Richard Palmer-James

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Richard William Palmer-James (born 11 June 1947) is an English musician with more than 500 credits on He may be best known as one of the founder members of Supertramp, writing lyrics for several songs by the progressive rock group King Crimson in the early 1970s,[1] and for writing lyrics for the 1985 hit "(I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena" by Sandra.

Palmer-James was born in Meyrick Park, Bournemouth, where he got his start in the music business playing in various local bands: The Corvettes, The Palmer-James Group (formed with Alec James), Tetrad, and Ginger Man, all of which included John Wetton on bass and vocals. He was a founding member of Supertramp, playing guitar and singing vocals, as well as writing the lyrics for their self-titled debut album[2] under the name Richard Palmer. He also co-wrote the lyrics of "Goldrush", a song written during his days in the band but not recorded until their 2002 album Slow Motion.[citation needed]

Palmer wrote lyrics for three of King Crimson's albums: Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red. He did not participate in any of King Crimson's recordings, but worked with John Wetton and David Cross after Robert Fripp disbanded the group in 1974.

Palmer has lived in Munich since the early 1970s. In 1978 he was visited by John Wetton and W.J. Hutcheson, his bandmates in Tetrad. Over 10 days, with the German drummer Curt Cress, they recorded, as "Jack-Knife", an album of songs from the early days called I Wish You Would.[3] He wrote the English lyrics for La Bionda the Italo Disco inventors. Palmer-James also wrote lyrics for the La Bionda-associated disco group D.D.Sound in the late 70s.[4][5]

In 1997 he released a CD with former bandmate John Wetton, "Monkey Business",[6] a compilation of unreleased material including some songs that were recorded for the first time in studio, including a King Crimson tune called "Doctor Diamond".

Selected Discography[edit]

  • 1973 : Get Out to the Country
King Crimson
  • 1977 : Disco Delivery - lyricist on all four albums
  • 1977 : 1-2-3-4... Gimme Some More!
  • 1978 : Café
  • 1979 : The Hootchie Coochie
  • 1979 : Sideshow/Wednesday - Single - The song "Sideshow" was written by Palmer-James & Hermann Weindorf.
Jack Knife
  • 1979 : I Wish You Would - With John Wetton.
Pan Demonium
  • 1979 : Start the Fire - co-composer of two songs: "Walking on Air" and "Touch Me"[7]
  • 1983 : Our Way - co-composer of two songs: "Big Bang" and "In 1000 years"[8]
John Wetton
  • 1998 : Arkangel - With Robert Fripp, Steve Hackett, etc.
  • 2011 : Raised in captivity - The song "The Devil and the Opera House" was co-written by Palmer-James, John Wetton & Billy Sherwood.
John Wetton & Richard Palmer-James
  • 1998 : Monkey Business 1972 - 1997
  • 2014 : Jack-Knife / Monkey Business 1972 - 1997
Richard Palmer-James
  • 2016 : Takeaway


  1. ^ "King Crimson". MTV. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ Interview with Richard Palmer-James in Calamity,; accessed 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ I Wish You Would at Discogs
  4. ^ "D.D.Sound - Café (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  5. ^ "D.D.Sound - The Hootchie Coochie (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Wetton left high and dry as Crimson pirate scuttled The bass and vocals star tells Simon Evans he's still baffled". Birmingham Post/Free Online Library. 12 April 1999. p. 13.
  7. ^ "Pan Demonium - Start the Fire (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Eruption(4) - Our Way (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 5 February 2018.


External links[edit]