Howlin' Wind

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Howlin' Wind
Howlin' wind cover.jpg
Studio album by Graham Parker and The Rumour
Released July, 1976
Recorded Eden Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 42:02
Label UK Vertigo
USA Mercury
Producer Nick Lowe
Graham Parker and The Rumour chronology
Howlin' Wind
Heat Treatment

Howlin' Wind is the debut album by Graham Parker and The Rumour, released in 1976 to critical acclaim. The Rumour are mainly former pub rock scene musicians, including guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and keyboardist Bob Andrews of the band Brinsley Schwarz; Parker's recent jobs included pumping gas at a filling station. The music is a blend of rock and roll, R&B, reggae, and folk music, behind Parker's searingly intelligent lyrics and passionate vocals. Critics likened Parker's spirit to British punk rock, then in its early stage, and retrospectively to that of singer-songwriters Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, who would release their debut records within a few years of Howlin' Wind.

Many of the album's songs became live staples for the group, especially the reggae-tinged "Don't Ask Me Questions," which dismisses a malevolent God. "Back To Schooldays" demonstrates why Parker was categorised as "angry young man" by journalists throughout his career: Parker plans retribution against an education system that promised him that "it was like a film out here" when "it's a real horror show, boys". The title track "Howlin' Wind" bracingly announces Graham Parker's career aim: "I'm gonna howl". "Between You and Me" dates from 1975, when Parker, before meeting the Rumour, recorded demo versions of a few of his songs for Dave Robinson, future founder of Stiff Records. These tracks were shopped to labels and played on radio. The album's liner notes explain that "A subsequent recording of the song did not match the feel of the original ... here it is!"

Howlin' Wind was reissued in the UK in 2001 on Vertigo/Mercury, with one bonus track.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A [2]
Rolling Stone (positive) [3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars [4]
Trouser Press (Very favorable) [5]

The album finished fourth in the 1976 Village Voice critics poll of the year's best albums following his later released Heat Treatment in the second spot.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Graham Parker.

  1. "White Honey" – 3:33
  2. "Nothin's Gonna Pull Us Apart" – 3:21
  3. "Silly Thing" – 2:51
  4. "Gypsy Blood" – 4:37
  5. "Between You and Me" – 2:25
  6. "Back to Schooldays" – 2:54
  7. "Soul Shoes" – 3:13
  8. "Lady Doctor" – 2:50
  9. "You've Got to Be Kidding" – 3:30
  10. "Howlin' Wind" – 3:58
  11. "Not If It Pleases Me" – 3:12
  12. "Don't Ask Me Questions" – 5:38

Bonus Track (2001 Reissue)[edit]

  1. "I'm Gonna Use It Now" – 3:11


Additional personnel


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Howlin' Wind". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 March 2006. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Graham Parker: Howling Wind". The Village Voice.  Relevant portion posted in a revised version with new rating at "Graham Parker: Howlin' Wind > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2 March 2006. 
  3. ^ Morris, Teri (July 29, 1976). "Graham Parker Howlin' Wind > Album Review". Rolling Stone (218). Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 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 8 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Young, Jon; Rompers, Terry; Robbins, Ira. "Graham Parker (and the Rumour)". trouser press. Retrieved 2 March 2006. 
  6. ^ "The 1976 Pazz & Job Critics Poll". The Village Voice. January 31, 1977.  Copy posted at "The 1976 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". Retrieved 29 November 2010.