Sunday, April 22, 2012

Graham Parker: Live on the Test (1977-1978)

For my list of ten amazing GP videos, please come visit The Big Takeover!

Graham Parker (more HERE) showed Britain's punks you could be angry without being ignorant. However, as the punks got angrier Parker felt the need to match them hate for hate, while continuing to school them on how to focus that anger. Dave Thompson's London's Burning provides the money quote:
"Our attitude to punk was, we were kind of jolted." We were in a field of one, doing things like : "You Can't Hurry Love" really aggrressively, doing reggae with this angry attitude; we had it all together and suddenly we were not the only ballgame. There was this thing called [Punk Rock]....and it was a bit scary for us. So we thought we'd better crank it up another level and came back really nasty."
And Parker's records did grow ever-more belligerent throughout the seventies, as you can witness on Parker and The Rumour's Live on the Test. This set is made up of performances done for the BBC TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test between  March 17th 1977 and March 20th 1978 . It's further proof of Parker and The Rumour's live fire-power. If, like Parker himself, you believe Mutt Lange's production of his second album, Heat Treatment, is sterile, then you'll find these versions raw and bloody enough to be a bio-hazard.

        1          Heat Treatment     Parker     4:08
        2          Silly Thing     Parker     3:09
        3          Fool's Gold     Parker     4:26
        4          Pourin' It All Out     Parker     3:40
        5          Gypsy Blood     Parker     5:32
        6          Don't Ask Me Questions     Parker     5:22
        7          Hold Back the Night     Parker     3:16
        8          Not If It Pleases Me     Parker     3:01
        9          Soul Shoes     Parker     3:23
        10         Kansas City     Parker     3:13
        11         Stick to Me     Parker     3:32
        12         Problem Child     Parker     3:42
        13         Back Door Love     Parker     3:09
        14         Thunder and Rain     Parker     3:19
        15         Turned up Too Late     Parker     3:34
        16         Saturday Nite Is Dead     Parker     3:23
        17         Tear Your Playhouse Down     Parker     3:58

GP fans - Where do you think Parker and The Rumour excelled most, in the studio or on the stage?
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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  1. Okay GP/R fans - now is the time to state your opinion
    Were the boys better on the stage or in the studio?
    Leave us a COMMENT!!!

  2. Heading to see GP + The Figgs tonight west of Boston - anyone else going?????

    1. I wish!

      Let us know how the show goes.

  3. Good to see this site alive and kicking.

    Parker rules!

    Will checking out your offerings/tributes (I think I might already have this one).


    1. I did post this a few years ago.

      P.S. Glad you stayed aboard, Ace.

  4. excellent work . . . thanks!

  5. Studio for sure- very overrated live. Unlike Bruce or Van (to pick two obvious comparisons) every show was the same. No improv (Van), no stories or different ways of doing the song (Bruce) and usually just one cover- two at most- compared to the slew that both Bruce and Van had. Not to mention the guy did maybe three or four covers total in the all his time with the Rumour. Oh yeah- no new or otherwise unreleased songs. Studio for sure!

    1. Bruce is in a whole different category, as you proved pretty handily.

  6. Though never fortunate enough to bare wittness, Geep & the R were obviously much better on the stage......the records are no joke but the live recordings just scorch. Thanks 4 one I don't already have here too! Keep on keeping on, bro, fight the power.....

    1. "the live recordings just scorch."

  7. Hey my brother I cannot get this to download, finally got an empty RAR package....I'll keep trying though and you keep fighting the good fight.

  8. another great GP show. I did not have this one so thank you very much. If you have the Double Door show from 2005 with the Figgs in your extensive vault, I would appreciate that as mine get messed up. Thanx again.

    1. I'll keep my eye out for that one!

  9. I think the live/studio dichotomy is hard to resolve with GP. Certainly the Rumour gave the songs a fuller texture onstage, but those LP tracks were constructed with an ear for posterity, and stand up well under time's scrutiny.

    I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em!

    1. Yeah I do love both but if I had to choose I'd stick with the studio album - (just like glue).

  10. Hey, just listened to this, and it is well worthwhile. The Rumour tear through the songs, "overplaying" as Graham would years later complain, but that's the nature of a live band, no doubt spurred on by thoughts of fame and use of "stimulants". GP brought inspiration, bite and vision to it all, but the Rumour helped kick it across the goal line.

    Agreed, not as great live back then as Bruce or Van. But who friggin is/was?

    Definitely go see Graham now, solo or with a band or whatever. He's great AND CHARMING.


    1. Yeah and it's funny how artless his stage banter was during his commercial peak and how much better its got.

  11. Always Loved GP throughout his career. And In my collection both Heat Treatment and Howlin' Wind are in the top 100 records I won - yes I still have my vinyl :-) While a lot of folks think Sparks is the top of the GP&R heap - those two just rock for me - I also have my copies of Pink PArker - both 7 and 10 inch versions and Mercury Poisoning 10 inch as well
    But I think my favorite is the vinyl version of the Marble Arch bootleg - that I got signed by them all at a recored store meet and greet before seeing them live that night. -
    After the rumour I wasn't as big a fan for awhile - but I have come back around - the other records were still brilliant - just not the same......

  12. I too have come around to the later stuff - if you ever scan the cover art for any of those vinyl rarities let me know - they'd find a place here!

  13. Ace stuff. Thanks for putting it together. Saw GP and Rumour many times during their peak years. Always a superb show! Thanks.


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