Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Graham Parker and the Shot|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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Gilbert J. Mullen | Edmonton | 08/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite Graham Parker album. I like Squeezing Out Sparks (the recognized Graham Parker masterpiece), but this one is just amazing. It is impossible to play this without feeling better five songs through.
It is hard to understand why The Weekend's Too Short hasn't made it as an anthem for radio stations everywhere.
This album is one of a number of albums that somehow fell through the cracks. If you like Graham Parker at all, listen to this one - you'll wonder how this one never got the credit it deserved.
Give it 3.5 stars... with some brilliant moments
J. Rosenberg | Portland, Oregon | 08/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While I don't fully agree with the previous reviewer's boundless enthusiasm for this album, I can understand him feeling that way, as its high points are certainly among the better moments of GP's mid-period career, but in retrospect it is the sound of sonic compromise symptomatic of so much '80s music. This was an awkward period for Graham, shuffling between labels (this was his only album on Elektra) as you can see from the cover pic but NOT the artist listing on this reissue, he was trying to start another band, a sequel to the Rumour called The Shot, again featuring the brilliant guitarist Brinsley Schwartz. But the sound of the album is beset by mid-'80s synthesizers and robotic Linn drums. Personally I can't stand "The Weekend's Too Short", it sounds like a desperate bid for airplay -- I can't believe I'm typing this, but I'd rather hear Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" than this awkward rocker. I'd say the highlights are "Mighty Rivers," a great uptempo love song (despite those awful splashy synths), "Wake Up (Next to You)", a great neo-soul ballad that someone ought to cover today. The topical "Break Them Down" was also a brave opener for a record in 1985 -- major labels really frowned on political commentary then. There are some other nice moments "When You Do That To Me" and "Canned Laughter," and "Black Lincoln Continental" is interesting too.
Yes, Squeezing Out Sparks is the acknowledged classic, but I'd also urge anyone getting into GP to include his first two albums, Howlin' Wind and Heat Treatment, in your investigations. They are closer to Van Morrison than Elvis Costello, if you know what I mean -- rootsy and organic and soulful but still rocking, instead of the smoother sound he developed for Sparks and which reaches perhaps its glossy peak in the sound of this album, before his retreat into more organic textures in the excellent Mona Lisa's Sister and Struck By Lightning albums to come."
Graham Parker's MTV album
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 03/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Graham Parker jumped labels to his third association, this time with Elektra. The result was his most commercially successful album since Squeezing Out Sparks and his sole top 40 American hit, "Wake Up Next To You." It also marked a re-association with guitarist Brinsley Schwarz as Parker tired to form a new band, billed here as The Shot.
As he has on almost all his post-"Sparks" albums, Parker came up with some really incredible songs. "Wake Up" is as close as he's ever come to matching those Van Morrison comparisons, while "Break Them Down" takes a pointedly topical look at fascistic fundamentalists. There was also a great lost single here with "The Weekend's Too Short," as blatant an airplay grabber as Parker's ever written. The Uptown Horns add spice to the proceedings on several songs.
What drags this CD down a bit is the obvious 80's production. Given that "Steady Nerves'" predecessor, The Real Macaw, was a more organic and acoustically based affair, the sudden intrusion of Linn Drums and synth-lines obscures the strengths of a few of these songs (like "When You Do That To Me"). Missing from this re-issue is the 'bonus track' from the original Elektra release, "Too Much Time To Think," which brought the CD to a rocking close instead of the gambler's lament of "Locked Into Green."
Parker's label woes continued after this; he parted ways with Elektra, recorded songs for an unreleased Atlantic Records deal, and finally resurfaced with The Mona Lisa's Sister on RCA three years later. But it is nice to see this back in print again, as it remains Parker's most airplay-friendly album despite the date-stamped production."