The Vertigo: Singles Collection

The Vertigo: Singles Collection

by Graham ParkerGraham Parker


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This collection features the A- and B- sides to nine singles and one EP Graham Parker & the Rumour recorded between 1976 and 1979 during their tenure with the British Vertigo label, and documents Parker's years as one of the nerviest acts on the British rock scene, merging the R&B-influenced roots rock of the pub rock era with the hot-wired energy and attitude of punk as well as anyone before or since. The Vertigo: Singles Collection is certainly fine listening, but if you're hoping for a collection of rarities, this leaves a bit to be desired. Twelve of the 21 songs here appear in the same versions that were featured on Parker's LPs for Vertigo, all of which are available individually on CD, and three of those non-LP tracks were drawn from the live-in-the-studio promo LP Live at the Marble Arch that saw an authorized release as part of the 2001 collection That's When You Know. As for the other tracks, "I'm Gonna Use It Now" is a genuine obscurity, a solid bit of pub rock that appeared for the first and only time on the flipside of Parker's first 7." The two studio tracks from the celebrated Pink Parker EP, "Hold Back the Night" and "(Let Me Get) Sweet on You," are energetic R&B workouts that show how much fun this band could be. The studio take of "Mercury Poisoning," Parker's infamous closing salvo against his American label, Mercury Records, gets a CD airing here, and there's a very funny bit of studio tomfoolery, " The Bleep," in which an alternate take of "The Raid" (from Stick to Me) has all its many drug references bleeped out, along with a few random words here and there to confuse the casual listener. In short, for serious Parker-philes, this disc offers five elusive tracks alongside 16 that fans will probably own already; as music, this is fine stuff, but as value for money, this isn't especially impressive.

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