"Addicted to Love" is a song by English rock singer Robert Palmer released in 1986. It has become his signature song, thanks in part to a popular video featuring high fashion models. Other artists have since released versions of it.
It is the third song on Palmer's Riptide album and was released as its second single. The single version is a shorter edit of the full length album version.
The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week ending 8 February 1986. The song ended up topping the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. It was one of the last 45 RPM singles to receive a million-selling Gold certification. It also reached number one in Australia and number five on the UK Singles Chart.
Originally intended to be a duet with Chaka Khan, the song was made without her because her record company at the time would not grant her a release to work on Palmer's label, Island Records. Chaka Khan is still credited for the vocal arrangements in the album liner notes.
Andy Taylor of Duran Duran (and a bandmate of Palmer's from The Power Station) provides lead guitar. The other guitar part on the song is played by Eddie Martinez and keyboards by Wally Badarou. The song is also notable for its unaccompanied drum opening, by Tony Thompson.
Noddy Holder (the lead vocalist of English rock band Slade) stated in an interview that this song was the main track he wished he'd written himself. "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."
The 1986-produced music video (which uses the shorter single version of this song), directed by British photographer Terence Donovan, was one of the most iconic of the era. The video features Palmer performing the song with an abstract "band", being a group of female models whose pale skin, heavy makeup, dark hair and seductive, rather mannequin-like expression follow the style of women in Patrick Nagel paintings.
The five models in the video are Julie Pankhurst (keyboard), Patty Kelly (lead guitar), Mak Gilchrist (bass guitar), Julia Bolino (rhythm guitar), and Kathy Davies (drums).
Mak Gilchrist recalled to Q magazine:
"I was 21 and got the part on the strength of my modelling book. We were meant to look and 'act' like showroom mannequins. Director Terence Donovan got us tipsy on a bottle of wine but as we were having our make-up 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."
Palmer recycled the video's "iconic models" concept for the videos of three other songs of his : "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" (also from Riptide), "Simply Irresistible" and the animated "Change His Ways" (both from Heavy Nova).
VH1's Pop-Up Video trivia about the video include the fact that a musician was hired to teach the models basic fingering techniques, but "gave up after about an hour and left". The episode also pointed out several choreographic errors, including the models moving out of sync with one another, and moving during points with no back beat, such as the second chorus.
The music video ranked at number 3 on VH1's Top 20 Videos of the 1980s and was the last video shown on long running UK music programme The Chart Show.
In the romantic comedy film Love Actually (2003), written and directed by Richard Curtis, the video for Billy Mack's song, "Christmas Is All Around", is a tribute to "Addicted To Love". The "Addicted to Love" models' blank expression is parodied in the "Christmas Is All Around" video, with the latter's models visibly bored to the point of yawning.
The models were also used in the spoof of the video in "Weird Al" Yankovic's UHF wearing glasses and moustaches. The music video was parodied in the videos of Stardust's "Music Sounds Better with You," Tone Lōc's "Wild Thing," Bowling for Soup's "1985," Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!", and Dance Like a Mother's "You Ain't So Tough".
Tina Turner has made "Addicted to Love" a regular feature of her live shows since 1986, although her version did not make it onto the market until two years later.
A live recording from the 1986/1987 Break Every Rule Tour of the track was included on her Tina: Live in Europe album in 1988, and was also issued as the lead single to promote the album in certain territories — instead of "Nutbush City Limits" — and was a Top 20 hit in the Netherlands.
The two singles had the same B-sides: live recordings of "Overnight Sensation" and ZZ Top's "Legs" and near identical picture sleeves. The version of "Addicted to Love" issued on the single was in fact an alternate mix of the track; the single mix was later included on the European editions of her 1991 greatest hits album Simply the Best, as well as All the Best in 2004 and Tina! in 2008. Another live version was included in Tina Live in 2009.Tina Live in Europe album mix – 5:22
Single Mix – 5:10
Tina Live – 4:54
"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody of the song called "Addicted to Spuds" in 1986, where the singer recounts details about being unable to stop eating potatoes and potato-based meals. He performed the song at the 1987 MTV New Year's Eve party, with "models" on stage that wore Mr. Potato Head costumes.
Serbian alternative rock band Disciplina Kičme recorded a live cover version of the song which appeared on their 1987 EP Dečija pesma.
In 1988, the song was covered by Ciccone Youth (Sonic Youth with Mike Watt). Appearing on The Whitey Album, this version was recorded in a karaoke booth, with Kim Gordon on vocals.
In 1991, Celtic banjo musician Tom Hanway covered the song with the band Blue Horizon on his album Bucket of Bees.
In 1995, Johnny Cash, backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, recorded a version during the recording sessions for the album Unchained, but producer Rick Rubin chose not to release it.
In 2006, the Eagles of Death Metal covered the song as a bonus track in some copies of their second studio album, Death by Sexy.
In 2006, the song was performed by Westlife on their Face to Face Tour.
In 2009, Florence + the Machine recorded a cover version of the song as a B-side to "You've Got the Love". In the United States, this track was released exclusively as a digital single.
Garth Brooks for the 2013 "Classic Rock" album in the Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences compilation.
Alex Clare covered the song on his 2014 album Three Hearts.
Skylar Grey covered it as a single for Endless Love.
The Hot Sardines covered the song on their 2016 album French Fries and Champagne.