Price paid: $4
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY
When the sun go down the moon is near
I’m scared to death ’cause your face appear
Ok I admit it, the real draw here for me is the luscious pink vinyl this thing’s pressed on. I’m not much of a Graham Parker fan; he falls into that Elvis Costello blues/pub rock blue-collar subgenre that I just can’t relate to at this point in my life.
Be that as it may, the man has an impressive back catalog with over forty studio and live albums both with The Rumour and as a solo act. Many from the late 70s to 80s period met with a measure of chart success.
‘The Pink Parker’ EP was his second-highest charting LP/EP reaching #24 on the UK singles charts in 1977 with the tracks ‘Hold Back the Night’ and ‘(Let Me Get) Sweet on You.’ These tracks reached #58 and #107 respectively on the US hot 100.
- Hold Back The Night
- (Let Me Get) Sweet On You
- White Honey *
- Soul Shoes *
* live tracks, both from ‘Live At Marble Arch’ Bootleg
The sleeve art has a real ‘Stiff’ feel to it, looking like it could have easily been released by that indie label during the period. This may not be a total coincidence; Parker would have several recordings on the label between 1980-1982 including ‘The Up Escalator’ in 1980 (SEEZ23.) In 1975 (two years before this EP’s release) Parker recorded several demo tracks with Dave Robinson; Robinson would found Stiff Records shortly thereafter. Nick Lowe produced for Parker around this time and also acts as producer for the two live tracks on this EP. Lowe (probably best known for his1979 hit ‘Cruel to Be Kind’) was the first ever artist to release a single on Stiff (BUY1- ‘So It Goes’) in 1976.
Also of note on this sleeve is the weird black dot at the lower left on the front, which looks totally out of place. The EP was originally released in the UK on the Vertigo label; when released in the US in 1977 by Vertigo the art made it through with only minor regional changes. A year later the EP was re-released in the US, this time by Mercury. They hastily covered up the original Vertigo logo and called it a day. The backside of the sleeve fared a little better, as the ‘artist’ tasked with making the modifications took more care when swapping out the various logos.
Other than these few cosmetic differences, the sleeve art on all three is basically the same. Oh, did I mention that fans in the US got the better end of the deal as their versions (both Vertigo and Mercury) are on neon PINK VINYL?