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Howlin' Wind

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 24, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

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The cursive scrawl on the cover of Graham Parker's 1976 debut makes it look like it's called Howlin' Wino, which is kind of appropriate; after all, this is rambunctious British pub rock at its finest. Though lumped in with the punk and new-wave movements owing to his connections with Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and Stiff Records honcho Dave Robinson, Parker comes off here more like an angry soul man. "Back to Schooldays" and "Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions" are searing indictments of the world around him; and though Parker's rage softens noticeably on the rakish "Silly Thing" and the achingly romantic "Gypsy Blood," it fuels even the positive musings of "Soul Shoes" (one of the greatest party songs of all time) and "Nothing's Gonna Pull Us Apart." And to think he was just warming up... --Dan Epstein
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B000001FF5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,342 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin J. Burns on June 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with the only other person who took the time to review this album. The over hyped and over produced bands seemed to get the ink while bands like Graham Parker and the Runour just produced great music and were great live. Elvis Costello was receiving great reviews and deservedly so, but Graham Parker was right there with him. Howlin Wind covers the full spectrum from rockabilly to the blues and this was definitely one of the best albums of 1976. Heat Treatment was the follow up and it wasn't far behind Howlin Wind. People from the Capital District in upstate New York are extremely lucky. Graham Parker resides close by and we're fortunate that he plays locally with some of the areas talenteed musicians and whether solo or with others he never disappoints.

Kevin Burns
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Format: Audio CD
I'm shocked, shocked I say, that there is not one review for one of the best albums of the 70s. This is like the antithesis (or perhaps the antidote) to the overproduced bands of the era (Styx, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult, ugh, Jefferson Starship fer chrisakes!). Buy this and buy Heat Treatment too while you're at it. I give a slight edge to Howlin Wind but that just depends on my mood. It's like the best bar band you ever were lucky enough to stumble in on and hear and the great thing is, it sounds good when you're sober too.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the great rock albums of the 70's, or any other decade. With the onset of the awful disco movement coming on, what a breath of fresh air this guy was. We had all the punk rockers out there who couldn't sing or play. But when this little English pub rocker came along with this album, it blew all those pretenders out of the water. He had a snarly voice that sounded like he just swallowed a mouthful of gravel, but he had SOUL! And that's all that really counts. With a chip on his shoulder a mile wide, he comes swinging out of the gate with that nasty little drug song called "White Honey". Whatta great rock song! When he sings "we're gonna hit white honey when the chips are down, we're gonna taste white honey when there's no one around", it sounds like he's been down that road before. Parker sings with more emotion than just about any singer can hope to achieve. He can be serious one minute, as in "Howlin Wind" or "Don't Ask Me Questions", or he can have some fun on songs like "Silly Thing" or Lady Doctor". Not many bands would be able to pull off the songs he wrote for this album, but Parker hired The Rumour, who were some of the best musicians England had to offer. I've always thought these guys were England's answer to Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. They were THAT good. I can't say enough good things about this album. It's fantastic! Also, I highly recommend his second album "Heat Treatment". It comes a very very close second to this one. Good luck finding it.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is one of the best albums to come from the 70's. Elvis Costello had stolen a lot from this man. In a way I like that Graham Parker isn't really well known because it makes him more exclusive to the people that have good taste and not just a well known no talent flash in the pan singer for the fickle masses. The only thing I worry about an artist like this, is that the record companies decide not to make their albums anymore since they don't sell very well.
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Format: Audio CD
This is just a terrific, timeless album. It still sounds incredibly fresh today. Graham Parker is usually categorized as a "pub-rocker," which he was, but he was also an amazing gifted song-writer and an unmatchably passionate performer. There's a lot of good humour on this album, and a lot of wistfulness too. If you are a fan of Bruce Springsteen, or Van Morrison, you owe it to yourself to check this album out. Incidentally, this made Rolling Stone's list of the "Top 100 Albums since Sgt. Pepper's," published way back in 1987, but still valid today. That's how I discovered it, and of all the great albums on that list, this is one I come back to again and again. Not a "deep" listen, but one that is surprisingly moving, whether high-spirited, angry, romantic, or sad. There is no point in singling out special favorites, since every song on here kills. A classic from the first track to the last.
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Format: Audio CD
First bought Howlin Wind in 78, which means punk had happened and a lot of this record`s sounds;blues,rockabilly and R and B were looked down on. Well very much of that period doesnt stand up now while this album does. In fact I like it better. the two tracks I thought were duff then, Lady Doctor and Not if it Pleases me can be appreciated as brilliant white English takes on musical styles most English musicians have never done well. The rest is sublime,pure and simple...the first four tracks on what used to be side two `Soul Shoes` onward are perhaps Parker`s finest medley of songs,with Howlin Wind and You Got To be kidding breathtaking takes on reggae and Dylan respectively. This album is the best rock singer ever with some of his best songs ever which crucially take on say The Stones and Van Morrison and are better than them, eg Gypsy Blood,Soul Shoes and White Honey. A vital album influencing--to me--Elvis Costello,The Boomtown Rats, The Clash and Joe Jackson especially. `Influenced`? Nah..they copied him...this was a new rock and roll blueprint. And the Rumour were a transcendent backing band...not too many dumb soloes,with great sounds and arrangements.
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