Friday, March 23, 2012

Graham Parker & The Shot: Break Them Down 2 X 7" (1985)

To help pass the time till the start of Graham Parker's Big Year (more details HERE) MRML is going to dig into the bulging 'GP stuff' folder, to bring you wide-ranging section of rarities, bootlegs and out-of-print wonders. We've covered Chairman Parker extensively before (see HERE) and will continue to do so....

Here's a rare 2 X 7" from the fantastic 1985 album, Steady Nerves.

A1 Break Them Down (edit)
B1 Everyone's Hand is on the Switch
C1 Bricks and Mortar
D1 Too Much Time to Think

NOTE TO READERS: the following rarity is in .m4a format, which plays fine on MediaMonkey and iTunes but still irritates some people. Anybody with a mp3 rip please let me know.

GP fans - what do you make of this '85 era rarity? Do you wanna hear more Parker rarities? Let us know in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Break Them Down 2 X 7" link).

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Bloodshot Records



  1. GP fans - what do you make of this '85 era rarity?
    What do you think of the the Steady Nerves album?
    Let us know in the COMMENTS section, right here!

  2. My extractor broke this out as MP3 files straightaway, and they sound great. Dig that metallic Eighties drum sound!

  3. great stuff...i joined the Kickstarter for the Parker project way back when, and just got an update that late Spring is still the target.....saw the man last year, here outside Boston, at a little arts place, and he was wife had seen him almost every time he came to Boston from 1976-82, and she loved him this time, acoustic and joking, so he clearly STILL has the the blog! Jim

  4. exquisite . . . keep 'em coming.

  5. Thanks for this Jeffen! This was the first GP album I got when it was new. Here is my Amazon review of it:

    3.0 out of 5 stars Give it 3.5 stars... with some brilliant moments, August 22, 2007
    By J. Rosenberg "pop culturalist" (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews

    This review is from: Steady Nerves (Audio CD)
    While I don't fully agree with the previous reviewer's boundless enthusiasm for this album, I can understand him feeling that way, as its high points are certainly among the better moments of GP's mid-period career, but in retrospect it is the sound of sonic compromise symptomatic of so much '80s music. This was an awkward period for Graham, shuffling between labels (this was his only album on Elektra) as you can see from the cover pic but NOT the artist listing on this reissue, he was trying to start another band, a sequel to the Rumour called The Shot, again featuring the brilliant guitarist Brinsley Schwartz. But the sound of the album is beset by mid-'80s synthesizers and robotic Linn drums. Personally I can't stand "The Weekend's Too Short", it sounds like a desperate bid for airplay -- I can't believe I'm typing this, but I'd rather hear Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" than this awkward rocker. I'd say the highlights are "Mighty Rivers," a great uptempo love song (despite those awful splashy synths), "Wake Up (Next to You)", a great neo-soul ballad that someone ought to cover today. The topical "Break Them Down" was also a brave opener for a record in 1985 -- major labels really frowned on political commentary then. There are some other nice moments "When You Do That To Me" and "Canned Laughter," and "Black Lincoln Continental" is interesting too.

    Yes, Squeezing Out Sparks is the acknowledged classic, but I'd also urge anyone getting into GP to include his first two albums, Howlin' Wind and Heat Treatment, in your investigations. They are closer to Van Morrison than Elvis Costello, if you know what I mean -- rootsy and organic and soulful but still rocking, instead of the smoother sound he developed for Sparks and which reaches perhaps its glossy peak in the sound of this album, before his retreat into more organic textures in the excellent Mona Lisa's Sister and Struck By Lightning albums to come.

  6. Hey I read that when I was getting this post ready - nice work!


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