AL 9589 Another Grey Area
Produced by Jack Douglas and Graham Parker
Released on March 1982
UK CHART POSITION #40 . . . US CHART POSITION #51
Find it at GEMM
AL 9589 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

P arker rolls eleven puckered poils and the world spins a little better for it. Even without The Rumour, there’s plenty to talk about: “Temporary Beauty,” “You Hit The Spot,” “Thankless Task,” “Fear Not.” Good songs all of them from a guy who knew how to package his dissatisfaction on a plastic disc. Sparks, Escalator and this are probably my three favorite Parker albums, in that order if order is what you’re after. Another Grey Area is the most formulaic of the three: rock, reggae and righteous indignation cut into even, four-minute squares. I’d earlier mused that “No More Excuses” and not “Another Grey Area” is the fulcrum on which this effort inclines and declines, because it states where Parker is in the process. There were no more excuses for why the other critical darlings from the new wave had overachieved and evolved while Parker stay stuck in his snarling rut. Since the last Escalator, Parker seemed bound for big things, and tracks like “Temporary Beauty” were intended to take him there. Only he stalled shy of the Top 40 and came tumbling back down to earth. Not a bad place to be, since there’s always been an earthiness to the man’s frank assessments, but Another Grey Area is ultimately just another good Parker album. There were plenty of those already, when it was greatness that everyone was waiting to hear. The rock producers (this time, Jack Douglas of Aerosmith/Cheap Trick) gave Graham a certain edge, but what the man needs mostly is charisma. With the best songwriters, you were afraid to blink for fear of missing something good. Should you blink on Another Grey Area, fear not, for a “Big Fat Zero” or “Crying For Attention” is bound to come again. If we were plotting vintage Parker, this might be the end of the line. It’s a cool breeze for forty minutes and then back to the grey world what spawned it.

AL 9589 back cover AL 9589 inner sleeve
AL 9589 back cover AL 9589 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. TEMPORARY BEAUTY    3:54
  2. ANOTHER GREY AREA    3:00
  3. NO MORE EXCUSES    4:30
  4. DARK SIDE OF THE BRIGHT LIGHTS    3:37
  5. CAN'T WASTE A MINUTE    3:28
  6. BIG FAT ZERO    2:44
  7. YOU HIT THE SPOT    3:30
  8. IT'S ALL WORTH NOTHING ALONE    4:06
  9. CRYING FOR ATTENTION    4:11
  10. THANKLESS TASK    4:13
  11. FEAR NOT    3:22

    CD reissue bonus track
  12. MERCURY POISONING

    All songs written by Graham Parker

CREDITS

GRAHAM PARKER -- vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
MICHAEL BRAUN -- drums
DAVID BROWN -- electric guitars
JIM CLOUSE -- saxes
NICKY HOPKINS -- acoustic piano
HUGH McCRACKEN -- electric guitars & harmonica
KURT McGETTRICK -- saxes, flute & baritone sax solo
GEORGE SMALL -- keyboards & ondioline
DOUG STEGMEYER -- bass
Krystal Davis -- backing vocals
Jack Douglas -- percussion
Fred Hostetler -- backing vocals
Karen Lawrence -- backing vocals
Paul Prestopino -- banjo
Eric Troyer -- backing vocals
Michael Halsband -- photography
Dartlan Guille -- lettering
Ben Kelly -- layout

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 1982 RCA LP LP6029 inner sleeve
US/CAN March 1982 Arista LP/CS AL/ATC 9589 inner sleeve
AUS'L 1982 Vertigo LP 6437 151  
GER 1982 RCA LP/CS PL/PK 25418 lyric sleeve
US   Arista CDX ARCD-8234 w. bonus track
US   Razor & Tie CDX RE-1982 w. bonus track
US January 9, 2007 American Beat CDX 24032 w. bonus track

 

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