The cursive scrawl on the cover of Graham Parker's 1976 debut makes it look like it's called Howlin' Wino, which is kind of appropriate; after all, this is rambunctious British pub rock at its finest. Though lumped in with... more » the punk and new-wave movements owing to his connections with Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and Stiff Records honcho Dave Robinson, Parker comes off here more like an angry soul man. "Back to Schooldays" and "Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions" are searing indictments of the world around him; and though Parker's rage softens noticeably on the rakish "Silly Thing" and the achingly romantic "Gypsy Blood," it fuels even the positive musings of "Soul Shoes" (one of the greatest party songs of all time) and "Nothing's Gonna Pull Us Apart." And to think he was just warming up... --Dan Epstein« less
The cursive scrawl on the cover of Graham Parker's 1976 debut makes it look like it's called Howlin' Wino, which is kind of appropriate; after all, this is rambunctious British pub rock at its finest. Though lumped in with the punk and new-wave movements owing to his connections with Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and Stiff Records honcho Dave Robinson, Parker comes off here more like an angry soul man. "Back to Schooldays" and "Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions" are searing indictments of the world around him; and though Parker's rage softens noticeably on the rakish "Silly Thing" and the achingly romantic "Gypsy Blood," it fuels even the positive musings of "Soul Shoes" (one of the greatest party songs of all time) and "Nothing's Gonna Pull Us Apart." And to think he was just warming up... --Dan Epstein
"First bought Howlin Wind in 78, which means punk had happened and a lot of this record`s sounds;blues,rockabilly and R and B were looked down on. Well very much of that period doesnt stand up now while this album does. In fact I like it better. the two tracks I thought were duff then, Lady Doctor and Not if it Pleases me can be appreciated as brilliant white English takes on musical styles most English musicians have never done well. The rest is sublime,pure and simple...the first four tracks on what used to be side two `Soul Shoes` onward are perhaps Parker`s finest medley of songs,with Howlin Wind and You Got To be kidding breathtaking takes on reggae and Dylan respectively. This album is the best rock singer ever with some of his best songs ever which crucially take on say The Stones and Van Morrison and are better than them, eg Gypsy Blood,Soul Shoes and White Honey. A vital album influencing--to me--Elvis Costello,The Boomtown Rats, The Clash and Joe Jackson especially. `Influenced`? Nah..they copied him...this was a new rock and roll blueprint. And the Rumour were a transcendent backing band...not too many dumb soloes,with great sounds and arrangements."
Desert Island Disc
Patrick Earley | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 01/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the great rock albums of the 70's, or any other decade. With the onset of the awful disco movement coming on, what a breath of fresh air this guy was. We had all the punk rockers out there who couldn't sing or play. But when this little English pub rocker came along with this album, it blew all those pretenders out of the water. He had a snarly voice that sounded like he just swallowed a mouthful of gravel, but he had SOUL! And that's all that really counts. With a chip on his shoulder a mile wide, he comes swinging out of the gate with that nasty little drug song called "White Honey". Whatta great rock song! When he sings "we're gonna hit white honey when the chips are down, we're gonna taste white honey when there's no one around", it sounds like he's been down that road before. Parker sings with more emotion than just about any singer can hope to achieve. He can be serious one minute, as in "Howlin Wind" or "Don't Ask Me Questions", or he can have some fun on songs like "Silly Thing" or Lady Doctor". Not many bands would be able to pull off the songs he wrote for this album, but Parker hired The Rumour, who were some of the best musicians England had to offer. I've always thought these guys were England's answer to Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. They were THAT good. I can't say enough good things about this album. It's fantastic! Also, I highly recommend his second album "Heat Treatment". It comes a very very close second to this one. Good luck finding it."
This is how The Band's third album should've sounded
greyhoundude | Corvallis, OR | 01/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed MUSIC FROM BIG PINK and THE BAND (the "brown" album) you are likely to enjoy HOWLIN' WIND. Rootsy, gutsy, soulful and only occasionally punkish. The "punk" aspect of this album mostly has to do with attitude, rather than music. Parker crafted an album that has aged very well and will undoubtedly sound terrific 10 years from now, and the remastered sound is terrific! Highest recommendation to fans of early-70's Van Morrison, early Springsteen and the aforementioned The Band."
Shouldn't that be, "I'm gonna how-ooo-owwwl ... "?
David Clarke | Oshawa, Ontario, Canada | 11/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is just a terrific, timeless album. It still sounds incredibly fresh today. Graham Parker is usually categorized as a "pub-rocker," which he was, but he was also an amazing gifted song-writer and an unmatchably passionate performer. There's a lot of good humour on this album, and a lot of wistfulness too. If you are a fan of Bruce Springsteen, or Van Morrison, you owe it to yourself to check this album out. Incidentally, this made Rolling Stone's list of the "Top 100 Albums since Sgt. Pepper's," published way back in 1987, but still valid today. That's how I discovered it, and of all the great albums on that list, this is one I come back to again and again. Not a "deep" listen, but one that is surprisingly moving, whether high-spirited, angry, romantic, or sad. There is no point in singling out special favorites, since every song on here kills. A classic from the first track to the last."
One of the greatest rock recordings
Stanley B. Dow | Norman, Oklahoma | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Graham Parker's Howlin' Wind has stood the test of time and is one of the greatest rock n roll, r&b, punk, records ever, period. Heat Treatment equals this accomplishment. Get both these recordings immediately! I bought these in the 70's and literally wore out the vinyl copies. I have them on CD and would not be without them. He has done some great work since, but none equal them, not even the highly touted Squeezing Out Sparks (I have them all)."