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.
Best heard on subject
It’s dated & longer than a Stevie Nicks tune
Good possibility for modern re-do
Graham Parker is underrated. Convential wisdom has it that bad record deals kept him from breaking throught to a larger audience. I like “Get Started, Start a Fire” from 1988’s Mona Lisa’s Smile. (Our band covers it.)
Silkë, seems like good career move!
Tom, I agree Parker is not as well known as I think he should be. And he wrote good songs after his majestic three or four first albums, but by then he’d become a cult figure. I’ll post his brilliant acidic takedown of his first record label, Mercury, in a moment, but I think the career arcs of Parker, Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello track in very interesting ways.
Which lead me to think that Desire to be lauded is an important indicator, even if you’re committed to not selling out. But that’s a topic for a longer post.