C4-99003 Burning Questions
Produced by Graham Parker and Jon Jacobs
Released on July 20, 1992
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
C4-99003 cover  

A baker’s dozen of bright ideas, Burning Questions finds GP rolling into the ‘90s with his faculties fully intact. He’s softened some over time, since Struck By Lightning even, but you get the impression that Parker could knock off another dozen winners like fish in a barrel. While he sometimes crosses over the same terrain as Struck (“Too Many Knots To Untangle,” “Oasis”), Burning Questions is a warmer entry; nothing on here is so acerbic as “They Murdered The Clown.” The lyrics are smart smart smart, inviting comparison to Bob Dylan on songs like “Just Like Joe Meek’s Blues” or “Short Memories.” The music is softer this time, somewhere between Marshall Crenshaw and Elvis Costello, with former Style Council keyboardist Mick Talbot helping the band open up the sound a bit. (One complaint I usually have against Parker is that his music sounds claustrophobic, but not here.) As good as it is, Burning Questions didn’t chart in the US, effectively ending Parker’s major-label career (he eventually re-surfaced on Razor & Tie). Part of the problem might have been Capitol’s poor choice of singles: “Release Me” is as good as anything on here, but “Here It Comes Again” never stood a chance. Better choices would have been bittersweet treats like “Platinum Blonde” or “Yesterday’s Cloud.” It’s a shame that someone as smart as Graham Parker doesn’t have a little pedestal reserved for him on the charts, but critics usually make a home for him in their pages. Maybe it’s the Oscar Wilde wit delivered in the studied pop patronage of a band like The Rembrandts that endears him to critics, the same combination of brains and beauty that drew people to Dylan, EC and Joe Jackson. I mean, anyone who can pull off a song called “Just Like Hermann Hesse” has got to be pretty special, right?

C4-99003 lyric sleeve
C4-99003 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. RELEASE ME
  2. TOO MANY KNOTS TO UNTANGLE
  3. JUST LIKE JOE MEEK'S BLUES
  4. LOVE IS A BURNING QUESTION
  5. PLATINUM BLONDE
  6. LONG STEM ROSE
  7. SHORT MEMORIES
  8. HERE IT COMES AGAIN
  9. MR. TENDER
  10. JUST LIKE HERMANN HESSE
  11. YESTERDAY'S CLOUD
  12. OASIS
  13. WORTHY OF YOUR LOVE

    All songs written by Graham Parker

CREDITS

GRAHAM PARKER -- lead & backing vocals, guitars, harmonica
ANDREW BODNAR -- bass
MICK TALBOT -- keyboards
PETE THOMAS -- drums and percussion
P.P. Arnold -- backing vocals
Caroline Barnes -- violin
Baird Hersey -- string writing and arranging
Caroline LaVelle -- cello
Eddie Manion -- saxophone
Jocelyn Pook -- viola
Ren and Stimpy -- additional percussion
Sonia Slany -- violin
Jon Jacobs -- engineer, mixing
Norman Hennecken -- cover painting
Jolie Parker -- photography
Laurence Stevens -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1992 Demon LP/CD FIENDCD721  
US July 20, 1992 Capitol CD/CS C2/C4-99003 lyric sleeve

 

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