Robert Palmer's model-minded music video series, which began almost 30 years ago with "Addicted to Love" and continued with "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" and "Simply Irresistible," arguably comprises some of the most memorable imagery in MTV history. Palmer's backing "band members" — four nearly identical, raven-haired, Nagel-painting beauties sporting bodycon bandage dresses, slicked-back hair, scarlet pouts, and blank, copiously kohl'd eyes as they mimed along on musical instruments — became instant video icons.
[Related: The Robert Palmer Girls Today]
And the Palmer parodies came fast and furious after that. Palmer even spoofed himself in his animated video for "Change His Ways," in which he replaced the models with sexy, buxom geese. Below are eight other addictive Palmer parodies from the video vaults that made our list of the best of all time. Robert Palmer passed away in 2003, but thanks to artists like Britney, Beyoncé, and Bowling for Soup, his legacy lives on.
8. Bowling for Soup, "1985"
The sight of these punk-poppers in LBDs and fishnets (which comes in around the 30-second mark) is, admittedly, rather disturbing. But they got the models' vacant stares and arrythmic, semi-synchronized swaying down pat, and it couldn't have been easy for these guys to stand in heels. So kudos to them.
7. Beyoncé, "Green Light"
The keytars are a nice (and very circa-1985) touch here.
6. Raqswell Muraskin, "Allergic to Cats"
Raqswell is clearly a video genius who could give Weird Al Yankovic a run for his money. (More on Al later.) Sadly, though, her YouTube bio reveals that she really is allergic to cats.
5. Shania Twain, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman"
Years before Ingrid Michaelson came up with the idea (more on Ingrid later as well), Shania cast a bunch of Zoolander types for her own gender-flipped "Addicted to Love" sendup. Ingrid did it better, but Shania did it first, in 2003.
4. Britney Spears, "The Pepsi Generation" commercial
In her full-length Pepsi commercial from 2002, Britney channeled icons from all eras of pop music. One of spot's best moments (around the :54 mark below) was when she rocked some natty menswear and adopted the Palmer crooner role. Brit looked so good, she actually upstaged all the video vixens behind her.
3. Tone Loc, "Wild Thing"
This Tamra Davis-directed video from 1988 reportedly cost just $500 to make, which was cheap even by 1988 standards. But Davis's lo-fi take on the Palmer aesthetic? Priceless. This video may have even received higher MTV rotation than "Addicted to Love" itself.
2. Weird Al Yankovic, "Addicted to Spuds"
In 1987, Al attempted to clean up nice in a Palmer-inspired suit for MTV's New Year's Eve bash. Instead of supermodels, he enlisted a band of Ms. Potato-Heads to back him up. Ironically, the spuds exhibited more personality that Palmer's girls. They may have even been playing live!
1. Ingrid Michaelson, "Girls Chase Boys"
As hinted above, the best spoof came along last year, when this quirky songstress flipped the "Simply Irresistible" script for her amazing video. Michaelson's clip matched Palmer's 1988 original almost frame for frame, with one major exception: This time, it was male models sporting ruby lips, stilettos, and snug pink Lycra. Simply brilliant, simply hilarious, and simply irresistible, indeed.
Enjoy Robert Palmer's original videos below: