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  • Squeezing Out Sparks+Live Sparks*: The Graham Parker Masters
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Squeezing Out Sparks+Live Sparks*: The Graham Parker Masters Import

25 customer reviews

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Biography

For over 30 years, Graham Parker has been slinging a signature sound across continents and airwaves that has rightly earned him a spot in the pantheon of truly original and influential figures in rock and roll. Since his early days with his band the Rumour (with whom he has two albums in Rolling Stone’s “Top 100 Albums of All Time”), Graham has coupled punk’s energy ... Read more in Amazon's Graham Parker Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Squeezing Out Sparks+Live Sparks*: The Graham Parker Masters + HOWLIN' WIND + Heat Treatment
Price For All Three: £31.76

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Dec. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B000002VS5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Discovering Japan
2. Local Girls
3. Nobody Hurts You
4. You Can't Be Too Strong
5. Passion Is No Ordinary Word
6. Saturday Nite Is Dead
7. Love Gets You Twisted
8. Protection
9. Waiting For The UFO's
10. Don't Get Excited
11. Discovering Japan
12. Local Girls
13. Nobody Hurts You
14. You Can't Be Too Strong
15. Passion Is No Ordinary Word
16. Saturday Nite Is Dead
17. Love Gets You Twisted
18. Protection
19. Waiting For The UFO's
20. Don't Get Excited
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Squeezing Out Sparks was not only Parker's finest moment, but it still stands up today as one of rock's best albums. When it was first released in 1979, Arista simultaneously issued Live Sparks, a collection of live radiocasts that featured the same 10 songs in the same order plus the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Parker's kiss-off to his former label, "Mercury Poisoning." The latter package was made available only to radio stations and critics, but it was a riveting live record worth all of the $40 it commanded on the collectors' market. Now Arista has reissued the 10 studio tracks and the dozen live tracks on an invaluable single CD. Included are two versions each of rock's best pro-choice abortion song ("You Can't Be Too Strong") and best Hiroshima song ("Discovering Japan"). --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jim O'Donoghue on 14 Jan. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a great, neglected album, beautifully paced with not a dull moment. Unlike anything else that he did before or after it, Squeezing has none of the Van Morrison-style pastiche R&B effects of GP's previous lps. Nor does it sound like the Springsteen-style affairs that immediately follow it. Instead, it has a hard new wave sheen, not too far away from The Only Ones or even Television, strewn with spiky guitars and great drumming. The man who does the singing wears an angry smile, and there are lyrics to match - words that capture a moment when hedonism and protest collided, joyous and cynical at the same time. The funny, angry rush of a song like Protection has the kind of frenzied attack that only the Clash could really match. You Can't Be Too Strong, on the other hand, draws you in with its gentleness and empathy, into a situation that becomes more real with every line.

This is GP's greatest strength - the ability to make it sound as if he is talking, almost, about something that happened yesterday. On Squeezing, he combines his slightly gawky warmth with a headlong approach; we hurtle through song after song, anticipating the moment when the brilliance must come to an end but never reaching it. Alongside GP's tireless singing, Brinsley Schwartz's fantastic guitar playing is perhaps the key. No longer backed by horns, fully exposed, he snaps and crackles.

There are only classics on Squeezing Out Sparks, and this release won't change that. It includes two excellent bonus tracks, a great Motown cover in I Want You Back and the hilarious Mercury Poisoning, a dismissal of a record company on a par with the Sex Pistols' EMI. On the day of this album's release, GP really was, as the song says, the best kept secret in the west.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. Skade VINE VOICE on 1 Dec. 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is as good as it gets. Having already produced some superb albums Graham Parker seemed to be running out of steam when this classic appeared. Gone were the trademark horn arrangements, to be replaced by searing unison guitars. The band are tighter than ever, helping Parker deliver stunning versions of some of his best songs. "Discovering Japan" and "Local Girls" are breathless rockers dealing with the ups and downs of touring - without the uninspired weariness that usually acompanied such subject matter.
"Protection" is another highlight with bitter but enigmatic lyrics and hooks galore, whilst "Love Gets You Twisted" is equally bitter but all too understandable with a slowly uncoiling melody adding to the atmosphere of recrimination. But I could go on .. not a weak track in sight. The heart of this album though is the incredibly intense ballad "You Can't Be Too Strong" which deals with the subject of abortion from the male viewpoint - with every moment of pain, confusion and denial relived. The song could so easily have gone wrong - instead we have a masterpiece to rank with the great songs of rock.
The album is fighting it out at the very top - with The Beatles, Dylan, Presley, The Band etc - it is one of the few true classics. It belongs in your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gary Hitchen on 1 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD
One of my favourite albums of all time. Led to this page having searched for the reunion album Three Chords Good and feel compelled to post to recommend this album to anyone reading. Bought it on release and it has kept me company through the years. You Can't Be Too Strong is absolute genius and Discovering Japan not far behind. Not a bad track. Simple a great album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not only did Graham Parker and the Rumour release four outstanding albums at the start of Parker's career (Howlin' Wind, Heat Treatment, Stick To Me and this 1979 effort), but these records also showcased four classic opening songs - White Honey, Heat Treatment, Stick To Me and this album's Discovering Japan, and if I had to pick the best of the lot it would probably be the immense Brinsley Schwarz riff-laden, Discovering Japan, simply one of the most invigorating song openings ever put down (initially) on vinyl. Then, of course, there is the perennial argument about which is Parker's greatest album - meaningless drivel, I know, but I would have to put my two penn'orth down on Heat Treatment, just shading this collection and Stick To Me.

Of course, dispensing with all this silliness what really matters is that Squeezing Out Sparks is an astonishingly vibrant and inspired collection of songs (and, incredibly, one that, according Bob Andrews on the recently screened BBC4 documentary, Parker was initially uncertain about what to do with i.e. record or not record). All I can say is that the world would be a far poorer place without the soaring melodies and riffs of Discovering Japan, Local Girls and Passion Is No Ordinary Word, the vibrant rhythm of Nobody Hurts You, Love Gets You Twisted, Protection, Don't Get Excited and (in effect, a reworked version of the great New York Shuffle) the rollicking Saturday Night Is Dead, and the tender and heartfelt You Can't Be Too Strong (a ballad that, for me, ranks with Between You And Me and Black Honey as one of Parker's finest). My only gripe (such as it is) with the album was always Waiting For The UFOs which (for me) does not quite match up to the rest of the album.
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