Our Top 10 Graham Parker Songs list looks at a British singer songwriter who had great success in every decade since the 70s with his various bands and solo records. Hailing from Hackney, East London and born in 1950, Graham Parker would spend the early part of his career recording and performing with his band the Rumour from the mid 1970s up util the year 1980. The group would release five albums under the name Graham Parker and the Rumour. These would include the records Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment both released in 1976, Stick To Me in 1977, Squeezing Out Sparks in 1979 and The Up Escalator in 1980. The band the Rumous consited of the musicians, Graham Parker on lead vocals and guitar, Brinsley Schwarz on guitar, organ , backing vocals Bob Andrews on Lowrey organ, Hammond organ, piano, backing vocals Martin Belmont on guitar, backing vocals, Andrew Bodnar on bass and Steve Goulding on drums and backing vocals.
Graham Parker would begin recording as a solo artist in the 1980s and have even more success than he had in the 1970s with his band The Rumour. However, many members of the Rumour would record and perform with him throughout the 1980s. Graham Parker would release his first solo album in 1982 entitled Another Grey Area. He would follow that album up in 1983 with the record The Real Macaw. His next album released in 1985 entitled Steady Nerves was credited to another band name called Graham Parker & The Shot. That would be the only Graham Parker & The Shot credited album released. Graham Parker’s next eight albums would be released just under his own name. These would include the records titled, The Mona Lisa’s Sister in 1988, Human Soul in 1989, Struck by Lightning in 1991, Burning Questions in 1992, 12 Haunted Episodes in 1995, Acid Bubblegum in 1996, Deepcut To Nowhere in 2001 and Your Country in 2004.
In 2005, Graham Parker would release his third album with a band name associated to his. The album Songs of No Consequencewould be credited to Graham Parker & the Figgs. After the release of the album with the band the Figgs, Graham Parker would release three more albums just under the Graham Parker name. These would include Don’t Tell Columbus in 2007, Carp Fishing On Valium in 2009 and Imaginary Television in 2010. Old school Graham Parker and The Rumour fans got what they had been hoping for when Graham Parker and the Rumour reunited in the 2010s and released two new albums. Those two albums were titled Three Chords Good in 2012 and Mystery Glue in 2015. The most recent Graham Parker album release as of this writing in 2020 was issued in 2018 entitled Cloud Symbols. The album would feature the forth band assembled by Graham Parker throughout his career called Graham Parker & The Goldtops.
During the course of his legendary career, Graham Parker has released twenty three full length studio albums. Graham Parker has also released a substantial amount of live albums equaling almost the same amount of studio albums with the release of twenty one live records. There have also been plenty of EPSs and box sets released. In the end, Graham Parker has been one of the hardest working songwriting musicians in classic rock history. Its pretty tough to pick only ten songs from someone who has released such an abundance of great material. However, these lists are written to serve as a starting point in exploring an artist’s career. We hope this top 10 Graham Parker songs list helps you discover the great music of Graham Parker.
# 10 -Don’t Ask Me Questions
We open up our top 10 Graham Parker songs list with a great track from his debut album with the Rumour entitled Howlin’ Wind. The album was released in 1976 and would pave the way for all the new British solos artists that were about to arrive on the scene, like Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello and many others.
# 9 – Discovering Japan
We jump to the year 1979 with our next selection on this top 10 Graham Parker songs list. “Discovering Japan,” was released on Graham Parker and the Rumour’s grand album entitled Squeezing Out Sparks. 1979 was one of the unheralded years in music. There were so many great songs released that year from bands that have seem to be long forgotten. Groups like Rockpile and The Knack delivered great hits with legendary bands such as Blondie, The Ramones and so many more. “Discovering Japan,” was the album’s opening track.
# 8 – Arlington’s Busy
This brilliant poetic masterpiece was released in the Graham Parker and the Rumour reunion album Three Chords Good. The record was released in 2012. It was great to have The Rumour recording in full with Graham Parker again.
# 7 – There’s Nothing On The Radio
This song brings me back to the 1970s even though it was released in the 2000s. This great album entitled Songs of No Consequence was released by Graham Parker & The Figgs in 2005
# 6 – Heat Treatment
Continuing with our Top 10 Graham Parker songs list we turn to the great Heat Treatment album. It was Graham Parker and The Rumour’s second album. The record was released in 1976. We present here the album’s great title track.
# 5 – Stupefaction
“Stupefaction,” is one of Graham Parker’s most popular songs. It was released on the album The Up Escalator. The album was released in 1980. The legendary Nicky Hopkins who had played with The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles and so many more played piano on the album.
# 4 – Temporary Beauty
“Temporary Beauty,” was a great track from the legendary album Another Grey Area. The album would become the first solo album Graham Parker released after the break up of his band the Rumour.
# 3 – Get Started, Start a Fire
This great grooving song was released on the album The Mona Lisa’s Sister. The album was released in 1988. It was Graham Parker’s first album he would record for RCA Records.
# 2 – Wake Up (Next to You)
“Wake Up (Next to You). was released on Graham Parker’s album entitled Steady Nerves. The album was released in 1985. The song would become Graham Parker’s only top 40 hit in the United States. In a year in which bands and artists like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, The Police, Madonna, Huey Lewis & The News were dominating the pop charts, it was pretty impressive to make it into the top 40. Graham Parker did it because this song is a pop masterpiece.
# 1 – Local Girls
Our choice for the number one spot on this top 10 Graham Parker songs list is Graham Parker’s big hit from 1977 entitled Local Girls. “Local Girls,” was released on Graham Parker and the Rumour’s grand album entitled Squeezing Out Sparks.
Updated March 1 2021
Top 10 Graham Parker Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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