I certainly understand what's behind this song than I did back when I was 14 (and having a daughter who's almost that age now, I find I'm more likely to agree), I'm still calling BS. 

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