Graham Parker ‘The Real Macaw’ (Lemon)
From page 92 of Classic Rock Magazine February 2005
‘The Real Macaw’ was Graham Parker’s eighth album and emerged in 1983. But more significantly, it was Parker’s second album with such session musicians as drummer Gilson Lavis (the long-time percussive yin to Jools Holland’s keyboard yang) and guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, following the disintegration of Parker’s long-term backing band, The Rumour. However, as with all of Parker’s albums, it is the quality of the material that defines its precise position in the man’s canon – for his later albums were
inclined to be, ahem, patchy.
‘The Real Macaw’ is no exception, even though songs like ‘Last Couple On The Dance Floor’ and ‘Just Like A Man’ are classic Parker, the latter replete with bitter recrimination. The production sounds very dated with Linn drums and keyboard fills that seem way too self- conscious for their own good. However three bonus tracks, including a live version of the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ and – bizarrely – an extended
dance mix of ‘(Too Late) The Smart Bomb’ make this set all but indispensable for completists and new fans alike, especially as Parker’s most recent set, ‘Your Country’, showed him to be right back on form.