Addicted To Love

Album: Riptide (1985)
Charted: 5 1
Play Video


  • Palmer wanted this song to be a duet with Chaka Khan and recorded it with her. Her label, Warner Brothers Records, would not allow her voice to be used on the record, so he had to erase her part and re-record her high notes before releasing it. Chaka Khan did appear on Steve Winwood's "Higher Love," which beat out this song for the 1987 Record of the Year Grammy.
  • The video featured Palmer singing in front of a "band" of beautiful women who looked exactly alike. They wore lots of makeup and identical clothing as they pretended to play the instruments. The video became an icon of the '80s, and is constantly parodied, including in a Pepsi commercial with Britney Spears.
  • Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin makes a pretty good case that the models in the video were influenced by the song "Bennie And The Jets," where he wrote about a futuristic rock band of androgynous beauties. Said Taupin: "I can't help but believe that that Robert Palmer video with all the identical models somehow paid a little lip service to The Jets."
  • The funny thing about the video was that the models posing as a band were selected precisely because they did NOT know how to play the instruments. As a result, each girl was keeping her own time and moving to a different beat.

    One of the girls in the video was "bassist" Mak Gilchrist. She recalled to Q magazine June 2009: "I was 21 and got the part on the strength of my modeling book. We were meant to look and 'act' like showroom mannequins. Director Terence Donovan got us tipsy on a bottle of wine but as were having our makeup retouched, I lost balance on my heels and knocked the top of my guitar into the back of Robert's head, and his face then hit the microphone."

    Gilchrist added: "I remember feeling an acute sense of embarrassment when I first saw how sexy the video was. The most unusual place I saw it was on a huge screen on the side of a Tokyo building."
  • The "love is an addiction" theme is a common lyrical trope, also successfully used the 1983 Huey Lewis & the News hit "I Want A New Drug." Palmer, who died of a heart attack in 2003 at age 54, said that he wrote the song about what it's like having an addictive personality.
  • Who were the girls in the video? Noblemania tracked them down and confirmed their identities. They are:

    Julia Bolino (guitar)
    Patty Elias (guitar)
    Kathy Davies (drums)
    Julie Pankhurst (keyboard)
    Mak Gilchrist (bass)

    Gilchrist had done commercials; Bolino and Davies had been in other music videos, but Pankhurst and Elias were just starting out. They recall Palmer being very professional and polite throughout the shoot, and no flirting - his wife was there.
  • Weird Al Yankovic recorded a parody of this called "Addicted to Spuds" on his album Polka Party!. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Steph - SoCal, CA
  • Palmer performed this on the March 15, 1986 episode of Saturday Night Live.
  • This is the tune most coveted by Slade frontman Noddy Holder. He tells Soundchecks Music Review: "The one main song that I wish that I'd written and recorded is 'Addicted to Love' by Robert Palmer. To me, that's a perfect pop song. Everything about it really hits the nail on the head."
  • Palmer bet against himself while this was climbing the charts. He recalled: "There's a phone number you can ring for Billboard magazine to let you know your chart position and we were flying from Tokyo to Hawaii and had to stop in Guam and we had made a bet as to what number 'Addicted To Love' was going to be and I lost. I bet on number two but it went to one! It was a bet over a garment... a black and white cashmere cloak! But I ended up winning it back the following week."
  • It all started with a guitar riff that came to Palmer in a dream. He told Q magazine in 1988, "That noisy riff woke me up. I went downstairs, got out the tape recorder, then went back to bed. Next morning, I thought, Phew, caught one there!"
  • In the 1992 Roseanne episode "Mommy Nearest," Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) lies to her new boyfriend and says she was one of the girls from the video.
  • Addicted To Love is also the name of a 1997 romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. A cover by Neneh Cherry was used in the movie.

Comments: 45

  • Meme from GlasgowPalmer was interviewed at a later date and the interviewer commented on the addicted to love video, mentioning the beautiful women! Palmer said you should have seen them when they came in this morning, they were like a bus load! lol
  • Seventhmist from 7Sadly, what HE was addicted to was nicotine. His chain-smoking certainly contributed to his death.
  • Truth Warrior from Just Over There By The BarThe song was originally Addicted to Drugs. He was also into spiritualism and hung around Aleister Crowley's great granddaughter whose naked ass appeared on Pressure Drop. The music industry is full of people addicted to everything, including all sorts of spiritualist witchery. Crowley's view of 'Love' is actually quite dark and unromantic and many rock gods got tangled up in Crowley's self-devised 'spiritual' doctrines, including Bowie. A few years before Palmer died, he was allegedly given Aleister Crowley's watch as a birthday present by Crowley's gt granddaughter. In this video, Mr Cool Shoes looks like a young Bela Lugosi with his vampire brides. Your heart sweats, your teeth grind, Another kiss and you'll be mine. I'd have hit him with the microphone, too. Get off me.
  • David from South JerseyWhy is this lyric above, "Oblivion is all you crave" NOT what Robert Palmer is actually singing, "pretty young girls is all you crave" ?
  • Robert from UsaI am married to the lady who was the makeup artist for this video and stood in for one of the official models, who was a no-show. But she claimed no credit because she had small children and did not want the glare of publicity. Still, it is 30+ years ago now; and time to set things straight.
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with ALL FIVE GIRLS in this iconic video, including what each is doing now and never-published pics:
  • Camille from Toronto, Oh"Icon of the 80s"? Hell yeah! Every single thing about this song and video worked. It was a concept seemingly so simple, you were surprised no one thought of it before. To put Robert Palmer in black pants, white shirt & tie like he's some kind of businessman in front of these leggy women dressed in black pretending to play their white instruments was visual genius. I think "amazonian mannequins" is an accurate description for the girls, but that is exactly what made this video stand out among many back in the day. One could even say their zoned out look mirrors an 'addicted' person's expression. The women add to Robert Palmer's sexy look: a short guy among all these tall women, well, he must have some special kind of sex appeal, right? Surely the song could be about drugs, but don't many of us agree that 'love' is a drug? So, definitely a double meaning here.
  • Terri from Seattle, WaOne more entry -- sorry... The criteria for the models selected had nothing at all to do with whether or not we played instruments... I believe that 'most' models likely don't play instruments (generally not the focus when going into modeling), that's a given, however, the criteria for the models selected was that Donovan was searching for "a look" that was striking and hadn't yet been done... He found that "look", then, emulated that same look among each of the girls hired (e.g., egyptian geishas)... Donovan continued this same concept throughout several other of Palmer's videos, also to eventually include a Pepsi commercial... I should re-explain the time it took to do this... We spent about 45 minutes in dressing and makeup, then, about 1/2 hour actually shooting the backdrop for this video... At that time, none of us had any reason to believe those videos would become famous -- none of us made much money at all from them... There were barely any practice run-throughs beforehand -- this was not formally choreographed by a long shot... We practiced moving to the music a couple of times, then, the backdrop was shot -- that's it, and that's all... I have several times seen us referred to as "amazonian mannequins" which I have found to be humorous... It's really not that we were so tall, it's that most of us were in 3" heels and Palmer wasn't tall at all... I'd put him at having been about 5' 8" ish, somewhere in that proximity... It's really too bad that neither Palmer nor Donovan are still here to clear up all the misinformation now circulating re. these videos!
  • Terri from Seattle, WaNo part of this video was Palmer's idea -- this was contrived completely by Terence Donovan... Donovan also produced every part and parcel of it...
  • Terri from Seattle, WaSome of this information is not factual at all... No one was sent in to teach guitar, other than very quick, general finger placement... The models played none of the actual music -- it was air guitar, and badly executed air guitar at that... I am stunned at Mak Gilchrists published comments because Palmer wasn't even present when this was taped, so she couldn't have hit him in the head, etc... There was also no wine -- we were in and out within about 1/2 hour (start to finish)... This is one of the earliest dubbing formats executed at that time -- I believe Palmer was in NY when the background was shot for this video... I can't say Mak wasn't in others of his videos using this same look, but she wasn't in Addicted to Love... There are other www sources citing the names of the models employed for this video -- most of the names provided as the models present are incorrect, with the exception of 2 of those names...
  • John from Dublin, IrelandThe "Addicted to Love" music video was clearly spoofed by British actor Bill Nighy for his song "Christmas is All Around" in the Britcom "Love Actually" (2003).
  • Manjir from Buxton, United KingdomIt was also parodied in the 80s by Dance Like a Mother in the 'You Ain't so tough' video with a bunch of male models, some of whom went on to be quite successful.
  • Thegripester from Wellington, New ZealandWhat I heard is that when Palmer wrote the song he had a dream that he was being backed up by an all-girl band just like the video. So they reproduced his dream. Later on, as he got a big following, women showed up at his concerts dressed like those models, which he hated. He was asked what he would like to say to them, and he said, "a little less makeup, please?"
  • Rudy from Miami, Flthe girl on the keyboard was not Susie Verrico
    it was Lisa E. Brown originally from Kacksonville, Fl.
    and I can prove it.
    she also did other videos with Robert Palmer songs
    remember the shower scene with the water goggles??
    that was Lisa also.
  • Andy from B'ham, AlShirley from N.J.: It's about a girl who can't face the signs of falling in love. Palmer is, rather, the one who can see it in her eyes & tells her to stop fighting it.
    By the way, has anyone else noticed that Palmer sounds so much like Springsteen the Boss when in his tenor voice? Compare this one, for instance, to the Boss's "Glory Days". The 2 tenor voices sound the same, do they not? Palmer & the Boss would sound awesome in a trio w/ Bob Seger!
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesI prefer to see shirtless hairy chested men performing.But it seems that showing bare chested men is too erotic.Robert Palmer should,ve shown his bare chest to satisfy me.But this is a very good song anyway.
  • Brian from Dallas, TxThe song is about the drug X not cocaine. Simply Irresistible was his song about cocaine.
  • Pat from Albuquerque, NmPalmer got airplay on "progressive" radio stations with "Sneaking Sally through the Alley," Sailin' Shoes" (a Little Feat song), "I Didn't mean to Turn You On," several songs with the band Power Station (Bang a Gong, Some Like It Hot), and others. You'll still hear these songs on radio stations that have broad playlists.
    "Simply Irresistable" is the other song/video Palmer made with the girl "band."
  • Eric from Bend, OrJulia from London - I have this song on Robert Palmer's CD "Addictions Vol. 1", and the liner notes do say that this song was going to be Addicted To Drugs.

    If you replace "love" with "drugs" in this song, I think this song still makes sense, and maybe even a little more sense. :) Other lines would change subtly, too (i.e., "One more kiss is all you need" -> "One more hit is all you need").
  • Chip Bell from Amargosa Valley, OhRemember this song from the 80's The girls are totaly hot. Their emotionless searious demeaner gives them a kind of power. Plus I have this wicked short hair fetish. I hope women NEVER stop dressing up like the palmer girls!
  • Gilbert from Manchester, EnglandI love all the theories about the songs meaning. Plant himself ststed thst the song is about cocaine addiction.
  • Jia from Siegen, GermanyIn case that any chemist would look at this page, there is a brilliant youtube video named "Resistant to base", which used the tone of this song, but change the lyrics to a collection of terms from organic chemistry. The video featured four terrible looking woman in lab coats pretending to play the instruments. Very funny.
  • George from Baltimore, MdRobert Plamer rocked, he was classy and very talented. Was standard to see him in the good ol days of MTV
    - PHIL, San Jose, CA

    Agree 100%. He left us way too soon. This was back when MTV was actually fun to watch.
  • John from Mt. Vernon, NyThe girls are not all dressed the same. Their dresses are different lengths.
  • Phil from Borrego Springs, CaI also like his version of Bad Case Of Loving You, which was written and recorded by Moon Martin in 1978.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaThis song was featured in a dream sequence on 'Northern Exposure' with Fleishman fronting the video. All the chicks wanna do it with him but Joel explains that he has never consummated a wet dream. The music ends and he wakes up. Hilarious.
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnThis song, and some footage from its video, were used in a 60-second spot promoting the ABC TV series Lost that aired during Super Bowl XL. The chorus was digitally edited to "Might as well face it, you're addicted to Lost."
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaI think this is one of those songs that you can hear over and over again. And never get sick of it!
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaNever seen video, wanna though
  • Mirza from Jakarta, IndonesiaTone Loc use the same idea for his video "Wild Thing"
  • Suzi from Charleston , Sci believe shania twain was one of the girls doing backup
  • John from Millersville, MdSo, if you take out the elements of rock and add in elements of country, it'd be a country song?

    Hell, you could do that with any song. I could turn rage against the machine into country if I took out the guitar, "sung it twangy" and added fiddles.
  • Bob from Jerome, AzThe girl standing to the left of Palmer is Mary Matson (former model in the 80's). She is now an on-line jewler She is still "hot"
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWierd Al Yankovic did a parody of this called "Addicted To Spuds".
  • Craig from Madison, WiIf I were a Nashville country song, I would jump all over this song. It basically is a country song. Sing it twangy, replace guitar solo with fiddle, add a few whip cracks, record, collect wheelbarrows of money.
  • Craig from Madison, WiThe video was super-controvertial when it came out, with very few people getting the joke mocking how women are treated by the media. Impossibly attractive brainless robots who all should look the fashion. It means even more today than it did 20 years ago. Good going society!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI agree with you Tom! it's a great song!
  • Phil from San Jose, CaRobert Plamer rocked, he was classy and very talented. Was standard to see him in the good ol days of MTV
  • Roy from London, EnglandShania Twain parodied the video for this in her video for "Man! I Feel Like A Woman", where she was performing in front of a group of topless male 'hunks' acting as her backing band.
  • Dave from Leon, MexicoNot sure if anyone has noticed, but moving from the left of the screen (his right) the girls start very thin and get a little more chunky (no insult intended) as we reach the one on the far right. Not sure if this is intentional or not.
  • Geri from Nova Scotia, CanadaRobert Palmer was probably one of the most innovative, original, and truly gifted artists we've ever known and ironically the world only knows him primarily for Addicted to Love and songs like that from the Riptide album.There was so much more to Robert Palmer than just an 80's pop artist. His experipentation with world music before it was termed "world music" using latin and African rythmns to influence his sound long before it was "cool". I treasure the albums I have of him and sadly there will be no more.
  • Julia from London, Englandi heard that the song's original title was addicted to drugs, but robert palmer changed it, because he thought it would be too contraversial
  • Shirley from Ocean, NjHe's obviously trying to fight all the signs of falling in love, but he's not succeeding; he's falling anyway and succumbing to it.
  • Jason from Wylie, Txi heard a romour it was about cocaine addiction but i guess addictive personialty coincides with that
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandI just LOVE this song! I wouldn't believe it if someone told me they didn't like it!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Pam Tillis

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.


HardySongwriter Interviews

The country hitmaker talks about his debut album, A Rock, and how a nursery rhyme inspired his hit single "One Beer."

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.