Love Can Run Faster - Robert Palmer
The story goes that the suave Robert Palmer went down to Jamaica in 1977 to record some tracks with Lee Perry, attracted by the exotic nature of Scratch's productions. Sadly, the week that Palmer spent at the Black Ark saw him getting constantly hassled by some of the dread deadbeats who were hanging around the studio by this time.
"These guys come around wearing robes and they've got magic wands and shit," recalled Palmer. "I'm doing vocals and one stands in front of the mic and starts doing this weird dance. I thought it was fucking ridiculous, but I couldn't laugh because it would have been an insult. And Lee's looking at me grinning...he was like 'I can't do anything about these hangers-on. I'm sorry, I think it's ridiculous, too.'"
The only song to be issued from Palmer's Black Ark sessions is the wonderful "Love Can Run Faster". Palmer's sultry vocals sit on top of a suitably laid back Black Ark rhythm with Scratch's wife Pauline providing backing vocals. (Apparently Pauline was cooking some dumplings in the kitchen and Scratch called her in to record at a moment's notice. She dusted the flour off her hands, quickly recorded her line, and then headed back to the kitchen!) Palmer re-cut the song for his Double Fun album and the original Perry production eventually was released as the B-side of "Bad Case Of Loving You", thus ensuring that it would remain obscure to everyone except serious Scratch fans.
Despite the ill-fated nature of his recording session, Palmer certainly enjoyed working with Scratch. "I've been asked who is my favourite producer and it's definitely him. He was just this magnet for a scene that was the real musical cutting edge."