“Fine Time” is the album’s steller track (only because “Pressure Drop” is a cover) with a false start and Palmer’s vocal count in starting this absolutely burning groove. While the tempo may be slower, the band matches the intensity of the arrangement on “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” with every player in top form, like coals on the fire, constantly smoldering, the organ coming to a peak with a great solo while the funky rhythm section (the drums are a highlight here) never trying to steal the spotlight. It’s truly Palmer’s vocal performance however, that turns this song into a classic, swooping in and out of the arrangement, not only holding down the groove but taking it to new heights. If you loved Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley, this is a must have. Check out the full post on Robert Palmer’s Pressure Drop here and download “Fine Time” and “Trouble” as a bonus below.
Pressure Drop, the follow-up to 1974’s Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley would find Robert Palmer at an interesting crossroads in his career as despite the great craftsmanship on his previous LP he was still vastly unknown outside of the NYC music scene. As a result, Pressure Drop was not as cohesive as an album due to the desire to be more commercial. Unfortunately for Palmer, 1976 was a time where schmaltzy and breezy arrangements were in high demand and despite his best efforts this makes the album quite dated. However, the highlights on here stand up along with the best of Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley, from the title track (a cover of the famous Toots & The Maytals tune), to the slow burn of “Fine Time” as well as the rollicking “Riverboat” and “Trouble”,it’s quite clear (even from the album cover) that Palmer and his crack session band of Little Feat and the Muscle Shoals Horn Section and even James Jamerson (the bassist of Motown fame) have a whole lot of fun.