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Clues is the sixth solo album by Robert Palmer, released in 1980. It has a rockier, new wave edge compared to his previous releases.[2] The album peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart and No. 31 in the UK in 1980. The album also peaked at No. 1 in Sweden, No. 3 in France, No. 15 in the Netherlands and No. 42 in Italy. Donald Guarisco of AllMusic described Clues as "one of Robert Palmer's strongest and most consistent albums", despite being somewhat short at 31 minutes.[2]

Robert Palmer Clues.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1980
RecordedCompass Point Studios, New Providence, Bahamas
GenreRock, synthpop, new wave
ProducerRobert Palmer
Robert Palmer chronology
Maybe It's Live
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Palmer, who played percussion on Talking Heads' Remain in Light, had the favour returned when the band's drummer Chris Frantz played bass drum on Clues. along with Palmer's drummer, Dony Wynn Andy Fraser, the former bassist of Free and the author of Palmer's first breakthrough single "Every Kinda People", played bass on the album on two songs. New wave musician Gary Numan co-wrote a song with Palmer (another co-write between the two appearing on Maybe It's Live) and played keyboards on a remake of his own song "I Dream of Wires".[1] This was first issued on CD in 1985 when Island's catalogue was issued under WEA Manufacturing. The WEA pressings are sought-after collector's items.

The video to the first track on the album, "Looking for Clues", aired on MTV's first day of broadcasting, on 1 August 1981.

The album was certified Gold in Germany by BMieV in 1992.



The lead track, "Looking for Clues" was described by Allmusic as "a clever slice of new wave pop that surprises the listener with an unexpected xylophone solo".[1]

In 1984, Melissa Manchester recorded "Johnny and Mary" with added lyrics by Bernie Taupin.

In 2014, Todd Terje recorded a downtempo version of "Johnny and Mary" featuring Bryan Ferry on vocals.

"I Dream of Wires" is a cover of a song from Gary Numan's album Telekon released the same year.

The cover of the Beatles' "Not a Second Time", featured a second verse added by Palmer.

Track listingEdit

All songs by Robert Palmer except where noted.

  1. "Looking for Clues" – 4:52
  2. "Sulky Girl" – 4:07
  3. "Johnny and Mary" – 3:59
  4. "What Do You Care" – 2:44
  5. "I Dream of Wires" (Gary Numan) – 4:34
  6. "Woke Up Laughing" – 3:36
  7. "Not a Second Time" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 2:48
  8. "Found You Now" (Gary Numan, Robert Palmer) – 4:37


  • Robert Palmer – vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums (track 6), percussion, production
  • Dony Wynn – drums
  • Jack Waldman – keyboards
  • Kenny Mazur – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 7)
  • Chris Frantz – drums (track 1)
  • Andy Fraser – bass guitar (tracks 2, 7)
  • Alan Mansfield – guitar (track 3)
  • Paul Gardiner – bass guitar (track 5)
  • Gary Numan – keyboards (track 5)
  • Alex Sadkin – engineer, mixing
  • David Harper – executive producer
  • Graham Hughes – cover
  • Cover photograph taken by Susan Palmer in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Mastering engineer – Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Donald A. Guarisco. "Clues - Robert Palmer | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Donald A. Guarisco. "Clues - Robert Palmer | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 January 2017.