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Graham Parker: Master Hits

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iTunes Review

This collection documents Graham Parker's 1979-1983 stint with Arista Records, perhaps the most important phase in his career. Parker's fourth album with The Rumour—1979's Squeezing Out Sparks—wasn't just his first Arista outing but the one where he left his roots-rocking, soul-influenced sound behind for a leaner, harder, more new wavey style, crafting a broadly beloved classic in the process. So it's no wonder that album dominates this anthology; any record that can go from the emotional (and musical) ferocity of "Nobody Hurts You" to the tear-tugging (but never mawkish) "You Can't Be Too Strong" is well worth documenting. The sardonic sing-along "Stupefaction" and the Bruce Springsteen–assisted rocker "Endless Night" were highlights of the follow-up, The Up Escalator. Then Parker bid The Rumour goodbye, but "Big Fat Zero" shows he could still rock even when Rumour-less. "Life Gets Better" suggests that as the Angry Young Man matured, he wasn't above a pop-leaning love song. Master Hits is relatively short but captures the essentials of a crucial Parker period.

Customer Reviews

Thanks but...

...still waiting for studio version of "Get Started. Start a Fire."


Born: November 15, 1950 in East London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Stereotyped early in his career as the quintessential angry young man, Graham Parker was one of the most successful singer/songwriters to emerge from England's pub rock scene in the early '70s. Drawing heavily from Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones, Parker developed a sinewy fusion of driving rock & roll and confessional folk-rock, highlighted by his indignant passion, biting sarcasm, and bristling anger. At the outset of his career, his albums crackled with pub rock energy, snide witticisms, and...
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