Graham Parker

Not If It Pleases Me: BBC Live 76-77

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During the late '70s, Graham Parker and the Rumour were a great live band, kicking out tough versions of Parker's mean-spirited, cynical pub-rock songs. Their sole live album from that period, 1978's Parkerilla, didn't prove that to be true, since it was designed as a contract-breaker, not a genuine album. That's what makes the appearance of Not If It Pleases Me: The BBC Sessions so welcome: it, along with the similar Live on the Test, are testaments to the band's considerable live prowess. Not If It Pleases Me draws almost entirely from his first two albums, Howlin' Wind and Heat Treatment, containing only one number from Stick to Me ("New York Shuffle"), plus a cover of "Kansas City." In other words, it contains his absolute best songs from this period, from "White Honey" and "Don't Ask Me Questions" to "Hotel Chambermaid" and "Pouring It All Out." While these versions don't necessarily add anything new to the original studio cuts, they're nevertheless blazing readings of great songs, which is enough to make this an essential addition to any hardcore Parker fan's collection.

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