Stick to Me

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Stick to Me
Studio album by Graham Parker
Released October 1977
Recorded Eden Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 36:44
Label UK Vertigo Records
USA Mercury Records
Producer Nick Lowe
Graham Parker chronology
The Pink Parker EP
1977)
Stick to Me
(1977)
The Parkerilla
(1978)

Stick to Me is the title of the third album by rock and roll singer-songwriter Graham Parker and his first group, the Rumour. Critical opinion of Stick to Me generally ranks it below their first two albums, Howlin' Wind and Heat Treatment. An undeniable shortcoming is the sound: the sessions suffered from a production mishap.[1] The original recording was ruined, and all the songs needed to be rerecorded hastily.

Parker, interviewed by Steve Hammer [1], recalled the making of the album:

"...for "Stick to Me," we had an 80-piece string section playing. But the whole album had to be scrapped because the master tape was leaking oxide or something. The producer, again, didn't seem to spot it. We saw this black stuff coming off the tapes but he didn't notice it. When we came to mix it, it was un-mixable. The hi-hat was leaking through all the tracks. It was a nightmare, because we had a tour coming up. In those days I had a manager, and managers are always saying, "We have to play in Sweden now," like that's the most important thing to do. So we re-made the record in a week with Nick Lowe. It's not what I wanted at all. It's a very intense, grungy-sounding record, but I kind of like it now for that reason. I think people are trying to get that sound now, and have been since the late '80s, when we finally got rid of that Phil Collins drum sound and got real again. If a band made a record like that now, it would be hailed as a great low-fi record. But in those days, of course, the American press panned it. They thought I should sound like Boston or Journey or something. They thought I should have a slicker sound. But they had a point."

There are gems among the songs, and the album's atmosphere is intense, suiting the year of punk rock. The dramatic title track became a live staple. The stark ballad "Watch the Moon Come Down" is his most serious song yet and perhaps the closest a Parker song would come to expressing despair; it would be featured on solo Graham Parker tours over a decade later. Other tracks like "The New York Shuffle" and "The Raid" are humorous and fast-paced. On "The Heat in Harlem", Parker and the Rumour push the limits of their form, creating a sort of psychedelic R&B.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A− [2]
Rolling Stone (mixed) [3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars [4]
Trouser Press (Favorable) [5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Graham Parker except as indicated.

  1. "Stick to Me" – 3:29
  2. "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" (Earl Randle) – 3:26
  3. "Problem Child" – 3:25
  4. "Soul on Ice" – 3:01
  5. "Clear Head" – 2:58
  6. "The New York Shuffle" – 2:58
  7. "Watch the Moon Come Down" – 4:49
  8. "Thunder and Rain" – 3:15
  9. "The Heat in Harlem" – 7:00
  10. "The Raid" – 2:39

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1977 Billboard Pop Albums 125

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. Stick to Me at AllMusic. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Graham Parker: Stick to Me > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 March 2006. 
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave (December 1, 1977). "Graham Parker Stick to Me > Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 May 2006. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Graham Parker". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 616–617. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.  Pages posted at The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Google Books. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Young, Jon; Rompers, Terry; Robbins, Ira. "Graham Parker (and the Rumour)". trouser press. Retrieved 5 March 2005.