Squeezing Out Sparks is regarded by most critics as the zenith of Parker's creative genius. And indeed the first five songs: "Discovering Japan", "Local Girls", "Nobody Hurts You", "Can't Be Too Strong" and "Passion is No Ordinary Word" are outstanding. On these tracks you experience the melding of the tight sound Parker's backing band The Rumour had honed through years of paying their dues on the pub circuit with Graham's poetic lyrics, which he more snarls than sings. That said, there is a noticeable drop in quality among the remaining studio tracks, including the fairly ridiculous "Waiting for the UFO's". What elevates this release to essential status is the inclusion of concert recordings of the same tracks dubbed "Live Sparks". Here, even a pedestrian tune like "Saturday Nite is Dead" is transformed into a swaggering rocker at the expert hands of the Rumour. My suggestion is to program your CD to play the first five tracks from the studio portion then switch to hear the remainder of Live Sparks (which also includes the obscure but excellent "Mercury Poisioning", a thinly veiled attack by Parker against his former label). This combining of studio and live performances makes for a compelling listen and earns Parker a rightful place as an enduring figure of the late 70's British invasion.