Graham Parker

I was looking for someone who’d act as an antidote to the ennui that characterised the chunk of the seventies that preceded the punk rock/new wave when I first encountered the work of Graham Parker and the Rumour, and while those who followed swamped them as far as posterity was concerned I’ve had a long term fondness for the indignant passion, biting sarcasm, and bristling anger that Parker delivered in bucket loads. Elvis Costello took the formula and warped it into the highly successful revenge and guilt powered persona that characterised his early albums (you do, after all, need to deliver something for the rock scribes to scribble about and Elvis has been known to display plenty of bristly aggression over the years) but when it comes to white hot righteous anger there aren’ too many who can hold a torch to Parker at his passionate best.

The albums up to 1979’s Squeezing Out Sparks mightn’t have been consistently outstanding but all contained enough to maintain interest as far as Hughesy was concerned. From The Up Escalator on, with the punk rock/new wave explosion retreating into the past and the commercial emphasis on crossing over rather than breaking the mould Parker’s star faded, and while he seems to have managed to maintain a comfortable cult status (a discography as large as the one below wouldn’t be possible without a significant fan base) and a fair degree of critical acclaim the post-Escalator era is one that remains largely unexplored by Yours Truly.

That, however, is about to change.

There are also a couple of literary efforts in the form of an illustrated science fiction novella, The Great Trouser Mystery (1980), a set of short stories, 2000’s Carp Fishing on Valium, and a novel, The Other Life of Brian (2003) while Parker and Rumour play themselves in the Judd Apatow film, This Is 40.



Graham Parker & The Rumour

1976 Howlin' Wind

Heat Treatment

1977 The Pink Parker EP 

Stick To Me

1979 Squeezing Out Sparks

1980 The Up Escalator

2012 Three Chords Good

Graham Parker:

1982 Another Grey Area

1983 The Real Macaw

Graham Parker & The Shot:

1985 Steady Nerves


© Ian Hughes 2012