Not that it’s a bad thing at all, but Graham Parker sounds almost exactly like Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, the Jam, and Marshall Crenshaw. Parker had been toiling as a quirky and amusing but rock-edgy singer-songwriter for the better part of the ’70s (solo, and with his bands The Rumour and The Shot) to big success in his native England, and to the lower-rungs of the album charts in the U.S., including the classic 1979 release Squeezing Out Sparks. A major standout on that album: the power pop classic “Local Girls.” Songs about girls, and a specific type of girl, always strike a nerve and hit big, be they California girls or California gurls, to cite two examples. Maybe the idea of “Local Girls” just wasn’t as exotic or enticing as girls from a distant locale.

Squeezing Out Sparks was favorably reviewed by the two biggest musical approval industrial complexes of the day, Rolling Stone and the self-appointed Dean of Music Critics, Robert Christgau. It charted at a respectable #40. None of that could persuade the country to bother with “Local Girls”—it failed to chart.

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About the Author

Brian Boone

Brian Boone writes about music, pop culture, and other nonsense. He does more of this kind of thing on Twitter and wrote this swell book called "‪Rock Lists For Obsessive Music Connoisseurs, Zealots, and Junkies‬," which you totally want.

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