Well, after the "Up Escalator", Parker's career ceased being one of cranking out "classic" albums (and
three of them is great for anyone), hestopped working with the Rumour, soloing with various backup musicians and, briefly, the Shot.....I continued to buy these discs, because they generally DID have their moments.....again, no more "Classic" albums in this portion, Parts 2 and 3 of this post will be non-essential, they are for folks wanting to fill in collection gaps, of for newbies to the whole Parker thing......after Part 3, we'll get to my stellar bunch of live recordings from this wonderful live performer, and that is where we can continue to use words like "essential" and "classic".....
So, where we left off....."Another Grey Area" (1982) is billed as "Graham Parker" (no Rumour), and is not bad at all, there are some good ones on here, "Another Grey Area", "Can't Waste a Minute", "Crying For Attention" all are typical Parker, and there are others.....charitably a three star disc.
Some acts of this era tended to crank out the good stuff and make a bee-line for suck city, not Parker....he continued to put out solid, listenable albums on which fans of his classic work continued to find things they could enjoy.....nothing wrong, in my opinion, with 1984's "The Mona Lisa's Sister", although it did sound as though Geep was toning down the rage and anger a bit......"Don't Let It Break You Down", and "Get Started, Start a Fire" stand out.
In 1985 Parker recruited the Shot to be his backup band, and turned out the competent "Steady Nerves", "Break Them Down" and "The Weekend's Too Short" are pretty good, it's a testimony to Mr. Parker's talent that on this his tenth or so album, it is still practical to find at least a few good ones mixed in there and hardly EVER a real "dog" of a track
Without The Shot, in 1989, Parker released what I would consider his weakest effort to date, "Human
Soul".....while the album is quite soulful, it tones down the anger SO much that it seems out of chariacter...for me"Little Miss Understanding" and "Big Man On Paper" are the high points, and neither would make a "Best of" if I were compiling.
1991's "Struck By Lightning" is a minor comeback, not on par with the classic material of the ealy years, but PURE Parker!....really a pretty fair album to listen to all the way through, "The Kid WIth the Butterfly Net", "They Murdered the Clown", "Ten Girls Ago" and more are just a cut below the ultra-essential Parker material.
ANOTHER GREY AREA-01 Temporary Beauty/02 Another Grey Area/03 No More Excuses/04 Dark Side of the Bright Lights/05 Can't Waste a Minute/06 Big Fat Zero/07 You Hit the Spot/08 It's All Worth Nothing Alone/09 Crying For Attention/10 Thankless Task/11 Fear Not
THE REAL MACAW-01 Just Like A Man/02 You Can't Take Love For Granted/03 Glass Jaw/04 Passive Resistance/ 05 Sounds Like Chains/06 Life Gets Better/07 A Miracle a Minute/08 Beyond a Joke/09 Last Couple on the Dance Floor/10 Anniversary/11 (Too Late) The Smart Bomb/12 I Want You Back
THE MONA LISAS SISTER-01 Don't Let It Break You Down/02 Under the Mask/03 Back In
Time/04 I'm Just Your Man/05 OK, Hieronymous/06 Get Started/Start a Fire/07 The Girl Isn't Ready/08 Blue Highways/09 Success/10 I Don't Know/11 Cupid
STEADY NERVES-01 Break Them Down/02 Mighty Fingers/03 Lunatic Fringe/04 Wake Up (Next To You)/05 When You Do That To Me/06 The Weekend's Too Short/07 Take Everything/08 Black Lincoln Continental/09 Canned Laughter/10 Everyone's Hand Is On the Switch/11 Locked Into Green/12 Too Much Time To Think
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING-01 She Wants So Many Things/02 They Murdered the Clown/03 Strong Winds/04 The Kid With the Butterfly Net/05 And It Shook Me/06 Wrapping Paper/07 That's Where She Ends Up/08 A Brand New Book/09 Weeping Statues/10 Guadian Angels/11 Children and Dogs/12 Over the Border (To America)/13 When I Was King/14 Ten Girls Ago/15 The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again