Up Escalator Can't Get Much Higher
guitarsolo | Charleston, SC | 08/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though "Squeezing Out Sparks" is considered to be the best GP album, this nearly flawless follow-up is, for my money, even better. The only criticism I have is that it is a trifle formulaic, attempting to simulate the success of "Sparks" by having similar-sounding or similar-themed songs arranged in a similar sequence to its fabled predecessor. Nonetheless, there's no escaping the infectious riffs of "Stupefaction" or "No Holding Back." "Devil's Sidewalk" is a true GP gem, though often overlooked. "The Beating of Another Heart" is one of his all-time best; his duet with Springsteen on "Endless Night" soars, "Empty Lives" still stands as an archetypal Rumour-era song, and "Love Without Greed" is perhaps one of the most literate all-time insights into jealousy issues. If you study this one all the way through, there's very little wrong with it, even more than 20 years later. Makes me wonder why the Rumour split after this masterpiece -- and had they remained together, if they could have propelled GP's next effort, "Another Grey Area," to higher heights. CD bonus track, "Women in Charge" is worth having too, BTW."
Premium power pop
just one guy | where high school girls don't look like Joyce Hyse | 03/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE UP ESCALATOR takes you to the top floor of Graham Parker's work. "Stupefaction" was a rock-radio hit at the time, but now you don't hear it even as a classic-rock oldie (today's airwaves got mercury poisoning). Bruce Springsteen co-wrote and sang on "Endless Night," not people started yelling, "Bruuuuce," at Parker concerts. Throughout THE UP ESCALATOR, Graham Parker and the Rumour play premium power pop. Except for GP's power-struggle lyrics, you could call THE UP ESCALATOR commercial. I call it one of my favorite albums."
Another Great Razor & Tie Reissue
Scott Lindholm | Davenport, IA USA | 08/16/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most critics look to "Howlin' Wind" and "Squeezing Out Sparks" as the best that Graham Parker did, and it's hard to argue with that. It's my contention that this is probably the most overlooked of his releases, and the fact that it took over 10 years to get it on CD bears that out. From the opening rave-up of "No Holding Back" through such great tunes as "Stupefaction," "Empty Lives," "No Holding Back" (yep, that's Bruce Springsteen singing backing vocals on that song--my brother the Springsteen fan never catches that), it's a great New Wave album, much as Parker didn't care for that label (or the one that lumped him with Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson as an Angry Young Man). Very little is ever mentioned about how strong a backup group the Rumour was, and, much like Elvis Costello without The Attractions, Parker did his best stuff when he had them backing him up. It's a great release, one that any Graham Parker fan should own, and a good starting point to discover an artist who never really got his share of fame."