AL 9517 The Up Escalator
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Released on May 1980
UK CHART POSITION #11 . . . US CHART POSITION #40
Find it at GEMM
AL 9517 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 6.0: RISING FORTUNES. Sparks fly again on The Up Escalator, even as The Rumour was slowly disappearing from view (Bob Andrews had already left and the rest of The Rumour would soon follow). The album is notable for the appearance of Bruce Springsteen (“Endless Night,” inexplicably not one of the album’s two singles) and the E Street Band’s Danny Federici on organ. Honestly, I’d never made a connection between Parker and Springsteen, but the prickly Parker can use all the help he could get, and it wasn’t like they paired him with pretty boy Daryl Hall or anything. (Cough.) Producer Jimmy Iovine keeps a tighter rein on things than Jack Nitzsche, though you can’t argue with the results (Dire Strait’s Making Movies, Tom Petty’s Hard Promises). Great material (“No Holding Back,” “The Beating of Another Heart”) and a greater focus on delivering a consistent sound make The Up Escalator a fun ride for Parker fans. The singer hasn’t softened his attack, spitting out plenty of venom on songs like “Empty Lives” (from whence “the up escalator” references comes) and “Stupefaction.” While Iovine seemed lately incapable of producing a poor album, the real credit for consistency goes to Parker, who managed to release three unerringly excellent albums (Sparks, Escalator, Grey Area) with three different producers. Each of them feature the amply baited, barbed hooks that intelligent rock fans will find nigh irresistible. And yet, a measure of commercial success still eluded him in the form of a US hit single, a situation that Another Grey Area would soon rectify.

AL 9517 back cover AL 9517 picture sleeve
AL 9517 back cover AL 9517 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. NO HOLDING BACK    3:18
  2. DEVIL'S SIDEWALK    3:14
  3. STUPEFACTION    3:30
  4. EMPTY LIVES    5:06
  5. THE BEATING OF ANOTHER HEART    4:20
  6. ENDLESS NIGHT    3:35
  7. PARALYZED    3:12
  8. MANEUVERS    3:28
  9. JOLIE JOLIE    2:59
  10. LOVE WITHOUT GREED    3:24

    CD bonus track
  11. WOMEN IN CHARGE

    CD reissue bonus, bonus track
  12. HEY LORD DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS (LIVE)

    All songs written by Graham Parker

CREDITS

GRAHAM PARKER -- vocals, rhythm & acoustic guitars
MARTIN BELMONT -- rhythm & acoustic guitars
ANDREW BODNAR -- bass
STEPHEN GOULDING -- drums & backing vocals
BRINSLEY SCHWARZ -- lead guitars & backing vocals
Danny Federici -- organ
Nicky Hopkins -- acoustic piano
Jimmy Maelen -- percussion
Bruce Springsteen -- backing vocals (6)
Peter Wood -- synthesizer
Shelly Yakus -- engineer
Dave Thoener, Jon Mathias -- additional engineering
Jack Drumond -- cover painting
Glenn M. Brown -- photography
Richard Giglio -- lettering

return to GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 1980 Stiff LP SEEZ 23 picture sleeve
US/CAN May 1980 Arista LP AL 9517 picture sleeve
FRA 1980 Barclay/Stiff LP 940831  
GER 1980 Stiff LP 624355 picture sleeve
JPN 1980 Stiff LP VIP-6730  
NZ 1980 Mercury LP 6437 127 picture sleeve
POR 1980 Stiff LP SEEZ 23 NP lyric insert
YUG 1980 RTV Ljubljana LP LL0635  
US   Arista CDX/CSX ARCD/AC5 8093 w. bonus track
US   Razor Edge CDX RE1980 w. bonus track
UK/FRA   Demon CDX FIENDCD121 w. bonus track
FRA 2001 Diablo CDX 843 w. bonus track
EUR 2003 Cherry Red CDX CDLEM013 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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