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Squeezing Out Sparks Import, Live

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 25.32
Only 1 left in stock.
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Frequently Bought Together

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 1 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Live
  • Label: Sony BMG
  • ASIN: B000002VS5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
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1. Discovering Japan
2. Local Girls
3. Nobody Hurts You
4. You Can't Be Too Strong
5. Passion Is No Ordinary Word
6. Saturday Night Is Dead
7. Love Gets You Twisted
8. Protection
9. Waiting For The UFO's
10. Don't Get Excited
11. Discovering Japan
12. Local Girls
13. Nobody Hurts You
14. You Can't Be Too Strong
15. Passion Is No Ordinary Word
16. Saturday Night Is Dead
17. Love Gets You Twisted
18. Protection
19. Waiting For The UFO's
20. Don't Get Excited
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.

Squeezing Out Sparks was not only Parker's finest moment, but it still stands up today as one of rock's best albums. When it was first released in 1979, Arista simultaneously issued Live Sparks, a collection of live radiocasts that featured the same 10 songs in the same order plus the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Parker's kiss-off to his former label, "Mercury Poisoning." The latter package was made available only to radio stations and critics, but it was a riveting live record worth all of the $40 it commanded on the collectors' market. Now Arista has reissued the 10 studio tracks and the dozen live tracks on an invaluable single CD. Included are two versions each of rock's best pro-choice abortion song ("You Can't Be Too Strong") and best Hiroshima song ("Discovering Japan"). --Geoffrey Himes

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It pains me to see artists such as Graham PArker ignored while the world fawns on no talent acts that have all the substance of a breakfast cereal with no fiber. All you have to do is to restrain the airheads that buy all that other music, make 'em listen to a few cuts from this record and you've done your good deed for the day.
Parker is an angry guy - but better than that, he's a literate angry guy who actually has a point to make. Many can say the same thing - but it's his essemtial sense of style and wit that makes it happen so well.
"When I pretend to touch, you pretend to feel" can sum up so much in such a short space. This album pushes and tugs at you with a relentless fury and it simply demands that you listen to it. It won't allow you to put it on as background muzak - it gets in your face and says _HEAR THIS NOW!.
Of course, some folks might not want a CD to be in their face and might find a CD doing this to them to be a tad scary - but hey - it's Graham Parker and you have been warned. Listen to the record at least three times and it'll be on your short list forever.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Seething, intense, heartfelt vitriol spewed over some of the catchiest, hard-rocking pop concoctions of the 1970s. Parker was/is one pissed-off mofo, and "Sparks" finds the diminutive Englishman at the height of his creativity. Right from the awesome intro of "Discovering Japan", it's clear Parker was taking his music a bold step forward, still clinging to his trad musical values, yet perfectly capturing the anger and energy of the times, and filtering it all through a mind-blowing, highly focused set of tunes.
These songs are true rockers, but they also display a knack for spot-on, infectious hooks, and quirky melodies that stick to your brain like super-glue. I dare you to get "Local Girls", "Nobody Hurts You", or "Waiting for the UFOs" out of your head after hearing 'em just once. It's *that* powerful.
Throughout, the songs straddle the line between trad, sort of American sounding hard-rocking, and a more contemporary new-wave/power-pop. The electric piano and some of the guitar solo-ing (courtesy of the amazing Rumour, featuring such pub-rock luminaries as Brinsley Schwarz, among others) date the music a bit, making it sound more mid-70s, whereas other p-o'd singer/songwriters of the day (Joe Jackson, Costello, etc..) tended to sound a bit more with the times. But that doesn't matter one bit. This is a damn fine record, and the soulfulness, the hooks, and the energy render criticisms like that futile.
But, "Sparks" is not without its flaws, most notably with the pathetic, anti-abortion ballad, "You Can't Be Too Strong". Reading like graphic, Christian Pro-Life propaganda, playing this song won't win you any dates at a NOW rally.
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Format: Audio CD
Ah, to have a touchstone like this in your career: an album that clearly defines you as an artist, and is a critical or financial success (or both!), to boot. Some do it with their first albums (Velvet Underground, Sex Pistols), some wait until their second or third (Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan)....Graham Parker was on his fourth try out when he recorded the album by which all others in his career would be judged.
Squeezing Out Sparks is the high water mark of Parker's career for a variety of reasons: first, the Rumour had solidified into one of the best rock bands of the seventies, as comfortable playing reggae riffs as well as traditional rock and, of course, that spare, lean, "new wave" sound. Second, Parker's vocals are impassioned without being histrionic, or overly Van Morrison-esque (as was the case on Howlin Wind). And third, the songs, the songs, the songs! Easily Parker's best set. Here you'll find no filler, no overt bitterness, and a healthy dose of pure Parker cynicism. This is sharp, cynical paranoia with a beat. You can dance to it.
From the opener "Discovering Japan," through more universal concerns ("Passion is No Ordinary Word", "Love Gets You Twisted"), and on to the proto X-Files "Waiting For the UFO's", this album doesn't let up. GP and the Rumour whip up a lean, driving pub-rock/new-wave stew that varies enough to keep the casual listener interested and yet maintains a "band" sound throughout. Truly a defining moment for the Rumour.
As a lyricist, Parker uses ordinary language to put across his most subtle intentions ("I try to straighten out but I'm tangled up, it's true/I can't see the other point of view/And love gets you twisted").
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