Struck By Lightning
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At least one of the best songs ever written graces this album: "They Murdered the Clown" mixes heavy rhythms with Parker's mambo-snake venom lyrics. Some of his nastiest lines lie in wait in the second verse. The circus organ and pounding guitar and drums make an amazing combination that combines the extremely danceable with the extremely disturbing. No one could accuse Parker of sugar-coating reality. He tells it like it is, and on this song he hits home with even more than the usual umph. "They Murdered The Clown" justifies this album alone, but of course much more awaits. Parker's ode to lost youth, "The Kid With the Butterfly Net" contains some nice violin riffs and a longing akin to Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". The pleading "Wrapping Paper" could entice any partner to forgiveness: "Speak to me girl, speak to me darling; You're not a princess, I'm not Prince Charming". Many other of the album's songs will provide food for thought for years: "Children and Dogs", "Over The Border (To America)", "Weeping Statues", "When I Was King". Parker's trademark innovative songwriting and orchestration run throughout the entire album. The album's sound is unique; it's crisp and lively; it may be one of his best sounding albums.Read more ›
Though earlier albums had sensitive songs here and there, this one is chock full of them. His meditation about his daughter growing up is the most beautiful and moving song he's ever written ("The Kid With The Butterfly Net"). In "Wrapping Paper", he requests that his wife "pull your skin like wrapping paper around my heart."
But before you think he's completely wimped-out, he hits you with the best rock song he's ever written. That would be "A Brand New Book", which features the lines "The words come out/Not "Twist and Shout"/'Cause that's not what a grown man writes about."
I've been listening to this for years, and every time I hear these 3 songs my jaw drops. I sit and marvel at how powerful and perfect they are, and think all over again "what an amazing songwriter!" In fact, Parker's had that effect on me for a long time. To this day I discover a line or a quick turn of phrase on one of his many recordings that I'd not noticed before - and I'm struck with wonder once again.
This is my favorite album of his, but it's hard to say that it's his best. There's too many contenders for that title that I hold in equal high esteem. If someone were to ask me which ones are "essential", I'd recommend (from his "angry" phase): "Howlin' Wind", "Heat Treatment", "Stick To Me", and "Squeezing Out Sparks". From his on-going more "thoughtful" phase: "The Mona Lisa's Sister", "Struck By Lightning", "Deepcut To Nowhere", and "Don't Tell Columbus.Read more ›
I especially liked the evil circus organ opening of They Murdered The Clown. And It Shook Me and Weeping Statutes are truly outstanding tracks.
Struck by Lightning is the album I play most often. The sound is way more laid back than his early stuff with the Rumour, but I'll tell you, I really like this album. Just great stuff. I'm so excited he's back with the Rumour ... one of my favorite bands growing up and ridiculously under appreciated. Yay geezer-rock.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Let's face it, Graham Parker hasn't had a really good album since "The Mona Lisa's Sister" and he really hasn't written very many good memorable songs since then either. Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by MJH
IMHO this is the finest album yet from an artist whose work is amazingly neglected. Most music fans lost track of Graham Parker in the years since his mega-hit Squeezing Out Sparks... Read morePublished on June 26, 2010 by Holly Hughes
This is one of Graham Parker's handful of masterpieces, along with his first two albums, Squeezing Out Sparks, and this album's true precursor, The Mona Lisa's Sister (Yes, the... Read morePublished on September 7, 2009 by J. Rosenberg
I only recently rediscovered Graham Parker, and I have had a great time catching up on all his albums of the nineties. Read morePublished on November 19, 2002 by Larry Latham
I have long been a fan of Graham Parker and The Rumor. I've noticed that some who have reviewed this CD mention the sound is so much different. I would think so. Read morePublished on August 18, 2001 by ---- John D
Graham Parker's best? No way. But "Struck by Lightning" finds him taking a lot of chances and mostly succeeding. Read morePublished on April 23, 2000 by Tim Weber
This is definitely one of Graham's best albums. The music is consistently excellent and it's beyond me why it wasn't played on the radio. Read morePublished on March 23, 2000