Spin - p.104
"[D]eeply satisfying, mixing rowdy fun and soul-baring expressions of anguish."
Uncut - 9/01, p.1024 stars out of 5
- "...His songs were written in isolation, but when The Rumour got hold of them they were full of venom, dark rage and defiant righteousness..."
This is Parker's 1976 debut with The Rumour, prepared from the original master tapes.
Personnel: Graham Parker (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Noel Brown (guitar, slide guitar, dobro); Ed Dean (guitar, slide guitar); Brinsley Schwarz (guitar, tenor saxophone, background vocals); Martin Belmont (guitar, background vocals); Dave Edmunds (guitar); Stewart Lynas (saxophone, alto saxophone); Dave Conners (saxophone, tenor saxophone); John Earle (saxophone, baritone saxophone); Herschel Holder (trumpet); Danny Ellis, Dan Ellis (trombone); Bob Andrews (piano, organ, keyboards, background vocals); Andrew Bodnar (bass guitar, fretless bass, drums); Steve Goulding (drums, percussion, background vocals); Stephen Coulding (drums, background vocals).
Recording information: Eden Studios, London, England.
Photographers: Eric Howard; Steve Joester.
Unknown Contributor Role: Brinsley Schwarz .
Arrangers: Graham Parker & the Rumour; Stewart Lynas.
The snarling debut from England's Graham Parker is a startling slice of purpose, fury, and passion. The braying anger and defiance of the album was enough to get Parker lumped in with the punk explosion that followed on the heels of HOWLIN' WIND. But for every ounce of punk frustration there is an equal measure of Parker's musical roots--R&B, soul, and Motown all bubble over the righteous anger. Standout tracks include the jaunty "White Honey," a cocaine warning that ripples like a '60s dance floor favorite and the reggae-fied "Don't Ask Me Questions," which brays with such indignant fury it makes much of the punk rebelliousness seem rote by comparison.
This sense of steely determination serves as the foundation of nearly all Parker's later work. As his approach of biting wordplay, stinging delivery, and traditional bar band backing became a template from which all his future releases stemmed, HOWLIN' WIND is a telling document. It's also the best place to catch an early glimpse of the work of a former gas station attendant who decided to make a significant noise of his own.