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Imaginary Television

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Audio CD, March 16, 2010
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For over 30 years, Graham Parker has been slinging a signature sound across continents and airwaves that has rightly earned him a spot in the pantheon of truly original and influential figures in rock and roll. Since his early days with his band the Rumour (with whom he has two albums in Rolling Stone’s “Top 100 Albums of All Time”), Graham has coupled punk’s energy ... Read more in Amazon's Graham Parker Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
  • ASIN: B0036BDQA6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,682 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Weather Report
2. Broken Skin
3. It s My Party (But I Won t Cry)
4. Bring Me A Heart Again
5. Snowgun
6. Always Greener
7. See Things My Way
8. You re Not Where You Think You Are
9. Head on Straight
10. More Questions Than Answers
11. 1st Responder

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by the grossly lame themes used for sitcoms and television dramas, "Imaginary Television" is Graham Parker thinking outside of "the box," or maybe inside it. Parker created his own TV treatments, wrote the tunes to go along with them, and rocking ensued.


... I went off to write treatments to my own
imaginary TV shows which I would grace with the
correct theme tunes, not ones chosen by idiots.
(Instead of lyrics on the album cover, you get plots!) --Graham Parker

MUST HEAR CD: It's a brilliant conceit, and one that's suited to Parker's strengths: a collection of would-be theme songs for elaborately absurd and thus perfectly plausible TV shows. Predictably, there's plenty of cheeky wit here, but also flecks of tenderness and pathos as the singer/songwriter evokes the desperation of characters who seem bizarre enough to be real --USA Today

The singer-songwriter shows he hasn't lost a lick. Imaginary Television is full of everything that great rock possesses: unforgetable melodies, lyrics that make us think and twitch, musicians who turn notes into inspiration and a voice we'll follow anywhere. Parker has all these and much, much more. He still has magic, and is full of new classics like Broken Skin and Bring Me a Heart Again which show the past 30 years have been lived wisely --Sonic Boomers

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Fans will enjoy this record.
Perk Pinson
What I hear is a collection of deeply personal songs---many poignant, some even profound---from a master songwriter.
Jeff Seeman
Songs that make you think, laugh, cry, smile, and shout.
Donald E. Gilliland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Seeman on March 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The ostensible premise behind Graham Parker's new studio release is that he created a batch of imaginary TV shows and then wrote the theme songs to accompany them. In the liner notes, he even provides a synopsis of each show rather than the song lyrics. It's an original, offbeat idea, befitting the witty Parker.

And it has absolutely nothing to do with the songs on this album. Not a damn thing. Yes, Imaginary Television is most certainly a concept album, but THAT isn't the concept. Rather than the collection of amusing novelty songs one might expect, Imaginary Television may be the most personal, vulnerable collection of songs Parker has ever released. It's a portrait of a man looking back over his life and re-evaluating everything, a man trying to come to grips with who he is---as an artist, a father, a husband, a human being.

Why the subterfuge? I suspect it's because some of these songs are so personal and cut so deeply for Parker that he felt he had to get a modicum of emotional distance from them before releasing them to the world. If I'm correct, then the entire television theme song concept is a mere fig leap to cover the emotional nakedness of the songs. Or, to borrow a phrase from the album itself, "a really cheap disguise."

And what songs they are. "Weather Report" concerns a man who feels out of step with the times; perhaps Parker's referring to his status as music industry outsider and this song is intended as his variation on John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark Steven on March 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD
"Imaginary Television" is a worthy addition to Graham Parker's 30 + year catalog. While it's one of Parker's more mellow and laid-back efforts -- the great hooks, great melodies, great lyrics, and great singing are still here in abundance. It's a really cool album and every song is worthwhile, including a wonderful cover of the 1972 Johnny Nash classic "There Are More Questions Than Answers". There is also a concept to the album that some may find interesting and fun if they want to play along.

Graham Parker's first album was released in 1976. While Parker has never come close to achieving the commercial success he's deserved, few have released as many quality albums over such a pro-longed period of time. All the guy does is put out one fantastic album after another that so few are aware of. That's a shame.

One of the great philosophical riddles is: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Here's a riddle to rival that: "If Graham Parker has continually put out great album after great album after great album that so few hear, does that mean he isn't one of the all-time greats?"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. L LaRegina on October 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD
IMAGINARY TELEVISION, Graham Parker's 2010 C.D., is more pop and folksy than the more hard-driving R&B and rock music that first put the singer-songwriter on the musical map in the 1970s. But Parker is still rockin' for the working class and against the caste system. As if a recent C.D. title such as SONGS OF NO CONSEQUENCE were not enough of a hint that Parker would like to keep his fans guessing, its 16-page booklet presents IMAGINARY TELEVISION's eleven songs as though they are themes for television shows that don't exist.

Usually I would not write a review if previous comments either say everything I was thinking or, as is the case with Jeffrey Seeman's March 10, 2010, commentary, make keener observations than I do. But I like IMAGINARY TELEVISION so much I compose these thoughts to help promote it, especially since only seven people precede me here.

Seeman's review observes that Graham Parker only uses that T.V. show idea as a foot in the door for what are in reality autobiographical songs. So it's funny that in the age of so-called reality television, Graham Parker titles this record IMAGINARY TELEVISION. Not that I have seen more than a few reality programs, but much of what I've viewed strikes me as staged, between forced emotions and deceptive editing. But Graham Parker, pouring it all out (again, see the March 10, 2010, review), calls it imaginary.

When television host Bob Costas had his late night talk show on N.B.C. in the 1990s, he asked rock critic Dave Marsh why a recording artist such as Bruce Springsteen rose to great success in terms of record sales while one such as Graham Parker didn't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lanzarishi on May 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
My only beef is the length of the CD (hence 4 *s). This is quality GP and I completely concur with the first reviewer on every line he has written. Awesome review bro! I couldn't help but reflect that it reminded me somewhat of Another Gray Area and Steady Nerves at times but I think it might just be the recording or that the voice is up in the mix. I kept hearing "When you Do That to Me" in spots. The lead guitar is awesome as well throughout.
But only GP can take me to places in my mind that no one else can. I always end up completely absorbed in the songs and hate to come out. Thank you for another top album Graham. Never disappointed!
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