ARTIST: Graham Parker
TITLE: Howlin’ Wind
YEAR RELEASED: 1976
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Don’t Ask Me Questions (#32 UK), Silly Thing, Soul Shoes
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: White Honey, Howlin’ Wind, Back to Schooldays
LINEUP: Graham Parker and the Rumour (Brinsley Schwartz, Bob Andrews, Martin Belmont, Steve Goulding, Andrew Bodnar)
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The first “angry young man” of the British new wave movement releases a biting debut album that garnered him press, but not a lot of ears in the US.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Is it possible to be TOO much of an angry young man? Parker’s career trajectory says that it is. Released in 1976, the former filling station attendant’s songs and performances were full of vitriol and bile. You can hear the seething come through the speakers.
Now, not on every cut, of course. He can be gentle if he wants to be, but when he gets wound up, he’s wound. Don’t Ask Me Questions is a perfect example of this. This should be been a smash, but being angry at God and SOUNDING like it may have turned off people here in the US.
Listening to it today, the themes don’t seem dated. Parker did a good job in keeping his emotions focused on universal topics. A fine debut that gave him a career.
NOTES & MINUTAE: The Rumor were made up of pub rock vets who meshed together well with Parker’s musical tastes and direction.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, not for this one.
GRADE: B+ : At the time everyone was falling all over themselves in trying to give Parker more and more praise. It’s a great record but I don’t think it’s his best nor worthy of an A. Still, a good new wave collection would have it in prominent rotation.