I think the first four Graham Parker albums are first rate. He made two monumental R+B elpees with the great Rumour, and Squeezing Out Sparks is tuff New Wave when that had to be the choice (if you wanted be heard).
The Real Macaw was the point of my departure. Not because the songs aren’t strong, but at some point a songwriter’s best stuff is used up.
But listening to this all these years later, this is an ambitiously universal song about love and how those you love will fuck you over. And you have to be brave if you want to have anything. Too long, for sure, but it eclipses all sorts of shorter tunes that ask much less of us.
I like it, but all I want to say is listen to Heat Treatment and Howlin’ Wind. Turn it up loud. It is rarely better.