Uncut - 9/01, p.1025 stars out of 5
- "...His masterpiece....Parker entered a whole new dimension..."
CMJ - 1/5/04, p.6Ranked #16
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1979".
This is a remastered version of SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS, combined with LIVE SPARKS, a live version of the entire album (plus two songs) originally only released as a promotional LP.
SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS personnel: Graham Parker (vocals, guitar); Brinsley Schwarz, Martin Belmont (guitar, background vocals); Bob Andrews (keyboards, background vocals); Andrew Bodnar (bass); Steve Goulding (drums, background vocals).
SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS producer: Jack Nitzsche.
SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS engineer: Mark Howlett.
SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS was recorded at Lansdowne Studios, London, California. Originally released in 1979.
LIVE SPARKS was recorded live in San Francisco, California on April 9, 1979 and Chicago, Illinois on April 28, 1979.
Includes liner notes by Graham Parker and Ira Robbins.
Personnel: Graham Parker (vocals); Brinsley Schwarz (guitar, background vocals); Bob Andrews (keyboards, background vocals); Martin Belmont (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Graham Parker.
Graham Parker's heat and fury turn past the boiling part on SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS. At this point, Parker had transformed his traditional roots into a sound of his own, equal parts pub band and bone-deep desperation. The results help make this the definitive Graham Parker document. It's also an unsettling album, at times scary.
The churning opener, "Discovering Japan," is the sound of dislocation, of isolation in a whirlwind. "Local Girls" places the bitterness right in your hometown with a killer radio-friendly hook. Though the centerpiece, "You Can't Be Too Strong," scalds everything in its path, it's still the most quiet moment on the album. An unflinching tale of an abortion, the song reverberates with emotional sinkholes. The Arista reissue includes a bolstered sound, typically rewarding liner notes from Parker himself, and an additional live CD of the album in its entirety.