My 50 Favorite Albums (continued)
I like it when artists get riled up and shout and scream.
John Lennon did that a lot. So did Mick Jagger.
The scream in London Calling is one of the all time great sounds in rock n roll.
But I also like when artists howl. And the greatest howl of all time comes from Graham Parker on his song Howlin’ Wind. Graham Parker howls, screams, and gives everything on his songs. He is a punk rocker who has an R&B swing to his music. Graham Parker and the Rumor may have been the best bar band ever.
Graham was one of the "angry london new wave" artists of the late 70s,
along with Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. Elvis and Joe are great,
but I love Graham Parker. Graham Parker never got his due. His record company, Mercury Records, screwed him over and all he got out of it was a really great song called Mecury Poisoning.
Graham Parker has some really strong studio albums, like Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment, but the best Graham Parker record is Squeezing Out Sparks + Live Sparks.
Squuezing Out Sparks has the back to back songs You Can’t Be Too Strong and Passion Is No Ordinary Word. It’s his best studio album.
But his second record label, Arista, combined Squeezing Out Sparks with 12 live songs from the Squeezing Out Sparks tour to create Sparks + Live Sparks.
Hearing Graham live is something special. The only thing that I wish was they put Howlin’ Wind live on this record. But you can’t have everything I guess.
The last two songs, Parker’s cover of The Jackson Five’s I Want You Back, and Mercury Poisoning live are worth the price of the record alone.
Graham Parker never got his due from the music business, but I am giving him some on my blog. Graham Parker gets into my Top 50 today.