Graham Parker – All-new album from British rock legend: “Last Chance To Learn The Twist”

Graham Parker – All-new album from British rock legend: “Last Chance To Learn The Twist”

5th July 2023 0 By Jon Deaux

Big Stir Records is proud to announce the release date for an all-new album from British rock legend GRAHAM PARKER. LAST CHANCE TO LEARN THE TWIST, credited to GRAHAM PARKER & THE GOLDTOPS and produced by Parker and Tuck Nelson, sees worldwide release on CD and all streaming services on September 8, with a limited-edition LP run on clear green vinyl to follow in October. The album, available for pre-order and pre-save now, includes both of the pre-release singles that brought Parker back to the worldwide airwaves throughout the summer and will be supported by a full band tour of the UK this Autumn.
GRAHAM PARKER‘s first album of new material since 2018, LAST CHANCE TO LEARN THE TWIST finds the veteran singer-songwriter in top form, offering up thirteen new compositions with exquisitely tasteful backing by The Goldtops (bassist Simon Edwards, drummer Jim Russell, guitarist Martin Belmont and keyboard player Geraint Watkins) and frequent contributions from the Easy Access Orchestra horns and backing vocal duo The Lady Bugs. It’s a dazzlingly diverse album: sweet classic soul grooves and roots rock sounds dominate, all framing lyrics dripping with Parker‘s vintage “Wicked Wit” (as one song title has it) and inimitable, impassioned vocal delivery. Two early singles have hinted at the record’s depth: the devastatingly stark “We Did Nothing” with its heartbreaking examination of the cost of inaction on both the personal and global stages and the delightfully playful reggae-tinged “Them Bugs.” But there’s much more waiting to be discovered on the full album, which is at once one of Parker‘s most relaxed and boldest statements to date.
“My usual rather conservative arrangements went out the window on this album,” Parker says. “The songs morphed as they grew: ‘Grand Scheme Of Things,’ and particularly ‘Sun Valley,’ became less about ‘parts,’ as in a typical pop song, but more about ‘movements.’ Bridges arrive in unusual places, songs were restrained and held to under three minutes, The Lady Bugs sang like street corner ruffians on ‘The Music Of The Devil,’ then floated like the choir girls that they actually are on the ballads, infused with old soul.  The Goldtops gave me everything I wanted. Yes, I’m more than pleased with this one.”
From the sinister shuffle of the opener “The Music Of The Devil” — a mission statement of sorts for the album and perhaps the singer-songwriter’s career – through the closing honky-tonk-inflected “Since You Left Me Baby,” Parker blends humor and heartbreak as only he can. Touching on concerns both intimate and culture-wide, often within the same song as on “We Did Nothing,” LAST CHANCE TO LEARN THE TWIST finds Parker moving from strength to strength over the course of its two sides. Highlights include the bittersweet, piano-led third single “It Mattered To Me,” the loose groove of “Sun Valley” with its soaring horns-and-harmonies coda, and the folksy meditation on mortality of the near-title-track “Last Stretch Of The Road” (already a fan favorite from its live airings at Graham‘s recent solo gigs in the US).
LAST CHANCE TO LEARN THE TWIST is as warm and inviting a record as Graham Parker has ever issued, but it also delivers all the unflinching honesty, literate nuance, and passion his admirers have come to expect

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