Graham Parker’s 1982 album, Another Grey Area, is the pivot point in his remarkable career. While the singer-songwriter is justly famous for the work he did with the Rumour during the first five years of his record-making, 1975-1980, his parting of the ways with that pub-rock band allowed him to explore a different kind of singing and a different kind of songwriting.
Inspired by the sound of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy (1980), Parker sought out that album’s producer, Jack Douglas. Recording in New York with musicians that included members of Billy Joel’s band, Douglas produced an album that spotlighted Parker’s songwriting and evolving vocal abilities. While the backing was less frenetic, Parker’s lyrics were as cutting as ever on one of his strongest batches of songs to date. “Temporary Beauty,” a turntable and early MTV hit, became one of Parker’s signature songs. And while the Top 50 Another Grey Area did not yield a hoped-for commercial breakthrough, Parker’s first solo album set the stage for the next four decades of his very much ongoing career.
While previous CD reissues of Another Grey Area included an anachronistic Rumour-backed bonus track from the 1970s, Iconoclassic Records’ definitive 40th Anniversary Edition appends five extra tracks from the surrounding 1982 period, including a cassette bonus track, single B-sides, remixes, and live tracks. Another Grey Area sounds better than ever thanks to the remastering of six-time Grammy Award-winning engineer Mark Wilder. The full story of the album is revealed in four-time Deems Taylor Award-winner Geoffrey Himes’ liner notes, based on two interviews with Graham Parker, 40 years apart.